Kids participating in the youth and girls' summer camps at the San Antonio Sports Complex go on field trips throughout Oakland.
Now that school is almost over, parents typically start looking for summer camps and fun outdoor activities for their children to do.
But if you haven't yet started or don't know where to begin, then don't worry - we've got your back. Oakland Local has searched and put together a list of free and affordable things for kids of all ages - especially young and teenage girls - to do this summer.
Girls' Sports Program
The city of Oakland's office of Parks and Recreation Youth Sports Department, has a new home. Since March, Oakland's boys and girls' sports programs are run and administered from the San Antonio Sports Complex, located at 1701 East 19th St. in Oakland.
“We were told in February that we were going to be given a center,” Christina Bagwell, the girl sports coordinator for the Girls' Sports Program at the complex, said. “The focus of our center would be on providing a variety of sports that are out there. It gives us a little more flexibility and freedom. We now have more options to run programs freely or better.”
The girls' program consists of sports leagues, camps and clinics in basketball, softball, soccer and other sports. The program is available to young girls between the ages of 5 and 18.
“There’s this negative connotation with the city of Oakland. People assume that our programs are the same as neighboring cities," Bagwell said. "Our programs are ahead because most of them are free.”
Bagwell said that both the girls' and the youth sports programs have experienced many obstacles.
“There are always obstacles when it comes to city programs,” she said. “However, we are trying to do more with less because our department is all about that. We find a way to hire and keep staff. This city-wide program serves hundreds of kids a day. Having this site will offer a solution to some of our obstacles, with one being staff retention.”
Aside from the sports programs offered, the office of Parks and Recreation also teaches girls about physical activities such as cheerleading, Double Dutch, track and field and golf.
“As a part of the program, we offer a girls’ sports summer camp here at the San Antonio Sports Complex,” Bagwell said. “Our services are offered to girls of different ages and stages. Young girls tend to go for Double Dutch, cheerleading and basketball. Most of them are drawn to that.”
“We do Junior Warriors, Junior Giants and Junior Football,” Bagwell added. “We run that together. These are city-wide programs. We have tournaments held at centers all throughout Oakland.”
For more information, contact Bagwell at (510) 238-2952 or email@example.com.
Girls' Sports Summer Camp
The goal of the Girls' Sports Summer Camp is for girls to be inspired and disciplined. According to Bagwell, girls in the camp have the ability to be both active and learn the concept of teamwork.
“We help girls build self-esteem, especially in a world where the media is telling them to be a certain way,” she said. “This program is extremely important because it builds so many character traits that at times, are not identified in the moment. It both builds and reveals character. It also allows young girls to express themselves in a community environment.”
The registration deadline for this summer camp is June 15. The camp officially begins June 18 and ends Aug. 24. The fee for kids ages 6-12 is $50 and $30 for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 15.
“A big thing that we do here is introduce them to new avenues,” Bagwell said. “There are sports other than basketball that they can do or get into.”
Weekly activities for the Girls' Sports Summer Camp include: swimming every Tuesday and Thursday at Fremont Pool - located at 4550 Foothill Blvd. in Oakland - and field trips every Friday.
“We often take field trips, go to recreation centers in the city and help the environment by taking public transportation on our trips,” Bagwell said. “Before we didn’t have a site; this year we are hoping for an enrollment of 60 kids. We are excited to offer this program and are just trying to establish a foundation for programs and services to be offered for summers to come.”
The weekly field trip cost for kids is $15. The San Antonio Sports Complex hours are from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is a free summer lunch program included; after care from 3:30 to 6 p.m. is available for $10.
“We go to Six Flags, Great America and to an Oakland A’s and a San Francisco Giants game,” Bagwell said. “Every Friday, the city rents buses and provides us with free transportation. We also go roller skating, ice skating, bowling, to the Oakland Zoo, Golden Gate Park, to the Grand Lake Theater, Roundtable Pizza and the East Oakland Sports Complex.”
For four years now, the Redwood Heights Recreation Center has held a free double-dutch class. This year-round class meets every Friday at 3883 Aliso Ave. in Oakland. According to Bagwell, it is the most established Double Dutch class in the Bay Area.
“In my history, the department is so passionate to offer and serve the community,” she said. “There is a lot of passion and commitment from our staff and department.”
Junior Giants T-Ball and Baseball
The Junior Giants baseball program is designed for kids of all ages. This is a free program that is held at recreation centers and other sites including Allendale, Golden Gate, Bushrod, FM Smith, Carmen Flores, Arroyo Viejo, Mosswood, Poplar, Lincoln Square, Manzanita, San Antonio, Franklin, Rainbow, Montclair, Dimond, Tassafaronga and Garfield.
“We definitely like to utilize our fellow regional parks, nearby cities and recreation centers,” Bagwell said. “There are approximately 24 centers throughout the city of Oakland.”
The Junior Giants T-Ball program serves kids ages 4-8 and runs during July and August. According to Armond Gray, the youth sports coordinator for the Youth Sports Program, sign-ups have already begun.
“Although sign-ups started May 14 online or at any recreation center, the league starts June 23,” Gray said. “People need to register on June 22 from 8:30 to 11 a.m. They can do so at their nearest recreation center or at whatever center they decide to play in.”
Depending on the site, practice days for Junior Giants T-Ball vary. Usually, game days are held on Wednesdays.
“We have ordered about 600 to 900 jerseys for the entire Junior Giants camp,” Bagwell said. “The league is comprised primarily of middle school kids.”
Older kids between the ages of 7 and 19 can participate in this instructional baseball league, too. As with the T-ball league, these kids will play in the program from late June through mid-August.
“We are excited to offer so many programs,” Bagwell said. “We don't like to close programs and turn down students. We have offered scholarships to many programs before. We know the benefit.”
For more information, contact Gray at (510) 238-6279 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ace Kids Golf
The Ace Kids Golf program is free for youth ages 9-17. It lasts through the summer and during each school year. Parents are advised not to drop off kids at selected golf courses. Instead, participants must be picked up from a recreation center or school site, transported to a golf course and then returned to the original pick-up location.
For more information, contact Preston Pinkney at (510) 351-5812, ext. 23 or email@example.com.
First Swing Golf Program
Adults and kids of all ages are welcome to learn the basic skills needed to play the sport of golf. Classes are held on Mondays from 8 to 10 a.m. or from noon to 2 p.m. To learn more about youth and teen classes and class schedules, contact George Henderson at (510) 535-5608.
Warriors Basketball Camp Summer 2012
The Golden State Warriors will host five basketball camps in Oakland; including four starting July 9 at the Warriors Practice Facility in Downtown Oakland - located at 1011 Broadway. The other camp session will be held at Head-Royce School, located at 4315 Lincoln Ave. in Oakland.
Boys and girls, ages 7 to 15, have the opportunity to learn individual skill development and basketball fundamentals from current and former Warriors players and coaches. Prices range from $270 to $300. To receive discounts for multiple sessions and siblings, you must register by May 31.
For complete details on Warriors Basketball Camp and to sign-up online, visit warriors.com or call (510) 986-5310.
Oakland Middle School Soccer League
All middle schools in Oakland are invited to participate in the Oakland Middle School Soccer league. This league is run entirely by volunteer coaches. Schools that have played in this league prior to this year include KIPP, Lighthouse, Madison, Montera, UPA, UFS, ASCEND, Melrose, Roosevelt and Edna Brewer.
For more information, contact Matthew Linzner at (510) 407-5347 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
JAM Camp West 2012
JAM Camp West 2012 is a seven-day music and dance program intended for youth ages 10-15. The program costs $860/$845 ($15 discount if paying by check or money order) and runs from July 21-27. A limited amount of scholarships have been made available for this program, which is held in Loma Mar, (Northern) Calif.
For more information on applying for a scholarship, visit jamcampwest.com or call (510) 287-8880.