Columbus OH
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General Programs & Camps

Big Brothers Big Sisters Oty’Okwa Summer Camp

Offers week-long, overnight programs during the summer for children ages 6 to 14. The camp is in Hocking Hills. Reduced fees are available for children enrolled with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Camp Location: 24799 Purcell Road, South Bloomingville, Ohio 43152
(614) 839-2447, ext. 177
campotyokwa.org

Bold Columbus Summer Leadership Camp

Offers a low-cost outdoor leadership program for Franklin County youth ages 9 to 12. Based at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park just west of downtown Columbus, Bold Columbus provides fun and educational experiences, including group challenges, leadership training, team games, nature education, arts and crafts, outdoor cooking and more.
Park Address: 1775 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway, Ohio 43119
(614) 813-0351
boldcolumbus.org

Camp Lionheart

This summer camp is a free, week-long, overnight grief camp for children and teens who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver. It’s full of activities such as swimming, hiking, games and crafts, while having structured grief group counseling sessions with trained, licensed professionals. The camp takes place at Camp Oty’okwa in Hocking Hills and operating under Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Ohio.

  • Administration Office: 1385 King Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43212
    (614) 506-7959
  • Camp Location: 24799 Purcell Road, South Bloomingville, Ohio 43152
    (614) 839-2447

camplionheart.org

Camp Wyandot

Offers overnight camps, day camps, family camps and grief camps in Hocking Hills and Galena, Ohio.
Main Office: 1890 Northwest Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 481-8227
campwyandot.org

Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA)

Offers diabetes education services and programs, including diabetes camps and events for youth provided by a team of dietitians, nurses and social workers. Their camps provide a summer camp experience, as well as lifestyle management education to help kids with diabetes learn to live well with the challenge of diabetes. Day camps are available for youth ages 3 to 12. Their residential camp program, Camp Hamwi is for youth 7 to 17 provides traditional camp activities. Scholarships are available for any family who qualifies.
1100 Dennison Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201
(614) 884-4400
lifecarealliance.org/programs/coda

Columbus Academy Summer Experience

Offers week-long summer day camp programs in academics, arts and sciences, and athletics for youth grades pre-K through 12. Participants do not have to be Columbus Academy students. They also have a “Family” division that includes programs for parents/caregivers and their children ages birth and up, as well as adult classes for ages 18 and up that offer classes that meet once a week.
4300 Cherry Bottom Road, Gahanna, Ohio 43230
(614) 509-2267
columbusacademy.org/school-life/summer-experience

Columbus Recreation & Parks City Leaders Program

Offers City of Columbus middle-school youth, ages 10-15, the opportunity to gain real life skills by working on projects and attending exciting events that will guide them towards becoming positive leaders in their communities. They meet different people and see different places throughout the city. Participants will need to be recommended by their principal, assistant principal or teacher in order to be considered.
1111 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 645-3330
columbus.gov/recreationandparks/programs/City-Leaders-Program

Columbus School for Girls (CSG) Summer Programs

Provides a co-ed summer experience for children from pre-K through grade 12. High school credit courses are offered for students in grades 9-12. Participants do not have to be CSG students.
65 South Drexel Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43209
(614) 252-0781 ext. 435
columbusschoolforgirls.org/school-life/summer-programs

Community Parks & Recreation Programs in Your Neighborhood

Columbus has parks and recreation centers throughout the city and surrounding areas. They provide a variety of programs, camps and classes for children, teens and adults. Click below to find local programs in your neighborhood.

Directions for Youth & Families (DFYF)

Program: Offers youth and their families mental, emotional and behavioral health programs and services. Licensed social workers and counselors provide counseling and clinical treatment programs addressing a range of issues including school concerns, sexual abuse, delinquency, domestic violence, family conflict, substance abuse and mental health issues. They also offer parenting classes, free kindergarten readiness programs and after-school and summer programs at their two youth centers.
Eligibility: male and female, ages vary per program
Cost: government insurance (Medicaid, Molina, Caresource), private insurance and self-pay (sliding scale fees based on income); most programs are free
Referral: 
individuals may refer themselves or be referred by someone else for the counseling programs, for psychiatric services they need to be referred through a Directions for Youth counselor

  • DFYF Main Office
    1515 Indianola Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201
    (614) 294-2661
  • DFYF East Office
    3616 East Main Street, Whitehall, Ohio 43213
    (614) 251-0103
  • Ohio Avenue Youth Center
    657 South Ohio Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43205
    (614) 258-8043
  • Crittenton Center
    3840 Kimberly Parkway, Columbus, Ohio 43232
    (614) 694-0203

Intake: (614) 294-2661
dfyf.org

Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools

Offers free programs for high school juniors and seniors at more than 15 school districts in central Ohio, including job training, career programs, college prep classes, GED classes, ESL training and help finding a job. They also offer free summer camps for students in grades 6 to 8 explore career options.

  • District Office
    4300 Amalgamated Place, Groveport, Ohio 43125
    (614) 836-4530
  • Eastland Career Center
    4465 South Hamilton Road, Groveport, Ohio 43125
    High School: (614) 836-5725
    Adult Workforce Development: (614) 836-4541
  • Fairfield Career Center
    3985 Coonpath Road Northwest, Carroll, Ohio 43112
    High School: (614) 837-9443 or (740) 756-9243
    Adult Workforce Development: (740) 756-9243 or (800) 686-3336

eastlandfairfield.com

Empower

Nationwide Children’s Empower is a six-week recreation and wellness program open to teens grades 6-8. Each week is filled with activities to help your middle-schoolers navigate changes in the world, from staying active and coping with stress, to dealing with complicated relationships and fostering healthy relationships. Activities range from social games, group and team challenges, safe supported discussions, community outings, scavenger hunts, swimming and more. Visit their webpage or call directly for details.
Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany
150 West Main Street, New Albany, Ohio 43054
(614) 685-2064
nationwidechildrens.org/locations/clinics-centers-and-other/philip-heit-center-for-healthy-new-albany

Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council (GSOH)

Helps girls build strong self-esteem and learn skills such as financial literacy, teamwork, respect for the environment and appreciation of the arts. Girl Scouts is open to girls ages 5 to 17. They also offer overnight and day camps for both members and non-members.

  • Council Headquarters
    1700 WaterMark Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43215
    (800) 621-7042 or (614) 487-8101
  • Chillicothe Service Center
    1130 Western Avenue, Chillicothe, Ohio 45601
    (740) 773-2146
  • Mansfield Service Center
    35 North Park Street, Mansfield, Ohio 44902
    (419) 522-0391
  • Marion Service Center
    1713 Marion-Mount Gilead Road, Marion, Ohio 43302
    (740) 389-2528
  • Molly Lauman Camp & Service Center
    9130 Big Bear Creek Road, Lucasville, OH 45648
    PO Box 179, Lucasville, OH 45648
    (740) 353-2579
  • Zanesville Service Center
    3230 Bowers Lane, Zanesville, Ohio 43701
    (740) 454-8563

gsooh.org
Girl Scouts (National): girlscouts.org

Gladden Community House

  • Youth Services & Preschool – Provide educational intervention led by licensed social workers through small group, individual, and family sessions to help children develop important life skills; as well as preschool, after-school, summer day camp and team sport programming.
  • Gladden Food Pantry – Provides emergency food assistance to households living within the service area (zip codes 43222, 43223, and 43215). Other services available at the pantry: home delivery to people with disabilities, on-site Ohio Benefit Bank screenings for SNAP/food stamps, and donated diapers made available. Contact for hours of operation.
  • Community Service Department – They provide emergency financial assistance, access to The Breathing Association mobile medical unit and help stabilize and support Franklin County families at risk of becoming homeless. They also offer case management services, linkage to community resources, and parenting and financial literacy classes.

183 Hawkes Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43223
(614) 227-1600
gladdenhouse.org

I Am My Brother’s Keeper (IAMBK)

Offer fun, healthy safe experiences during the school year and throughout the summer, building academic, career, artistic, and physical strengths for boys of color ages 9-15 years old from zip codes 43206 or 43207 whose families earn 200% of poverty or less. Many activities overlap with Columbus Urban League initiatives, placing the young men in summer internships, hands-on digital learning opportunities, drug, alcohol and violence prevention activities and other initiatives based upon their individual needs.
33 West Eleventh Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201
(614) 247-1633
kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/mybrotherskeeper

Lao Volunteer Donation Association

Offers language classes, basic computer classes, citizenship classes, immigration services, employment services, housing assistance, produce giveaways and after school programs for youth ages 5-13.
1160 Alum Creek Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43209
(614) 596-5169
laovda.com

Marburn Academy

Provides schooling for students in grades 1-12 with learning difficulties, such as ADHD and dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. They also offer free parent seminars, free early reading screenings, assessment, private tutoring and summer school. Financial aid and tuition loan programs are available.
9555 Johnstown Road, New Albany, Ohio 43054
(614) 433-0822
marburnacademy.org

Martin W. Essex School for the Gifted & Talented

This residential summer camp at the campus of Otterbein University offers rising high school juniors and seniors the chance to explore the arts, sciences and humanities through a set of seminars, hands-on workshops, and field trips. Need-based financial assistance may be available.
1 South Grove Street, Westerville, Ohio 43081
(614) 823-1570
otterbein.edu/essex

Ohio History Connection (formerly Ohio Historical Society)

Across the state, the Ohio History Connection oversees 58 historic sites and museums located in 40 counties. At the Ohio History Center and Ohio Village they offer spring and summer camp programs and one-time events for kids ages 6-14 years old.
Ohio History Center & Ohio Village
800 East Seventeenth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43211
(614) 297-2300 or (800) 686-6124
ohiohistory.org
Museum & Historic Site Locator: ohiohistory.org/visit/museum-historic-site-locator

Ohio State University (OSU) Extension

Works with families and children, farmers and business owners, community leaders and elected officials to build better lives, better businesses and better communities in Ohio. Many programs fall into four categories, including;

Franklin County Office: 530 West Spring Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 866-6900
extension.osu.edu
Locate an Extension Office: extension.osu.edu/lao

Ohio State University (OSU) Recreational Sports

Offers several community sports and recreation programs and summer camps for youth year round. They also offer adapted recreational sports programs to serve children with disabilities year round.
337 Annie & John Glenn Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 688-8787
recsports.osu.edu/community-programs

Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America

This program serves 17 counties in central Ohio. It builds on the strong traditions of youth and community service, including cub scouts for boys ages 7 to 10, boy scouts for boys ages 11 to 18 and venturing for boys. They offer summer camps and other programs during the year at various camp locations in Ohio. Visit the website for specific camp locations and prices.
807 Kinnear Road, Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 436-7200
skcscouts.org
Boy Scouts of America (National): scouting.org

St. Joseph Montessori School Summer Learning Camp

Offers summer camp programs for children from grades pre-K to 3. The pre-K and kindergarten programs are only open to children who are currently enrolled or will be enrolled the following school year.
933 Hamlet Street, Columbus, Ohio 43201
(614) 291-8601
sjms.net/summer-learning-camp

St. Stephen’s Community House

After school programs, summer programs, youth employment programs, tutoring and early childhood care from ages 6 weeks old to 4 years old are provided for at-risk youth living in the Linden area. They also have a Choice Food Pantry, community garden, bike loan program, Christmas gift programs and family services.
1500 East Seventeenth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43219
(614) 294-6347
saintstephensch.org

Wellington School Summer Program

Offers week-long summer day camp programs from creative arts and outdoor adventures, to athletic skill-building and academics for grades pre-K to 12. Participants do not have to be Wellington School students.
3650 Reed Road, Columbus, Ohio 43220
(877) 517-7883 or (614) 457-7883
wellington.org/student-life/summer

YMCA of Central Ohio

Provides programs focused on 3 areas: Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Their programs, services and initiatives are for men, women and children of all ages covering health and fitness, swimming, age-specific activities, child care, camps, programming for children with special needs and more. Visit the website or contact a YMCA center for more information.
YMCA Administrative Office: 40 West Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 389-4409
ymcacolumbus.org
YMCA Locations: ymcacolumbus.org/locations