Summer Programs for Westchester’s Youth and In-Betweeners

In beTWEENers: What your pre-teens can do this summer when they’re too old for—or just “so over”—camp.

When relay races, fireside verses of “Kumbaya,” and everything else that equates with traditional camps is no longer a fit for your child, it is time for some alternative summer plans. Here is a list of local programs for your “in-betweener” (roughly ages 11 to 15) to explore.

For the Fashionista: Since its inception in 2005, Fashion Extravaganza ( located in White Plains has become a one-of-a-kind fashion program for young designers and clotheshorses. Based on designers’ practical experiences, this summer program was carefully crafted to emulate that of an actual designer in a design studio. Each week, campers are given design projects, while staffers guide creations.

For the Do-Gooder: The Volunteer Center of United Way offers its comprehensive Youth Volunteer Guidebook online
(, a guide to hundreds of opportunities throughout Westchester County for your child. Volunteer opportunities and service projects span all kinds of organizations, from Blythedale Children’s Hospital and the American Heart Association to the Jacob Burns Film Center.

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For the Animal Lover: Your child might find his or her inner veterinarian through work with the SPCA of Westchester ( Children under 18 can be pet sponsors, which allows them to visit the shelter to greet and photograph animals. They can also help create adoption materials, raise money, and participate in The Golden Outreach program, a pet-visitation service that scouts local residents’ dogs who, with the right temperment, are selected to visit local healthcare facilities as a treat for disabled patients. Young volunteers can also assist with shelter maintenance and beautification projects.

For the Rising Star: If performance is your child’s forte, the Star Kidz program (, with locations in White Plains and Chappaqua, might be his or her summer dream. Offering advanced programs in acting, dancing, and singing for students in grades 4 to 12, Star Kidz can help develop those who are serious about their pursuit of the performing arts. Emphasis is placed on developing talents for performances and auditions. Skill-building highlights include character study and storytelling through song.

For the Athlete: High Impact Lacrosse ( offers camps, tournament teams, clinics, and private lessons for male and female athletes interested in expanding their game. The company is based in Yonkers, with practice and camp locations in New Rochelle and Dobbs Ferry. Players new to the game or those trying to gain that competitive edge are welcome and will benefit from instruction from current professional lacrosse players, NCAA players, and premier Westchester coaches.

â–º For more from the June issue, click here.

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