• Rob Glover

Ready, Set, Summer: Youth Day Camps in Gaston County

Updated: May 16, 2019

What adventures await your kids at summer camps in Gaston County?


How about building a robot? Or learning to play the ukulele? Maybe they’re a budding soccer star or a literal drama queen. Or perhaps they just want a chance to spend a summer day running, rowing, and riding a bike.


No matter what pursuit your kids crave, there’s a camp for that!


We’ve gathered a list of some of those camps here, so you can find just the right one.

Credit: Crowders Ridge

Gaston YMCA camps


Gaston County YMCA camps promote learning skills, developing character, and making friends.


Each YMCA camp takes a different approach to helping kids become both more independent and better equipped to work in groups. All YMCA camps are 11 weeks long and follow the Gaston County School schedule.


Cherryville Family YMCA - Camp Whajado


When: weekly camps starting June 10 to August 19

Cost: $120 for members, $145 program participants


This year, Camp Whajado focuses on choice. This means that throughout the program, kids will have an opportunity to give their input about what their experience will be at camp. Typical activities include STEAM development, swimming, sports, and arts.


Pharr Family YMCA - Specialty Camp


When: weekly camps starting June 10 to August 19

Cost: $160 for members, $190 program participants


Each week of camp at the Pharr Family YMCA is tailored for a different specialty. Flag football, cheer, tennis, dance, even princess camp. It’s all happening at the Pharr Family YMCA this summer. There are also half-day camps available.


Stowe Family YMCA - Camp Ohana


When: weekly camps starting June 10 to August 19

Cost: $135 for members, $165 program participants


The Stowe Family YMCA offers three different camps, one for every age camper: kindercamp, traditional, and teen camp. Depending on their age, a day at Camp Ohana might find your child or teen learning to swim, writing a creative story, or gaining valuable leadership skills that will last a lifetime.


Warlick Family YMCA - Camp Tuscarora


When: weekly camps starting June 10 to August 19

Cost: $160 for members, $190 program participants


Camp Tuscarora makes good use of the 115-acre Warlick YMCA campus. Here, kids can learn about archery and slingshots, campfire cooking, science, photography, creative writing and more!


In addition to Camp Tuscarora,the Warlick Family YMCA offers several other sports and educational camps such as robotics design, basketball, soccer, and baking


U.S. National Whitewater Center Day Camps


When: weekly camps from June 3-7 to August 19-23

Cost: from $325 to $450


The USNWC is the place for outdoor adventure. So you can bet their summer day camps are full of activity and excitement.


The center currently offers eight summer youth programs, organized by activity, age, and skill level.


Youth Adventure Camp and Teen Adventure Camp


These camps introduce kids and teens to a variety of the amazing activities available at the center. They’ll paddle the Catawba, climb the walls, and zip the lines.


Rock, Ride, and Paddle Camp I and Rock, Ride, and Paddle Camp II


As the name suggests, the Rock, Ride, and Paddle Camps focus more on teaching three specific skills: rock climbing, mountain biking, and flatwater paddling. Campers will also have the opportunity to enjoy some of the center’s other activities like zip lining.


Rock, Ride, and Paddle Camp II takes campers’ skills to the next level and offers an offsite paddle and rock climbing field trips.


Whitewater Kayak Camp and Advanced Whitewater Kayak Camp


The man-made river at the USNWC is an ideal place to learn the skills needed to be confident whitewater paddlers. These camps start campers off with the basics, like boat handling, and progress them through to advanced moves like rolling and rescue techniques.


Survival Camp


Should the zombie apocalypse ever come, your child will be prepared. Survival Camp at the USNWC is all about teaching the skills and mental attitude it takes to keep yourself safe out in the wild. Of course, it’s a summer camp at the USNWC, so you can also expect a healthy dose of fun. This camp includes one overnighter at the center.


Backcountry Camping 101


This week-long educational camp introduces kids to all the skills they’ll need to enjoy multi-day treks outdoors. They’ll learn wilderness cooking, campsite preparation, packing, and more. The week culminates in an overnight trip to South Mountain State Park for a chance to apply all those newfound skills.

Crowders Ridge - Outdoor University


When: June 17-21, June 24-28, July 29-Aug 2

Cost: $199/week


Located in the shadow of Crowders Mountain, this Christian youth camp has all the best a camp can offer. There’s a small lake with a jump tower and tire swing. There’s a recreation field for kickball and capture the flag. And there’s paintball!


Credit: Gaston County STEM Education Center

Gaston County Stem Education Center - Summer Camps


When: June 10-14, July 15 - 19

Cost: $180 to $250


Gaston County Stem Education and Outreach Center is a non-profit dedicated to helping kids excel in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


They offer two summer camps. The first, STEM in Action, offers a well-rounded curriculum of physics, chemistry, coding, and more. The other, Computer Science and Algorithmic Thinking is dedicated to coding in languages like Java and Python as well as learning the math involved.

Gaston Day School - Summer Camps


When: Weekly camps beginning June 3rd to August 5th

Cost: $125 to $300


Gaston Day School has a summer camp for just about every interest you can think of. From robotics and art to basketball and band. Most camps are open to any age-appropriate child, although a few, like their literary camp, are only available to Gaston Day School students.

Gaston School of the Arts - Summer Camps


Gaston School of the Arts is a non-profit organization that provides a wide range of educational programs in music, visual arts, and drama. They offer three youth summer camps, each dedicated to one of these concentrations.


Art camp


When: Weekly camps beginning June 24 to July 22

Cost: $250 full day / $175 half day


Art camps teach visual art skills such as pottery, landscape painting, and drawing.


Drama camp


When: June 10 - 21

Cost: $275


GSoA’s two-week drama camp, The Singing Actor’s Workshop, will help your budding thespian learn the ins and outs of musical theater.


Music camp


When: July 29 - August 2, August 5 - 9

Cost: $175


This summer, GSoA is offering two separate weeks of ukulele camps. At the end of each week, kids will serenade their parents with a mini-musical performance.

Gaston County Schools - Summer Imaginarium Camps


When: June 17-20 (for rising 4th and 5th graders) and June 24-27 (for rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders)

Cost: $75


Gaston County Schools’ Summer Imaginarium Camps will engage campers in a variety of educational and athletic activities. Science, technology, the arts, and a range of sports are all part of the these 4-day camps.

Bit of Hope Ranch - Horse Adventure Summer Series


When: June 10-14, June 24-28

Cost: $275


Bit of Hope Ranch provides outdoor nature programs, equine-assisted therapies for counseling, physical therapy, and leadership and educational programs. For two weeks this summer, they open their barn doors to kids aged 7 to 15 for a unique adventure.


The first week is all about the horses. Campers will get lots of time learning to ride—no experience necessary. The second week combines horse riding lessons with other outdoor activities.


The ranch also offers one day camps and riding lessons.

Crusader Tennis Camps


When: June 10-14, June 24-28, July 15-19

Cost: $100 (half day), $175 (full day)


The Crusader Tennis Camps gives your budding tennis star a chance to work with experienced, collegiate-level coaches. The camps are hosted at Belmont Abby’s brand new, 11-court facility, and are designed for every level of player.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden - Garden Adventure Camps


When: Four weekly camps starting from July 9 through July 29

Cost: $250 for each week except the final camp, Fairies, Gnomes, and Forest Dwellers ($150)


DSBG offers four different summer camps, each with a unique theme.

Natures Naturalists is all about how things grow. Outdoor Adventure Seekers is about playing, building forts, and science. Create, Design, Paint explores the gardens through art. And Fairies, Gnomes, and Forest Dwellers takes a look at the more mystic side of nature.

Schiele Museum - Summer Camps


When: Multiple camps beginning June 10 through August 19

Cost: Varies


Schiele Summer Camps are full of interesting education, adventure, and activities. Campers will spend their days watching programs in the planetarium, taking guided nature walks, fishing, bowling, skating, and so much more.

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