When the final bell rings this June, and classrooms throughout the Tristate empty out, parents will have to consider how to occupy their children during the summer.

After a long year of sitting in desks and listening to teachers drone on, kids of all ages are ready to burn up some energy in the warm sunshine.

Among the tried-and-true options of summer fun is the overnight camp experience.

“It encourages healthy living, and being outdoors and in nature can get kids excited,” says Sheila Hinton, executive director of the Clermont YMCA. “It’s also about meeting new people and friends. Skills they will use for a lifetime.”

At the YMCA’s Camp Ernst in Burlington, Ky., kids can participate in an array of traditional outdoor activities not found in the city or suburbs.

Camp Ernst offers nine different weeklong slots for children and parents to choose from. From Sunday to Saturday during early June to early August, children can enjoy fishing, hiking, swimming, canoeing and mountain biking. Camp Ernst also has a ropes course, where campers can use the zip line, rock climb and air walk among other activities.

“It’s a great way for kids to face their fears and do something that’s really fun,” says Hinton. “It’s a great experience for them.”

Campers are divided into grade levels, with each individual assigned to a cabin with 10 to 12 other kids. Each cabin has two counselors who participate in activities with their campers.

“It’s nice getting children to enjoy things most of them would never have the opportunity to,” says Hinton. “It also gets them out of their comfort zone and allows them to enjoy something new and exciting.”

If scheduling is an issue, several area organizations—including the YMCA—offer day camps that encourage healthy living, educational exercises and classes to keep children engaged throughout the summer. With team-building exercises, arts and crafts, reading programs and several hands-on activities, children can stay occupied while learning throughout June, July and August.

“Whatever the activity may be, it’s getting kids out there where they are supported,” says Lisa Kruse, Cincinnati Recreation Commission communication director.

The CRC programs coincide with Cincinnati Public Schools’ schedule so there is no scheduling conflict for their students. With 23 recreation locations and eight spray grounds throughout the city, kids can participate in arts and crafts, archery, swimming pool time, field trips and a long list of outdoor games. The CRC will also feature different themed events like transportation safety, sports, waterworks and other knowledge-based fun.

“We really have something for all kids here during the summer,” says Kruse. “It’s just a great opportunity to let kids spread their wings.”