Four kids passing a ball around with a small trampoline in the middle

Five nonprofit summer programs for Richmond youth

As kids go careening through another summer, many bouncing alternatively between video games and howls of boredom, parents may be at a loss as where to steer them for more meaningful activities. But as families emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps feeling the after-effects of a year-plus in hybrid limbo, the Richmond region offers a panacea of options that can help make their children’s off months more productive and engaging.  After all, the need for continued learning in a positive environment is more important (and maybe even more needed!) than ever before.

Be sure to bookmark this story as you start planning summer 2022, because you won’t want to miss these five summer programs when registration opens up again. But here’s also some good news: many of the programs below are still registering for THIS summer.

ArtVenture Summer Camp by Visual Arts Center

Founded in 1983, Visual Art Center of Richmond has been a safe place for children and adults to explore their creative selves. The nonprofit hosts an ArtVenture’s summer program, which offers young people the chance to make art with some of Richmond’s most talented professional artists and educators. This year, to accommodate the new health guidance, the camp provides on-site and online classes for young people ages six through 14. Find out more about the remaining camp options.  Some classes are complete; others have a waitlist but are still open for enrollment. Find out how you can support the VAC here.

Camp Diva by Girls For A Change

Since its founding in 2000, Girls For A Change has empowered young girls by taking on meaningful social change projects that help resolve issues girls face in their own neighborhoods. The nonprofit hosts an annual Camp Diva Leadership Academy, which helps fifth through eighth grade girls learn to spread their wings and make lasting connections with one another.  With the theme “Bloom and Bounce Back,” this year’s camp is expected to be six weeks with a focus on resilience. While this summer’s session is already sold out, keep it on your radar for next summer. Want to learn more about Girls for a Change?  Read our previous feature or check them out here

Camp GOTR: Girls Have Heart

Girls On The Run (GOTR) provides every girl a chance to challenge her limitations and unleash a free spirtit to pursue her dreams. Toward that end, GOTR holds a camp every summer where rising third to fifth grade girls can build friendships in a supportive, inclusive environment. At the camp, girls will discover what makes a good friend and how to be a good friend to others. The camp includes interactive games, being physically active and expressing creativity through crafts and storytelling. Camp GOTR provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for girls to develop self-confidence, learn life skills and have fun. There is still one more session open for this summer. Learn more about the camp here

SPEAK for Youth Workshops

SPEAK is a nonprofit organization providing kids in elementary through high school the chance to improve their presentation abilities. The group, originally founded by high schoolers in Richmond, has grown tremendously over the years with the help of 91 volunteers who have enrolled over 1,050 participants in these student-led workshops throughout the country. With a hope of inspiring communication around the world, SPEAK also provides writing and language workshops. Due to COVID-19, SPEAK is continuing to fulfill its mission by providing workshops virtually. Its Spanish workshop was completed in June, but its Public Speaking and Intro to Essay Writing workshops are open for August. Sign up for these amazing opportunities here and support the nonprofit here.

ComedySportz (CSz) Online Summer Comedy Camps

Founded in 1996, CSz Comedy Camp is supported by CSz Richmond – Home of ComedySportz. With its mission of using improv to make a difference in people’s lives, the nonprofit has been a special place for anyone who loves to explore the world of comedy and performance. This year, the camp is offered online, including a showcase performance where kids can connect and invite their family to join. To see complete online camp descriptions, dates and times, click here. There are several options late July through August.

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