Swimming, cooking, robotics; these are only a sample of summer camp activities available to children this summer.

Centre du Sablon in Chomedey, College Laval in Duvernay and the Robotics Camp at Dawson College are just three of the many summer camps Laval families can pick from for their children.

Centre du Sablon, otherwise known as “the English camp of Laval,” is known for a variety of activities, such as swimming, sports, arts and crafts, science and a Jr. Iron Chef competition. Family Life Coordinator Diana Delli Fraine says that the staff is what makes the experience so enjoyable for the students: “These kids come back year after year and the staff comes back year after year; there’s a whole family environment.”

Centre du Sablon also integrates special needs students into its daily camp activities. Delli Fraine says that the center offers one shadow per three special needs kids and integrates them into the daily activities, but does not force them to do activities they do not feel comfortable with. Centre du Sablon charges $126 per week with an option of sibling discounts and is for children aged 4 to 12 years old.

The summer camp at College Laval is also known for the variety of activities it offers. Though it is a French summer camp, many English-speaking students attend and Charlie Sigmen-Mercier, one of the administrators for the camp, says it provides English speakers a great opportunity to learn French. Most monitors are bilingual and are able to help facilitate the integration for English-speaking children.

Camp de Jour College Laval is one of the more diverse summer camps in Laval, offering a total of 40 different programs that can be very general or very specific. Certain programs include sports, karate, theatre, cordon-bleu, dance, Glee, and even a monitor-training camp, among others, and each camper gets one hour in the indoor pool per day. Sigmen-Mercier says that every morning, the students spend three hours participating in activities specific to their program, and do a variety of different activities in the afternoon. Sigmen-Mercier says that the family-like environment is what makes this camp most unique. “There is a strong sense of family here at the camp,” he adds. “We start hiring our monitors when they’re 17 years old and they usually remain until they’re 22 or 23 years old so this strong group spirit is definitely a big strength of our camp.” The price is different for every program, however, the average price for one week is about $170 and the camp is for children from 4-14 years old, with a monitor-training camp for adolescents who are 15 and older.

For children with a scientific mind and who particularly enjoy building things, perhaps a specialized robotics camp is what they need. Avelino Morais runs a robotics camp every summer at Dawson College in Westmount, and teaches students not only to build robots out of LEGOS, but to program them so they move around using just a remote control. Morais has been operating the camp since 2007, and says each week concludes with students fighting their robots. “One way I can distinguish myself from all the other camps is that we only do robotics,” said Morais. “We don’t go on field trips or go swimming, except the fact that we take them outside for about an hour for a little physical activity.”

Morais says that since the camp teaches both building and programming, students have the option to focus on both or only one of these two activities. Morais stressed that this camp is a fun camp exploring a niche interest; kids return week after week, year after year because they enjoy it so much. The camp is open for a total of five weeks in July and August and costs from $335 to $385 per week, depending on the type of robot that the child builds, with an option for sibling discounts, and is for children aged 7 to 14.

Summer can be a fun time, and with the choice of these three diverse and unique summer camps, children can certainly get the best experience possible out of this summer.