By Jessie Schwartz

Calling all kids about to begin an awesome 2017 summer vacation!  Calling all parents looking for cool opportunities for their kiddos to stay active and challenged this summer!  Have you considered one of the many summer camp opportunities in the area?

Over the next few months, in Olean and Allegany, there are three great day camps being offered to kids of all ages and interests.

Jamestown Community College’s Olean Campus is once again offering their popular “Kids’ College” courses daily, beginning July 10 and running through Aug. 3.  Children from ages 6-14 years can develop an individualized ‘class’ schedule that reflects all they wish the regular school year could be!  There are many interesting and fun topics to explore and develop already-established interests and talents, as well as the opportunity to dive into subjects your child wants to begin to learn more about.  There are courses on candle making, cooking, outdoor survival, drama, music and scrapbooking in addition to popular themed classes called Minecraft and Hogwart’s Academy.  For kids interested in the sciences, JCC has classes on cool lab experiments and chemical reactions, 3-D printing, veterinary science and K-9/Human relationships.  For more information on course offerings, costs and class descriptions visit, call (716) 376-7506 or e-mail

The Cattaraugus County Arts Council (CCAC) in Allegany has daytime and early evening art classes in July and August for kids aged 4-18 years.  There are courses on basket making, gelatin printing and tin punching to encourage creativity and unique, one of a kind pieces of art!  For teens, CCAC has ceramics classes to introduce young artists to wheel throwing techniques as well as the glazing process to achieve a beautifully finished masterpiece.  For more information on CCAC’s youth and teen summer classes visit

The Dresser Rand Challenger Learning Center (DRCLC) at St. Bonaventure University has single and multiple day camps specifically designed for grade level space explorers throughout July and August.  For younger children there are single day camps like “Moon Mania” and “Mars Mania”.  Kids in 2nd-4th grades have multiple day camps called “Color My World” and “CSI Spies” to choose from and for 5th graders and up there is the very popular “Rocket Camp”.  For more information, including how to register and camp descriptions, log onto

Kids interested in sports and spending a little more time away from home can choose from several area overnight camps geared toward sports.

Every year, nearly 3500 students entering grades 1-12 attend summer camps at Houghton College. Summer sports camps include soccer, basketball, equestrian, tennis and volleyball. For more info, visit

Darien Lake Residential Soccer Camp, July 31-Aug. 4, aims to create the ultimate camp experience by combining 30 hours of Global Premier Soccer professionally coached soccer tuition with all the thrill and fun of a Darien Lake vacation. For more info, visit

Take the short drive to Dunkirk, where Camp Directors and Licensed Coaches Mike and Kelly Hanes and Todd Schiffmacher lead a sleepover soccer camp Aug. 6-12 for kids entering grades 3-9. This camp also includes lots of time for hiking, swimming and campfires. For more info, visit

Let your kids connect with nature at Camp Turner, located inside Allegany State Park.  This resident summer camp for boys and girls, from 7-16 years of age.
CIT Program for campers age 15 and 16 (runs concurrently with sessions A and B). This is a two week program. While this is great preparation for future staff, you do not have to want to work here to enjoy this program; it’s chock full of great adventure. CITs experience a three day Backpacking Adventure, a trip to Sky High Adventure Park (High Ropes course), Staff-for-a-day program, plus some fun service and justice learning experiences. Participants are able to pursue all of our Awards Programs and clubs during the second week. CITs and their leaders do laundry, go to mass, and out to supper on the weekend. Space is limited.

Pathfinders Program for age 14 and 15 (Session C, D, E and F). In addition to all the regular clubs and activities, Pathfinders enjoy a cool trip each session, overnight sleep out (optional), more freedom, later wake-up and bedtimes and extra campfires.
The Pathfinder program opens to 16 year old campers after June 1 if not full.

Younger Campers (Session A) This is a structured, ‘group centered’ program designed especially for younger, first time or nervous campers. Campers visit each activity area with their cabin group (same approximate age and gender) once in a week. Activities include Horses, Nature, Foxfire, Games-in-the-woods, Archery, Arts and Crafts, and Low Ropes. They also have hikes, campfires, sing-alongs, Club Periods (when they get to choose their activity individually) a beach trip and much more. There are no Awards programs to study for or fret over. Competition is much more limited during this session. The session is capped at 80 campers and the staff ratio is a tight 1:8 in all areas.

Traditional Camping Program, ages 8 – 14, sessions B, C, D, E, F. Begin your day with morning prayer, flag raising, breakfast and cabin inspection. Then choose from a wide variety of clubs and activities all day long. Choose a week long awards club like Horsemanship, Naturalist, Axe-man-ship, or Survivalist. Enter an archery tournament or a 3 on 3 basketball tournament or a volleyball game on our sand volleyball court. Sign up for a half-day hike to the Bear Caves, a trip to Thunder Rocks, a trip to the beach or a sleep out (always optional). Go to the dance and the bonfire. Visit the Canteen. Choose wood burning, jewelry making, a creek walk, or one of many other activities offered. Something different every day? It’s up to you! You set your own agenda.

For more info, visit