The 2019-2020 school year is wrapping up soon for many Oregonians, if it hasn’t already. Kids will likely start gravitating toward couches and technology due to their newfound freedom. With that in mind, I started considering youth sports options for the summer. 

I can walk/run with my kids, toss a ball around with them, or perform basic sports activities; but I am certainly not an “expert” in any sport. Because of that, I would like to lean on either 1) sports day camps 2) virtual sports camps/lessons/classes. 

I plan on making some suggestions to my kiddos, and my goal is to have them each choose one sport they are interested in that we can explore over the summer. During this time of quarantine, I have noticed it is way too easy to say, “Oh, okaaaaay” and just give up when my kids resist an activity. Some type of physical activity structured into our schedule will be good for all of us—mentally and physically. Here are some local Portland suggestions.

Skyhawks Sports Camps-

Skyhawks camps offer a large variety of sports day camps including: tennis camp, outdoor basketball camp, soccer camp, flag football camp, “Mini-hawk camp” (baseball, basketball, and soccer), “Multi-sport camp” (baseball, soccer, and ultimate frisbee), baseball camp, lacrosse camp, golf camp, and cheerleading camp. 

There are several sports to choose from. Here is the link to registration.

Skyhawks also offers “family resources/at-home activities” such as instructional videos and downloadable lesson plans on their website through this link.

Baxter Sports-

Baxter Sports offers day camps sessions between June and August. There are three options: 1) Youth soccer camp, 5-13 years old 2) Multi-sport camp, 5-13 years old (includes Soccer, basketball, frisbee, kickball, and ultimate frisbee) and then 3) 4 pillars elite soccer camp. 

Baxter’s has also been providing live workouts on their Facebook page

Here is the link to registration.

 Little League Baseball Day Camp-

Although this summer’s day camps for baseball and softball are cancelled due to COVID-19, the LLB website section labeled “backyard tips” provides a large variety of tips, drills, and practices for kids.

Instructional videos provide tips on the many facets of baseball/softball/tee ball. Here is the link.

Anthony Newman Sports Camps-

Usually, this organization has in-person sports camps, but they have altered their offerings to “virtual sports camps.” 

There are 4 options: basketball, soccer, physical fitness, or dance camps. The camps are designed for 1st-8th graders. 

Here is the link to registration.

Foot Traffic-

Foot Traffic is a youth summer running/track camp. The sessions are divided into two different locations: west side and east side. East side is based at Grant Park in Portland, and West side is based at Terra Linda park. 

This program is designed for students who are in 2nd grade through 8th grade. These sessions are offered in June and July. 

Here is the link to registration.

The Children’s Gym-

The Children’s Gym offers three choices for day camps 1) summer sports camp (3-14 years olds) 2) performance camp (8-14 years olds) 3) leaders in training camp (12-14 years olds). Some of these sessions close registration on June 8th, so if interested: act soon!

Here is the registration link.

Pedalheads-

I am extremely excited to learn about Pedalheads. I honestly just learned about this program as I am writing this article. This program teaches kids to 1) swim 2) ride bikes 3) play multiple sports. 

The skill levels vary for the bike riding camps from balance bikes all the way up to avid bikers. We have been struggling to teach my seven-year-old to ride her bike, so I think it is very likely that we will partake in these lessons/day camp! The website has a section relating to COVID-19, and how they plan to adhere to the summer day camp guidelines. 

Here is the link to registration.

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Sports are important for kiddos because they offer many benefits, not just physical strength and skill. Learning or practicing a sport requires concentration, discipline, patience, problem-solving skills, and if it is a team sport, there’s another important element: cooperation. 

All the listed benefits are skills that can help a child all throughout their life. The acquisition of these benefits along with tending to a physical fitness schedule would be a wonderful addition to our kids’ summer breaks. Playing in the backyard is good, but the structure of lessons/classes/camps could motivate kids to keep scheduling physical fitness into their days. Small changes like adding one instructional sports video or class a day can create life-long healthy habits for our families. 

Best of luck to you all in seeking out new sports activities for the summer.

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