OUR ANNUAL KIDS' SUMMER FUN GUIDE!
by Nick D'Arienzo
Jun 09, 2009 | 16415 views | 0 0 comments | 113 113 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We tip our caps…

…to Forest Hills phenom Jesse Friedman, a hard-throwing right-hander from Forest Hills High School who’ll be attending Queens College next season, and who in the meantime (unlike far too many his age) has already decided to give back a little, and will be instructing Little Leaguers this summer as to the finer aspects of our national pastime. (Please see page 13.)
We tip our caps… …to Forest Hills phenom Jesse Friedman, a hard-throwing right-hander from Forest Hills High School who’ll be attending Queens College next season, and who in the meantime (unlike far too many his age) has already decided to give back a little, and will be instructing Little Leaguers this summer as to the finer aspects of our national pastime. (Please see page 13.)
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We tip our caps…
…to ADELPHI Baseball Head Coach Dom Scala, author of the newly published, “ONE-ON-ONE BASEBALL.” Scala, overseer of the popular ONE-ON-ONE BASEBALL CAMPS, was told again and again, “Hey, you should write a book, Dom!” So he did, and now he’s on a book-signing tour! (Please see page 13.)
We tip our caps… …to ADELPHI Baseball Head Coach Dom Scala, author of the newly published, “ONE-ON-ONE BASEBALL.” Scala, overseer of the popular ONE-ON-ONE BASEBALL CAMPS, was told again and again, “Hey, you should write a book, Dom!” So he did, and now he’s on a book-signing tour! (Please see page 13.)
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Well, parents… June’s finally upon us, and school’s almost out at this point. Are you even ready? Sure it’ll be good to have the young‘uns back in the fold full-time now, but let’s face it, as excited as they are about the next three months – there’s a part of you that’s kind of dreading it with equal measure. Well, that’s because you don’t really have a plan! I mean, how on earth are you ever going to pass the time with these kids?! Well, that’s where we come in, we figured it’s the least we could do… In any case, make sure to peruse the offerings within the next 8 pages for recommendations, a little something we call “Our 2009 QUEENS LEDGER-BROOKLYN STAR Kids’ Summer Fun Guide.” It’s by no means comprehensive or anywhere near all-inclusive, but we thought we’d at least share with you a couple of our favorites, just to get things started in the right direction… Enjoy! It’s going to be a hot one! (Nick D’Arienzo, bestofthebest@QueensLedger.com)

REC CENTERS

ELMCOR YOUTH & ADULT ACTIVITIES CENTER

ELMCOR, so named because it serves the communities of Elmhurst and Corona, is one of the largest non-profit community service agencies in Queens. Over 15,000 people a year benefit from their more than 26 different services, and that’s close to 50 years at this point. Program Director Gina Lewis does a great job of managing ElmCor’s after-school programs, and you can rest assured that their summer sports programs – clinics, tournaments, etc. – are characterized by the same kind of reverence and affection for our community’s young people. For youth sports info, make sure to contact Coach William “Big Will” Mayers, long one of our favorites here. And if you do, you’ll definitely be in good hands.

ELMCOR YOUTH & ADULT ACTIVITIES CENTER

107-20 Northern Boulevard

(718) 651-0096

www.ElmCor.org

NY KIDZ FITNESS

Perhaps your young one has a weight problem? Or is not in as good a shape as he or she would hope to be? Folks, no organization we’ve encountered makes such a concerted effort to focus on this aspect of the young person’s lifestyle with the dedication and commitment shown by the staff at NYKIDZ FITNESS in Ridgewood. Although not exclusively a boxing facility, the sweet science is definitely one of the main engines by which this organization works to condition your young one. The average class here might encompass warm-ups with jumping jacks, ladders, light jogging, etc., then move to training in terms of boxing stance, footwork, etc., ultimately evolving into some practical instruction on speed, agility, and breathing, all with the goal of optimum conditioning in mind. Kudos to impresario Anthony Terranova for not just an impressive and vibrant facility, but for the kinds of programs that really stand out, and get their loyal clientele coming back again and again and again.

NY KIDZ FITNESS

1630 Weirfield Street

(917) 554-3633

www.NYKIDZFITNESS.com

LOST BATTALION HALL

The Rego Park facility known as LOST BATTALION HALL on Queens Boulevard is one of the most under-rated in our area, given how dedicated its staff is to providing meaningful recreational options to our community’s young people. LOST BATTALION HALL’S facilities include a playschool room, arts and crafts room, fitness center, computer resource center, playground, and basketball courts. (And by the way, tennis permits can also be obtained here, and you can just call (718) 263-4121 for more information on that.)



LOST BATTALION HALL

93-29 Queens Boulevard

(718) 263-1163

www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/recreationcenters/Q401

YMCA OF GREATER NEW YORK

It shouldn’t be any big surprise that your local YMCA is one of the best places to head this summer for fun and frolic (especially the ones with swimming pools), but each and every one has got a different slate of activities and ought to be contacted separately. Several YMCA’s offer the YMCA Jr. Mets instructional baseball program each summer, while others run more structured youth sports programs, provide swimming instruction, etc. There are even YMCA-sponsored field trips upstate. All with the YMCA mission statement in mind, to build self-confidence in young people, and to foster teamwork and good sportsmanship, in the process creating an environment that encourages new friendships. To find a branch nearest you, best thing to do is to visit www.YMCAnyc.org/camp.

SUMMER CAMPS

FOREST HILLS KIDS CORNER

On June 20th, the FOREST HILLS KIDS CORNER All-In-One Summer Camp will be hosting an Open House from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. This multi-dimensional camp offers kids a variety of options like Dance, Yoga, Music, and Cooking, as taught by the folks at ALL-STAR STUDIOS, BAMBOO MOVES, BELLE ARTI, and the YOUNG CHEFS ACADEMY. You can definitely head to the Open House for more info (or email them at ForestHillsKidsCorner@gmail.com ) but you might want to know that the dates are July 6th through 17th and also August 10th thru 21st.

FOREST HILLS KIDS CORNER

108-12 72nd Avenue

www.ForestHillsKidsCorner.com

ForestHillsKidsCorner@gmail.com

SUMMER AT KEW-FOREST

Meanwhile, over on Union Turnpike on the Forest Hills-Kew Gardens border, the venerable KEW-FOREST SCHOOL has one of the top-tier summer programs around. With disciplines as varied as Woodworking, Hands-On Science, Martial Arts, Computers, Cooking, Drama, and more, rest assured that the same commitment to excellence that has made KEW-FOREST one of the top schools in our area (for 90 years!) is what makes their SUMMER AT KEW-FOREST camp such a resounding success from year to year, as well. One of the distinctive things about KEW-FOREST is that it offers Half-Day options (with commensurate rates) which you won’t find too many other places – a Morning Academics option from 9:00 to 11:00 (Reading Rainbow, Mindful Math, etc.) and a Half-Day Recreation option from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm. SUMMER AT KEW-FOREST starts June 22nd, so you’d better act quickly, because they definitely sell out every year!

SUMMER AT KEW-FOREST

119-17 Union Turnpike

(718) 268-4667

www.KewForest.org

GARDEN SCHOOL SUMMER PROGRAMS

Over in Jackson Heights, the GARDEN SCHOOL SUMMER PROGRAMS have long earned their reputation (and popularity) through the variety of options they offer to the community’s young people. Their full day camp caters to kids 3 to 13, and begins June 29th all the way through August 21st .

(Transportation is available, by the way.) Here at the GARDEN SCHOOL, your young one will get the benefit of the facility’s large in-ground pool, expansive outdoor playgrounds – even an arcade game room. And whether it’s soccer or basketball – or even drama via the new TADA! Youth Theatre – you can be confident that this is an organization with its act together, providing all manner of opportunities for your young ones.

GARDEN SCHOOL SUMMER PROGRAMS

33-16 79th Street

(718) 335-6363

www.GardenSchool.org

SPORTS INSTRUCTION

AVIATOR SPORTS COMPLEX

You may not find a wider variety of summer options for your kids than those offered by the AVIATOR SPORTS COMPLEX in Brooklyn, on the site of Floyd Bennett Field (hence the name “AVIATOR”!) For example, there’s a Euro Soccer Clinic the week of July 6th and another the week of July 13th (for $300/week). Then there’s Summer Hockey School from July 20th thru July 24th ($450) and Summer Basketball Clinics the week of July 27th and August 3rd ($300/week). And you know what? There’s even a Circus Program (yep, acrobatics and assorted circus tricks from actual circus instructors) from August 10th thru August 14th. Look, what can we say? If you’re looking for a whole host of summer options for your kids – and at an unbelievably top-notch state-of-the-art facility! – then get thee to the AVIATOR SPORTS COMPLEX in Brooklyn, because you’ll probably be heading there over and over and over again…

AVIATOR SPORTS COMPLEX

Hangar 5, Floyd Bennett Field

(718) 758-7500

www.aviatorsports.com

JACK CURRAN CAMPS

Jack Curran is by far the winningest coach in New York State history, and yet it’s his winning demeanor – his tremendous affection for the success of our community’s young people, his time-honored wisdom that comes from 50-plus years of experience – that’s earned him the undying loyalty of scores and scores of Stanner alums and other colleagues from the worlds of baseball and basketball. And yet, it is “all about the kids” for Curran, who despite tremendous success as a Coach, stands humbly at the center of it all, each season like the one before, each week of camp like the one before – a dedication to routine that ensures that your littlest sports fan is going to get the ultimate schooling in fundamentals, and from one of the true masters. Besides that, where are you going to find someone as well-versed in both basketball AND baseball?! Week One of CURRAN’S Basketball Camp is July 13th at ARCHBISHOP MOLLOY, Week Two July 20th. CURRAN’S Baseball Camps take place at the H.B.Q.V.B. Baseball Complex in Bellerose, located at 236-02 Hillside Avenue. (First week of Baseball is August 3rd, second week is August 10th.)

JACK CURRAN CAMPS

83-53 Manton Street (Basketball)

236-02 Hillside Avenue (Baseball)

(718) 943-3154

ONE-ON-ONE BASEBALL CAMP

Dom Scala, Head Baseball Coach at ADELPHI UNIVERSITY, has more than 14 years of professional experience with the Oakland A’s, New York Yankees, and Pittsburgh Pirates, but it’s really his time with the championship era Yankees that has understandably earned him the admiration and fellowship of a great many of his compatriots from Brooklyn (where he grew up) and Queens (where he now lives). The thing about Scala’s ONE-ON-ONE BASEBALL CAMPS is this: despite all the top-flite “inside baseball” about everything from proper sliding technique to the infield-fly rule, Scala’s demeanor is as warm and as thoughtful as it is detailed and professional. It’s a combination that ensures that his camps sell out from year to year, so you’d definitely better hurry. And by the way, a great many of his former colleagues have long told Scala, “You should write a book, with everything you know…” So he did, the appropriately titled “ONE-ON-ONE BASEBALL,” and you probably should check that out, too!

ONE-ON-ONE BASEBALL CAMP

(917) 686-1124

dscala1045@aol.com

www.OneOnOneBaseball.com

NORM ROBERTS BASKETBALL CAMP

It’s been a long time since the ST. JOHN’S Men’s Basketball program has had an “of the community” coach as they have now in Norm Roberts. Roberts, himself a graduate of Queens College (in fact, the school’s one-time career scoring leader) and Springfield Gardens (he led the team to the PSAL Championship as a senior), while improving his team on the court year-by-year has also made it a point of connecting ST. JOHN’S to the community, and he sees his Summer Basketball Camp as one of the most important opportunities for doing so. “I don’t see these kids as future players per se,” Roberts told us at a recent camp visit, “but definitely future students… I look at this as an excellent way for them to learn about ST. JOHN’S.” And an excellent way for them to learn about effective use of the cross-over dribble, the proper way to set a pick, and the intricacies of the zone defense. From one of the best… First week of camp is June 29th thru July 2nd, with two sessions in August as well, August 10th thru 14th and August 17th thru 21st.

NORM ROBERTS BASKETBALL CAMP

Taffner Field House, ST. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY

(718) 990-6225

www.RedStormSports.com

MONSIGNOR McCLANCY BASEBALL CAMP

There may be no prouder standard-bearer of the MONSIGNOR McCLANCY HS heritage than Varsity Baseball Coach Nick Melito, also the school’s Director of Admissions. Perhaps that’s because Melito, an alum of the Class of ’76, bleeds CRUSADER crimson like few other graduates of the 50-year-old institution with the same dedication to the Brothers of the Sacred Heart that he gives to our national pastime. If you’re looking for a real values-driven approach to your kid’s Summer Baseball experience, the same way Melito’s been upholding the McCLANCY tradition as perennial contenders in the CHSAA, so too has he brought to bear that same emphasis on fundamentals and work ethic to his annual Summer Baseball camps. McCLANCY BASEBALL CAMP will take place on site the week of July 6th thru July 10th and the week of July 13th thru July 17th.

MONSIGNOR McCLANCY BASEBALL CAMP

71-06 31st Avenue

(718) 898-3800

mcclancycamp@yahoo.com

CHRIST THE KING ROYALS BASKETBALL CAMP

How about a hand for Joe Arbitello, Athletic Director at CHRIST THE KING REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL in Middle Village, who stepped in upon the legendary Bob Oliva’s absence, and took the Boys Varsity to tremendous heights in his own right. Of course, it’s not like Arbitello’s a newbie at this, he’s been the Varsity “B” Coach for years, as well as a long-standing assistant to Oliva both with regard to the ROYALS Basketball squad and with his highly regarded ROYALS Basketball Camps. In any case, this summer Arbitello will be helming his first Summer Basketball Camp at CHRIST THE KING, and you can bet he’ll be bringing the same renewed enthusiasm to mentoring your kids that he brought to a program that could have lost its way, but instead continued to maintain its dominance.

CHRIST THE KING BASKETBALL CAMP

68-02 Metropolitan Avenue

(718) 366-7400

jarbitello@ctkrhs.org



NY BASEBALL ACADEMY

Located on the New York Institute of Technology’s Old Westbury campus (on Nassau County’s North Shore) Bob Hirschfield’s NEW YORK BASEBALL ACADEMY is easily one of the best such programs around. Perhaps most impressive about the organization is how extensive its summer calendar is. More than most such programs, the NY BASEBALL ACADEMY can offer up to six weeks of instruction, starting on July 13th. Not only that, but the NYBA prides itself on a very low instructor to participant ratio (6.7 to 1, in fact) something that ensures that your littlest baseball fan is getting the personal attention he deserves. One of the longtime successes of the program is the way it’s organized – kids are grouped by age at first, but then again according to ability. Daily instructional program stress fundamentals like Hitting, Fielding, Throwing, etc, but there are also lessons in Speed Development, in Base Stealing, and in Flexibility Training. Not only that, but each player gets to personally select and participate in a Daily Position Workshop (Pitching, Catching, Infield), where even more personalized instruction is offered, depending upon that player’s goals. The six sessions ahead are offered to kids from the ages of 7 thru 15, and they are July 13th thru July 17th ; July 20th thru July 24th ; July 27th thru July 31st ; August 3rd thru August 7th ; August 10th thru August 14th ; and August 17th thru August 21st.

NEW YORK BASEBALL ACADEMY

NY INSTiTUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Old Westbury Campus

(516) 922-7133

www.NYBaseballAcademy.com

FOREST HILLS SUMMER BASEBALL CAMP

We’ve always been big fans of the FOREST HILLS Summer Baseball Camp here, probably because we’ve always absolutely loved Field # 1 right there on Fleet Street. The same attention to detail and kids-first attitude that has made the Forest Hills Youth Activities Association so successful these many, many years, is exactly what you can expect of their Summer Baseball Camp. With an emphasis on fundamentals – pitching mechanics, fielding technique, even baseball conditioning – you can be sure that your young one is getting the benefit of some hands-on instruction here, and on a personal kind-of basis that few other programs can claim. Camp is open to kids from ages 6 to 12, and will be offered June 29th thru July 3rd, July 6th thru July 10th, and July 13th thru July 17th. (One week is $275, two weeks are $495, and three weeks will run you $675.)

FOREST HILLS SUMMER BASEBALL CAMP

66-01 Fleet Street

(718) 544-2296

(646) 286-1094



COUGAR SPORTS CAMPS

The COUGAR SPORTS CAMPS at Maspeth’s MARTIN LUTHER HIGH SCHOOL have long been a favorite of local hoops talent. But this year, MARTIN LUTHER’S branching out a bit, introducing an All-Sports camp in their third week in order to encourage campers to learn a wider array of various techniques from a variety of different sports. There’ll be at least two sports taught each day, as well as competi-tive games, including volleyball, floor hockey, badminton, wiffle ball, handball, soccer, basketball, racquetball and more. Basketball camp – under the auspices of Boys Varsity Coach Steven Hicks (the school’s Dean of Students as well) is available to Boys & Girls in grades 4 thru 8 and commences July 13th thru July 17th (Week One) and July 20th thru July 24th (Week Two). All-Sports Camp will take place from July 27th thru July 31st.

MARTIN LUTHER’S “COUGAR SPORTS CAMPS”

60-02 Maspeth Avenue

(718) 894-4000

www.MartinLutherNYC.org

KIDS SOCCER ZONE

We defy you to find a better, more renowned soccer organization in these parts than that of BLAU-WEISS GOTTSCHEE SOCCER, the pride of Brennan Field in Juniper Valley Park. But did you know that GOTTSCHEE will help school even the littlest of your futbol enthusiasts in the proper techniques of dribbling, passing, kicking and just generally being “at one with the ball” – all in a safe, instructional and non-competitive environment. The brains behind this operation is GOTTSCHEE Youth Academy Director Paul McGlynn, who’s found a welcome home within the confines of THE CAGE Indoor Sports Facility on Metropolitan Avenue, where kids can maneuver effectively and harmlessly on turf, and need never fear a session getting rained-out!



KIDS SOCCER ZONE

62-40 Metropolitan Avenue (THE CAGE)

(646) 334-0459

kidssoccerzone@gmail.com



MISCELLANEOUS

SUMMER READING

Folks, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that both the QUEENS PUBLIC LIBRARY and the BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY have just undertaken an extensive Summer Reading campaign, one which was made official on Thursday, JUNE 4th. The campaign is an ongoing effort to keep kids in the habit of reading, even while there is no longer the infrastructure of school to provide guidance (not for a few months, anyway!) What we can’t help but be impressed with, however, is the manner with which the libraries are seeking to make this a far more palatable experience for participants by fostering the creation of an online community for Summer Readers – social networking at its best! If you visit www.SummerReading.org, you’ll see a list of suggested books, with a lot of encouragement towards the creation of BookLogs or Reviews, and the idea that good books should be shared with others within this community! (Amazingly, there are even library-themed YouTube videos available for viewing.) Anyway, a pretty impressive roll-out, and one you and your young ones can take part in as soon as today! You don’t even have to go to the library, you can start by visiting them on the web…

SUMMER READING

Queens Public Library

Brooklyn Public Library

www.SummerReading.org



KIDS FUN HOUSE

Looking for a fun way to entertain the littlest of your brood? Well, we just can’t say enough good things about what the enterprising Aga Do has built right here on Fresh Pond Road, with the aptly named KIDS FUN HOUSE. You’ll not find a more expansive (6000 square feet!) or colorful environment than KIDS FUN HOUSE, what with its impressive toddler area, arts and crafts room, triple slides, mazes, and more. Not only that, but this is a venue that fully appreciates that parents seated on the sidelines are always in need of a little comfort too (or a great cup of coffee!) Anyway, KIDS FUN HOUSE is offering an extra-special Summer Membership rate these days – just $150 gives you unlimited access from now until September 1st, even for special events. Hey, if you’ve never been, the timing couldn’t be better!

KIDS FUN HOUSE

62-73 Fresh Pond Road

(718) 418-5437

www.KidsFunHouse.com

PRESS START CAFÉ

Now if video-games are where it’s at for your kid, and you’re looking for a far more relaxing video-gaming atmosphere than most would offer, then PRESS START is absolutely the place to head. (After all, it is called the PRESS START CAFÉ, you know.) Young aficionados of everything from HALO and CALL OF DUTY to ROCKBAND and GUITAR HERO can enjoy their gaming in the comfort of some of the finest recliners and consoles you’re ever going to find. Not only that, there’s a whole host of computer stations here as well for online gaming, or even just to check email, MySpace, FACEBOOK, etc. And to top it all off, you’ve got a snack bar right there on the premises, so no need to even leave the site. Hey, did we mention the top-notch friendly and family-oriented service here, too?

PRESS START CAFÉ

70-15 Grand Avenue

(718) 205-8085

www.PressStartCafe.com

FUNTOPIA USA

FUNTOPIA USA atop the Metro Mall on Metropolitan boasts a three-story indoor playground, and while featuring a whole host of options like Kiddie Rides, Bowlingo, and Arcade Games, is perhaps best known for the roughest of its offerings, their Bumper Cars and their one-of-a-kind Laser Tag. Look, we don’t know what to tell you, but if you’re going to spend the whole day shopping here, why not give the little ones a break at some point and have ‘em check out an action-packed entertainment complex that’s fun for the entire family!

FUNTOPIA USA

66-26 Metropolitan Avenue (METRO MALL)

(718) 381-4300

www.FuntopiaUSA.com

ROYAL COLLECTIBLES

We’re big fans of the guys at ROYAL COLLECTIBLES – Mike, Chuck, or whoever’s behind the counter, actually! It’s one of the true class-act memorabilia outlets, whether your search is for the perfect A-Rod collectible for your kid, a vintage baseball card, or a whole host of offerings from the world of comics, ‘zines, graphic novels, etc., especially our personal favorites, those unparalleled McFarlane figurines! But ROYAL COLLECTIBLES has a little something for everyone actually, and even the younger set will wax enthusiastic over the assortment of Webkinz here and the latest big thing out of Japan, Bakugan Battle-Brawlers, a new kind of action figure that just might forever change the way you look at such things. Hey, no matter what – especially if it’s raining out! – spending a summer afternoon inside ROYAL COLLECTIBLES could be well worth your while.

ROYAL COLLECTIBLES

96-01 Metropolitan Avenue

(718) 793-0542

www.RoyalCollectiblesOnline.com

QUEENS FALCONS S.G.H. “RUN-TO-DAYLIGHT” GOLF CLASSIC

Want to do something really special for a kid? Why not a whole bunch of kids? The QUEENS FALCONS organization (formerly FOREST HILLS FOOTBALL) is one of the classiest we’ve ever come across, and has been serving our community for more than 50 years now. Despite doling out football instruction and life lessons via their none-better football program each fall, one of the least heralded aspects of the organization’s mission statement is how dedicated the staff are to ensuring that their participants get a shot at a proper education. The “Run To Daylight” program – founded by current President Gregory Hoffman’s late twin brother Stephen – is one of the more exemplary non-profits around, and on behalf of an inspiring number of the Falcons family, Messrs. Hoffman, Cavanaugh, O’Donnell et. al. have forged significant relationships with a number of northeast prep schools, not only affording their former players a shot at a high school education that might have eluded them, but even more importantly – the opportunity to continue onto college, and experience a life that they had only dreamed about. Now, folks, if that isn’t noble, then we sure don’t know what is. If you’re interested in contributing or showing support for this rather generous effort, then the STEPHEN G. HOFFMAN Memorial Golf and Tennis Classic is perhaps the best way to do so. This year’s event takes place on Monday, July 27th, and for information, please contact Neil O’Donnell at (718) 877-8618.

QUEENS FALCONS

S.G.H. GOLF AND TENNIS CLASSIC

(718) 877-8618

www.QueensFalcons.net



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