Summer day camps in Federal Way: ‘It's almost like kids being at Disneyland all day’

School is almost out, but kids can keep busy this summer by enrolling in weekly summer day camps.

The camps offer kids an opportunity to learn and have fun. Each week a new camp takes place, centering on a theme such as space, travel, the outdoors and sports. A themed field trip rounds out the experience. The education-oriented camps run June 21 to Aug. 27 and are offered by the Federal Way Community Center.

"It's almost like kids being at Disneyland all day," said Kimberly Shelton, Federal Way Community Center fitness coordinator.

Space is limited and registration begins soon. Each camp can accommodate 140 kids. Last year, space went fast and some camps maxed out, community recreation assistant Gaylynn Smith said. An information and registration session will be held later this month. Camps have previously been run by the city, but have grown in popularity since the community center came on board.

"Our camp really exploded when we moved into the community center in 2007," Shelton said.

Summer Craze camp, for kids entering first through fifth grade, runs all day Monday through Friday. Field trip destinations include the Museum of Flight, Pacific Science Center, police department, Northwest Trek and Dash Point State Park, among others. Activities start at 7:15 a.m. to go until 6 p.m. Cost starts at $145 per camper per week, including field trip expenditures.

Teens ages 12 to 16 may partake in Fit Camp. Here, they will use the Federal Way Community Center to swim, work out, use the climbing pinnacle and play Wii. Teens can be dropped off anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to participate in the camp. A weekly field trip will also be available. Cost is $100 per camper per week.

Fireflies camp is open to kids ages 3 to 5. Morning sessions are 9 a.m. to noon, and afternoon sessions run 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost is $75 a session.

The community center is also offering a counselor in training program. Participants will learn the basic skills necessary to serve as a youth day camp counselor. They will also accompany youth campers on their weekly field trips. Cost starts at $150 per participant per week.

Swimming at the center's pool, climbing the rock pinnacle and participating in games, sports, arts and crafts will also be available to camp-goers. Participants ought to bring nourishment to last the day.

Adults wishing to learn more about day camps may attend a May 22 informational and registration session from 9 to 11 a.m. at the community center, 876 S. 333rd St. Federal Way. More information can also be found online at

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