metrofamily magazine april 2016

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  • Make a Splash!

    See our calendar for 212 April events!

    APRIL 2016


    Meet the mom & owner of The

    Plant Shoppe

    ROUTE 66 ROAD TRIPTop spots for

    family fun

    Gear up for summer with swim lessons

    page 24



    CAMPS &




    NATURE CAMPFor children ages 7-12


    June 6-17 July 11-22 August 1-12

    Ecology - Wildlife - Outdoor SkillsArchery - Nature Crafts - Fishing Fun

    $275 for a two-week session, $175 for a one-week sessionCamp runs Monday-Friday 7:30am-5:30pm

    Call (405) 297-1392 for more information.

    Register online at

    SUMMER DAY CAMPSSummer Day Camps for all ages and interests.

    For more information about Summer Day Camps, visit

    Junior GolfSoccerBaseballBasketballVolleyballPlay in the Park

    Junior Explorers ClubSecret Agent ClubRocking RocketsLEGO Mindstorms Robotics


    MOREEmergency PreparednessPerforming ArtsYouth Artist Camps

  • 32AT HOME WITH JENGet to know the owner of The Plant Shoppe Jen Semmler.

    guide...goThe ultimate OKC family fun

    542016 SUMMER CAMPSDiscover the greatest summer camps & activities in OKC & beyond.

    24ROUTE 66 ROAD TRIPDiscover the top family-friendly attractions on the Mother Road.

    Get ready for summer with swim lessons


    6 Six Reasons to Send Your Kids to Camp 8 Editors Picks: Top Indoor Pools 16 How Therapetuic Foster Care is Healing Local Kids

    22 Mom Humor: It's a Summer Camp Thing

    PLUS... DONT


    HAVE A STORYOR BIG EVENT?We are all about family activities and fun in the OKC metro. If you have a story to share, let us know!

    CONTACT THE TEAM AT 405-818-5025 or email

    EDITORIALSarah TaylorPublisher

    Hannah SchmittManaging EditorLindsay CuomoAssistant Editor

    Heather Davis and Lindsay CuomoContributing Writers

    Emily HartContributing PhotographerBrittany ViklundContributing Illustrator

    DESIGN & SALESStacy NoakesArt Director

    Callie CollinsMarketing Director Athena Delce, Dana Price &

    Jessica MisunSales Kathy AlbertyOffice/Distribution

    Shelly SandersonBusiness Development

    Circulation - 35,000 Also available as a digital edition at

    Articles and advertisements in MetroFamily do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Inprint Publishing, Inc. We do not

    assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The

    acceptance of advertising by MetroFamily does not constitute an endorsement of the products,

    services, or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service which is

    fraudulent or misleading in nature.

    MetroFamily Magazine is a monthly magazine published by

    Inprint Publishing, Inc. New Address: 318 NW 13th St Ste 101

    OKC OK 73103

    Phone: 405-818-5025 Fax: 405-445-7509

    Inprint Publishing, Inc. 2016, All Rights Reserved.


    Volume 19, Number 4


    It's hard to have a bad time at summer camp. Sure, you spend a few days being homesick and you might not always get along perfectly with your counselors and fellow campers, but overall it's usually a great experience. I carry many good summer camp memories with me to this day.

    Preparing this month's issue, my mind was flooded with great memories from my own summer camp experiences. Besides bringing lice home from camp one summer, I really can't think of anything I didn't love about camp.

    I grew up surrounded by my siblings and close cousins, but camp gave me an opportunity to do something completely on my own. For a week each summer, I made friends, learned new skills, found confidence and discovered my likes and dislikes in a way I couldn't really do at home.

    Summer camp likely wasn't always easy for my parents to plan or accommodating to their tight budget, but I believe they felt everything I brought home from the experience (except the lice!) was worth the trouble. On

    the next page, hear from camp experts and local parents about the numerous benefits of summer camp. If you can find the time and money to make it happen, our Summer Camp Guide on page 24 reveals dozens of camp opportunities throughout the metro and beyond so you can start planning your child's adventure.

    If you can't swing summer camp this year, we've still got tons of ideas in this issue to get you thinking about summer fun. Learn all about swim lessons on page 10 and don't miss our Route 66 road trip on page 54.

    We're thrilled to be counting down the days until summer and getting a jump start on planning.

    Hannah SchmittEditor


    WelcomeFROM OUR EDITORThis month, we send your family on a Route 66 road trip, start planning summer camp experiences and reveal great places to take swimming lessons in OKC.

    Enter our contests to win big!

    Register to win a five-day cruise for four to the Western Caribbean, departing July 16 from Galveston. Trip is provided by MIE Travel Deals, LLC. and valued at up to $2,400! Enter by 5/31.

    MetroFamily has partnered with MIE Travel Deals, LLC to provide our readers a discounted cruise this fall. Enjoy a Western Caribbean cruise Oct. 3-8 with rates starting at $319 per person. The first payment of $100 is due by May 10. Learn more at

    Web Exclusives: Get our exclusive Kid Review of Oklahoma City's

    new indoor skydiving attraction, iFLY at

    Dont miss out on life due to allergies and asthma. Get tips from Oklahoma Institute of Allergy and Asthma at

    Brain Balance offers a drug-free approach to help kids with behavioral issues improve their ability to learn academically and socially. Learn more about the cutting-edge methods at





    Calendar starts on page


    THIS MONTHS COVER:Randy M., 7, is an Oklahoma City native and film actor who likes painting, archery and playing with LEGOs. He was one of the winners of our 2016 Cover Kids Search. Photo taken at Mitch Park YMCA in Edmond.



    family buzz

    Were buzzing about Summer CampOn the surface, summer camp is a fun getaway for kids to help fill the time during a school break. But on a deeper level, it's so much more. We talked to experts from some of our favorite local camps about the benefits of sending kids to summer camp.

    1. They gain self-esteem. The American Camp Association reports 70 percent of parents claimed their child gained self-confidence at camp.

    "Summer camp is a supportive, creative, nurturing environment for children to learn and grow physically and emotionally," said Mickie Schmith, the camp director at Camp McFadden in Ponca City, "which improves self esteem."

    2. They make new (and different) friends. The American Camp Association reports 96 percent of campers said camp helped them make new friends and 93 percent said camp helped them get to know kids who are different from themselves.

    Jess Randolph, camp and outdoor specialist at Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma, said she sees girls make lifelong friends at camp. Campers are bonded through activities like going on their first hike together or seeing the world atop a horse for the first time, she said.

    "Making new friends with children from other communities and being mentored by adult counselors are memories that will last a lifetime," Schmith said.

    3. They learn independence. In addition to having to make new friends and communicate effectively with adults on their own, campers have an opportunity to discover who they are away from home.

    "It (camp) was the first place I could go and be myself without any other influences," said DJ Morgan, YMCA Camp Classen board chairman and former camp director. "It allows you to step out of your shell. You see people at camp all the time who might have been shy or different at school but the person they are at camp is a different person, a truer person. And that's something I keep with me."

    4. They learn new skills. Think your kid isn't adventurous? Send them to camp and you might be surprised. Seventy-four percent of campers interviewed by the American Camp Association said they did something at camp they were afraid to try at first.

    Dance, music, drama, basketball and science are just a few of the types of camps listed on our Summer Camp Directory (page 24). Camps offer opportunities for kids to try brand new skills or activities they otherwise might never encounter.

    5. They gain a new appreciation for the environment and physical activity. "The research shows spending time in nature improves concentration and creative reasoning," Randolph said. "Outdoor experiences help promote healthy social development and increase your girls self-esteem!"

    Schmith agreed and said giving campers the opportunity to spend hours outside exploring, learning about nature, playing games and visiting with new friends has endless benefits.

    6. It keeps them busy. If you have to work, the obvious reason for camp is that you know your kids are engaging in an enriching a