Columbus OH
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General Programs & Camps

Arthritis Foundation

They provide resources, events, and information to help support children and families on the juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JA) journey. They have a local office that services Central Ohio. Services are available at no-cost and include, but are not limited to, JA Camp, JA Power Pack, JA Conference, JA Transitions, JA INSIGHTS, Advocacy, etc. JA INSIGHTS is an assessment tool uniquely captures the experiences and challenges of what everyday life is like living with juvenile arthritis and related childhood rheumatic conditions.
National Office: 1355 Peachtree Street Northeast, Suite 600, Atlanta, Georgia 30309
Helpline: (800) 283-7800
arthritis.org
JA INSIGHTS: arthritis.org/juvenile-arthritis/insights

Asian American Community Services (AACS)

Nonprofit providing social services in Central Ohio. Their focus is on East, Southeast, South Asian and Pacific Islander communities but they assist individuals regardless of ethnic or racial background. Programs include 24/7 interpreting services, Healthy Asian Youth after school program, free medical clinic, Family Support Program for victims of crime, and Senior outreach. They also offer adult classes for art, ESL, and computer literacy.
4700 Reed Road, Columbus, Ohio 43220
(614) 220-4023
aacsohio.org

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Central Ohio

Offers one-to-one community-based and school-based mentoring programs, as well as week-long, overnight camps during the summer for youth. Visit the website or call to find out how to enroll a child.
Central Ohio: 1855 East Dublin Granville Road, Columbus, Ohio 43229
(614) 839-2447
Ohio Offices: bbbsohio.org/locations
bbbscentralohio.org

Bridgeway Academy and Therapy Center

Serves: Children birth to age 21, parents, and families.
Nonprofit education center serving children with autism and developmental disabilities. Bridgeway Academy utilizes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to provide private school-day education from preschool through high school, life skills training, vocational training, and transition to adulthood support. Bridgeway Therapy Center serves Bridgeway Academy students and outpatient clients for music therapy, speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, mental health, and family partnership services. Clinical staff work with families and professionals to assess, diagnose and develop individualized treatment plans in client-centered therapy sessions. They are a provider of Ohio’s Autism Scholarship Program, Jon Peterson Scholarship, Title XX (20), Medicaid, Level One, I. O. and Self Waiver and some insurances.
1350 Alum Creek Drive, Columbus, OH 43209
(614) 262-7520
bridgewayohio.org

Camp Lionheart

This summer program 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, operating under Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Ohio.
Administration Office: 1385 King Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 506-7959
camplionheart.org

Camp RAW (Rising Appalachian Warriors)

Offers various day camps and overnight backpacking trips for youth ages 6-17 years old. Campers learn outdoor survival skills, engage in physical activities, music and art; as well as explore topics in sustainable/natural living and “Earth skills”. Full and partial tuition scholarships are available. Visit the website for contact information.
Camp Address: 13262 Liars Corner Road, Millfield, Ohio 45761 (Solid Ground Farm)
(740) 856-6299
risingappalachia.org/raw-camp

Camp Wyandot

Offers overnight camps and day camps in Hocking Hills and Galena, Ohio for youth entering grades 1-12.
4400 North High Street Columbus, OH 43214
(614) 481-8227
campwyandot.org

Central Community House

A neighborhood-based community center that serves the near east and near south neighborhoods of Columbus, Ohio. Programs for families include soft skills training, employment assistance, financial education training, emergency housing/rent assistance, nutrition programs, utility services, health care, parenting workshops and more. They partner with Columbus Early Learning Centers to provide childcare. Programs for youth include after-school, summer day camp for kids ages 5-13, and the TRANSIT ARTS center which provides free music and art classes. Village Central Senior Program helps adults ages 60 and older maintain independence and combat isolation by providing transportation services, wellness programs, home repairs, organized social events, community engagement and more. They also have a business training program called  ACE, Academy for Community Entrepreneurs.
1150 East Main Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
Front Desk/Intake: (614) 252-3157
Village Central Senior Program: (614) 545-2703
TRANSIT ARTS: (614) 732-0198
cchouse.org

Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA)

Offers diabetes education services and programs for youth, including diabetes camps and events led by a team of dietitians, nurses and social workers. Their camps provide a fun summer camp experience and helps kids with diabetes learn to live well with the challenge of diabetes. Day camps are available for youth ages 3 to 12, and their residential camp program, Camp Hamwi is for youth 7 to 17. They also offer leadership opportunities for youth ages 17 and 18. Scholarships are available for any family who qualifies.
1699 West Mound Street, Columbus, Ohio 43223
(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.  They also have a “Family” division that includes programs for parents/caregivers and their children ages birth and up. Participants do not have to be Columbus Academy students.
4300 Cherry Bottom Road, Gahanna, Ohio 43230
(614) 509-2267
columbusacademy.org/summer

Columbus Literacy Council (CLC)

Offers free adult education programs including literacy classes (including financial, workplace and technology literacy), citizenship classes, ESL, and GED test preparation. They also provide career coaching and entrepreneurship skill building, life and wellness coaching, supportive services for life transitions or re-entry to the community, and supportive services for immigrants and New Americans. Youth programs include tutoring and homework help, summer camps for children ages 7-13 years old, internships, and AMP career and mentorship program for youth and young adults ages 14-24 in Franklin County. Call for program details.

  • Downtown Columbus: 92 Jefferson Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
  • Whitehall: 1394 Courtright Road, Columbus, Ohio 43227
  • Reynoldsburg: 5825 Chantry Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43232
  • Cincinnati: 6644 Coffey Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45230

(614) 282-7661
clcworks.org

Columbus Recreation & Parks Capital Kids Afterschool Rec Club

Free program for children K-8 to get homework help, tutoring, a nutritious snack, and recreation activities. The Capital Kids program is hosted at four Community Centers. Go online to register.
Beatty Community Center: (614) 645-3218
Feddersen Community Center: (614) 645-3083
Marion Franklin Community Center: (614) 645-3160
Sullivant Gardens Community Center: (614) 645-8171
columbusrecparks.com/community/capital-kids

Columbus Recreation & Parks City Leaders Program

A nine-month program for youth entering 6th-8th grade, who are residents of the City of Columbus and are interested in becoming community leaders. Participants receive mentorship from city leaders and improve teamwork, public speaking, community awareness, and leadership skills. Participants must complete the application with recommendation letters and be available for monthly meet-ups during the school year.
(614) 645-3330 or (614) 645-0918
columbusrecparks.com/youth-success/city-leaders-academy

Columbus School for Girls (CSG) Summer Programs

Offers a variety of academic and athletic programs during the summer for girls in grades 3-10 in the Central Ohio area.
65 South Drexel Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43209
(844) 516-2267
summercampatideas.com/

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 and behavioral health 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: Varies per program, serves those from 6 weeks old up to 21 years old.
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 counseling programs; psychiatric services require referral through a Directions for Youth counselor.

  • DFYF Main Office
    1515 Indianola Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201
    (614) 294-2661
  • Ohio Avenue Youth Center
    657 South Ohio Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43205
    (614) 258-8043
  • Crittenton Center
    3840 Kimberly Parkway, Columbus, Ohio 43232
    (614) 694-0214

Central Intake: (614) 294-2661
dfyf.org

Discovery Riders

Serves: Children 4 and up with special needs. Find specific physical requirements on their website. 
Therapeutic riding center providing low-cost summer camps and equine therapeutic riding to children and individuals with a disability. Horses provide a special format for individuals to connect and socialize with the animal and each other.
(937) 935-6545
1797 State Route 47, East Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311
discoveryriders.org

Femergy

A non-profit organization that provides life-skills training, career exploration, college readiness, wellness management and direct mentorship opportunities for girls and women through workshops, programs and camps.
49 South Grant Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 653-8454
femergy.org

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. Visit the website for contact information.
gsoh.org
Girl Scouts (National): girlscouts.org

Girls on the Run (GOTR) Central Ohio

A ten-week program for girls in 3rd through 8th grade to develop physical fitness, managing emotions, communication, empathy, and friendship skills. Trained coaches lead small teams through activities, running games and lessons and ends in a 5K event. They also offer a summer camp for girls in 3rd-5th grade. Fee assistance is available. Go online for registration details and locations.
Main Office: 1145-L Chesapeake Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 681-4687
girlsontheruncentralohio.org

Gladden Community House

Settlement house located in Franklinton serving zip codes 43222, 43223, and 43215. Programs include parenting classes, senior outreach, a preschool, youth programming and sports, rent and utility assistance, medical appointments with The Breathing Association, and the Gladden Food Pantry. The food pantry provides home delivery for seniors and disabled residents, and diapers.

  • Main Office: 183 Hawkes Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43223
    (614) 227-1600
  • Food Pantry: 318 South Glenwood Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43223
    (614) 228-2498

gladdenhouse.org

Godman Guild

Offers free adult education classes (GED preparation, ESOL, job training, computer skills), community engagement programs, and youth programming (after school homework help, mentoring, summer programs, and TEEN career exploration program).
195 North Grant Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 294-5476
godmanguild.org

Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) for Ohio

National organization providing unique leadership training and service-learning experiences for youth, empowering youth from all backgrounds to become leaders with purpose. The flagship State Leadership Seminars accept high school sophomores who have been nominated by their school or a community organization. State Seminars are held at three sites in Ohio: Ohio West, North, and South. HOBY also offers a World Leadership Congress for juniors and seniors, and Community Leadership Workshops for 9th graders at various sites across the country.
National: hoby.org
Ohio West: hobyohiowest.org
Ohio North: hobyohionorth.org
Ohio South: hobyohiosouth.org

I Am My Brother’s Keeper (IAMBK)

Mentorship program for young men of color in middle and high school throughout the school year and summer. The program offers safe and healthy ways to have fun while building career, artistic, academic, professional, and physical strengths. Participants may be placed with internships, hands-on learning experiences, drug, alcohol and violence prevention activities depending on their individual needs. Participants must be ages 9-15 whose families meet income eligibility. Call for enrollment.
788 Mount Vernon Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43203
(614) 257-6300
cul.org/initiatives/i-am-my-brothers-keeper-iambk

Integrity Athletics

Athletic recreation center in Central Ohio offering a variety of classes, training opportunities, and competitions for youth, preschool and up. Classes include gymnastics, tumbling, martial arts, and HUGS gymnastics for special needs youth. They also host a preschool open gym, special events, and summer camp. They partner with Nationwide Children’s Sports Medicine to provide specialized athletic training.
8185 Business Way, Plain City, Ohio 43064
(614) 733-0818
integritygym.com

Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Greater Columbus

Provides a wide range of recreation and cultural arts opportunities in an inclusive environment defined by Jewish values and culture. All are welcome to participate in their programs. Programs include teen recreation, summer and spring break camps, after school programs, preschool and daycare, fitness classes, theater, and more.
1125 College Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43209
(614) 231-2731
columbusjcc.org

Lead the Way Learning Academy

Non-profit providing educational enrichment and youth development in Franklin County. They provide after-school programs at Bridge Gate Community School, Franklinton High, West High, New Albany High, Groveport-Madison High, Horizon Science Academy, The Charles School, and The Graham School. Programs are free for income-eligible families. Their Student Support Program provides hygiene items and food to students 16-21. The Summer Program provides paid work development experiences for Franklin County residents ages 16-21.
(614) 842-4993
leadthewaylearningacademy.org

Locker Soccer Academy

Soccer academy that places value on children’s holistic development and enjoyment of the sport before competition. They offer classes starting from age 2 all the way up to adults. They also offer open gym events, specialized athletic training, and party hosting.
330 West Case Street, Powell, Ohio 43065
(614) 470-5522
lockersoccer.com

New Story Schools

Serves: Students ages 5-21 experiencing social, emotional, educational, and behavioral challenges, Students with autism. 
Provides an academic learning environment with integrated behavior support services. Serves students with the goal of providing each student with the knowledge, skills, and tools for a successful return back to their sending district. Students can be referred by their home district or families can self-refer through the scholarship program. New Story provides small class sizes at schools that maintain Ohio Department of Education (ODE) charters, and offers Ohio high school diplomas. Students receive daily instruction in academics, adaptive behavior, communication, self-care, advocacy, life skills, social skills and more. They also have programs for in-home intervention or behavior consultation, ABA therapy, and a transition program for students over the age of 14. Find locations, program details, and enrollment information online.

  • Columbus: 7690 New Market Center Way, Columbus, Ohio 43235
    (614) 602-6473
  • Athens: 5196 Washington Rd, Albany, Ohio 45710
    (740) 249-1887
  • Sandusky: 514 Jackson Street, Sandusky, Ohio 44870
    (614) 602-6473
  • Independence: 600 West Resource Drive, Independence Ohio 44131
    (216) 264-7240
  • Lancaster: 625 Garfield Avenue, Lancaster, Ohio 43130
    (614) 602-6473

newstoryschools.com

Ohio History Connection

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
800 East Seventeenth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43211
(614) 297-2300 or (800) 686-6124
ohiohistory.org
Museum & Historic Site Locator: ohiohistory.org/sites

Ohio Military Kids (OMK)

Offers programs for military youth and families through Ohio State University 4-H Youth Development. Hosts events, family summer camps, teen leadership camps, and military family meet-ups. They can also connect military families to resources for reintegration, education, and emergency assistance.
(614) 247-8160
ohio4h.org/statewide-programs/ohio-military-kids

Ohio State University (OSU) LiFEsports

Free program serving vulnerable youth through sports-based positive youth  development at various school and community center locations in Columbus. They offer after school programs, summer camps, and sports clinics for youth ages 5-14. The Youth Leadership Academy is a 4 year program for high schoolers to experience professional development, mentoring, career visits, and college prep. Free meals and transportation are provided. Go online or call for registration details.
2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, Ohio, 43210
(614) 514-5942
osulifesports.org

Ohio State University (OSU) Recreational Sports

Facilities at Ohio State University for indoor and outdoor recreation. OSU students can find information on fitness classes, disability accommodations, and more. Offerings open to the community include Red Cross swim classes and Camp Recky, a sports and recreation summer camp for ages 6-13.
337 Annie & John Glenn Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 292-7671
recsports.osu.edu

Proyecto Mariposas

Non-profit providing a supportive learning environment for Latina girls ages 2-17 and their mothers/guardians with the goal of developing brave girls and strong women. Their programs focus on self-esteem, culture, and healthy development. Programs include providing school supplies, weekly activities for girls and moms,  a week-long day camp is for girls ages 11-17, workshops for moms on health and nutrition. Visit the website for contact information and program details.
proyectomariposas.org

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. Stephen’s Community House

Faith-based community center serving the Linden-area community. Programs include rental and utility assistance, childcare for children 6 weeks to 5 years at Christ Child Early Learning Center, afterschool and summer programs, Kinship Aftercare, Family to Family empowerment program for families with open cases with FCCS, senior food and transportation, and more. They are also a Mid-Ohio Market site, providing a food pantry with Mid-Ohio Food Bank. Find program details online.
1500 East Seventeenth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43219
(614) 294-6347
saintstephensch.org

The College of Wooster’s B-WISER Science Camp for Girls

A week-long residential camp for 7th and 8th grade girls interested in STEM in Ohio. Students take a full daily curriculum with classes in physics, chemistry, biology, geology, robotics, and other advanced topics. Students experience cooperative learning, develop self-confidence, and hear from professional women in science about their journeys. Students use campus science labs and stay in Wooster’s college dorms. Inability to pay should not be a barrier to attending camp, the program offers subsidized camp rates and financial aid scholarships.
308 East University Street, Wooster, Ohio 44691
(330) 263-2105
bwiser.spaces.wooster.edu

Urban Minority Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Outreach Program (UMADAOP) of Franklin County

Offers substance abuse treatment, prevention, and recovery support programs for communities of color in Central Ohio using culturally specific, evidence-based strategies. They offer anger management, domestic violence prevention and parenting classes for adults. Youth programming includes in-school, after-school, and summer camp. They also offer training opportunities for professionals and events for the community. Call or email the organization to register for a program.
700 Bryden Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 227-9694 or (614) 403-3136
umadaopfc.com

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
(614) 457-7883
wellington.org/summer

YMCA of Central Ohio

Serves: Single Adults & Families, Youth & Teens
Hosts programs for men, women and children of all ages covering health and fitness, swimming, age-specific activities, childcare, summer camps, juvenile justice, housing, and more.

  • YMCA Stable Families Service coordination Program: Families with children (from Pre-K to 12th grade) who live in Franklin County have access to a service coordinator who can help with household income, maintaining safe and stable housing, and academic achievement of school-aged children.
    (614) 219-9895
  • Juvenile Justice: Provides a structured and supervised environment for 6th to 12th grade students as an alternative to being suspended from school. Students must be referred by their school district.
    (614) 578-7568
  • Early Childhood/Childcare: Provides free childcare while parents use Y facilities, summer programs, early learning centers, preschool, and more.
    (614) 689-2096
  • Housing: Provides housing stability services for adults facing homelessness in Columbus, Ohio.
    (614) 705-9151
  • Early Childhood Resource Network Plus (ECRN+): Programming for infants and children with special needs, apply online for an adaptive equipment loan.
  • Y Cares: Infant mortality reduction program for families expecting or with a baby under the age of 1, provides free pregnancy testing, diapers, formula, home-visiting, parent support groups, and counseling.
    (614) 689-2080

Administrative Office: 1907 Leonard Ave, Columbus, OH 43219
(614) 389-4409
YMCA Locations & Contact Info: ymcacolumbus.org/locations
YMCA Columbus Website: ymcacolumbus.org

Zion Astro Soccer Club

A soccer program for youth ages 3 to 15 years old. The program offers opportunities year-round for children to join a soccer club, get private lessons and one-on-one training, as well as opportunities to participate in group sessions. Children learn the game of soccer, establish passion for the game and improve their technical ability. There is a minimal cost. Visit the website for contact information.
Field Address: 2845 Noe Bixby Road, Columbus, Ohio 43232 (Nafzger Park)
(614) 699-0229
zionastro.com


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