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Athletics, art and adventure await at LI summer camps

A camper squeals as he goes down the

A camper squeals as he goes down the water slide at Pierce Country Day Camp in Roslyn. (2009)

An inflatable water park. An overnight sailing trip. A rugby program.

While some things about summer camp stay the same - instructional swim, arts and crafts, sing-alongs - other things change with the times.

At Kenwal Day Camp in Melville, for instance, the camp this year scrapped its in-line skating rink; the area instead will house a water park with five water inflatables. The biggest is a slide three stories high and 70 feet long. The water park is an expansion of the one inflatable the camp had last summer, which was a huge success, says owner Howie Feinstein. "We take what the kids fall in love with and we try to expand that," Feinstein says.

At the Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay, the two-week high-school sailing camp has added an overnight cruise this summer. "They'll spend a night on the boat, cooking on the boat, living on the boat," says executive director David Waldo. Two boats will sail from Oyster Bay to Huntington, one for the girls and one for the boys. "It'll be the last night of the program," Waldo says. "We wanted to find a new way to engage high-school-age students. Most of them don't get to do an overnight. This will be a good way to test their skills and put them in a situation they've never been in before. That's what we're all about - creating new experiences for kids."

And Future Stars is introducing a Rugby Camp to its programs at SUNY Old Westbury. "I'm from the U.K. originally, and it's something I grew up playing," says site director David Stapleton. The one-week camp for boys and girls ages 7 to 16 will teach the game, which is like football except the ball is tossed backward instead of forward on the field. Campers will play a flag version, so there won't be physical contact, Stapleton says. He and the dad of a camper have tossed around the idea of a Rugby program for years, he says, no pun intended. "This year we put things in motion," he says.

Here are some camp programs - both old and new - to choose from:

Summer camps in Nassau County | Summer camps in Suffolk County

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