Summer is just around the corner and for many families in Ottawa that means it’s time to choose which summer camps their kids will attend. Our 2023 Ottawa Summer Sports CAMPS Guide takes you through all the ways kids can stay healthy and active this season.
The capital owns a rich selection of sports camps from the all-fun variety to high-performance athletic training. Here, we’ll highlight some of the best opportunities available with leading local sports groups (you can click on links to read full columns on each camp). Let’s get started!
Superdome at Ben Franklin Park
It’s the kids’ camp that doubles as summer vacation for parents.
Lunches, snacks, pre- and post-camp care are all included with registration at the Ben Franklin Superdome, and here’s one more extra bonus: campers spend all day expending energy while playing a pile of sports.
Sister to the highly popular (and sold out) Thunderbird Sports Camp in Kanata, the Ben Franklin Superdome’s camps have got everything covered.
Ottawa Lions Track-and-Field Club
Ottawa Lions summer camp – where your coach is an Olympian!
The Ottawa Lions Track-and-Field Club’s summer camps are led by two-time Olympic shot putter Tim Nedow, who’s taken on the club’s youth program manager role with the same zest that launched him to Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020 and Pan Am and Commonwealth Games medals.
Nedow now wants to share the same type of fun experiences with the next generation that made him fall in love with track-and-field when he was around the summer campers’ age.
Lions camps take place in a beautiful setting next to Mooney’s Bay, offering many activity opportunities beyond the track as well.
Does your young athlete have trouble choosing just one sport? They can have it all at the Dome Louis-Riel’s Multi-Sport Summer Camp!
Let them explore all their sports passions – soccer, badminton, swimming, volleyball, basketball, touch football, track & field, and many more.
New this year! Two weeks of Multi-Adventure Camp, where participants will get to experience exciting off-site trips, to locations such as the beach, nature museum or trampoline.
The camps align with Sport Canada’s Long-Term Athlete Development philosophies, which encourage young athletes to participate in a wide variety of sports to build their motor skills.
Kanata Rhythmic Gymnastics Club
Breanna Rich has been doing gymnastics all her life – she even went to the renowned École nationale de cirque to study aerial hoop and contortion – but some of her fondest memories stem from being a kid at summer camp.
That was when she got a fresh and exciting start to her rhythmic gymnastics journey, which has now led her back to coaching at her home Kanata Rhythmic Gymnastics Club.
Summer camp can spark a lifelong love of sport, not to mention lasting friendships, Rich recalls.
Kanata Rhythmic’s recreational summer camp is back this summer for three week-long sessions to provide an introduction to all that rhythmic gymnastics can offer.
Ottawa TFC Soccer Club
Ottawa TFC camps offer a competitive and fun week with one of Canada’s top soccer clubs.
With a focus on players’ development, the camps offer a holistic approach to soccer over the course of a week. Parents and players frequently share that campers come away feeling more confident in their soccer abilities.
But the camps also serve to develop players’ leadership skills. Former Toronto FC pro player Brogan Engbers (who was also an Ottawa TFC summer camper once upon a time) is at the helm of the camps, while the rest of the staff is also composed entirely of current and former Ottawa TFC players.
Participants are able to see first-hand what leading by example means, directly from their older peers.
The RA Centre is home to a wide range of sports, and there’s no better time to experience all that’s available than during summer camp season.
Archery, badminton, soccer, swimming — even pickleball. Those are some of the speciality camps offered, alongside day camps for children ages four to 11.
Senior AquaCamp, offered to those aged 10 to 13, is a great opportunity for those interested in becoming lifeguards. Campers will spend their time learning lifesaving skills as well as playing aquatic games and sports.
Teenagers ages 13 and older can volunteer to help out at the camps and gain experience towards becoming counsellors in future summers.
At the RA Centre’s summer camps, you can do it all.
Tumblers Gymnastics Centre
Astronauts, dinosaurs, witches and wizards – “Holy Superheroes Week, Batman! I thought this was Gymnastics Camp!?!”
If you thought gymnastics camp was only about practicing somersaults and walking on the balance beam, then you sure haven’t seen Tumblers Gymnastics Centre summer camps.
Every week has a theme – THE MIGHTY JUNGLE, HOLLYWOOD and WACKY WONDERLAND, to name just a few. For LOST IN SPACE week, participants explore gravity, balance and science through gymnastics, while making their own set of planets during craft time.
Tumblers camps have been in operation for well over 15 years, and Friday pizza and popcorn day has been a hit every time, which the campers will have earned after exercising all week.
Ottawa South United Soccer Club
George Nelms Sports Park is Ottawa’s premiere soccer facility and home to Ottawa’s premiere soccer club, so it’s no coincidence that it’s also the site of Ottawa’s premiere summer soccer camps – both for recreational and high-performance players.
OSU’s recreational camp for U5 to U12 players is focused on providing kids with the best possible camp and soccer experience.
Meanwhile, OSU’s International Camps bring some of the world’s top instructors to town for training sessions run by coaches from some of the world’s most famed clubs. This summer, IPC North America’s International Spanish Camps will return to Ottawa.
Learn more at OttawaSportsCAMPS.ca
From canoe, to lacrosse, to boxing and diving, there are plenty more sports camps options available in town no matter your sports enthusiast’s preference. Take a look at OttawaSportsCAMPS.ca and you can discover many more great opportunities. Each camp listing has a description of activities, ages, dates/times, fees and locations, so you can find the right fit for your sports-hungry camper.
CAMPS Project gives free sports registrations to kids from low-income communities
The organizations featured in the Ottawa Summer Sports CAMPS Guide are partners of the Ottawa Sports Pages’ Connecting Athletes of All Means to Paths in Sport Project. Our CAMPS Project provides free sports opportunities to youth living in Ottawa Community Housing neighbourhoods.
The groups we’ve highlighted not only provide exceptional sports experiences, developmental opportunities and loads of fun, they are also committed to giving back to their communities as CAMPS Project partners.
Our partner sports groups receive free or discounted advertising in return for providing positions in their summer camps or seasonal programs at no cost to children/youth from low-income families.
In partnership with the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation’s recLINK program, worthy participants are identified from OCH communities across the city to take part in the opportunities. We also provide transportation for our kids to and from their sports activities when needed.
Learn a bit more about the CAMPS Project in 40 seconds: