Summer camp programs foster fun, fitness and creativity
By Katelyn Rutt
Summer camps are a storied tradition, with generations of children discovering new hobbies, new friends and endless play during the memorable three-month break from school. The Charleston area offers programs for every camper: budding artists and surfers, future musicians and sports stars, STEM and cooking enthusiasts and more. It’s never too early to plan for the summer season and below are a few summer camps to explore.
Cheer Works LLC
Cheer Works LLC. offers the ideal summer program for young cheerleaders looking to enhance their athleticism and embody the qualities of bravery, fearlessness and strength. Created as a preparatory program, Cheer Works LLC. has played a crucial role in helping young athletes refine their skills on and off season.
“My goal is to train young cheerleaders to safely learn the foundational skills needed to participate at a higher level,” says Jenay Martell, founder of Cheer Works LLC. “We have grown over the past three years mostly due to our inclusive nature and, of course, how fun our programs are.”
Martell organizes two camps in Mount Pleasant and a third on Daniel Island, welcoming children from kindergarten to fifth grade. Participants have the chance to learn foundational techniques in cheering, jumping, dancing, stunting, and more, culminating with a showcase finale for friends and family.
“I love creating a positive, inclusive space for athletes to feel comfortable learning new skills and when they do their faces light up,” Martell says. “I also get a lot of praise from parents who can see my passion when they come to watch our practices.”
Cheer Works LLC.
Camp Shalom—an extension of Addlestone Hebrew Academy—is one of the newest additions to the Charleston camp scene. Founded in 2023, the summer experience is designed to be engaging and structured and help facilitate meaningful connections among Jewish and non-Jewish children and families.
“We hope to offer these families, and our own, an opportunity to join a program that offers Kosher food and Judaic instruction,” Camp Shalom Director Krystie Stidham says. “As well as all of the fun that a summer program needs to be successful and accommodating to the needs of the entire Charleston community.”
Camp Shalom caters to children ranging from 18 months to fourth grade, offering a comprehensive blend of academic artistic, and athletic activities. Kids have the opportunity to engage in themed enrichment, as well as participate in sports, music, outdoor exploration and more. The program, led by Stidham, incorporates specialty guest performances and prioritizes natural learning, all structured around the central theme of fun.
“What is wonderful about Camp Shalom is that, although it is a Jewish camp, more than half of our enrollment was non-Jewish campers,” Stidham says. “We truly do offer a program for every camper in Charleston!”
1639 Raoul Wallenberg Blvd., Charleston
Ashley Hall Summer Programs
Nestled in the heart of Charleston, this beloved private school presents a comprehensive summer program catering to local campers from Pre-K to fifth grade. The 2024 lineup introduces additional specialized camps for boys like Sport-All Stars, Chess Champions and MakerSpace Lab. Campers can enjoy personalized experiences featuring small class sizes, an adept counselor team, daily swim sessions, appetizing hot lunches and more.
172 Rutledge Ave., Charleston
This exclusive math-focused learning center effectively combats the summer math slump, surpassing other programs that depend on drilling or rote memorization. The summer program features fun, math-themed activities, face-to-face instruction from skilled educators and more. Students in grades two through eight, engaged in this summer math initiative, elevate their comprehension, cultivating enthusiasm, confidence and develop a heightened passion for learning.
1812 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. #26, Charleston
Children's Museum of the Lowcountry Summer Camp
Designed for the ages of five to eight, this camp offers hands-on STEAM activities centered around weekly themes like Heroes, Harry Potter, Mission STEMPossible and more. Grouped by age, kids delve into the museum’s interactive exhibits, work together on projects, take on mental and physical challenges and form lasting friendships. Each camp day provides distinctive experiences, ensuring ongoing learning through the joy of play.
Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
25 Ann St., Charleston
Charleston Tennis Center Camps
Tennis enthusiasts, rejoice! The Charleston Tennis Center is gearing up for an exciting summer for its young athletes aged 7 to 18. Each day promises fundamental stroke development, personal instruction, games and match play in a positive, enjoyable environment, all under the guidance of a City Pro at the center. Younger kids aged 4 to 6 can join "Tiny Tot Tennis" for a shortened, half day of fun.
Charleston Tennis Center
80 Broad St., Charleston
FAME Summer Camps
From Taylor Swift to Disney, FAME’s summer camp themes provide an opportunity for kids to discover their inner confidence and creativity. Tailored for ages five to six, seven to nine, and ten to thirteen, each unique camp features activities centered around music, dancing, crafts and more. FAME's focus on inclusivity empowers students to develop a genuine sense of comfort in their unique identity.
FAME Performing Arts
757 Long Point Rd., Ste. D, Mt. Pleasant
Isla Surf School Summer Camp
Isla Surf School is renowned for delivering premier surf lessons in Charleston. Their summer camps are an opportunity for kids, age seven and up, to enhance their skills on the waves, learn ocean safety and make new friends. With fewer than 15 campers weekly and a 3:1 student-to-instructor ratio, these intimate camps ensure a personalized experience, empowering each camper to excel in their surfing skills.
Isla Surf School
301 W. Ashley Ave., Folly Beach
Wild Blue Ropes Summer Camps
Perfect for kids seeking a break from screens, Wild Blue Ropes' summer camps cater to all skill levels, spanning ages four to 18. The co-ed programs are meticulously designed to provide challenge, entertainment and inspiration while emphasizing the development of physical, social and decision-making skills. Attracting campers from across the greater Charleston area, the program encourages participants to disconnect, engage and relish in the great outdoors.
Wild Blue Ropes
1595 Highland Ave., Charleston
Young Chefs Academy Culinary Camp
Aspiring chefs are welcome to join a culinary journey at this multi-day summer camp, crafted to instill kitchen confidence. The program offers a blend of education and enjoyment for ages seven to 15, featuring cooking and baking techniques, challenges, competitions and more. Participants will delight in discovering both basic and innovative culinary tricks, tips and trends while being encouraged in creative expression and exploration.
Young Chefs Academy
729 Long Point Rd., Mt. Pleasant