The Academy of the Holy Names in Albany is offering four new summer camps and summer sports clinics, open to both students and the community, this July and August. (Evangelist file photo)
The Academy of the Holy Names in Albany is offering four new summer camps and summer sports clinics, open to both students and the community, this July and August. (Evangelist file photo)
For many parents, summertime is antithetical to relaxation. Trying to balance work, home life, and summer plans is hard enough, but when school lets out, then comes the added challenge of ensuring your kids have a fun and safe place to spend their summer days. 

The Academy of the Holy Names in Albany is hoping to help with that.

For the first time, Holy Names is offering four summer programs: three for girls and one co-ed college prep program, which are open to both Holy Names students and the public. Three of the new camps — Adventure Camp, Leadership Camp and Summer Arts Program — focus on teaching girls to hone in on their confidence and build a strong sense of self. 

“We always go back to what our mission is,” said Mary Anne Vigliante, Head of School at Holy Names. “We were looking for camps that would be transforming women to be skillful builders for a better world, and you want to build that confidence from the middle-school age.”

Holy Names offered a few summer camps last year for its students, but Vigliante is excited to be “expanding it to include girls from other schools, other communities who are interested in gaining these skills, and for parents who are looking for good quality and safe programs for their kids to be involved in this summer.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 62 percent of parents were employed among two-parent households in 2021. “We have so many families where both parents are working parents,” Vigliante said. “What do you do with your kids in the summer if they’re not old enough to stay by themselves?”

Vigliante noticed that a number of camps in the Capital District offered activity camps that weren’t thematic by nature and thought they could fill that gap.

“We thought we could fill a niche here and give parents an opportunity not just for an activity camp but a camp that might teach leadership, might teach confidence — especially for girls — might encourage creativity. Like with the Adventure Camp, some girls might learn personal growth skills, some a love for nature, so they have some pretty specific goals.”

Each camp will be offered either in July or August and take place on Holy Names’ campus, with the exception of Adventure Camp which will take place at various locations that allow for different outdoor excursions. 

The Leadership Camp, open to girls in grades 5-7, will focus on relationship building, conflict resolution, communication skills and developing confidence. 

The college preparation course, open to girls and boys in grade 12, will help ease students’ anxieties on applying to college and prepare them for the tasks necessary for acceptance into their college of choice.

The Summer Arts Program, open to girls in grades 4-8, explores music, theater and art all wrapped into one. Students will explore various mediums in art, make music with keyboards and instruments and develop skills on the stage by both acting and singing.

The Adventure Camp, open to girls in grades 7-10, will focus on leadership, personal growth, community and nature. The camp will be traveling to various locations for whitewater rafting, hiking, zip-lining and even a high ropes course.

In addition, the school will also be expanding on its previously offered Summer Sports Clinics, which includes a week-long camp of either lacrosse, tennis, cheerleading, basketball, volleyball or soccer. All summer sports clinics are also open to the public.

Registration for all camps is currently open. There’s no surprise, Vigliante said, that the Adventure Camp is most popular, but all of the camps are filling up with both Holy Names students and students from the community.

“I’m very excited about expanding our summer program here,” Vigliante said. “It’s always a little odd when you end school at the end of June and all of a sudden the campus is quiet. You like to hear the sounds of young people and laughter, so it will be nice to have the campus populated. New things always excite me.”

For more information or to register for a summer camp, visit https://www.ahns.org/summer-programs-and-sports-clinics.