Furloughed federal employees affected by the government shutdown now can pay a reduced cost for summer camp.
The Reston Community Center announced today (Jan. 15) that it will offer special summer camp fee waivers for affected families, allowing them to pay $10-$20 per child per week this summer.
Families can pay $10 per child per week of camp, with some camps planned with half-days. They can also pay an extra $10 for “Zen Zone,” an after-care option for those in less than a full day of camp.
“Reston is home to many people who have been affected by this event,” RCC’s Executive Director Leila Gordon said in a press release. “We know that discretionary spending for summer activities would be among the first things families would likely cut back on or eliminate in trying economic circumstances.”
Gorden said that she doesn’t want the shutdown — now the longest one in U.S. history — to deprive kids of their summer fun. She added that RCC will offer the fee waivers even if the government employees are called back to work soon.
“The economic impact has already been profound for federal employees,” she said.
Reston Community Center’s summer camps include a variety of half-day and full-day options.
Full-day camps let campers go on daily adventures to museums, water parks and more; create art; or practice theatre for a performance at RCC’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). Options for half-day camps include cooking, woodworking, magic, community service, photography, STEM and more.
RCC plans to host the Reston Camp Expo, which will have exhibitors from area nonprofits and Fairfax County government agencies, at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) on Saturday, Jan. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Registration for summer camp begins on Feb. 1 for Restonians and on Feb. 8 for everyone else. Families who live or work in Reston must present their federal government employee identification when registering for 2019 camp sessions.
Photo via the Reston Community Center
Friends of Reston has launched an annual fundraising campaign for camp scholarships. The nonprofit organization that supports Reston Association is seeking to raise $12,000 to send at least 22 students with a demonstrated financial need to RA camps this summer.
On July 18 (Wednesday), 20 percent of all frozen yogurt purchases at SweetFrog in North Point Village Center will go toward the camp scholarship fund.
Over the past 17 years, the organization has launched similar campaigns to raise funds for children seeking to attend summer camps.
“Summer is such an important time for children to stay engaged, make new friends, explore their community, learn new skills – camp is the perfect place to do all of that,” said FOR Executive Director, Katie Shaw. “We are thankful for all of the donors who make this possible for children whose families could not afford this experience.”
Thus far, the scholarship fund has received $5,731 from the Realtors of Long and Foster, $750 from Reston Historic Trust’s board of directors and $2,270 from residents of the Paramount Condominiums.
Photo via RA
Reston Community Center has added some new summer camps to its roster including some on filmmaking, jewelry making, engineering and environmental justice.
The camp, Documentary Filmmaking: Summer Studio for Teens, will be taught by Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Rebekah Wingert-Jabi. Wingert-Jabi will teach documentary filmmaking for the four-week full-day camp, targeted for ages 13-16. The camp runs from July 9 through Aug. 3.
Another new offering is a sensory-friendly camp called “We Rock the Spectrum,” a half-day camp for ages 6-11 that encourages strength, sensory processing, movement and positive social interactions through activities that include a zip line, rock wall, trampoline and obstacle course. The camp runs from June 25-29.
The other offerings include “Trendy Jewelry Making” where campers will create up to five pieces in this weeklong session. There will be two sessions one from July 2-6 and the other from July 9-13.
“STEAM I” is a half-day, weeklong introductory engineering camp where campers will create structures such as rollercoasters and catapults as well as Rube Goldberg machines. The camp will be from June 18-22 for ages 8 to 12.
“Green Earth Rangers” teaches campers how to work toward solving environmental issues in Northern Virginia. This full-day camp runs from July 30 through Aug. 3 for ages 11 to 14.
Registration for all camps is open at the community center’s website.
Photo courtesy of Fairfax County
Registration for Greater Reston Art Center’s summer camp is now open. The camp, which is organized in partnership with Reston Association, runs on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lake House.
Before and after care is available through RA.
The camp includes a variety of sessions:
- My Mom Would Never Let Me Do That: Using mixed media, this session combines scientific exploration and the creative process to create “the messiest and silliest” art projects.
- Fibers & Friends: Kids can become “wonder-weavers” by exploring all things related to fiber like tie dying, friendship bracelets and basketry.
- Art and Movement: This new session focuses on ways art can encourage movement. Beloved Yoga, a local yoga studio, will help campers “enhance their action art” with daily yoga sessions.
- Full STEAM Ahead: Campers will solve problems involving kinetic artwork, technology art and more.
Registration is open online.
Photo via GRACE
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The only YMCA in Fairfax County is accepting applications for its more than 50 summer camp options.
Joseph Crawford, YMCA Fairfax County Reston’s executive director, said some residents may be unaware that the cost of the organization’s camps — which can run $180 and up per week, per child — can be covered by scholarship funding.
“We raise all the money locally. Some comes from some companies around here, there’s lot of them in Reston, but the lion’s share of the money donated just comes from families that had positive experiences at YMCAs and they really get it,” Crawford said. “Reston and Fairfax County, specifically, it’s a very philanthropic community, and they have that give-back focus kind of built into their DNA.”
YMCA Fairfax County Reston has about 10,000 members, Crawford said. He said 300 to 400 children and teenagers can be involved in camps at the branch each day during the summer.
“The camps range from age 6 all the way up through teenagers — boys and girls of all ages, a very diverse group,” he said. “We really take a lot of pride in making sure there’s a continuum of care, all the way from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s also high-quality and cost-effective if you have more than one kid, and that’s why we have the scholarship system.”
According to information provided by YMCA Fairfax County Reston, more than $3 million in financial-assistance scholarships have been awarded since the facility opened in 2000.
“Contributions support our Caring for Community scholarship which provides financial assistance for individuals and families who are unable to afford quality childcare, summer camp, membership as well as other programs and services.”
More than $425,000 was awarded in 2016 among over 1,600 scholarships, with 20 percent of those going toward summer camp enrollment.
Crawford said anyone interested in applying for a Caring for Community scholarship should visit the YMCA branch (12196 Sunset Hills Road). Applicants will be asked to supply recent pay stubs (if applicable), tax documents and other financial budget statements.
The director said STEM-based camps such as Lego Robotics are particularly popular, but the YMCA continues to offer more traditional camps as well.
“We have traditional camps, where they can swim, bike and play basketball, that are all right here at the branch,” Crawford said. “A lot of the adventure camps are popular too, where the kids or the teenagers can take local trips around to different museums in the DMV area.”
YMCA is the fifth largest charitable organization in the United States, and Crawford said the scholarship program that helps make camp and memberships possible for many is a large part of what makes it great.
“The membership dues keep the doors open,” he said. “The scholarship money, the money we raise every year, makes sure we’re an inclusive organization so that everybody can come in and out of those doors.”
Photo via YMCA Fairfax County Reston/Facebook
RA Summer Camp Registration Starts Soon — In its latest “Reston Today” video, Reston Association reminds residents that summer camp signups begin next week. [Reston Association/YouTube]
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‘Party Time! Excellent!’ — It has been 25 years since “Wayne’s World” hit the big screens. Now, Wayne and Garth will be back in select theaters across the nation for two nights only, Feb. 7-8. Bowtie Cinemas at Reston Town Center will be among those showing the film, along a special introduction and a discussion among the film’s stars, on Feb. 8. [WaynesWorld25.com]
Hitchcock Classic to Be Shown at RCC — If “Wayne’s World” isn’t your idea of a classic, perhaps you’d be interested in an upcoming film presentation at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage instead. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film “Rear Window” will be shown at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 6, preceded by a free continental breakfast. [Reston Community Center]
Summer may seem far in the distance, but the time to think about it — especially for kids — has arrived.
Reston Community Center will host its fourth annual Reston Camp Expo on Saturday. The event is an opportunity for parents and children to learn about all the opportunities available to them in the area once school is out, said Eileen Boone, RCC learning and leisure director.
“It’s nonprofit organizations and government agenices, so there’s a strong emphasis on programs that provide scholarships, transportation options, and even congregrate lunches and snacks for children,” she said. “There is definitely an emphasis on making sure that every child this summer will have an opportunity to stay engaged and active, even if they may not necessarily have the funds.”
Boone said the expo was originally the idea of Reston founder Bob Simon.
“He wanted to get all of the different rec agencies and community organizations together and he wanted us to really talk to each other and figure out where there were gaps in programming, wait lists in some camps,” she said. “[He wanted us] to share that information and try to help these kids get into camps in the area.”
In addition to RCC, many other organizations will be present at the expo to share their summertime offerings. Exhibitors will include Reston Association, Fairfax County Public Schools, the county Parks Authority, the county Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, Reston Regional Library, YMCA Fairfax County Reston and more.
On top of that, Boone said, representatives from area nonprofit youth sports organizations including Reston Soccer, Great Falls Youth Rugby Club, Herndon-Reston Youth Field Hockey and others will be at Saturday’s event.
“We’ve expanded it a little bit to try to feature other programs and organizations,” she said. “It’s just to let the parents and kids know what else is out there.”
Boone said many regional summer camps and clubs will begin enrollment soon, and they often fill up quickly.
“[This expo] is really like a one-stop shop,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to see all of the different camp programs and learn all about the various scholarships and fee waivers that exist.”
Some organizations will be registering campers at the expo, Boone said. Attendees do not have to register on-site, however, as they will receive an updated Camp Resource Guide to help them research their decision for summertime fun.
The expo will be at RCC’s Hunters Woods location (2310 Colts Neck Road) beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday. For more information, call Boone at 703-390-6162.
Registration for Reston Association camps opens Monday, Jan. 25 for RA members.
RA has a wide variety of camps — from Nature Tots for preschoolers all the way to teen camp.
Some of the speciality offerings for summer 2016:
Bricks 4 Kidz With Legos — Campers use Legos to learn STEM basics
Camp on Wheels — Camp focused on skateboarding, biking and inline skating
Science Camp — Older campers (ages 8 to 12) are on site at the U.S. Geological Survey to learn from real scientists and test their skills
Triathlon Camp — Campers ages 6 to 17 learn new swimming, biking and running skills to put towards Reston’s youth triathlons
Can You Kick It Soccer Camp — Camp in partnership with Reston Soccer is for soccer players 8 to 14 to learn and improve soccer skills
Wilderness Camp — Campers ages 11 to 16 will learn valuable outdoors and camping skills.
To see more offerings, including traditional Day Camp and Junior Day Camp, view RA’s program guide online.
To register for camp, go to to the Marketplace section on the RA Website.
RA Camp on Wheels/File photo