Plan now for a one-of-a-kind summer experience. BY SHAWNE TAYLOR
The sun is out, temperatures are rising, and flowers are blooming. It’s starting to feel like spring has sprung in Atlanta, which means it’s time to start thinking about summer camps.
As homeschoolers, we know that learning happens year-round… even in summer. And while taking it easy and lounging by the pool may be the perfect way to pass the long summer days, sometimes we want to get out and try something new or continue studying something we’re passionate about. That’s where the following camps come in.
We’ve rounded up information on eight awesome learning experiences happening around Atlanta this summer (and three outside the state that may be a great fit for your teen). From art to technology, economics to debate, these cool camps might be just what your homeschoolers are looking for during Atlanta’s hottest months.
Circus Camp has been a popular Atlanta camp since 1992, and with good reason. This weeklong day camp experience combines hands on instruction, lots of fun, movement, and games, and a final end of week performance in front of parents and siblings. Circus Camp is geared towards kids ages 5 through teens, and is offered at several locations around town – Decatur, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Marietta, and Norcross. For more information or to register, visit circuscamp.org.
Humblebee Art Summer Camp may just be one of the coolest art camps ever. Campers will make festival-quality arts and crafts, and choose projects from drawing, painting on wood and canvas, painted pillows, jewelry, clay, sewing and crochet, and more. Outside time and lunchtime picnics are included each day, and there will be an art show for family and friends on the last day of camp. Led by longtime homeschool art teacher, Heather Sotack, this camp will be held at the Avondale First Baptist Church (where the LEAD Homeschool group holds classes), June 15-19. For more information, email Heather at Humblebee Art Company.
Young Thinkers Seminars: Economics of the Real World at Berry College is a one-of-a-kind summer experience for teens and young adults, ages 14 and up, who are interested in economics, the free market, and critical thinking. Participants will spend three and a half days on the beautiful Berry College campus, located 70 miles northwest of Atlanta. They will attend lectures, take part in discussion groups, eat, sleep, explore, and network with peers and interesting professionals. To find out more or to apply, visit them online at http://fee.org.
Play Well: Engineering with Lego Camp is offering two sessions per day, the week of June 15th in Avondale Estates. Ages 5-7 will meet from 9 A.M. to noon for Pre-Engineering with LEGO, and ages 8-12 will meet from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. for Engineering Fundamentals with LEGOs. Each age group will have a chance to dive into Play Well’s massive LEGO collection and build elaborate objects, structures, and vehicles, while exploring the fundamental principles of engineering and physics. Campers will also learn to collaborate and create without fear of mistakes. For registration and pricing information, visit play-well.org and find the course by zip code (30002) or click on Summer Camps Georgia, and Dekalb County.
Margaret Mitchell House Summer Camps provide an opportunity for kids ages 9-14 to discover the power of writing, in a fun, interactive environment. There are weekly themes to choose from, including Mystery in the City, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi, and Investigative Journalism. Each camp is limited to 10 to 15 participants, so that each young writer gets individual attention and instruction. And, really, how cool is it that these budding young authors have the opportunity to hone their skills in the historic, three-story home where Margaret Mitchell lived and wrote her Pulitzer-Prize winning book, Gone with the Wind? For registration and pricing information, visit atlantahistorycenter.com/mmh.
Summer Institute for the Gifted at Emory is a residential program that gives local (and not local) students the chance to live on campus in a college dorm, take classes, and socialize with other gifted students for three weeks. Open to participants ages 9-17, this popular camp offers a variety of courses to choose from, including Math, Science, Humanities, Visual Arts and more. A commuter program is available for those wanting to forego the dorm experience, and a day program is available for kids ages 5-8. Applications are required, but information and registration can be found online at giftedstudy.org/Residential/emory.
Debate Camp at Emory offers two- and three-week commuter and residential camp opportunities for high school students on the beautiful Emory campus, and one and two week day camps for middle schoolers on the campuses of Pace Academy and High Meadows School. Find more information by visiting emory.edu/BF/institutes.
STEM summer camps at Georgia Tech – officially called CEISMIC Summer P.E.A.K.S (Programs for Enrichment and Accelerated Knowledge in STEM) – are week-long, hands-on, interactive learning experiences, offering participants the chance to dive into a number of experiential activities on the Georgia Tech campus. P.E.A.K.S. programs cover a variety of different science, tech, engineering, and math concepts through camps such as Artbotics: Lego Robotics for elementary students, Industrial Design, App Design, and Architecture for middle schoolers, and Roller Coaster Physics, Interactive Product Design, and Digital Modeling for high schoolers. For complete information, or to register for the camps, visit ceismc.gatech.edu/summerprograms.
Out of State
Minecraft Coding Camp is a two-week STEM-based camp for teens ages 13-17. Campers will unleash their imaginations as they discover programming concepts and logic, and develop the coding skills needed to create custom mods and assets in Minecraft. Non-screentime activities during the two weeks include LARPing, dodge ball, kickball, ultimate Frisbee, swimming, and more. This year’s camps are being held in two locations – Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts and Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois. Check the website for dates, prices, and registration.
Canada/USA Mathcamp is an intensive five-week-long summer program for high-school students interested in mathematics. This year’s camp takes place at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA from July 5 to August 9, 2015. Interested students must complete an application and a qualifying quiz – both located on the website. The deadline for early decision has already passed, but the deadline for regular decision is April 15th.You can learn more about Canada/USA Mathcamp at www.mathcamp.org.
Marlboro College’s Pre-College Summer Programs offer students age 15 to 19 the opportunity to spend a week on campus, working closely with faculty members, getting to know each other, and discovering what life is like at this academically challenging, homeschool-friendly college. The weekly themes include topics such as Food and Farming in Vermont, Game Theory and Social Change, The Art of Persuasion, and DIY Chemistry, so participants are invited to apply for the session that sounds most interesting to them. The deadline to apply is June 5, but completed applications received between March 16 and May 1 will receive an automatic 5 percent discount on the program fee. For more information, visit marlboro.edu/admissions/teens/summer.