By Maddie Joiner
For the Opelika
Auburn’s Ninja Summer Camp is back in action this summer and has a new name – Auburn’s Best Summer Camp. This summer, children ages 4-12 can enjoy a summer full of judo, jiu-jitsu, karate, muay thai, wrestling, water slides, field trips and more.
The camp is being held by Auburn MMA and will be all summer long.
“The basic concept of the summer camp is to keep kids active,” said gym owner Randall Phillips. “We want them to have a lot of fun while they are safe and disciplined in an environment that is structured.”
The first session will be the week of May 24-28 and the camp is 11 weeks long, ending the week of August 2-6. Camp will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children should bring a sack lunch and water bottle every day.
Campers can sign up for just one week, multiple weeks or all 11 weeks. Each session only has 30 spots available, and they are filling up fast.
For one week of camp its $199 and for the whole summer it will be $1477.58. For more detailed pricing information visit https://auburnmma.com/program/summer-camp/.
This will be Phillips’s fourth year operating the camp and he decided to change the name to Auburn’s Best Summer Camp to reflect changes made to the camp.
“I changed the name of it for this year because I wanted to be a little bit broader market,” Phillips said. “It’s not all martial arts, we will be taking the kids on field trips every day.”
The camp plans to rent passenger vans to take campers on field trips to local areas. A few places Phillips mentioned were the Opelika Splash Park, the Raptor Center, the Arboretum, Rock-N-Roll Pinball and movie theaters.
The idea of doing field trips came to Phillips when he realized how hard it is to keep children in one place for the whole day.
“Adding field trips just adds a new dimension,” Phillips said. “What we are trying to do is create memories with these kids. Adding field trips adds more memory-making times.”
The daily schedule will consist of an hour of martial arts in the morning before campers embark on the field trip of the day. On Fridays, the children will have a presentation in front of their parents to show off the martial arts they’ve learned Monday through Thursday. Presentations will range from breaking a board to campers earning their white belt.
In addition to the martial arts and field trips, the camp will also focus on anti-bullying techniques.
“Our main martial art is jiu-jitsu, which is a defensive martial art,” Phillips said. “We teach the kids to take all the proper measures before taking things into their hands. We call it tackle the giant, it’s a nonviolent way of attacking a bully.”
Phillips’s goal for the summer camp is to safely allow children to return to a normal routine, while also focusing on making memories with his campers.
“This gives the child a time for them to be around their friends and be outside,” Phillips said. “We are going back to creating memories in what I feel like is a positive way.”
For more information or to register for Auburn’s Best Summer Camp, call 334-887-0818 or visit their website at www.auburnbestafterschool.com.