Summer Camp Fair Rocks

By Laurie Evans

Recipe for a Fabulous Day: Take 2,500 happy visitors and add 300 free bottles of Sunbow sunscreen; stir together with 73 informative booths; mix in 18 Writing Contest winners; sprinkle with five costumed mascots, three American Girl dolls and top with one gorgeous cherry wood bunkbed.

Lexington Family Magazine followed that recipe on Saturday, April 16 for its ninth annual Summer Camps and Activities Fair at Lexington Catholic High School.

When the doors opened at 10 a.m., hundreds of folks already were in line, hoping to win a Mystery Egg filled with prizes such as free DVDs and silly bandz bracelets.

By 11 a.m., more than 550 people had streamed in the doors.

For Marvin Bartlett, Fox 56 news anchor and his wife, Elizabeth, the Fair was really one-stop-shopping for their summer plans for son Cooper, 4, and daughter Eliza, 2.
“It would take hours and hours of research on the Internet to find everything,” Bartlett said. “Here it took just one hour to see what the city has to offer.”

That is the heart of the Fair – providing families with the opportunity to meet with dozens of providers of services that families need.

At the Fair were booths from dozens of academic, arts and sports camps.

Parents also found birthday party venues, health care professionals, private schools, public service agencies, vacation bible schools, day-cares, tutoring services and vacation destinations.

For many parents, the opportunity to speak directly to camp directors and business owners was the best part of the Fair.

“I really liked all the information that was available to me at the Fair,” said Tina Ripley, a Lexington mother of three.

“The kids had a good time at the booths while I was able to actually speak to the people from the camps.”

And what did the kids find? The Chick-fil-A cow, the Lexington Legends mascot, a giant astronaut from Space Camp, the Easter Bunny, the Girl Scouts Raccoon and two beautiful princesses.

Kids were busy petting baby kangaroos, decorating cookies, making crafts, stringing beads, playing corn hole, getting their faces painted, manipulating a robotic crane, kicking a soccer ball, hula hooping, playing with clay, planting flower seeds, and creating tissue paper flowers.

Families walked out the door at the end of the Fair loaded down with bags and bags of information, crafts and balloons.

Many also went home with amazing prizes like the bunkbed from Baby’s Room & Kids Too, the latest American Girl doll, Hasbro games, DVDs, CDs, books, free weeks of camp, and even a bicycle from Lexington Clinic.

It was truly an entertaining day with performances by loads of talented kids, including rock bands from the Lexington Music Academy, athletes from Legacy Gymnastics and Tiger Kim’s TaeKwonDo, and models from Images Model and Talent Agency.

I sure hope you didn’t miss it. But if you did, be sure to check out our Virtual Camp Fair at our website at

Didn’t win a prize? Be sure to “like” us on Facebook, where we give away prizes every week.

And mark your calendars now – next year’s Fair will be Saturday, April 14, 2012


Writing Contest Winners

Kindergarten-First Grade

Daniel Roenker (Rosa Parks)
“Candy Man fights crime”

Ryann Gartland (Seton Catholic)
“Turns the world to rainbow colors”

Second-Third Grade
Jaden Sabouit (Clays Mill)
“Shooting fire, raging magma, out of his hands”

Cata Shen (The Lexington School)
“Powerful puppy helps endangered animals”

Fourth-Fifth Grade
Jeffrey Schriefer (Mary Queen)
“The power to increase space exploration

Grace King (Mary Queen)
“Magical paintings come to life”