Possibly one of the largest challenges parents face all school year comes at the very tail end: figuring out what the children and teens will do all summer.
Luckily, Sandy has more than a few options for camps, classes and other fun activities. Whether you're just looking for a place for the kids to get active in the outdoors and not spend too much time with a screen, or you're hoping to save your child from forgetting all of the last academic year, there are likely options in your town.
Here are the different places you might check to find the summer fun that fits your family:
City of Sandy Recreation Department
The summer City of Sandy Recreation and Leisure Guide includes dozens of opportunities for children and families to get active this summer.
Activities new to the agenda include a mountain biking camp coached by professional competitive biker Sue Butler of Wentzel Coaching. Namanu Day Camp in the City will split time between Cedar Ridge Middle School and Camp Namanu, with a focus on preventing learning loss. Youths will have the opportunity to enjoy time outdoors swimming, doing archery, making crafts and more.
The city also will provide guitar lessons for children as well as all-day field trips to Kah-Nee-Ta or to paddle around Trillium Lake on Mount Hood.
Other youth-centric activities to be provided include:
n Kinderdance: a basic dance fitness class for kindergarten-aged children.
n Soccer camps for children ages 4-8.
n Tennis camps for ages 5-14.
n Horsemanship courses at Northwind Ranch for children ages 9-18 and adults.
A physical copy of the recreation guide can be found at the Sandy Community Center, 38348 Pioneer Blvd., between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at www.ci.sandy.or.us/Recreation/.
Registration is available online or in-person at the Community Center or by calling 503-668-5569 during the center's hours of operation.
Sandy Public Library
For children of all ages, the Sandy Public Library has something to offer. Many of the programs that take place throughout the year at the library continue through the summer, including the Saturday Afternoon Kids' Club, Read to a Dog, and many more.
Now through Aug. 31, children, teens and adults can all participate in Summer Reading. Packets to get you started are available at both the Sandy and Hoodland libraries and include a reading log, coupon for mini-golf at Bullwinkle's and a ticket to a Portland Thorns game.
Children who complete 25 days of reading can visit the library and claim prizes. Completed reading logs earn you a book, a ticket voucher for a pre-season Portland Trail Blazers game, a discounted deluxe ride bracelet for Oaks Park, and an Oregon State Fair 2-for-1 admission ticket. All participants who complete the program also will be entered to win an iPad, and those who complete the green reading log and read more than the standard requirements could win a Kindle Fire tablet computer.
Green reading logs are available at the information desk located inside the library.
Throughout the summer, the library will offer a new activity every Wednesday at 2 p.m., including the following:
July 12 — Mad Science
July 19 — The LEGO Guy!
July 26 — Dragon Theater Productions
Aug. 2 — Red Yarn
Aug. 9 — Drop in craft: make an eclipse viewer!
Aug. 16 — Sandy Actor's Theater presents: "Eclipse: Rendezvous with Darkness."
AntFarm YouthCore/Community Connects
AntFarm employees dozens of children older than 15 throughout the year, especially in summer. New to the nonprofit organization this season is some much-desired funding from the Department of Human Services, which will allow the group to employ 30 children with disabilities.
"It's unbelievable," Director Nunpa says. "I'm kind of in shock. It couldn't be more perfect for us. It's DHS saying 'We want to provide summer employment for kids with disabilities,' (and) it's really trying to take all those young people who have needs and support them."
This funding will supply money for 30 out of 50 positions the AntFarm plans to fill this summer, between all of its programs and employment opportunities.
YouthCore, which mainly works with the Bureau of Land Management to build and maintain parks and trails, will hire 8-10 kids older than 15 years, and 16 juvenile justice children also will work on bureau projects.
AntFarm expects to contract eight youths to work in the Community YouthCore, 16 to work in the AntFarm Learning Garden with Annie Ashby, four in the Farmers Market, four in the cafe, two in the office, and there will be about 25 spots open for internships for 11-14 year olds.
Community Connect will take place on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer, and is open for children and/or families to give back to their community.
Outside of employment and internship opportunities, Nunpa says the Wy'East Artisans Guild will host art lessons for 8-12 year olds in the morning on a weekly basis, and the outdoor adventures will continue, providing twice-monthly hiking weekenders for children involved with AntFarm.
"We want to make it just about accessing nature," he explains.
Other "kid-friendly" events will be announced as they arise during the season. Those interested are encouraged to watch AntFarm's social media and website for updates.
"We're always open to creating new opportunities for kids," Nunpa adds. "(We want to) help support what they want."
Impact Learning Center
Many studies over the years have found that children just don't retain all of the knowledge they gained over the school year during the summer, unless they make a concerted effort to continue learning. The term "summer slide" has since been coined to describe the phenomena.
Evelyn MacLean, owner of Impact Learning Center, aims to slow the slide in Sandy with summer classes and camps.
"Every summer we run both fun and educational classes," she says. "It's summer school, but we have some fun with it. Ultimately our goal is to offer supplemental education so kids retain knowledge and don't digress."
She adds that after having an unusually high number of snow days this past year, "kids are definitely going to have a hard time" once school starts back up, so she hopes parents will enroll their children at Impact to prevent the slide, while also providing a fun and safe space for kids while parents work.
"The goal of these classes is that a kid can go into next term with more base knowledge, and feel a little more confident," MacLean explains. "(And) it's a lot fun."
New to the center this summer will be preparatory classes in trigonometry and calculus and also a Harry Potter-themed camp called "Dumbledore's Army."
The center will still offer classes such as Ready, Set, Read and Write for first through third-graders and SAT and ACT preparatory courses.
For Oregon Trail Academy students, lessons in Mandarin will still be available.
Throughout the summer, the center will offer two different five-week sessions of classes — one from June 19 through July 19, and one from July 25 through Aug. 24. These classes will each meet twice a week.
Here are some of the courses to be offered:
n Ready, Set, Read & Write for grades first through third will include lessons in reading strategies, phonics, intonation, fluency and writing, depending on grade level.
n Around the World Geography for sixth through eighth grade teaches children about different cultures' cuisines, histories and more.
n Beginning Chinese Elementary for first through fifth grade provides 10 hours of instruction in Mandarin for Oregon Trail Academy students.
n Fun with Science for both fourth and fifth grades and sixth through eighth grades allows students to conduct hands-on experiments in chemistry, physics and astronomy.
n Math review classes are available for grades third through seventh.
n At Harry Potter Camp, children will be sorted into Hogwarts houses, study subjects Harry himself studied, such as Transfiguration and Potions, and balance their academics with some games of Quidditch.
Lil' Cubs Academy
Located at 39570 Pioneer Blvd., Lil' Cubs Academy offers a plethora of educational programs for preschool and kindergarten-aged children throughout the year.
During the summer, the focus turns more to fun, and the institution offers summer camps and gymnastics classes. Summer camps are multi-day adventures, which run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and cost $100 per session. It is $25 for yearly registration in gymnastics classes, and they run twice a week.
Here are the themes for this year's camps:
n "Ocean Exploration," June 20-22.
n "Mt. Hood Hikes," June 26-28.
n "Space Exploration," July 11-13.
n "Camping/Bugs," July 18-20.
n "LEGO Camp," July 25-27.
n "Volcano," Aug. 1-3.
n "Let's Be A Detective," Aug. 8-10.
n "Learn To Be An Actor," Aug. 15-17.
For more information or to register for camps or classes, call 503-380-5163 or visit www.lilcubspreschool.com.