In Texas, the first week of May means the last month of school. That’s when parents of school-age children are finalizing their summer plans and the team at Quillian Center is ramping up to provide another summer of epic programming for those same children.
For 60 years, Quillian Center’s summer day camps have provided outstanding programming to kids from throughout west Houston. Campers can always count on swimming, athletic activities, counselor challenges, arts and crafts and more. The Quillian team adds new activities every summer to keep the experience fresh for returning campers.
“We’ve always have themed weeks,” said Quillian Center Director Tom Gaden. “But this year, we’re really engaging that theme in everything we do.”
For example, Safari Adventure week features a petting zoo, a reptile show, an opportunity to dress as your favorite animal, and movies like The Lion King, Jungle Book. Tarzan and 101 Dalmations. Star Wars Week will feature Jedi training, laser tag, Star Wars movies and an opportunity to make a light saber out of a pool noodle. Weekly arts and crafts activities include fuse beads, friendship bracelets, coloring sheets and stencils, plus themed crafts that include making a foam finger (sports/All Star week) or a magic stick wand (magic week).
Specialty camps promote individuality
Each week, campers choose a specialty camp of their choice, including long-time favorites like dodgeball and table games. New specialty camp offerings include boxing, photography and a spa class (making soaps, candles and lotions.)
Each day ends with “swim or gym” when campers can choose to swim in one of Quillian Center’s two pools or play games in the gym.
The youngest campers (5 and 6 years old) are separated from the older campers, so they can enjoy the camp experience without being overwhelmed by the bigger kids. Rookie Camp is a specialty camp designed just for them, with daily activities to tap into their creativity and senses.
The real “big kids” (13-14 year old teen campers) participate in weekly service projects, where they learn to give back to the community, plus weekly field trips to local venues like Top Golf, the Downtown Aquarium, iFly and the Houston Zoo.
“Our teen campers often return as counselors,” noted Gaden. “it’s just part of the Quillian tradition that kids who have been coming here for years as campers now work as counselors and staff the concession stand. Our employees are young and fun. They enjoy mixing it up with the young campers.”
Camp is open from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm to benefit working parents. And curbside drop-off is available before 8:30.
All campers can bring their own lunch or take advantage of lunch from area restaurants, which change daily. From Schlotzsky’s on Mondays to Chick-fil-A on Fridays, these kid-friendly meals are a hit.
Gaden is proud that Quillian was able to update its health protocols last summer to allow for summer camp. “Like everyone else, we instituted mask requirements, social distancing and enhanced cleanings. We made it all summer without anyone getting sick,” said Gaden. He added that he’s seen an uptick in registrations this summer as some of their regular campers return.
Camp is $225 per week for full-day sessions or $135 per week for half-day sessions (5-12 years old.) Teen camp is $250 per week, which covers the cost of field trips. A $25/week discount is extended to anyone who works in Westchase District.
“Camp Quillian has been part of the fabric of Westchase District for a long time now,” said Gaden. “We’re happy to be able to offer a discount to families who work in Westchase District.”
View a list and description of specialty camps, read the FAQs or register online at quilliancenter.org/camp-quillian