By Lisa Carolin
Less than two months of school and warmer weather mean that summer and summer camp are just around the corner.
For Chelsea, Camp Gabika is a leading destination for many youth. GABIKA stands for Girls and Boys in Kool Adventures.
It’s been around since the early 2000s and known as Wild About Summer and Camp Cabogi up until 2014 when it became Camp Gabika.
Camp Gabika is aimed at kids entering first grade through those entering sixth grade, and this summer, the Young Leaders program is being introduced for those entering seventh, eighth and ninth grades.
“We used to do a weekly theme all summer long,” said Andrew Thomson, enrichment coordinator for Chelsea Community Education. “It would involve activities, crafts, games, programs, and would incorporate the field trip. A couple summers ago we shifted away from the weekly themes. This was primarily because it would actually constrain the different types of activities we could do during the week, and it was very difficult to make adjustments if the campers just weren’t into the theme that week.
He says Camp Gabika has stuck with such classics as “water week” when they go to Rolling Hills water park.
The camp also offers a field trip every Friday.
“This year, our out-of-town field trips include Rolling Hills twice, Michigan Science Center, Zap Zone, AirTime, Museum of Natural History and Yankee Air Museum, Creature Conservancy and Eddy Discovery Center, as well as Quality 16 and Michigan Academy of Gymnastics,” said Thomson, who says campers also get a taste of all there is to do in Chelsea.
That’s in part thanks to partnerships with the Chelsea District Library, 5 Healthy Towns, the Chelsea Senior Center, the Chelsea United Way and more.
Camp Gabika is also looking for staff, and applications are available for anyone over 18.
“Camp Gabika is great because it has something for all interests to stay active and engaged all summer long,” said Thomson. “We do lots of fun activities, work with our peers, get out around town every day, and explore everything there is to do.”
Camp beings this summer on Monday, June 17, and registration is open now.
For more information, go to: https://www.chelsea.k12.mi.us/community-education/camp-gabika.