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.
1855 East Dublin-Granville Road, Columbus, Ohio 43229
(614) 839-2447
http://campotyokwa.org

Bold Columbus Summer Leadership Camp

Offers a low-cost outdoor leadership program for Franklin County youth ages 9 – 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.
1775 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway, Ohio 43119
(614) 813-0351
boldcolumbus.org

Boy Scouts of America Simon Kenton Council

This program serves 17 counties in central Ohio and includes around 35,000 youth members. 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 and girls ages 14 to 21. They offer year-round camping opportunities.
807 Kinnear Road, Columbus, Ohio 43212
(800) 433-4051 or (614) 436-7200
www.skcscouts.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. Camp Lionheart is full of regular summer camp activities such as swimming, hiking, games and crafts, while incorporating structured grief group counseling sessions with trained, licensed professionals. The camp takes place at Camp Otyokwa in Hocking Hills.
Administration Office: 1016 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43206
Camp Location: 24799 Purcell Road, South Bloomingville, Ohio 43152
(614) 506-7959
camplionheart.org

Camp Wyandot

Offers overnight camps, day camps, family camps and grief camps. Camp Wyandot in Hocking Hills is the site for many programs, but other programs are located near Columbus.
1890 Northwest Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 481-8227
www.campwyandot.org

Columbus Academy Summer Experience

Offers week-long day camp programs in academics, arts & sciences, and athletics. There are many weekly sessions to choose from, starting in June and going through August. There are programs for Pre-K through 12th grade, including before and after care options, as well as courses for high school credit. Programs are very diverse and include themes such as skateboarding, coding, fashion design, sailing, ice hockey, languages, drones, musical instruments and many more. Participants do not have to be Columbus Academy students. They also have a “Family” division that includes Caregiver and Young Child, Grown Up and Child, and Adult/Senior classes that meet once a week at convenient times for all.
4300 Cherry Bottom Road, Gahanna, Ohio 43230
(614) 509-2267
www.columbusacademy.org

Columbus Children’s Choir

Offers vocal instruction and music education to young singers in Central Ohio ages 5-18.  Financial aid is available to students who currently qualify for free or reduced school meals.  Contact directly for costs and payment plan details.
760 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 220-5555
www.columbuschildrenschoir.org

Columbus Learning Cooperative

The Columbus Learning Cooperative is a holistic alternative to the traditional school environment. Participants (ages 10 to 18 years old) register as home school students and then meet with our mentors to determine their unique education plan, with no high-stakes testing, no standardized curriculum, integrated age levels and a flexible schedule. They work with students in the self-directed learning model.
731 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 943-3252
learning.coop

Columbus Montessori Education Center

Camp Montessori is for grades 1 to 6 and includes local field trips, special guests, and private morning swimming lessons at the Eastmoor pool. The Children’s House Summer Program is for ages 3 to 6. Two sessions are available with all-day or morning options.
979 South James Road, Columbus, Ohio 43227
(614) 231-3790, ext. 22
http://columbusmontessori.org

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

Directions for Youth & Families (DFYF) After-School/Summer & Prevention Programs

Offers after school and summer programs for youth ages 8 to 17. The free program includes life skills education groups, homework help, computer lab, tutoring, fitness and recreation, art, music and dance programming and meals provided. They also have a teen pregnancy prevention group called, My Best Self, serving high-risk boys and girls, ages 11 to 18, in local schools throughout Franklin County.

  • Ohio Avenue Youth Center
    657 South Ohio Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43205
    (614) 258-8043
  • The Crittenton Center
    3840 Kimberly Parkway North, Columbus, Ohio 43232
    (614) 694-0203

dfyf.org/home/our-programs/youth-centers.html

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, ESOL 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
    (614) 836-5725 or (614) 836-4541, ext. 1
  • Fairfield Career Center: 3985 Coonpath Road Northwest, Carroll, Ohio 43112
    (614) 837-9443 or (740) 756-9243

eastlandfairfield.com

Empower

Nationwide Children’s Empower is a six-week recreation and wellness program open to all adolescents grades 6-8. Sessions take place twice per week for 90 minutes after school at the Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany. 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.
150 W. Main Street, New Albany, Ohio 43054
(614) 685-4348 or (614) 685-6345
www.nationwidechildrens.org/sprtspt-wellness

Girl Scouts Ohio’s Heartland Council

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.
1700 WaterMark Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(800) 621-7042 or (614) 487-8101
www.gsooh.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)

Engage 9-15 year-old boys of color from zip codes 43206 or 43207 whose families earn 200% of poverty or less. Offer fun, healthy safe experiences during the school year and throughout the summer, building academic, career, artistic, and physical strengths. 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, basic living needs, after school programs for youth ages 5-13, Lao events and more.
1160 Alum Creek Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43209
(614) 596-5169
laovda.com

Liberty Farm Summer Horse Camp

Offers week-long horseback riding day camps for children ages 6 to 15 of all different skill levels (beginners to advanced riders). They also offer after school and winter programs.
2620 Fisher Road, Columbus, Ohio 43204
(614) 279-0346
www.libertyhorsefarm.com

Marburn Academy

Provides non-traditional K through 12 schooling for bright students with learning difficulties such as ADHD and dyslexia in central Ohio. They also offer free parent seminars, free early reading screenings, assessment, private tutoring and summer school. They have financial aid and tuition loan programs as well.
9555 Johnstown Road, New Albany, Ohio 43054
(614) 433-0822
marburnacademy.org

Ohio History Connection (formerly Ohio Historical Society)

Offers spring and summer camp programs at the Ohio History Center and Ohio Village. Each camp is one week long and programs are geared toward kids ages 6-14 years old.
Ohio History Center & Ohio Village
800 East 17th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43211
(614) 297-2300 or (800) 686-6124
ohiohistory.org

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
Franklin County Extension: franklin.osu.edu

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 West Seventeenth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 688-8787
recsports.osu.edu

Ohio State University (OSU) Youth Programs & Camps

Offers several camps for children in grades 1 through 12. Topics covered include career exploration (medicine, engineering, technology), sports and foreign languages.
281 West Lane Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 292-OHIO
http://www.osu.edu

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

SURGE Columbus

Provides free programs to teens at COSI, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus Museum of Art, Wexner Center for the Arts, WOSU@COSI, and Transit Arts to allow them to discover or pursue their interests by connecting them with mentors, digital and cultural resources, and each other. Open studio, one day workshops, drop-in hours and scheduled events give the teens hands-on experience and professional supervision.
Wexner Center for the Arts
1871 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 292-0330
surgecolumbus.org

Wellington After School & Summer Option

Offers a wide range of fun and challenging summer and after school programs for grades Pre-K to 12. Course offerings include chess, yoga, robotics, music, cooking and more.
3650 Reed Road, Columbus, Ohio 43220
(877) 517-7883 or (614) 457-7883
www.wellington.org

YMCA Before & After School Care

Offers state-licensed before and after school care at over 55 schools throughout central Ohio, including Bexley, Circleville, Columbus, Hamilton, Olentangy, Pickerington, South Western, Teays Valley, Whitehall, Worthington and the Catholic Diocese. Programs allow for activity choice and provide an educational curriculum, including homework help. They also offer childcare on days when schools are closed throughout the school year.
40 West Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 224-1142
www.ymcacolumbus.org

YMCA Camp Wilson

This is a week-long, overnight camp in Bellefontaine offering swimming, boating, archery, campfires, food, singing, sports, nature and horseback riding for children ages 7 to 17. Financial assistance is available.
2732 County Road 11, Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311
(800) 423-0427
www.ymcacolumbus.org

YMCA Day Camp

Offers themed week-long summer day camps for grades 1 to 10 at multiple locations in central Ohio. They also offer financial assistance.
40 West Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 224-1142
http://ymcacolumbus.org/daycamp

YMCA Teen & Youth Programs

Teen Nights, High School Hoops, Teen Leaders Club, Leaders-in-Training and Minority Achievers are just a few of the programs for teens. The YMCA also provides an environment where children can feel safe, have fun and build trusting relationships.
40 West Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 224-1142
www.ymcacolumbus.org