Hillsborough YMCA

Camp STAR

young girl jumping at outdoor camp

SHINE BRIGHT ALL SUMMER AT CAMP STAR

Hillsborough YMCA’s Camp STAR - a 10-week program that runs from Monday, June 22 through Friday, August 28 -  offers so many camp options for your camper to design a summer experience that will be full of wonderful memories. There’s something for every kind of kid at every age! Campers can sign up for one or more weeks and have the best summer ever with friends at the Y! Mix and match camps to customize your child’s camp schedule with both traditional multi-activity and specialty camp options—there are 50+ traditional, sports, arts and STEM camp options to choose from for children entering Kindergarten through 10th grade in September 2020. And no matter which camp(s) you choose, you can feel great knowing that your campers are building strong character and getting the quality day camp experience you expect from the nation’s largest nonprofit child care provider.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Registration: February 8 for members; February 24 for the community

Open House Dates: February 1, March 14, and April 11 - 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.


Giving campers a S.P.A.C.E. to spread their wings and soar

Camp STAR’s very own S.P.A.C.E. philosophy is holistically integrated throughout every traditional and specialty camp all summer long.

What is S.P.A.C.E.? It stands for swimming, play, art, community and enrichment. We embed these signature elements across our entire camp program to create a truly well-rounded day camp experience for each child. It’s just one of the many ways the Y comprehensively supports the development of the whole child while they are here with us at Camp STAR.

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Traditional Camp Options

Traditional Camp

Camp STAR’s popular, traditional multi-activity camp options offer a broad array of activities that engage, challenge, and entertain campers, including weekly trips and theme days. Their days are filled with active games and exciting enrichment activities ranging from cooking projects, art projects, and eye-opening science experiments! In every week of this action-packed camp, campers engage with our camp STEAM and sports specialists through participation in small group-based activities as well as traditional and non-traditional sports like capture the flag, gaga, dodgeball, tag and more!

Camp STAR’s intentional approach to team building helps campers develop the social skills that build long lasting friendships as they learn to work together through daily activities and engage collaboratively with different perspectives. Theme days are wildly popular at Camp STAR. Campers and counselors alike get in on the action and dress the part! Past popular theme days include Disney® Day, Halloween, Carnival and Color Wars.

Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in free daily swim lessons and a daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day. Our Traditional Campers have the option to attend the camp trip each Wednesday for an additional fee. See “Weekly Trip Options” below to learn more.

Kindercamp

Kinder Campers feel like true members of the camp community as they take part in camp-wide activities including daily opening/closing ceremonies, theme days, weekly trips and some age-appropriate activities—all while having a separate age-appropriate schedule and indoor home base. Camp STAR’s traditional, multi-activity indoor/outdoor Kindercamp offers younger campers engaging opportunities to develop their social skills, explore budding passions, and make new friends all summer long. Every week, campers spend time with our camp sports specialists and our STEAM specialists through participation in small group-based activities. Kinder Camp incorporates a focus on summer learning, including summer reading times, fun puzzles and projects to strengthen fine motor skills. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in free daily swim lessons and a daily recreational swim time in our family-friendly pool. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day. Our Kinder Campers have the option to attend the camp trip each Wednesday for an additional fee. See “Weekly Trip Options” below to learn more. Kinder Camp is offered all 10 weeks of Camp STAR to children entering Kindergarten.

WEEKLY TRIP OPTIONS

Camp STAR offers a different exciting weekly trip for our Traditional and Kinder Campers. Trip Day for our older campers in grades 4 on up is on Tuesdays. Younger campers in grades K-3 go on their trips on Wednesdays. See below for this year's destination lineup. Weekly trips are entirely optional and are offered for an additional fee. Children who do not attend the trip enjoy a fun-filled camp day filled with a few unique camp day activities.

Tuesday Trips for Traditional Camp (Grades 4+)

  1. Urban Air - 6/23 - $35
  2. Six Flags - 7/1 - $35
  3. Dorney Park - 7/7 - $45 - NEW THIS YEAR!
  4. Museum of Natural History - 7/14 - $35
  5. Fireball Mountain - 7/21 - $35
  6. Philadelphia Zoo - 7/28 - $35
  7. Camel Beach - 8/4 - $35
  8. Tomahawk Lake - 8/11 - $35
  9. Franklin Institute - 8/18 - $35
  10. Bowling - 8/22 - $35

Wednesday Trips for Traditional Camp (Grades 1-3) & Kinder Camp (K)

  1. Land of Make Believe - 6/24 - $35
  2. Funplex - 7/1 - $35
  3. Coco Keys - 7/8 - $35
  4. Liberty Science Center - 7/15 - $35
  5. Roller Skating - 7/22 - $35 - New This Year!
  6. Turtleback Zoo - 7/29 - $35
  7. Splashplex - 8/5 - $35
  8. Branchburg Sports Complex - 8/12 - $35
  9. Franklin Institute - 8/19 - $35
  10. Bowling - 8/23 - $35

 


Counselor in Training - CIT

Camp STAR’s signature Counselor in Training (CIT) program is designed for teens who are looking to develop skills as future leaders in and outside of camp. Participants build personal values of responsibility, motivation, creativity and dependability while working with younger campers in a supportive setting under the direction of mentors.

CITs gain valuable firsthand experience working with children of various ages, build lifelong leadership and teamwork skills, and gain a real-world perspective on what it means to run a quality camp day. Exclusive training for our CITs includes workshops on leadership and the growth mindset, activities to build empathy for others, learning techniques for effective communication, problem-solving and program planning—followed by a debriefing at the end of each week to reflect on experiences, learnings, and perceived strengths and areas of opportunity for future growth. Camp STAR’s CIT program places an emphasis on the softer skills necessary to successfully navigate the working world while providing firsthand employment experience in a programmatic, camp-like setting. Our YMCA professional staff also review key resume-writing skills and prepare CITs for in-person mock interviews by advising on active posture and other nonverbal cues and even how to present oneself in a professional setting. Many of our CITs often become camp counselors.

DOWNLOAD AN APPLICATION

Completed CIT Applications must be submitted to the Program Director prior to camp registration in order to be accepted into this program.


Specialty Camp Options

Camp STAR’s popular themed specialty camps are terrific opportunities for campers to explore their creativity and pursue passions in science, art, sports, technology, performing arts and more! It is a perfect way to add variety to their summer camp experience as they learn and grow.

Animal/Nature Camps 

FUTURE VETS CAMP

 

Junior (Grades 1-3) - Advanced (Grades 4-8)

For the camper with a keen interest in the scaly, furry and feathery, Future Vets Camp is an unforgettable summertime experience! Campers learn about and observe various species up close in this vet-themed camp that focuses on pets and zoo animals. Visitors include local veterinarians and different pets ranging from bunnies, birds, cats, and dogs. Future Vets campers are exposed to different species, learn about all that goes into being a responsible pet owner, and what it means to take care of the world around us. Additional veterinary-themed activities in this camp include everything from creating short stories illustrating why they want to work with animals when they grow up to what kind of animal would campers choose to be. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

PREHISTORIC CAMP

 

In Prehistoric Camp, our little paleontologists explore and study animals from the prehistoric era with exciting dino expeditions, melting ice to find the hidden mammoths inside, and creating life-sized cave drawings displayed for all in the Y to see! In this camp, children learn about different extinct species like dinosaurs, mammoths and saber tooth tigers. Prehistoric campers also engage in specially-themed crafts, learn to work as a group utilizing clues in fun scavenger hunts around camp and at a nearby park, and even experience their very own dino-dig in the dirt! Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

TWEEN TRAVEL CAMP

 

Tween Travel Camp offers our older campers adventure, independence and fun as they go on a different, exciting trip each day to explore New Jersey’s best sights and attractions. In past years, Tween Travel Camp has visited a wide variety of destinations including the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Yestercades, Dorney Park, and more! Campers are paired with a counselor in small groups on each trip with regular check in times, allowing campers to gain a sense of age-appropriate independence and responsibility. Brown bag lunches are encouraged. To accommodate working parents, Before Care and After Care are included in Tween Travel Camp at no additional cost. Please contact Laura Rodriguez for daily trip details.

 

Fantasy Camps

AREA 51 & THE UNKNOWN CAMP - NEW THIS YEAR

Campers explore the myths and legends behind Area 51, UFOs, the Yeti, Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch, and more in the eye-opening Area 51 & The Unknown Camp. Our myth-busting campers endeavor to uncover the truth behind mysteries ranging from ancient aliens to whether or not there really is a hairy giant lurking in the great forests of Washington in this conspiracy theory-centered camp experience. Campers watch long lost footage, examine famed UFO images, and learn about the lore behind legends like the Loch Ness Monster to draw their very own conclusions about what may or may not be fiction. Campers then engage their limitless imaginations and inquisitive nature through specially-themed crafts, making mini digital documentary films, creating a map-led quest for the truth for other Camp STAR camps to join in the fun, and more in this legendary camp! Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

CAMPOCALYPSE

Dive into the fantastical worlds of Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, Divergent, and more in this dystopian fantasy camp! In Campocalypse, campers create themed crafts including making their very own wands, experimenting by completing special potions, and being sorted into different divergent houses or districts in fun games, and more! Campers even write all-new endings to their favorite alternate worlds, exercising their creativity and showcasing their literary knowledge. A different type of dystopian book is explored each day and costumes are encouraged. Engage in wildest imaginations in Campocalypse! Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

CULINARY CREATIONS CAMP: DESSERT EDITION

Campers spend this tasty week whipping up deserts and only desserts in this wonderfully sweet camp! In Culinary Creations Camp: Dessert Edition, kids learn about recipes and techniques in the kitchen, with a hefty serving of fun. Young culinary creationists bake and frost cakes, mousse, cheesecake, and more while learning the science and art behind baking. This yummy camp culminates in a head-to-head Top Chef-style competition where campers whip up a cake, cookie or other no-bake dessert using only the week’s unused ingredients! The competition is fiercely fun and our very own camp counselors judge the final results! Parents can go light on the snacks for campers this week since participants will prepare a tasty treat to enjoy every day. Egg, milk and flour ingredients will be used in this food-based camp. Please advise your counselor in advance of any food allergies. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

PRINCESSES, FAIRIES & MERMAIDS CAMP

Imaginations soar in this magical fairy tale-themed arts and crafts camp! Campers create their very own fairy wings, prince and princess crowns, wands, jewels, fairy tale puppets, and more utilizing tulle, headbands, craft wire, gems and glitter—LOTS of glitter—all supplied by the Y. Camper-created paper mâché and origami flower crafts to keep only add to the sense of magic and whimsy in this exciting fantasy camp. At the end of the week, Princesses, Fairies & Mermaids Camp enjoys an exclusive and fabulous tea party and celebratory snack with campers fully decked out in their finest royal attire that they created right here at Camp STAR! Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

TREASURE HUNT CAMP

Calling all treasure-hunting explorers at heart! Campers embark on a thrilling pirate-themed week here at Camp STAR where each day starts with a brand new hunt for treasure using maps and/or tricky clues to be solved! Campers enjoy a wide variety of pirate-themed games like “Ship to Shore” and special craft projects including designing their very own treasure box to take home to keep! Treasure Hunt campers even get other camps involved in the fun by setting up a custom treasure hunt and crafting helpful maps for their fellow campers to follow and find! Dressing up and talking like a pirate is encouraged, matey! Camp STAR supplies each camper with their very own eye patch to get the pirate-themed fun started. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

 

Fine Arts Camps

ART CAMP

 

Beginner (Grades K-2) - Intermediate (Grades 2-4) - Advanced (Grades 4-7)

Art is everywhere and art is for everyone in Art Camp! Campers with beginner through advanced skill levels are exposed to a wide variety of art forms and mediums as they develop their inner artist and create truly unique works in this popular camp. The use of acrylic paints, pencils, charcoal, pastels, self-drying clay and more are actively explored by campers as they engage in the creative process creating everything from a traditional still life and nature scene to comics and an imaginative self-portrait. Art campers learn about different mediums in a way that will stretch the imagination. At the end of the week, parents and fellow campers are invited to a special gallery-style art show to admire the talent and hard work of our artists—after which they get to take home their creative works! Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

ART MEETS SCIENCE CAMP

 

Art Meets Science Camp is art with a twist! In this fun week campers learn that you can create all kinds of interesting designs when you mix up art and science! Experiment with different, colorful substances including shaving cream, salt and paint, soap and food coloring, and more! Make an original painting using just dish soap, paint and a straw—the bubbles make neat designs! Campers even get to make their very own slime to take home. Do you know what candy chromatography is? Find out and put your noodle to work in this artistic chemistry camp! Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

CRAFT CAMP

 

It’s a week full of hands-on fun in Craft Camp! Campers show off their crafty side as they make a wide variety of projects—including a fun little take-home lamp made from tea lights in mason jars our campers custom-decorate with paint, ribbons and more! Camp STAR’s Craft Camp activities also include sculpting with clay, beading, weaving fabric pieces on a loom, drawing with pastels and pencils on mixed media paper, and painting too. The week culminates with an exciting gallery-style art show for campers to showcase to parents and camp all they have learned and created—after which campers get to take home their creative works! Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

ECO-ART CAMP

 

Environmentally minded campers explore how kids can be eco-friendly every day and then put their artistic talents to work to educate and inform fellow campers in Eco-Art Camp! During this week, campers learn about the importance of not being wasteful and how they can make a positive environmental impact through small choices each day. Eco-Art Campers create posters for display around camp encouraging their fellow campers to recycle and be good global citizens. Campers also create paintings, drawings, and sculptures using nature as their muse and letting their imaginations run wild working with clay, leaves, brush, and anything else found in the environment around us! Nature walks around Camp STAR provide endless organic inspiration and materials for Eco-Art campers to create unique nature drawings using found sticks and tree leaves. Other activities include leaf-pressing and sketching flowers in their natural state. This week’s upcycled fun culminates with a showcase for parents and campers alike to admire the talent and hard work of our eco-artists—after which they get to take home their nature-derived creative works! Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

Recommended attire: A smock, oversize shirt, or other clothing that can get messy.

EXTREME ROOM MAKEOVER CAMP

 

Camp STAR’s Extreme Room Makeover Camp is all about making fun and uniquely personalized decorations for your very own space. It all starts with a vision in this fun arts and crafts camp! Campers use a shoebox to create a mini model of their bedroom now and how they would makeover their space. Then they get to work expressing their personal style by making their very own lamps, pillows, picture frames, wall art and other cool crafts to decorate their bedrooms. Creative campers have used glitter and jewels to bring their camp-made creations to life and even to upcycle found items from home. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

Recommended attire: A smock, oversize shirt, or other clothing that can get messy.

MESSY ART CAMP

 

Campers get messy in the name of creative fun in Messy Art Camp! From edible art to finger painting, this sensory camp explores some truly hands-on artistic methods using food, textures and more! Campers explore a wide variety of tactile artistic mediums like shaving cream, glue, paint, and even make their very own slime to take home! Campers also fill balloons with paint and pop them against canvases to make a truly one-of-a-kind messy art creation! Messy Art campers then create tasty art ranging from custom-decorated cupcakes to using creatively sliced and diced fresh fruit and veggies in an edible ensemble. All projects allow campers to use their imagination and get messy while creating one-of-a-kind works of art.  Egg, milk and flour ingredients will be used in this food-based camp. Please advise your counselor in advance of any food allergies. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

 

Sports Camps

BASKETBALL

 

Campers slam dunk into basketball with the organization that invented the game - the Y! Basketball Camp at Camp STAR teaches the skills and fundamentals to be successful while competing in daily contests and games. Campers practice drills to improve core skills in the game and learn techniques, working on dribbling, passing, defense, shooting and more. Campers are divided into 2-4 equally matched groups of mixed ability for team play in a mini tournament. Every camper will have the opportunity to play. Teamwork and good sportsmanship are reinforced during play. Beginners are welcome and the experienced players’ skills will be challenged. Our coaches work with campers according to their ability level. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

BOWLING

 

Bowling Camp at Camp STAR heads off to Bowlmor in Green Brook each morning to play frame after frame! Counselors encourage proper aim as campers learn the basics of the game and develop their bowling technique. Shoe and ball rentals are included. Every camper will have the opportunity to play, and good sportsmanship is reinforced during practice and play. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

CHEER DANCE

 

Cheer Dance Camp is a fun, high‑energy camp that keeps campers moving to the beat as they learn and practice the latest cheer moves to today’s hottest songs. Campers work on everything from thigh stands and simple pyramids to floor skills like cartwheels and back handsprings on the Y’s gymnastics floor mats. Campers show off their skills and all they’ve learned with a show-stopping performance for parents and fellow campers at the end of the week. Cheer Dance Camp is great for beginners as well as campers with prior cheer and/or dance experience who benefit from perfecting and refining basic stunts and dance techniques. This camp is perfect as a springboard to prepare for the upcoming cheerleading season and further instruction in dance and/or gymnastics. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

FLAG FOOTBALL

 

JV (Grades 1-3) - Varsity (Grades 4-7)

Develop and fine-tune your spiral pass with Flag Football! In this high-energy, coed camp, campers work on passing and running drills to build core skills. Team play in the form of friendly daily games helps campers improve ball control and skill work in cutting and throwing while encouraging sportsmanship and building team work. Campers are divided into equally matched groups of mixed ability for team play. Every camper will have the opportunity to play. Beginners are welcome and the experienced players’ skills will be challenged. This camp is perfect to help prepare campers for the upcoming fall football season. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

SOCCER

 

JV (Grades K-2) - Varsity (Grades 3-6)

Soccer camp teaches the fundamentals of soccer, team building and technical skills in a fun and non-competitive environment while encouraging a love of the game. Each morning focuses on skill work like dribbling, passing, shooting and defending on the field, while the afternoons are set aside for friendly game play to improve ball control and reinforce skill work. Campers are divided into equally matched groups of mixed ability for team play. Every camper will have the opportunity to play. Beginners are welcome and the experienced players’ skills will be challenged. Soccer Camp helps campers get ready for the upcoming soccer season. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

TEAM SPORTS

 

JV (Grades 1-3) - Varsity (Grades 4-8)

Campers learn what it takes to work as a team in a variety of traditional and non-traditional sports in Team Sports camp. Campers experience and learn the basics of how to play a wide variety of sports including basketball, soccer, baseball, volleyball, lacrosse, and even schoolyard favorites like kickball and dodgeball during this team building multi-sport camp. Sportsmanship is encouraged as campers learn to work together in a positive environment. Every camper will have the opportunity to play. Camp STAR provides all equipment necessary to learn the fundamentals of each sport. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

TUMBLING

 

Tumbling Camp teaches the basics and safety of tumbling, cartwheels, and the foundations of gymnastics. Counselors support campers in developing their individual strength, flexibility and coordination while building on their tumbling skills on the Y’s gymnastics floor mats. This camp is geared toward the beginner and is perfect as a springboard to prepare for further instruction in gymnastics and/or the Y’s competitive gymnastics team in Somerville. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

WATER GAMES

 

Get ready to be wet in the non-stop fun of Water Games Camp! Campers spend their days playing a variety of awesomely wet water games both in the pool and outside. Activities in the pool include water polo, wet and wild relay races, pool volleyball and much more! On land campers let loose with friendly water balloon fights and play games like “Drip Drip Drop”—our take on the classic “Duck Duck Goose” game. The Y supplies the beach balls, balloons, pool noodles, splash balls, and more for a soaking good time on land and in the water! In addition to all the water-centric excitement, campers gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Campers must be at least a yellow band to participate in pool-based activities. All campers are swim tested to assess ability. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day as well as a change of clothes.

WATER GAMES JUNIOR

 

Get ready to be wet in the non-stop fun of Water Games Camp! Campers spend their days playing a variety of awesomely wet water games both in the pool and outside while also working on critical swimming skills and water safety to boost confidence in and around water. Activities in the pool include water polo, wet and wild relay races, pool volleyball and much more! On land campers let loose with friendly water balloon fights and play games like “Drip Drip Drop”—our take on the classic “Duck Duck Goose” game. The Y supplies the beach balls, balloons, pool noodles, splash balls, and more for a soaking good time on land and in the water! In addition to all the water-centric excitement, campers gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Campers must be at least a yellow band to participate in deep-end pool-based activities. All campers are swim tested to assess ability. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day as well as a change of clothes.

 

STEAM Camps

CHEMISTRY CAMP

 

Spend your day experimenting in Camp STAR’s very own Chemistry Camp! This camp helps children expand their scientific knowledge as they learn what liquids don’t mix, what tricks regular dish soap has up its sleeve, and what makes things go BOOM! Young chemists brainstorm, hypothesize to predict the results of their experiments, and choose which variables to test. Working with basic chemistry sets, campers then get hands-on with science-based challenges like creating a Diet Coke® and Mentos® eruption (aka: a soda geyser), constructing a drop-proof protective cocoon for an unsuspecting egg, and more! Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

C.S.I. CAMP

 

Solve a mystery like a real detective in C.S.I. Camp! Each day begins with a new mystery that needs to be solved by our very own Camp STAR crime scene investigators. With trusty notepads in hand, campers spend each day finding and carefully sifting through various types of clues all around the Y and campgrounds. Campers learn super secret skills to solve each mystery du jour—including how to read invisible ink and even lift fingerprints! At the end of the week, a larger-than-life mastery will leave C.S.I. campers wondering whodunnit as they work as a team to piece all the clues together. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

FUTURE ENGINEERS CAMP

 

Camp STAR’s Future Engineers campers gain firsthand knowledge of simple physics, suspension, weight distribution and other key concepts that go into the successful design and construction of all kinds of structures! Each day in small teams, our campers complete an exciting hands-on project that requires careful planning, coordination and building using everything from popsicle sticks to duct tape. Past projects have included model skyscrapers, elegant bridges, exciting bottle rockets, real floating boats and much more! Campers put their designs to the test—adding pennies one at a time, for example—to see which structure is the strongest or even floats the longest! Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

YOUNG EINSTEINS CAMP

 

In Young Einsteins Camp, inquisitive young minds learn the answer to life’s biggest question: Will a Mentos® really make Coke® explode? Campers explore and debunk scientific myths and even conduct their very own mini experiments! Campers get hands-on with a wide variety of materials as they construct secure housings for death-defying egg drops, explore how color can transfers to paper towels to make a rainbow, and more! Camp STAR’s Young Einsteins learn to hypothesize and predict what they think the outcome will be. They then measure and assess the results of each experiment to draw their final conclusions. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

 

Visual & Performing Arts Camps

DANCE CAMP

 

Beginner (Grades 1-3) - Intermediate (Grades 2-4)

Camp STAR’s Dance Camp encourages campers to be physically active and have fun while gaining confidence in dance skills and learning stage presence. Aspiring and experienced dancers alike will spend the week moving to the music—learning everything from basic ballet through jazz and hip hop styles of dance. All are welcome. Each week Dance campers learn the choreography for two or more routines. At the end of the week, our Dance Camp puts on a show-stopping performance for fellow campers and parents. This camp is perfect preparation for aspiring dancers ready for further instruction in dance at the Y. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

DRAMA CAMP

 

Our Drama Camp offers firsthand experience for all aspiring actors and actresses! Campers spend two weeks learning the ins and outs of creating, planning and performing an original dramatic play—all while gaining the confidence and lifelong skill of public speaking and performance. Prior performing experience is not required. Drama campers learn the basics of acting, original play writing, prop-making, and what it takes to be in a show in a collaborative environment while developing an appreciation for and love of the dramatic arts. Camp STAR’s Drama Camp culminates in a camp-wide performance at the end of the week that parents are encouraged to attend! Drama Camp staff have performing experience including music instruction at the middle school level. This camp is perfect for the budding performer and prepares campers for the Y’s after school musical theater program. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

HIP HOP & JAZZ CAMP

 

Aspiring and experienced dancers alike spend the week moving to the music in our high-energy Hip Hop & Jazz Camp! From exploring Broadway and commercial styles of Jazz to nailing Hip Hop isolations, campers focus on learning technique and building skills in these two popular styles of dance. Hip Hop & Jazz campers learn basic choreography and perform various routines at the end of the week for fellow campers and parents—showing off all they have accomplished and learned! Campers of all abilities have the opportunity showcase their budding talent. All are welcome. This camp is perfect as a springboard to prepare for further instruction in dance at the Y. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

Recommended attire: Sneakers

HOLLYWOOD HORROR CAMP

 

Learn what it takes to create realistic blood on the big screen and how monsters come to life through unique costume and makeup techniques in Hollywood Horror Camp! Using face paint, liquid latex, fake blood, and found props from home, campers get hands-on and let their imaginations run wild creating realistic wounds and more to bring the undead to life in this one-of-a-kind creative performing arts camp. Using green screen and editing software, campers then make the real Hollywood magic happen—setting the scene, filming, and editing to create original video shorts that showcase their incredible costume, prop, and make up skills learned in camp! Campers also gain the confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

MUSICAL THEATER CAMP

 

Campers gain firsthand experience in dance, theater and music in a welcoming, creative atmosphere as they deepen their appreciation for and love of the performing arts in our popular Musical Theater Camp! Campers learn all about what goes into the production and performance of Broadway musicals as they explore musical ability through song, artistic ability through set design and prop selection, as well as personal Broadway style through dance and basic choreography. Campers and counselors collaborate to create an original performance piece that showcases each camper’s budding stage presence and unique vocal range. Camp STAR’s Musical Theater Camp culminates in a show-stopping performance at the end of the week for fellow campers and parents! Musical Theater Camp staff have performing experience including music instruction at the middle school level. This camp is perfect for the budding performer and prepares campers for the Y’s after school musical theater program. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

VIDEO PRODUCTION CAMP

 

Imaginations are limitless when campers explore the world of original video production! From comedy to drama, super heroes to alien invasions, and more—Video Production Campers have created and produced a broad variety of mini feature films at Camp STAR! Campers build their teamwork skills in a creative environment as they work together—collaborating on concept development and shot planning, script-writing, costume and prop selection, as well as casting and filming. All campers have a chance to be actors and directors and gain firsthand experience in all major aspects of video production—both on and off camera. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Children should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

 

Youth Civic Engagement Camps

MOCK TRIAL CAMP - NEW THIS YEAR!

 

Teens and tweens in Mock Trial Camp learn to skillfully present and debate topics they are passionate about—from whether or not schools should assign homework to other issues impacting their lives today. Participants engage in this simulated mock trial experiences by drafting their own resolutions and bills that advocate for change within the camp community as well as taking on opposing sides in cases that have already been tried in the nation’s courts. These activities help build critical analytic skills, public speaking ability, encourage relationship building, and more. Mock Trial campers learn to present evidence that supports their perspective to make a sound persuasive argument. Campers participate in both a mock government trial and mock debate trial. This camp prepares participants for Hillsborough YMCA’s Model UN program and/or Youth and Government for those looking to continue to sharpen their critical thinking and public speaking skills. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Participants should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY CAMP - NEW THIS YEAR!

 

Camp STAR’s Social Responsibility Camp offers teens and tweens a community-centric firsthand opportunity to gain a new perspective on the impact they can make as responsible global citizens through local volunteerism. This camp empowers participants to understand and activate their ability to be engaged, active members in their local community. Social Responsibility campers work together to discuss real-world local issues, identify where their efforts can have local impact, and collaboratively complete a real-life service project. Through this team-oriented experience, teens and tweens gain a fuller understanding of the importance and power of their voices in expressing and acting on community concerns to realize meaningful change. This camp prepares participants for Hillsborough YMCA’s Model UN program and/or Youth and Government for those looking to continue to sharpen their critical thinking and public speaking skills. Campers also gain the courage and confidence as life-long swimmers through their participation in daily recreational swim time. Participants should bring a bathing suit and towel each day.


BRAGGING RIGHTS ALL SUMMER LONG

Every camper has the opportunity to earn brag tags all summer long. What are brag tags? They are a way for campers to show (and show off) when they have been noticed by counselors and staff exhibiting any one of the following values and positive characteristics at camp: caring, honesty, empathy, leadership, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, team player and, of course, camp spirit!

How do campers earn brag tags? Cheer a fellow camper on or actively participate in opening ceremonies and you may find yourself earning a brag tag for camp spirit. Or maybe you encourage the rest of your group to do the right thing or take the lead in an activity. That could very well earn you a leadership brag tag! Did you really want to speak but were respectful of your fellow campers and waited until someone else finished sharing their perspective? That is what the respect brag tag is all about!

You get the idea. The goal is to earn them all and be counted among the few, the proud, the campers in the Brag Tag Hall of Fame.


YOUR EXTENSIVELY TRAINED CAMP STAFF

Every year, Hillsborough YMCA engages our summer camp staff in a total of 24 hours of immersive, in-person training prior to the start of the camp season. Our camp staff are extensively trained in areas that include behavior management, character development, child abuse prevention, aquatics safety and general safety and emergency procedures. As well, all camp staff are required to complete 10+ hours of online training. All camp counselors are CPR/First Aid certified. All are swim tested. And, in addition to the lifeguards on staff at our pools, some counselors are also certified lifeguards themselves.