Camp Overview

The LiFEsports Summer Camp is sport-based positive youth development summer camp program. The 19-day camp is targeted at youth ages 9-15 from underprivileged circumstances in Central Ohio.

The mission of the LiFEsports Summer Camp is “to foster social competence among youth through their involvement in sport, fitness, and educational activities.”

Three primary objectives drive the implementation of the LiFEsports camp:

  • Increasing social competence among youth;
  • Increasing self-control, effort, teamwork, and social responsibility among youth participants;
  • Ensuring participants demonstrate a sense of belonging and connection to LiFEsports and the staff.

Additionally three secondary outcomes are also associated with LiFEsports:

  • Increasing participants’ exposure to university/college life and enhance interest in higher education;
  • Referring campers to other youth organizations and opportunities in Columbus;
  • Increasing campers’ perceptions of athletic competence.

To reach these goals, our trained staff use specialized curricula to incorporate four different social skills within sport-based activities. These skills, called S.E.T.S., include self-control, effort, teamwork, and social responsibility.IMG_3492

To reach this goal, our trained staff use specialized curricula to incorporate four different social skills within sport-based activities. These skills, called S.E.T.S., include self-control, effort, teamwork, and social responsibility.

The first social skill, self-control, is defined as the ability to have control of one’s self and own actions (Greshman & Elliot, 1990). Individuals must first be able to control their attitudes and behaviors before he or she can successfully engage with peers and adults in social settings (Beelmann, Pfingsten, & Losel, 1994; Hellison, 2003). These social skills are targeted over a series of six sessions in the LiFEsports Camp curricula. The second social skill, effort, is closely linked to self-control. Once individuals learn to control actions and behaviors, they can then become more goal directed and purposeful (Larson, 2000). Over the course of camp, three sessions focus on effort. Teamwork, the third social skill, involves working together as a group to achieve a common goal or outcome. This will be covered over a series of four sessions at LiFEsports camp. The last social skill, social responsibility, involves following social rules and expectations, and involves youth’s contribution to LiFEsports, their family, and their community. Four sessions will focus on social responsibility throughout camp.

Daily camp activities utilize sport as an avenue to teach these social skills. Current camp sports include: basketball, football, lacrosse, health & fitness, soccer, social dance, softball, swimming, and volleyball. In addition to these sports, youth will participate in one session of play-based social skills education daily.

Meals and transportation are provided for all youth. Campers are broken into 24 different groups by age and each group is led by a counselor for the duration of camp. Each group has between 20- 25 youth. Our counselors are selected based on their ability to work with youth and provide a safe, nurturing environment.

Daily Timeline


Following the conclusion of camp in July, LiFEsports holds ten sport clinics during the ‘off season’ in between summer camps. All LiFEsports youth are invited to attend; these clinics provide a refresher to youth on sports learned at camp, as well as serves as opportunities where the four key social skills emphasized in LiFEsports (S.E.T.S.) can be reinforced. For more information, please visit our clinics page for dates and further information.


2020 Bus Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

West Locations

  • Westgate Recreation Center – 455 South Westgate
  • Highland Elementary School – 40 South Highland Avenue

North Locations

  • Howard Community Center – 2505 North Cassady Avenue
  • St. Stephen’s Community Center – 1500 East 17th Avenue (Pick up/drop off will be in front of the St. Stephens sign that faces 17thAve.)
  • Columbus Alternative High School – 2632 Mc Guffey
  • Brentnell Recreation Center – 1290 Brentnell Avenue
  • Woodward Park Recreation Center – 5147 Karl Road

East Locations

  • John Bishop Memorial Park (Pick up/drop off will be on Etna Rd., the north side of the park, in front of the new playground)
  • Barnett Recreation Center – 1184 Barnett Road
  • Driving Park Recreation Center – 1100 Rhoads Ave
  • Far East Recreation Center – 1826 Lattimer Drive
  • Columbus City Preparatory School for Boys – 3450 Medway Avenue

Central Locations

  • Hamilton STEM Academy – 20147 Hamilton Avenue
  • Columbus Scholar House – North 17th Street
  • Milo-Grogan Community Center –  862 E. 2nd Ave. (Pick up will be on the south side of the building on 2ndAve. along the road)

South Locations

  • Marion Franklin Recreation Center – 2801 Lockbourne Road
  • Moler Elementary School – 1201 Moler Avenue

Walk/Own Transportation

  • Walk/Own Transportation – Pick up and drop off is located at OSU Ice Rink at 390 Woody Hayes Drive



Our sponsors:

Lindy Infante Foundation Logo
ADAMH Board of Franklin County
Urban Strategies Logo

Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority Logo
Columbus Recreation and Parks Logo
Fitzsimmonds Charitable Trust Logo
Ohio State Logo