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Neuron Garage

Neuron Garage - Campers Playing Board Games

Neuron Garage Camp Expands to 12 Locations for Summer 2020!

Austin-based day camp, Neuron Garage, is quickly gaining a loyal following as the Hands-On Building Camp where kids build with recycled materials to solve fun, weekly engineering challenges such as building a roller-coaster for a marble or fortifying cardboard castles against invasion. Their popularity and a desire to be as convenient to as many Austin families as possible is driving the camp’s expansion from 5 to 12 locations for this upcoming summer.

The summer camp will now have locations in South Austin, South Central, Westlake, Downtown, Hyde Park / Mueller, North Shoal Creek, Tech Ridge and Cedar Park.

Neuron Garage was founded by Kaylie Reed, a Montessori teacher and joined by Sam Reed, a serial entrepreneur. The husband-and-wife team has created a safe, supportive environment for hands-on learning, enhanced with best-practices Kaylie gleaned from studying neuroscience and education at Dartmouth and over a decade in the classroom.

Neuron Garage has a unique program, convenience for parents, and a powerful social mission.

For the children the camp serves as a “screen detox” and an opportunity to play and build with their hands the way children naturally love to when not distracted by technology and the noise of modern, busy lives. The weekly creative, engineering challenges that the campers tackle are open-ended, with no set solutions. And the materials they use are simple and multi-purpose. This combination unlocks a level of engagement and resourcefulness that is both joyful and transformational. Through the building process, campers build creative thinking, collaboration, and resilience — and the foundation for a vibrant future.

For parents, Neuron Garage provides a summer solution where they can confidently leave their children each day to pursue their own goals. And it offers an unusually flexible cancellation policy, so that parents can adjust summer plans as needed. In addition to enriching the lives of children, and helping parents, the other social mission of Neuron Garage is to train current and future educators on how to “guide” vs. “teach” and give them practical experience and training in project-based learning. To accomplish this mission, Neuron Garage primarily hires either current educators or college students who are on the path to working with children.

Campers Hugging

Neuron Garage has been named best education program for the past three years by Austin Family Magazine and HappiFamli, as well as being a finalist this past year in the Austin Chronicle Reader Poll for best summer camp and best STEM enrichment program.

The weekly camps serve children ages 5-12 from 8am – 3pm with the option to extend the day until 6pm. Campers are divided into groups based on age and activities are tailored appropriately. Camp sessions begin in June and go through mid-August.

TO LEARN MORE OR ENROLL, VISIT NEURONGARAGE.COM

Sherwood Forest Summer Camp

Sherwood Forest Campers will experience many of the skills and trades of the Medieval era, which means making things with their own hands not drawing a picture on your screen with their fingers!
Disclaimer: Sherwood Forest Summer Camp is fraught with confrontations between Robin and his Merry Folk, the Sheriff and his deputies, and the Fae Folk. It is possible campers may be called on to help Robin defend Sherwood Keep.

Sherwood Forest Youth Camp

How many of us wonder if we could have been really great at some type of craft or skill, given an earlier start? Sherwood Forest Summer Camp attendees have the opportunity to try their hands at many crafts and skills that are no longer widely taught. Maybe your child is a natural with a bow? Or perhaps they are made for the stage, but never had a chance to be in a play before. It is amazing what a child can learn without the distractions of the modern.

Campers may choose to sleep in Sherwood Castle (yes, it’s a real castle) or in one of the Merry Folks’ Pavilions (with nightly bedtime stories). Sherwood Castle is an indoor, climate controlled environment with bunk beds. A temporary wall separates the 40 lords from the 30 ladies in residence. All Dragons (age 7-9) will be assigned to quarters in the Castle (with strict rules against fire breathing). The Pavilions are large, military-grade tents which stand over a raised wooden platform. They are insulated and climate controlled. Our more adventurous campers will enjoy this option because, although it is a bit more luxurious than traditional camping, campers still get to be closer to nature and enjoy the night air and the sound of crickets and denizens of the forest.
We offer a healthy, kid friendly menu with options to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Our catering is provided by Tastebuds food service who have gained a reputation for serving the best summer camp meals to national summer camps.

All of our hands-on activities take place in our 23-acre medieval village. Campers will be transported back in time to a world of knights, ladies, and a simpler way of life. Campers will learn skills essential to daily living in the medieval era. No modern entertainment devices will be available. Our new curriculum provides greater choice and variety for our campers. Now instead of being assigned to a set of courses each camper above age 8 will be able to choose all of their individual classes. Another change will be the number of classes. Previously campers were unable to complete more complex projects in classes. Campers will now have 6 hours of class time and will be able to create as much as they desire. In addition we add new classes every year to give even greater choice selections!

Sherwood Forest Grown Up Camp

Sherwood Forest Grown-Up Summer Camp offers adults age 21+ the opportunity to learn skills and crafts of the renaissance era. Each camper will receive three hours of instruction in five different courses during their camp adventure. The event spans three days, and in addition to the course instruction campers will enjoy three high-quality meals, some time for relaxation or cooling off in the pool each day, and of course revelry at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem at night!

Zach Theatre Camps

2020 spring and summer camps at ZACH Downtown and North Campuses

For over 30 years, ZACH has offered performing arts classes and camps for ages 3 through seniors in high school, teaching life skills through theater skills and training. Now, with both Downtown and North Campuses, classes and camps are accessible throughout the community.

From musical theater to stage combat to acting for the camera, each camp gives students the chance to express themselves creatively, build confidence, and develop collaborative skills, all while having fun as they learn!

Summer camps are available to children ranging from age 3.5 to a senior in high school. ZACH is happy to help find the perfect program for your student. All camps are held Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., unless noted. Early and extended care is available.

When school is out for spring break, ZACH is open! In addition to ongoing classes, popular camps are held during spring break. Students experience a unique theme exploring the world of theater through acting, song and dance, improvisation, theater games and more. All camps are from 9 a.m. – 4 pm. Early Care (dropping off at 8:30 a.m.) is available on the second through the last day of camp for an additional $5 per day. Extended care (picking up by 5:30 p.m.) is available on the first through the second-to-last day of camp for $5 per day. Spring break camps are for children in Kindergarten through fifth grade.

Camp topics include Broadway Kids: Mulan, Hogwarts: Triwizard Tournament, musical theatre camps, musical theatre workshop, acting workshop, and more!

For assistance, call 512-476-0594 x265, or email education@zachtheatre.org. To register and for more information, visit zachtheatre.org.

Thinkery

Thinkery Camps: Play With a Purpose

Children learn through play, and no one knows that better than Thinkery.

Thinkery spring break and summer camps provide a creative, safe and challenging environment for campers to learn and grow—and have a whole lot of fun while they’re doing it!

In each weeklong camp, Pre-K to 5th-grade campers engage in playful, hands-on learning activities that develop critical thinking skills in a collaborative environment. Camps focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM), with a variety of fun mental and physical challenges that activate campers’ creativity and stimulate their natural curiosity.

Campers explore questions of “how” and “why” through immersive, interactive learning experiences designed to keep them moving, thinking and creating.

This year, Thinkery hosts camps at five different locations around Austin, featuring seven different STEAM and technology-focused themes that will entertain and delight kids of all ages and interests.

Camp themes

Each of Thinkery’s weeklong camps is themed around a different STEAM or technology-based concept, with age-appropriate activities for each grade level. This year’s spring break and summer camps feature seven amazing camp themes perfect for builders, makers, and explorers.

STEAM themes

GeoExplorers: Get your hands dirty as we dig into planet Earth. Discover the power of nature, weather, erosion, decomposition and more. Investigate the ways you can help sustain Earth’s systems and conserve our resources for another 4.6 billion years!

Fantastic Fabrication: Join the maker movement! Hone your creative skills as we master fabrication techniques and processes old and new. Weave your way through the art and science of fabrication. We tinker, explore, experiment and find out what makes fabrication so fantastic — and so fun!

Radical Reactions: BAM! Test amazing reactions in this explosive camp! Discover why atoms “matter,” as we periodically change color, temperature and mass through chemistry.

Notion of Motion: Get to the heart of motion and learn more about what makes the world go ’round — from motorized machines like planes, trains and automobiles to the dynamic forces and laws of motion that keep planets spinning through space. We’ll go full STEAM ahead and get your summer moving!

Technology-focused themes

Designing Tomorrow: What do you want the future to look like? Join us as we explore how new technologies can help us design creative solutions for the problems that face our world. Brainstorm, prototype, and test out your ideas using 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and scratch programming.  Then display the projects you’ve created at the Thinkery World’s Fair!

Level Up: What goes into our favorite games? Strategy, skill, luck… and great design! From Mahjong to Minecraft, Monopoly to Mario, learn about popular games, analog and digital, then collaborate to make your own!

Robo-lympics: Go for the gold as you build robotic athletes and develop digital literacy. Team up and use robots to compete in themed challenges. Test your robot’s structural integrity and maneuverability with robot games like soccer and racing, build your own battle bot, and create a robo-lympian.

Help your child make the most of their summer by tinkering, creating and coding at Thinkery Camp! Summer camps are offered at five locations around Austin:

  • Thinkery, 1830 Simond Avenue, Austin, TX 78723
  • National Instruments, 11500 N. Mopac Expy, Austin, TX 78759
  • Harmony School of Innovation, 2124 E. St. Elmo Rd., Austin, TX 78744
  • Harmony School of Science, 11800 Stonehollow Dr., Austin, TX 78758
  • Silicon Labs, 400 W Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701

Camp themes and available dates vary by location; visit thinkerycamp.com for details and to see camp options convenient to where you live or work!

Stepping Stone

Children using magnifying glass in Geography

Have the adventure of a lifetime at Stepping Stone School

Stepping Stone School is authentically Austin and has provided excellence in early childhood care and education to 100,000 children over 40 years.

Stepping Stone School is proud to incorporate entrepreneurship and philanthropy into our summer camp program. Over the course of the summer, the children create and run a series of four businesses from the ground up. From the purchasing of supplies to the division of duties and pricing the products, the students control all aspects of their enterprises. They decide what types of items to sell and how much to sell them for, as well as creating advertising for their products. Finally, they sell their products at the front of the school every few weeks. All the proceeds from our businesses go to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin. To date, our young philanthropists have donated over $80,000 to this worthwhile cause. This year’s summer camp features biweekly themes exploring The Future.

STEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math — principles are integrated into our curriculum through Math and Literacy programming. The children participate in activities, experiments and investigations of these principles each week. They develop problem-solving skills through critical-thinking projects specific to each featured subject. From making instruments and painting self-portraits, to creating sound and visual effects, the children are hands-on participants in their learning. Children also experience art as a gateway to learning in each biweekly subject and STEAM concepts as a whole. Our program excites and energizes children about these subjects by showing them that discovery can not only be fun, but can shape the world. This is accomplished through classroom activities, experiments, and our exclusive Professional Speaker Series.™ Experts deliver insightful presentations to the students regarding the biweekly themes and put the concepts into real world context, demonstrating the importance of understanding their world and opening the doors to future professions.

How is our STEAM Curriculum Implemented?

  • Science: Documenting and predicting; observing the environment and phenomena; building hovercrafts; studying the effects of acid rain, exploring the solar system.
  • Technology: Writing in binary code; using the HATCH interactive SMART board; creating podcasts and green screen videos; discovering coding.
  • Engineering: Planning and designing a city; creating and landing planetary rovers; building undersea transports and solar cookers.
  • Arts: Designing with mixed media; drawing blueprints for a space station; reimagining transportation; writing short stories.
  • Mathematics: Mapping the oceans; calculating landing angles and velocities; cooking; counting money; graphing science experiments; predicting patterns; recycling conservation calculator.

Join us for the adventure of a lifetime at one of our 15 different summer camp locations! Learn more at SteppingStoneSchool.com.

SoccerZone

SoccerZone’s All-Star Sports Camp offers something for everyone

SoccerZone has been putting smiles on kids’ faces for 11 years now (in South Austin, Cedar Park, and Live Oak). They host the All-Star Sports Camp, frequently voted the #1 sports camp in Austin, as well as various soccer, basketball and football camps. The camps are mostly indoor on state-of-the-art turf fields. Some activities, like the water obstacle course, for instance, take place outside. The following is a review of the All-Star Sports Camp by “Austin Mom of Four:”

ALL-STAR SPORTS CAMP REVIEW

“When I evaluate a camp for my kids, I look for four things.

1. Is the location safe and clean?

At SoccerZone, the facilities are approximately 30,000 square feet, well-maintained and clean, from the bathrooms to the picnic tables and the fields themselves. There is one main entrance/exit and plenty of cameras to record everything that takes place in and around the facility. The kids are well-monitored with an additional staff member in charge of the entrance/exit. Staff are also CPR- and first-aid certified.

4 1/2 stars

2. Is the camp organized?

Each location has its own slightly different curriculum of games (sports and various activities) based on the fields/courts available. The outline is generally followed as the small groups of kids sometimes talk their coach into playing their favorite games and skipping ones they do not enjoy as much. Online registration could have been simpler, but I got through it without too much difficulty.

4 stars

3. Is the staff knowledgeable and friendly?

A coach or camp director welcomes every family at check-in. Despite the early hour and deluge of kids at the same time, it appeared that each child received a warm welcome and introduction from a coach. Billing issues were best addressed with the location GM or Camp Director, but otherwise, everyone on staff was quite knowledgeable about the camp and what the kids (and parents) could expect.

4 1/2 stars

4. Are the kids getting something positive out of the camp?

This is where the camp really shines. Whether the kids were learning new games, fine-tuning their dribbling skills or working on a craft project during breaks, the kids all seemed to enjoy the upbeat coaches and their fellow campers. The sometimes wide range of competitiveness among the kids was handled quite well by the coaches. They often encouraged kids with a smile and tried to make team games evenly balanced. By the end of each day, the kids were worn out but still excited about returning the next day.”

5 stars

OVERALL

Highly Recommended.

4 1/2 stars

Rock-About

Reach for new heights at Rock-About Climbing Adventure Camp

The Rock-About Climbing Adventure Camp is an adventurous kid’s dream. Each day, the camp visits natural climbing walls, including Enchanted Rock, Reimer’s Ranch and the Austin Barton Creek  Greenbelt, with a climb each morning, followed by lunch and a swim in a creek or pool.

Rock-About believes climbing young can help groom kids into great adults, and our Austin summer camps are a great way to get your kids outside in a safe way. Rock climbing builds positive interactions with others as well as teaches to work together as a team. Only kids 9 and up are allowed for this camp. In addition to several summer camps, we offer a Christmas break camp as well.

At Rock-About, safety is always at the forefront, and climbers learn how to communicate with one another and check the ropes before they start to climb. Rock-About’s climbing camps include five great days of climbing at area locations — two days at the Austin Greenbelt, two days at Reimer’s Ranch and one day at the great Enchanted Rock. The Enchanted Rock trip also includes going through the really neat cave, along with climbing. Everyone’s born a climber, so why wait?

The cost of the camp is $399 per person. Gear is included: helmets, climbing shoes, harnesses and ropes. For more information, please visit rock-about.com/kids-camps.

2020 CAMP SCHEDULE

Spring Break Camp:

  • March 16-23

Summer Camp:

  • Week 1: June 1-5
  • Week 2: June 8-12
  • Week 3: June 15-20
  • Week 4: June 22-26
  • Week 5: June 29 – July 3
  • Week 6: July 6-10
  • Week 7: July 13-17
  • Week 8: July 20-24
  • Week 9: July 27- 31
  • Week 10: August 3-7

Mad Science

Mad Science: Experiment with Summer

Parents are discovering that their elementary students and preschoolers can have fun, experiment, and learn all at the same time with Mad Science Summer Camps!  Mad Science camps spark imaginative learning with their interactive approach of using hands-on experiments and activities. These camps are fun, educational and located are all over the Austin area.

Mad Science summer camps allow children to uncover the secrets of spies, step into the shoes of an engineer, blast off rockets like an astronaut, rewire robots, and so much more. Mad Science offers 11 different summer camps to choose from and the variety of topics is appealing to children ages 4-12. There are locations all over town with half-day and full-day camps available. Camp dates, locations and descriptions can be viewed online at https://austin.madscience.org. See the full camp schedule or call 512-892-1143 for more details. Mad Science is putting the fun back into learning!

Features Of The Program Include:

  • Hands-on activities: Mad Science camps are full of hands-on activities and projects that children make and take home each day of the program.
  • Active games: Throughout the week campers play games that reinforce the science concepts that they have learned in a fun and active setting.
  • Full-Day and Half-Day available: Mad Science offers half-day camps in addition to full-day camps with an extended day option.
  • Locations all over town: Convenient locations throughout the city and the suburbs.

Mad Science of Austin & San Antonio is the only Mad Science four-time Franchise of the Year winner and is locally owned and operated.  Our mission is to spark the imagination and curiosity of children by providing them with fun, hands-on and educational activities that instill a clearer understanding of what science is really about and how it affects the world around them. Mad Science offers in-class workshops, after school enrichment programs, summer camps, school assemblies, special events, birthday parties, and more for children 4-12 years old.

In addition to Mad Science camps, this location also offers Imagine Arts Academy camps. With 14 different STEAM themes to choose from, there is a fun time awaiting everyone including the smallest scientist, the aspiring rocketeer, robot engineers and even the inspired artist.

Lonestar Soccer Club

Campers score an active lifestyle with Lonestar Soccer Club

Lonestar Soccer Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to be the best youth soccer club in the nation while developing good people.

Since our inception in 2004, we have provided opportunities to players from ages 4-19, to enjoy an active lifestyle and belong, while cultivating core values of sportsmanship, integrity, discipline, respect, leadership, and excellence on and off the field. We provide a full-service soccer experience to over 7,000 active players through our Recreational, Junior Academy, Select, and Elite programs with multiple locations around the city. Lonestar SC is the largest and most successful club in Central Texas, and develops youth players into the future players and people of tomorrow.

Lonestar Soccer Camps provide one of the best ways to keep your player active, healthy, and engaged in soccer throughout the year in a fun, individually focused curriculum that develops soccer skills, builds social skills, and creates lasting memories for all players. Our soccer camps take place throughout North/South/Central Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Williamson County and Hays County for indoor and outdoor camps. All players are welcome, regardless of skill level or current affiliation.

Visit lonestar-sc.com for details on camps, clinics, and programs for your player!

kidsActing

Campers take the stage at kidsActing

KidsActing, Austin’s favorite and longest-operating year-round school for young performers, has offered engaging summer camps since 1980 for children ages 4-18.

This year we’re going all out as we host award-winning one-week and multiple-week camps — all of which culminate in performances for friends and family. Most importantly, kidsActing ensures a summer filled with friends and fun.

KidsActing summer camps are designed to be fun while also teaching kids how to audition, memorize lines, block scenes, sing and learn music (if it’s a music camp), dance or perform stage combat, and create and become characters who captivate audiences. At the end of the week, campers perform a fantastic show for family and friends!

Camps are designed to create a trusting and connected team, encouraging kids to safely stretch outside their comfort zone, and experience creativity in a tactile way.

Multi-Week Camps: This year’s multi-week camps include the 3-week, Full-Scale Play Production comedy of Frankenstein in June, and the 4-week, Full-Scale Musical Production in July/August of Legally Blonde. There is also a Student Tech Theatre program for ages 13 and up. Campers rehearse as well as perform at Center Stage Theatre, a full-sized venue. Campers in a full-scale production experience a professionally produced show from first auditions to final bows. Trained directors, choreographers, and vocal teachers lead the multi-week production camps. Full-scale plays and musicals also have professionally designed costumes, make-up/hair, sets, props, lights, sound, and live accompaniment (for musicals).

Single-Week Camps: Our one-week camps are five full days of fun for various age groups from 4-16. We offer several popular camps, including:

  • Triple Threat Musicals. Campers ages 5-16 sing, dance, and act while playing fun theatre games. Kids perform in a mini-musical revue complete with costumes, lights, live music, and above all, fun. Each camp emphasizes a specific musical theme.
  • Adventures in Acting (Various age groups 6-14): Campers are invited to join an EPIC journey with no singing required! Campers interested in acting and stage combat become a character in an amazing adventure, and treat friends and family to a performance complete with costumes, lights, and props. There are great roles for everyone, and each camp emphasizes a specific theme.
  • Hamiltunes Show Choir (Various age groups 7-14): In our Hamiltunes show choir, our professional choreographer and vocal coach provide a great week of singing and training. Our summer show choir is all about Hamilton, including all your favorite songs from the hit Broadway musical. At the end of the week, kids perform a fabulous show for family and friends.
  • Creative Kids (Half-day for ages 4-8): These half-day Triple Threat camps are playful fun for our younger theatre kids. Each camp has a specific musical theme where the young ones work together to prepare a mini-musical revue, complete with costumes, lights, props, and live music. There are great roles for everyone, and each camp emphasizes a specific musical theme.

Award-winning kidsActing summer camps let children of all ages learn valuable skills and have fun. With more than 15 locations in and around Austin, it’s easy to find a camp nearby. Visit www.kidsActingStudio.com for details or call 512-836-5437.

Imagine Arts Academy

Imagine Arts Academy: Art with Purpose!

Imagine Arts Academy summer camps teach children art concepts like sculpting and painting, but also challenge them to use these techniques to solve real-world problems. Children are given the chance to explore art as a career path, and build their confidence as they create one-of-a-kind projects based on their own understanding of the different class themes. These camps are fun, educational and located are all over the Austin area.

Imagine Arts Academy summer camps allow children to design and create their own board games, plan the layout of a high-tech city, explore the wonder and beauty of the animal kingdom and earn their artist passport as they travel the world through art. Imagine Arts Academy offers three different summer camps to choose from and the variety of topics is appealing to children ages 5-12. There are locations all over town with half-day and full-day camps available.

Camp dates, locations and descriptions can be viewed online at https://register.imagineartsacademy.com/austin/. See the full camp schedule or call 512-892-1143 for more details. Imagine Arts Academy is putting critical thinking into learning art!

Features of the Program Include:

  • Hands-on activities: Imagine Arts Academy camps are full of hands-on activities and projects that children make and take home each day of the program.
  • Active games: Throughout the week campers play games that inspire creativity and focus on concepts that they have learned in a fun and active setting.
  • Full-Day and Half-Day available: Imagine Arts Academy offers half-day camps in addition to full-day camps with an extended day option.
  • Locations all over town: Convenient locations are located throughout the city and the suburbs.

Imagine Arts Academy of Austin & San Antonio is the sister company of Mad Science and both are locally owned and operated. We provide the creative spark and let children’s imaginations do the rest. We combine art with real-world problem-solving activities for a one-of-a-kind experience. The creative environment allows kids to use their ingenuity in new ways and fosters the development of important life skills. Imagine Arts Academy offers workshops, after school enrichment programs, summer camps, fun stations, birthday parties, and more for children 5-12 years old. With the combination of Mad Science camp offerings, there are 14 different STEAM themes to choose from.

For more information about Imagine Arts Academy, email info@madscienceaustin.com.

Game Worlds

Develop your passion at Game Worlds

Game Worlds is an award-winning summer camp that gives kids ages 8-18 the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of game development! Whether they’re independently experienced or brand new to STEM education, students have a blast as they turn their passion for playing games into a love of building them.

Working as a team, campers learn both the artistic and technical aspects of video game development, bond with friends, and build confidence as coders, storytellers, artists, and musicians! Once finished, each team has the opportunity to pitch their brand-new video game to a panel of judges for feedback and fabulous prizes! Because everything that goes into their game is actually built by them, students leave Game Worlds with both a game they feel proud of, and the skills needed to build their next one!

Our week-long summer sessions last from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and include lunch, lectures and lessons from professional devs, snacks, games, and more! Each Friday ends with game tournaments and a giant pizza party that lasts until 9 p.m.!

Where Creativity and Logic Go Together

Each week Game Worlds presents students with a new theme to explore and build around! From Classic Horror to Real Life Robots, kids design games and stories around a variety of interesting and educational topics. We prioritize tools and techniques that enable young developers to become self-sufficient, and make a point of teaching both the scientific and artistic aspects of building games. With special design challenges each week, students are consistently given the opportunity to solve complex technical problems unique to their creative vision!

Made by Game Developers

The Game Worlds curriculum was created by real game developers, which means students always receive the most relevant and practical knowledge! Our involvement with the local game development community enables us to connect students directly with professional developers eager to share their knowledge. Student presentations at the end of each week give kids the chance to receive feedback directly from the minds behind their favorite games. From lessons and workshops to private studio tours, the relationship between veteran game developers and aspiring students is at the heart of the Game Worlds experience.

Work Hard, Play Hard

We hold our students to an incredibly high standard and expect to see their best work on display while at camp. Their personal investment in projects makes for ambitious goals, and the determination shown by young developers is truly awesome. Not surprisingly, the best way for us to say ‘thank you’ to our students for their hard work is with games! After lunch and at the end of the day, campers and teachers alike break out the controllers and share in the joy of playing games! Whether it’s bonding over Undertale or facing off in Super Smash Bros., the fun of playing games is just as important as the act of building them.

Cordovan Art School

Have a party in your right brain this summer!

Cordovan Art School is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with the BEST creative camps in the greater Austin area! This year’s theme says it all: “Party in Your Right Brain!” Blockbuster camps include Talk with the Animals (sold out 10 years straight), Anime Unleashed, The Art of Hogwarts, Yay Clay, Pokémon, Take an ART-Selfie, and more! A variety of mediums will be used, including watercolors, acrylics, colored pencils, graphite, oil pastels, and pen and ink.

Cordovan Art School was founded in 2009 by award-winning artist John Howell, and has grown to include four local studios. John has been active in serving the local art community. He brought the Chalk Walk, a street painting festival, to Dell Diamond. Last year, more than 40,000 visitors attended!

During the summer, Cordovan Art School offers camps for creative kids and teenagers of all skill levels, ages 5-16. In the evenings, the Cordovan Art studios are filled with art classes for older teens and adults, including many first-time artists who wish to rekindle their love for learning and creativity. Teachers are professional artists who are passionate about art, care about their students and work together to make the community a better place.

There are four locations and over 35 camps to choose from for your summer fun! Last year, over 1,500 kids and teens joined Cordovan summer programs. This year YOU can CREATE a masterpiece of your own!

For more information and to register, visit www.CordovanArtSchool.com

Chaparral Ice

Chill out at Chaparral Ice camps

The coolest camps in town are at Chaparral Ice! Beat the Texas heat and learn to ice skate at our award-winning spring break and summer camps, voted best sports camps in Austin by Camp Sloop subscribers.

Chaparral Ice offers two full-day camps, both offered during spring break and for 11 individual weeks during the summer, plus a half-day camp during the summer. All camps offer a range of activities including supervised ice skating, team building, games and, of course, fun!

At Camp de Champs spring break and summer camps (ages 5-13), your child spends the day learning how to ice skate with two classes taught by certified Learn to Skate USA coaches, plus up to four hours of supervised free skating each day. Camp de Champs off-ice activities help your camper achieve their skating goals and feature training techniques, warm-ups and conditioning exercises approved by U.S. Figure Skating and USA Hockey. Activities throughout the week include team building, games, and arts and crafts. Camp de Champs is based on skating, but campers also come just for a full day of fun. Spaces are limited and typically sell out early.

At Camp Avalanche spring break and summer camps (ages 6-13), adventure is the name of the game! Your child not only skates, but discovers the most outrageous quests Austin has to offer. Each week, campers board the Chaparral bus for field trips to destinations including Typhoon Texas, Zipline Adventures at Candlelight Ranch, Quest Wakeboard and Water Adventure Park, Dart ’Em Up, and more. Campers visit nearby parks for swimming, outdoor activities, games and exploring nature. Campers also enjoy several hours of supervised ice skating each day, with options to take the Camp de Champs classes for an additional fee.

Camp SubZero is the perfect half-day camp for kids ages 4-6 looking for a cool way to spend summer mornings. Camp includes one 30-min. skating class, free skating and practice time, plus off-ice activities.

Plus, check our website for announcements of the grand opening of our new Cedar Park location where we offer multi-sport summer camps, including indoor and outdoor athletic options on the ice, floor, and field!

This is the perfect time for your child to ice skate, learn the basics, improve figure skating and hockey skills, and take flight on amazing adventures. Enroll online now at chaparralice.com. Spaces are limited and typically sell out early.

Camp de Champs, Camp Avalanche, and Camp Subzero will all meet at Chaparral Ice Northcross, 2525 W. Anderson Ln., Austin, 78757. Cedar Park multi-sport camps meet at Chaparral at The Crossover, 1717 Scottsdale Dr., Cedar Park, 78641. Visit chaparralice.com for more information.

Camp de Champs and Camp Avalanche Spring Break Full-Day Camps: March 16-20: $315

Camp de Champs and Camp Avalanche Summer Camps

  • Full-Day Camps – 11 individual weeks
    June 1-Aug. 14 – $315 per week
    Camp hours: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Camp SubZero Summer Camps

  • Half-Day Camps – 11 individual weeks
    June 1-Aug. 14 – $150 per week (daily option, $30 per day)
    Camp hours: 9 a.m. to noon

Camp Olympia

Experience the benefits of summer camp at Camp Olympia!

The decision to send a child to summer camp can be a big step for parents, but camp can be a life-changing experience for children with character-building benefits that make an impact far beyond that first summer. Camp promotes independence, resilience, friendship-building, and confidence. The positive change in your child when they return from camp will amaze and excite you!

Since Camp Olympia’s first summer in 1968, a lot has changed and grown, like the property, activities, and number of campers, but one thing that has not changed is how a summer at Camp Olympia impacts kids’ lives for the better. “Camp” is its own world with its own traditions, lingo, silly songs, and even mascots, which quickly feels like home for campers. Camp Olympia has created a purposeful environment that is a “Positive Zone” where kids feel free to be themselves and are encouraged to grow in body, mind, and spirit.

While being away from children during their camp session can be tough for parents, campers grow so much from the experience. Campers get to make their own decisions (with guidance from their counselors, of course), whether it’s what to wear or how to show good sportsmanship. This newfound independence builds self-confidence and resiliency.

At Camp Olympia, wins and successes are celebrated, but failures are seen as opportunities to learn and grow. This kind of attitude encourages campers to try something new or take on something they may not have known they could do themselves, like working toward a “10” on cabin inspection after a lower score or learning to get up on water skis after many attempts.

In addition to building independence, camp is also about connecting and building friendships. With increasing dependence on technology, in-person connections are crucial for building social skills. At Camp Olympia, campers make real connections with each other and with staff and counselors and experience life unplugged! As a result, campers relate to one another on a deeper, more meaningful level. Camp friends are the best friends!

Camp Olympia has always believed in the importance of recognition to build confidence. Awards at camp are given a wide variety of ways, including earning merits for good deeds, achieving certificates in activities, or winning ribbons in Spartan/Athenian competitions, but recognition goes beyond awards. Counselors strive to find what is unique about each camper and celebrate it, so all campers feel welcome and fully comfortable. There is no pressure to “be cool” or follow a pack. Camp Olympia is where you can be you!

This summer’s theme is “Out of Sight!” After 50 years of summer camp experience, this summer promises to be the best one yet! At Camp Olympia, we have fun, try new things, make new friends, encourage one another, be present without electronics, dance like no one’s watching, learn responsibility, cheer loudly, and more. It’s sure to be an experience like no other, and it’s “Out of Sight!” Register today for a 2020 Summer term!

Camp Champions

What makes Camp Champions stand out as a top overnight camp in Texas?

Camp Champions has created a tradition of excellence since 1967. The program offers over 50 activities and non-stop fun for campers aged 5-17 during one-, two-, and three-week sessions.

In addition to exciting activities and an outstanding facility, there are several factors that differentiate Camp Champions from other camps in Texas:

1. Camp Champions builds strong kids.

When we talk about “building strong kids,” we’re talking about campers who have grown the skills to excel in school, build strong friendships, become good decision-makers, and ultimately succeed in college and beyond.

In addition to all of the fun we have at camp, our camp program meets each child where he or she is and finds ways to challenge them in an age-appropriate manner. In doing so, we make sure that each camper goes home stronger and more prepared to succeed socially and academically.

Camp Champions is one of just four camps in the country with the distinction of being an Exemplar Program as designated by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning.

2. Camp Champions has the best counselors.

There are two things that we do differently to ensure that we have the best counselor staff anywhere in the country.

First, all Camp Champions counselors commit to abstaining from alcohol during their summer employment, including on off time. Our counselors are always ready to do their jobs at the highest level, and this policy also serves as a filter to make sure that our staff want to be here for the right reasons.

Second, our counselors undergo a full two-week orientation training to cover everything from rules and regulations to activity facilitation, cabin dynamics, and positive communication skills.

From getting the most committed staff members to putting on the most comprehensive training, we are confident that Camp Champions has the best counselors of any camp in the country.

3. Camp Champions partners with parents.

All camps communicate with parents on how to be prepared for the camp session, but Camp Champions goes above and beyond to partner with parents to create a successful summer.

Two examples are the Parent Questionnaire and the Camper Report. Parents fill out a thorough questionnaire before camp starts, and our counselors take the time to read each camper’s questionnaire and make notes before the session starts. We want our staff to be fully prepared to understand and meet parents’ goals for their campers.

At the end of the session, counselors write a “Camper Report” for each camper to summarize the camper’s goals, favorite activities, and friends that they made. Parents love understanding what happened at camp and many parents use it as a resource to ask their children about all of the things they got to do at camp.

The Bottom Line

Camp Champions defines excellence as building strong kids, creating the best possible staff, and communicating with parents in a way that makes them feel like partners. Learn more at www.campchampions.com!

Boys & Girls Clubs

2020 Great Futures Summer Camp at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area

Designed to keep youth learning, active and engaged during summer break, each session during Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area (BGCAA) Great Futures Summer Camp is carefully planned and directed by highly qualified professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).

Each week, campers have the chance to explore different core areas through competitive sports, coding workshops, and fine arts — with special themes such as STEAM Week, Toy Shop, Party in the USA and more. Sessions serve youth ages 5-18 as well as pre-K (age 4).

BGCAA is proud to offer more than the average after-school for our members year-round. Our mission is to inspire and enable all young people to reach their potential as productive, responsible and skilled citizens in today’s soaring technology driven world. Our summer camp programming ensures that members are introduced to technology-rich learning through the school break, while keeping it fun!

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area is Austin’s leading out-of-school time youth development agency, currently serving 9,500 registered club members ages 6-18 at 35 locations in Travis and Bastrop counties. BGCAA’s formula for impact centers focuses on quality programming and services in academic success, character and leadership, and healthy living. Club youth participate in high-impact development programs that, when compared to non-club youth, result in better school attendance, better grades, higher graduation rates and a better likelihood of attending college. Through support from local individuals, businesses and BGCAA staff, club youth are given the tools and opportunities to create great futures.

To register for camp or for more information, visit www.bgcaustin.org.

Boy Scouts of America

Think Beyond Summer

Summer camp is a great time for kids to have fun, but is “fun” enough? The programs of the Boy Scouts of America offer opportunities for children to learn leadership skills, discover possible vocational and avocational interests, and more all while having fun, year-round.

Girls and boys in elementary school will make friends and enjoy many different activities in Cub Scouting. Have fun designing, building, and racing a Pinewood Derby car or taking part in an outdoor hike or bike outing where the whole family is welcome. You’ll spend quality time with your child in a structured program that asks kids to do their best.

Think of how valuable it would be if your son or daughter was given the responsibility to plan an event or service project, lead their peers during that activity, and then look back afterwards to determine how he or she could correct any mistakes for the next time? Scouting offers this kind on hands-on leadership experience through its Scouts BSA program, in an environment where it’s “safe to fail” with no grades given, just lessons learned. This is exactly the kind of experience employers and college admissions counselors want to see but isn’t offered in any other extracurricular program or school assignment.

Of course, kids need to have fun, too. Scouts BSA offers as wide a variety of outdoor fun and adventure as you’ll find, whether it’s summer camp, winter camp, a High Adventure backpacking, canoeing, or sailing trip and more. And this isn’t Little League or other youth sports where parents must sit on the sideline; mom, dad, and other special adults in their kids’ lives are encouraged join in the fun with other volunteer adult leaders who are trained in the Boy Scouts of America’s best-in-class safety standards.

We understand that camping and merit badges aren’t every child’s “thing.” That’s why Scouting has expanded its program to include STEM Scouts, which allows elementary and middle school-aged boys and girls to simply have fun discovering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a fun, hands-on way outside of an academic setting. Young men and women 14 and older may choose from three exciting programs: Venturing, Sea Scouting, and Exploring. The Venturing program offers mountain-biking, climbing, and other fun outdoor activities. Sea Scouting takes the fun to the water to learn sailing, SCUBA, or kayaking. Exploring programs partner with businesses, governmental agencies, and other organizations in different career fields to give young people first-hand experience that’s better than any internship.

No matter your child’s age or where you live, it’s easy to find a Boy Scouts of America program near you. Simply visit www.BeAScout.org, pick the program in which you’re interested, then enter your address to find a list of Scouting units as near or far from your home as you want. If you still have questions, contact the Capitol Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, at info@bscac.org and let us help you get started.

The Value of Letter Writing

Melissa Erickson
This article appears in Summer Camp Guide 2020

No matter how traditional or 21st century, all summer camps have one thing in common: letter writing. Letters from camp or letters from home can be a powerful form of communication and become treasured keepsakes.

Even though putting pen to paper may seem an antiquated effort that both kids and adults find challenging, the act of composing and sending a message helps kids learn real life lessons, said Dr. Christopher Thurber, a clinical psychologist, educator and author of “The Summer Camp Handbook.”

“Letter writing is asynchronous, meaning the communication is not happening in real time,” Thurber said. “It’s not a phone call or a text message. It forces you to wait. It helps kids develop patience, but it’s also an opportunity for younger people to bolster their coping skills.”

A child may feel homesick or unhappy while at camp, but that distress has a silver lining, Thurber said: “It’s a reflection of the closeness we feel.” When a person feels distressed they are motivated to change something, but if a letter writer is waiting for a reply they are motivated to cope with the situation.

“If you’re allowed to call home, that instant gratification eliminates distress from the equation but a child is also not allowed to learn how to cope with a situation,” Thurber said.

While waiting for a parent’s reply campers have the experience of turning to others, such as a camp counselor or cabinmate for support, which is a positive coping skill.

Another benefit of letter writing is that it allows people to gain an understanding of what they’re feeling.

“There’s no delete key. Even little kids are more thoughtful writing a handwritten letter,” Thurber said. “When we reflect we understand. When we understand we cope better. When we cope better we do better.”

Letter writing is a skill, and parents may wonder how they will get a letter from a child more used to texting than talking.

To start, put together a basic stationary kit using a zip-top plastic bag. Include plenty of paper, pens or pencils, and stamped and addressed envelopes, Thurber said. Use the peel-and-stick kind because kids may dislike the taste of envelope glue.

“Before camp give them some practice. You can start with an index card. Over breakfast, write a note they can respond to. It can be short, one line. Then, have them flip the card over and write a note back,” Thurber said.

For the most part it doesn’t really matter what’s in the letter, but it’s the act of keeping in touch.

“Be encouraging. Tell them it’s going to be a fun way to communicate,” Thurber said.

Ask the camp how long it typically takes mail to be sorted and delivered so a child knows what to expect, Thurber said. Explain how letters cross in the mail.

Ask kids to share the news of camp and what they’re doing.

“The point is to keep each other posted about what’s going on. The best letters are newsy updates,” Thurber said.

Avoid guilt trips or sad stories, such writing that the dog misses the camper.

“Don’t give kids a reason to miss you more,” Thurber said.

Include items your child will enjoy, such as clippings or printouts from the newspaper or magazines.

If sending a care package, avoid food (which many camps won’t accept) and send a book that can be donated to the camp’s library, a board game or something cabinmates can do together.

If a camp offers an email service, skip it.

“Letter writing is a true away-from-home experience. Email is not as good as a handwritten letter where you can see their penmanship. Summer camp nurtures a child’s independence, but that doesn’t mean you’re severing the connection from home,” Thurber said.

Set Your Child Up for Success

Melissa Erickson
This article appears in Summer Camp Guide 2020

Whether your child is filled with excitement or feeling a bit anxious, summer camp can be an amazing, life-changing experience, especially with tips from camp experts.

While families tend to focus on which activities are available, the setting or amenities, the most important consideration should be whether the camp is a good match for a child.

“Ultimately what makes a great camp experience is the fit between the camper and the camp,” said Jake Schwartzwald, director of Everything Summer, a nationwide service that helps parents find camps for their children.

Find a good fit

“My biggest tip for having an amazing summer camp experience happens months before camp begins: It is picking the right camp,” said Rabba Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez, Jewish camp initiative manager at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. “There are so many options out there and not every camp is right for every kid, even in the same family.”

“In the right environment (specific activities) don’t matter. A child will make friends, have fun and build a general feeling of confidence,” Schwartzwald said.

Take a step back

“Summer camp is filled with growth experiences, but those can often be challenging for children,” Schwartzwald said. If a child is not picked for a role in the play he may feel rejection. If another camper sits on a child’s bed without permission it may cause a fight.

While parents often feel the urge to jump in and solve children’s problems, they should have faith that camp staff can handle tricky situations, Schwartzwald said.

“It can be hard for parents when they get a letter home describing a less-than-perfect experience, but have faith the camp can help. Allow the child to navigate these situations on their own,” he said.

Making new friends

Friendships formed at summer camp are different than other childhood friendships.

“Becoming friends while living together is unique; it’s not a playdate or even a sleepover,” Schwartzwald said. During these hours of togetherness children are able to form a sense of community that is life changing, he said.

A new you

“Camp is also a place where kids can reinvent themselves,” Schwartzwald said.

At home friendships often happen because kids are pushed together in school, religious groups or family circles.

“Camp is different because you’re meeting people for the first time and making friendships happen,” he said.

It’s also a chance for a child to try on a new persona. For example, someone known as an athlete can take center stage during talent night without other kids questioning why they’re doing something different, Schwartzwald said.

Be transparent

For parents of kids who are shy, anxious or have special needs, Schwartzwald said, it’s crucial to communicate these personality traits to camp staff.

“Parents can be reluctant to share, but camps want this information in order to put the right support in place,” he said. For example, it can be as simple as situating a nervous camper on a bunk closer to the cabin counselor.

“Overnight camp is an adjustment for any child, even the most precocious,” Schwartzwald said. To prepare kids for a great experience, talk about it beforehand and meet or Skype with a counselor in advance so they know a friendly face when they arrive, he said.

Stick with it

“No matter how homesick you are the first few days, don’t ask your parents to come get you,” Scholten-Gutierrez said. “Homesickness is completely natural and even expected, and it will get better as you settle in and the counselors and staff become your second family.”

Expert Advice on What to Bring

Melissa Erickson
This article appears in Summer Camp Guide 2020

Most camps offer packing lists and guidance on what to bring and what not to bring, but the main summer camp essentials are a kind, open mind and a willingness to make new friends and try new things.

“When kids go in ready to try new things they’re not stuck in their comfort zone, and that’s how they make new friends and connect with others,” said Louis Lasko, assistant camp director at Camp Laurelwood in Madison, Connecticut.

Bring extra

In addition to being welcoming and receptive to new things, campers should pack extra towels or at least the suggested amount.

“If the camp recommends bringing six towels, don’t pack two and think you’ll be fine,” Lasko said. With all the swimming, sailing and showering plus rain, “you can never have enough,” Lasko said.

For an upgrade campers can buy a quick-dry towel made of microfiber that is super absorbent yet dries faster than cotton.

It’s also good advice to pack extra socks and underwear because campers often change clothes between activities, especially if that includes lake hikes and messy craft times.

Hydration is vital

“Reusable water bottles are environmentally friendly, often durable and portable. It is quite possible that your child’s cabin will go on a hike or keep on the move throughout the day,” said Kyle Winkel, spokesperson for the American Camp Association. “If there are not an abundance of water fountains at the camp, it is important that your camper is able to stock up to continue hydrating throughout the day.”

Get comfortable

Younger kids may bring along a cherished stuffed animal to snuggle with while older ones may like to spend down time listening to music, Lasko said.

“Relatively cheap MP3 players not connected to a phone or internet do exist,” Lasko said.

Photos of family, friends and pets can make a cabin feel more like home and are great conversation starters for new friends, Lasko said.

During quiet cabin times, board and card games give kids a chance to interact, Lasko said. Go with classics like Go Fish and Mad Libs, or try something newer such as Exploding Kittens or Code Names.

“Books are always popular with both boys and girls,” Lasko said.

Don’t forget

Since most campers will be walking outside to the bath house a decent pair of flip-flops is a must, Lasko said. A handy basket to tote along soap, shampoo and toothpaste is also a good idea.

A flashlight and extra batteries, a stationary kit, a battery-operated clip fan, musical instrument or cheap, disposable cameras are also great additions to pack in your duffel bag.

Leave at home

Phones, tablets and anything else that connects to the internet should be left at home, Lasko said.

“We want to make sure that kids are fully present. If kids have these devices it’s too easy for them to sit and play on them all day long,” he said.

Don’t pack outside food.

“Every year we have to remind families. We’re not trying to be mean. It’s about safety both for kids with allergies and keeping wildlife out of cabins,” Lasko said.

Don’t send expensive, irreplaceable things like jewelry. No matter how careful campers are, things get lost, Lasko said. Label everything.

Safety Questions to Ask

Melissa Erickson
This article appears in Summer Camp Guide 2020

Keeping kids safe at summer camp involves everything from first aid kits and sunscreen to camper-to-staff ratios and packing medications.

One of parents’ first considerations should be to find out whether a camp is accredited with the American Camp Association, said Dr. Michael Ambrose, founder and CEO of CampDoc, an electronic health record system for camps.

“The American Camp Association sets the standard,” Ambrose said. To earn accreditation camps must undergo a thorough review of operations that include staff qualifications, training and emergency management. The American Camp Association collaborates with experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Red Cross and other youth-serving agencies to ensure that current camp practices reflect the most up-to-date, research-based standards.

Medical issues, such as if there is camp a nurse on staff and how medication is delivered, are big concerns, but parents also look at overnight summer camp as an investment in their child’s emotional, spiritual and intellectual growth, said Alyson Gondek, director of Camp Woodmont in Northwest Georgia.

“Prevention of accidents and injuries is important at camp, but most parents are concerned about their child’s emotional safety,” she said. “They want to be sure their child fits in, is included and adjusts well to the camp environment.”

Ask the right questions

“Selecting the right program for your child is a matter of knowing your options and asking the right questions. While the internet offers a lot of search options for camp, it’s important for parents to pick up the phone and speak with the owners or directors,” Gondek said.

A conversation can reveal a greater understanding of the experience and background of the camp staff, management, camp’s philosophy and programs, she said.

Medicine management

Medicine management is serious business at summer camp.

“Medications should be brought in their original bottle from the pharmacy and checked-in with the camp nurse or director. Medicine should not be packed and kept in the cabins with the campers, regardless if it’s over-the-counter or prescription,” Gondek said.

Everything from gummy vitamins to herbal supplements to over-the-counter allergy medicines must be documented and communicated to the camp health care team, Ambrose said.

Each camp has its own guidelines and state regulations about what it can and cannot administer while a child is in its care. If possible, medications should be sent to camp before the camper arrives so that health care providers have adequate time to review and sort medications and address any concerns.

The right ratio

The camper-to-staff ratio is important not only so kids get the attention they deserve but also so that they stay safe, Ambrose said. The ideal camper-to-staff ratio recommended by the American Camping Association is:

  • 5 and younger: 1 staffer for each 5 overnight campers; 1 staffer for each 6 day campers.
  • Ages 6 to 8: 1 to 6 for overnight and 1 to 8 for day.
  • Ages 9 to 14: 1 to 8 for overnight and 1 to 10 for day.
  • Ages 15 to 18: 1 to 10 for overnight and 1 to 12 for day.

Allergies at Camp: How Parents and Campers Can Both be Prepared

Melissa Erickson
This article appears in Summer Camp Guide 2020

From food allergies to insect stings, allergic reactions can spoil a summer camp experience. Parents may be concerned, but finding the right camp for a child with allergies allows the camper to enjoy the experience while trained staff make sure the right protections are in place.

Most camps are well prepared to manage both food and environmental allergies at camp, said Tracey Gaslin, executive director of the Association of Camp Nursing.

“Camps generally have protocols in place for the identification and treatment of allergies often with epinephrine and diphenhydramine,” Gaslin said.

Do your homework

“A camp’s preparedness for food allergies depends on the staff’s diligence and policies that have been put into place to protect campers who do have food allergies,” said Lisa Gable, CEO of the nonprofit Food Allergy Research & Education. “We recommend that parents and guardians make direct contact with the camp’s administration well before camp begins, sharing details of a child’s allergy and ensuring there is documented and comprehensive awareness around any and all allergies.”

All staff who will be responsible for a child and anyone who may offer food or plan events needs to be aware of a child’s allergy, Gable said. This can include lifeguards, transportation drivers, cafeteria workers, camp nurses and counselors.

Kids can help

The best plan is to educate a child about his or her condition.

“This does not happen at one point in time but is a continuous developmental effort to encourage the young individual to recognize symptoms and know how to respond in the event of an allergic response,” Gaslin said.

In addition to providing a camp with a child’s complete medical record, children with allergies should have an emergency action plan, which is developed with the child’s primary care doctor, allergist and parents.

“For camps, an action plan is typically an agreed upon plan for managing symptoms of allergy,” Gaslin said. “In having a mutually discussed plan, the parents feel confident that they have been heard, and the camp can share what their capabilities are for response to events.”

Visit foodallergy.org to download FARE’s Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan, as well as a list of camps that are either designed specifically for children with food allergies or that welcome campers with food allergies.

Teenage tourists stand in fresh air in a park with trees and tent for camping picnic

Two kinds of reactions

Common allergic reactions present mostly in two ways: a more localized response and anaphylaxis, Gaslin said. Localized reactions include itching, swelling at the site and redness. Serious and possibly life-threatening, anaphylaxis has a generalized response including skin rashes or hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of face, lips, throat and eyes; vomiting or diarrhea; dizziness or fainting.

“If anaphylaxis occurs, immediate response is required, and it is helpful for camp staff to know if a child has had a previous anaphylaxis experience,” Gaslin said.

Campers should be instructed in the use of personal emergency medications or medical devices, such as inhalers or epinephrine autoinjectors, before arrival at camp.

Follow these guidelines

“Every three minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room in the United States,” Gable said. Symptoms may start out mild, but they can worsen quickly.

  • Never trade food with other campers.
  • Do eat anything with unknown ingredients.
  • Read every food label and double-check with a counselor (if age appropriate).
  • Be proactive and seek help for all allergic reactions, even suspected ones.
  • Tell an adult if feeling a reaction starting, even if there are no visible signs.
  • Do not go off alone if experiencing allergic symptoms.
  • Know where the emergency care kit is located or which camp counselors have access to it.

Stepping Stone Schools

Stepping Stone Schools

Have the adventure of a lifetime at Stepping Stone School!

Stepping Stone School is authentically Austin and has provided excellence in early childhood care and education to 100,000 children over 40 years. Stepping Stone School is proud to incorporate entrepreneurship and philanthropy into our summer camp program. Over the course of the summer, the children will create and run a series of four businesses from the ground up. From the purchasing of supplies to the division of duties and pricing the products, the students will control all aspects of their enterprises. They will decide what types of items to sell and how much to sell them for, as well as creating advertising for their products. Finally, they will sell their products at the front of the school every few weeks. All the proceeds from our businesses go to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin. To date, our young philanthropists have donated over $55,000 to this worthwhile cause. This year’s summer camp will feature biweekly themes exploring Ancient Civilizations.

Stepping Stone Schools

S.T.E.A.M. principles are integrated into our curriculum through Math and Literacy programming. The children will participate in activities, experiments and investigations of these principles each week. They will develop problem-solving skills through critical-thinking projects specific to each featured subject, playing chess and much more! From making instruments and painting self-portraits, to creating sound and visual effects, the children will be hands-on participants in their learning. Children will also experience art as a gateway to learning in each bi-weekly subject and S.T.E.A.M. concepts as a whole. Our program will excite and energize children about these subjects by showing them that discovery can not only be fun, but can shape the world. This will be accomplished through classroom activities, experiments, and our exclusive Professional Speaker Series.™ Experts will deliver insightful presentations to the students regarding the bi-weekly themes and put the concepts into real world context, demonstrating the importance of understanding their world and opening the doors to future professions.

Stepping Stone Schools

How is our S.T.E.A.M. Curriculum Implemented?

Science: Documenting and predicting; observing the environment and phenomena; building a water filter; charting magnet races; exploring the solar system.

Technology: Multimedia projects/filming interviews; using the HATCH interactive SMART board; recording a story on a computer; building solar ovens, turbines and anemometers.

Engineering: Planning and building a tower; designing a picture using precut shapes; building paper boats and planes, creating a marble maze.

The Arts: Designing with mixed media; drawing blueprints for a castle; painting modern art with shapes and textures; creating a new alphabet.

Mathematics: Creating origami; measuring long jumps; cooking; counting money; graphing science experiments; predicting patterns; making tallies to count blueberries.

Come join us for the adventure of a lifetime at one of our 15 different summer camp locations! Learn more at steppingstoneschool.com.

 

St. Andrews Episcopal School

St. Andrews Episcopal School

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School will be hosting summer fun for children and young adults who want to keep their bodies and brains active throughout the summer. Half-day and full-day camps are available for all students aged 4-18 in the greater Central Austin area and beyond. Camps are offered at two different locations: the St. Andrew’s elementary and middle school campus located at 1112 West 31st Street, and the high school campus located at 5901 Southwest Parkway.

St. Andrews Episcopal School

Each year our summer program offers a robust selection of courses.

A few of them include:

Boys & Girls Lacrosse Camp: This camp is open to both beginners and experienced players, allowing players of all ages and skill levels to develop and learn in a competitive and fun environment. Drills and game-like situations will be among the many facets of this camp.

Summer Musical Theatre Camp: During this popular camp, elementary and high school students will each spend a week developing and improving their vocal, acting and dancing abilities in a fun environment. Each week of camp culminates in a full musical production performed in front of family and friends at the state-of- the-art Dell Fine Arts Center at the St. Andrew’s high school campus.

Pre-Kindergarten Camps & Activities: Looking for camp and activities for your pre-kindergarten child? We’ve got you covered! Each week we have specialized classes to keep your young ones entertained and amazed.

To see more camp offerings and details, visit www.sasaustin.org/summer or contact Ken Allen at  summercamp@sasaustin.org or 512-299-9708.

St. Andrews Episcopal School

St. Andrews Episcopal School

St. Andrews Episcopal School

 

 

Sherwood Forest Faire

Sherwood Forest Faire

Sherwood Forest Summer Camp

Youth Camp

How many of us wonder if we could have been really great at some type of craft or skill, given an earlier start? Sherwood Forest Summer Camp attendees have the opportunity to try their hands at many crafts and skills that are no longer widely taught. Maybe your child is a natural with a bow? Or perhaps they are made for the stage, but never had a chance to be in a play before. It is amazing what a child can learn without the distractions of the modern.

Sherwood Forest Faire

Campers may choose to sleep in Sherwood Castle (yes, it’s a real castle) or in one of the Merry Folks’ Pavilions (with nightly bedtime stories). Sherwood Castle is an indoor, climate controlled environment with bunk beds. A temporary wall separates the 40 lords from the 30 ladies in residence. All Dragons (age 7-9) will be assigned to quarters in the Castle (with strict rules against fire breathing). The Pavilions are large, military-grade tents which stand over a raised wooden platform. They are insulated and climate controlled. Our more adventurous campers will enjoy this option because, although it is a bit more luxurious than traditional camping, campers still get to be closer to nature and enjoy the night air and the sound of crickets and denizens of the forest.

We offer a healthy, kid friendly menu with options to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.  Our catering is performed by BrouHaHa, who has a solid history serving patrons at Sherwood Forest Faire since its inception. 

Sherwood Forest Faire

All of our hands-on activities take place in our 23-acre medieval village. Campers will be transported back in time to a world of knights, ladies, and a simpler way of life. Campers will learn skills essential to daily living in the medieval era. No modern entertainment devices will be available. Our new curriculum provides greater choice and variety for our campers. Now instead of being assigned to a set of courses each camper above age 9 will be able to choose all of their individual classes. Another change will be the number of classes. Previously campers were unable to complete more complex projects in classes. Campers will now have 5 hours of class time and will be able to create as much as they desire. In addition we add new classes every year to give even greater choice selections!

Family Camp

New this year! Sherwood Forest Family Summer Camp is a chance for your family to spend some quality time together, in the midst of the beautiful Nottingham Village. You’ll be exposed to numerous skills and trades of the Medieval era, which means you will be making things with your hands – and that doesn’t mean drawing a picture on your screen with your finger!

Disclaimer: Sherwood Forest is fraught with confrontations between Robin and his Merry Folk, the Sheriff and his deputies, The Black Hand and the Fae Folk. Don’t be surprised if families at some point are asked to defend the castle against an invasion… or perhaps they will be asked to attack, if an enemy force has taken sanctuary within. Anything could happen!

Grown-Up Camp

Sherwood Forest Grown-Up Summer Camp offers adults age 21+ the opportunity to learn skills and crafts of the renaissance era. Each camper will receive three hours of instruction in five different courses during their camp adventure. The event spans three days, and in addition to the course instruction campers will enjoy three high-quality meals, some time for relaxation or cooling off in the pool each day, and of course revelry at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem at night!

School of Rock

School of Rock

Summer sessions for the aspiring rocker in your family!

The School of Rock is the nation’s premier performance-based rock school. We teach guitar, bass, drums, keys and vocals via our unique combination of private instruction and group rehearsals, which gets students playing on stage as quickly as possible. Our instructors are all professional Austin musicians, each with years of experience in the music business.

In addition to our year-round performance programs, the School of Rock offers one week full day and half day summer camp sessions.

Our comprehensive camp experience is designed to hone music performance and ensemble skills in a creative and fun environment. We use Rock ‘n Roll to teach guitar, bass, drums, vocals and keys, culminating in an awesome live show on the final day!

School of Rock

Our camps cater to rockers aged 6 – 18 of all skill levels – from beginners who are brand new to their instrument through to more advanced rockers with some experience under their studded belts.

Students work in a hands-on atmosphere that includes:

  • Learning the nuts and bolts of live performance
  • Studio/band rehearsal time
  • Individual and group instruction from our highly skilled staff
  • Music theory and Rock & Roll music appreciation
  • Interacting with other young musicians
  • A LIVE rock show performance

School of Rock

Last year’s camps sold out, so take advantage of this awesome deal for Statesman readers only! If you enroll before April 1, you will receive 20% off tuition for any of our summer camps. Just use the coupon code SORSTATESMAN2019 at checkout.

Here’s what we have in store for Summer 2019:

  • Rookies camp – introduces the music fundamentals in a fun way to beginners aged 6-8.
  • Rock 101 campsthe perfect opportunity for budding young rockers aged 8 to 12 to learn the skills necessary to rock out in a band, with a righteous live rock show at the end of the week.
  • Songwriting camp – learn about the craft of writing your own original music and end the week with a recording of your own creation.
  • Performance camps: “Advanced Modern Metal”, “Led Zeppelin”, “Green Day”, “Classic Rock Rewind”, “Best of the 90’s” – campers aged 9 – 18 with at least 12 months of previous musical experience rehearse as a band during the week in preparation for an awesome live rock show on the final day of camp!

For more details and to reserve your spot, visit the “Our Camps + Workshops” page at austin.schoolofrock.com or call us at (512) 670-2360.

Founded in 1998, the School of Rock is the inspiration for the blockbuster Jack Black film “School of Rock” (2003).

School of Rock Austin was the 8th school founded in the School of Rock family back in 2005. Since then, we’ve produced more than 100 shows, and just recently celebrated our 13th anniversary in Austin. In the process, we have empowered thousands of young musicians by teaching kids how to rock on stage and in life!

For more info: austin.schoolofrock.com or contact 512-670-2360 or austin@schoolofrock.com.

Location: 2525 W Anderson Lane, Suite 138, Austin, TX, 78757

Paramount Theatre

Spend a legendary summer at the Paramount Theatre – voted best camp in Austin!

Paramount Summer Camps offer something special – perhaps that’s why they were named the winner of the 2018 Austin Chronicle Reader’s Poll for Best Summer Camp. Maybe it’s the uniquely themed camps or their dynamic faculty. One thing is certain, the camps offer a camp experience you won’t find anywhere else in Austin. But don’t just take our word for it…

This was the most organized, well-put-together, creative, structured, and fun camp any of my kids have ever attended. The communication was above and beyond amazing and my daughter can’t wait to come back next year!” – Parent of Paramount Camper

Paramount Summer Camps boast 12 exciting weeks of summer camps for students entering 1st grade all the way through high school. The sessions are in convenient sites around Austin.  All final performances will be at the historic Paramount Theatre.

Camp Paramount is a fun and fast-paced 2-week musical theatre camp where campers perform Broadway style musical numbers and iconic pop hits on the historic Paramount Stage! There are 6 sessions offered at locations around Austin with all final shows being performed on the Paramount stage.  All sessions are different and unique -join us for multiple sessions! Locations include: Pease Elementary, Baldwin Elementary, Trinity Episcopal School, Pillow Elementary, & Magellan International School.

Camp Story Wranglers is inspired by our award winning, hugely popular in-school Paramount Story Wranglers program. Campers will explore story-writing, songwriting, costume and prop design, as well as acting, to create a new, thrilling, hilarious, weird, poignant, SNL-style, you-name-it production. There is one session offered at centrally located Maplewood Elementary School.

At Paramount Summer Camps your child will have the chance to perform on the historic stages of the Paramount Theatre. They will hone their craft as a singer, dancer, actor and triple threat performer. They will also channel their creativity and see their own original stories come to life. The camps offer experiences you won’t find anywhere else and an experience that will create memories and confidence to last a lifetime!

Registration and information can be found at www.austintheatre.org/camps, by email at summercamps@austintheatre.org or by phone at 512-692-0526.

Neuron Garage

Neuron Garage
http://www.toddwhite.org

Hands-on Building Camp Expands to 5 Austin Locations!

At Neuron Garage™, (formerly Summer Spark), Austin’s award-winning STEM Day Camp, children engage each week with a different hands-on building challenge.

With heaps of recycled materials, children create and build in search of solutions to open-ended challenges. Along the way, they learn strategies and tools to stay engaged, giving them more practice thinking creatively and collaborating with peers. They develop resilience as they process minor setbacks and continue to strive for solutions.

Neuron Garage™ was founded by Kaylie Reed, a Montessori teacher, and Sam Reed, a serial entrepreneur. The husband and wife team has created a safe, supportive environment for hands-on learning, enhanced with best-practices Kaylie gleaned from studying neuroscience and education at Dartmouth and over a decade of experience in the classroom. As passionate life-long learners, it was a story about Sam’s determination to learn something new that launched Neuron Garage™.

“One summer growing up, my husband dreamed of building a boat,” said Kaylie Reed. “Day after day, he and a friend sweated and tinkered in the garage. They envisioned the boat. They biked to the store for supplies. Without any guidance, they engaged in a think-try-refine process through multiple successes and failures. They were fearlessly curious, boundlessly creative, and joyfully resilient. And eventually, that boat floated. My husband hasn’t backed down from a challenge since.”

Kaylie and Sam have recaptured the magic of the summer of ’92 as a day camp for kids aged 5 to 12.

2019 Challenges:

June 3rd – June 7th

Stop the Plop: Design, build, and test containers to avoid the plop, or rather splatter, of a raw egg hitting a hard surface.

June 10th – June 14th

Marble Roller Coasters: Design, build, and refine marble runs. How long can you make them? Can the marble do a loop? Two?

June 17th – June 21st

Medieval Construction: Can you build a castle with a working drawbridge? Can you design a catapult the fires accurately enough to defend against intruders? Campers use two simple machines — pulleys and levers — along with lots of imagination, to build defense systems for their castles.

June 24th – June 28th

Car-dboard Mechanics: Can you build a car out of recycled materials? How about a track to race it on?

July 1st – July 3rd & July 5

Trash-ion: Can you make clothing from trash? Whether you want something unique to wear for a 4th of July parade, or just want to see how creative you can be, this short week is sure to please all designers and builders.

July 8th – July 12th 

Invention Convention: Can you design and build a machine that will pop a balloon? Set off an alarm? Knock over a cup? How many steps can you build into your design?

July 15th – 19th 

Mission Possible: Can you build a case to protect a super-delicate secret package from bumps and drops? Can you build an airplane to carry that package safely and land smoothly? What about a boat to cross a raging sea?

July 22nd – July 26th

Structural Integrity: How high can your tower go? If you could only use two materials to build it, what would they be? How about for a bridge? How much weight could it hold?

July 29th – August 2nd 

Cardboard Arcade: Turn recycled materials into a functioning arcade and celebrate by playing each others’ games.

August 5th – August 9th 

Space Survival: Race against the clock to create self-propelled spaceships and shelters for outer space survival.

Learn more about Neuron Garage™ at NeuronGarage.com or call us at 512-593-5393.

NEURON GARAGE LOCATIONS

1.ROUND ROCK: Upward Bound Montessori, 101 Fannin Avenue, 78664

2.CEDAR PARK: Harmony Science Academy Cedar Park, 12200 Anderson Mill Road, 78726

3.NORTH SHOAL CREEK: Magellan International, 7938 Great Northern Boulevard, 78757

4.HYDE PARK: Odyssey School, 4407 Red River Street, 78751

5.SOUTH AUSTIN: San Juan Diego High School, 2512 South 1st Street, 78704

2019 NG Locations Map (1)

McKinney Roughs

Discover the great outdoors at McKinney Roughs Nature Park

Discover the great outdoors at McKinney Roughs Nature Park

Campers ages 5 to 15 can discover the great outdoors at scenic McKinney Roughs Nature Park. Thirteen miles east of Austin, nestled along the Colorado River and the Lost Pines, this park has 1,100 acres of pine forests, box canyons and post oak meadows to explore.

McKinney Roughs Nature Park summer camps are based on a child’s age at the time camp starts. Each week’s camp activities revolve around a different outdoor theme and are led by experienced camp counselors. Activities include river rafting and zip lining, as well as natural science education uncovering the native plant and animal species in the area.

Discover the great outdoors at McKinney Roughs Nature Park

“We’ve provided outdoor experiences for campers at McKinney Roughs Nature Park for over 20 years,” said LCRA Parks Program Coordinator Erin Holley. “Our day camp is a great option for parents who want their children to have fun and educational outdoor experiences but still have them close to home.”

Discover the great outdoors at McKinney Roughs Nature Park

Outdoor Camp: $225 per week

Tonkawa campers (Ages 5-6) can swim at Bastrop State Park, climb the rock wall and participate in a camp-wide field day. In addition, there will be guided hikes, guest presentations, field studies, games and activities tied to various outdoor themes.

Comanche (Ages 7-8) and Caddo (Ages 9-12) campers will experience select high elements on the challenge course and raft the Colorado River or Lake Bastrop. In addition, there will be guided hikes, guest presentations, field studies, games and activities tied to various outdoor themes.

Teen Adventure Camp: $225 per week

Teen campers (Ages 13-15) will experience the thrill of high elements on the challenge course, including riding an exciting zip line, taking a kayaking trip down the Colorado River and working within a group to plan and execute various outdoor adventures.

Discover the great outdoors at McKinney Roughs Nature Park

Camp Information

McKinney Roughs Nature Park provides eight week-long sessions of day camp — from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday — beginning June 17. Each one-week session is $225; Week 2 for Caddo campers and teens is $240. A daily shuttle service from two convenient Austin locations (3700 Lake Austin Blvd. and 3505 Montopolis Drive) is available for an additional fee. Before and after care is available onsite during sessions three (July 8-12) and six (July 29-Aug. 2). The cost is $30 for either before or after care, or $60 for both. Before care is from 7:30-9 a.m., and after care is from 4-5:30 p.m.

For more information and to register, visit lcra.org/camps or call 512–303–5073.

Mad Science

Mad Science: Experiment with Summer!

Mad Science: Experiment with Summer!


Parents are discovering that their elementary students and preschoolers can have fun, experiment and learn all at the same time with Mad Science Summer Camps! Mad Science camps spark imaginative learning with their interactive approach of using hands-on experiments and activities. These camps are fun, educational and located are all over the Austin area.

Mad Science summer camps allow children to uncover the secrets of spies, step into the shoes of an engineer, blast off rockets like an astronaut, rewire robots and so much more. Mad Science offers 9 different summer camps to choose from and the variety of topics is appealing to children ages 4 to 12. There are locations all over town with half day and full day camps available.

Mad Science: Experiment with Summer!

Camp dates, locations and descriptions can be viewed online at austin.madscience.org. See the full camp schedule or call 512-892-1143 for more details. Mad Science is putting the fun back into learning!

Features of the Program Include…

Hand-on Activities: Mad Science camps are full of hands-on activities and projects that children will make and take home each day of the program.

Active Games: Throughout the week campers will play games that reinforce the science concepts that they have learned in a fun and active setting.

Full Day and Half Day Available: Mad Science offers half day camps in addition to full day camps with an extended day option.

Locations All Over Town: Convenient locations are located throughout the city and suburbs.

Background:

Mad Science of Austin and San Antonio is the only Mad Science four-time Franchise of the Year winner and is locally owned and operated. Our mission is to spark the imagination and curiosity of children by providing them with fun, hands-on and educational activities that instill a clearer understanding of what science is really about and how it affects the world around them. Mad Science offers in-class workshops, after school enrichment programs, summer camps, school assemblies, special events, birthday parties, and more for children 4 to 12 years old. In addition to Mad Science camps, this location also offers two Imagine Arts Academy camps. With eleven different themes to choose from, there is a fun time awaiting everyone including the smallest scientist, the aspiring rocketeer, robot engineers and even the inspired artist.

For more information, visit austin.madscience.org, email us at info@madscienceaustin.com or call us at 512-892-1143.

 

Lonestar Soccer Club

Lonestar Soccer Club

Learn skills and have fun with Lonestar Soccer Club

Lonestar Soccer Programs provide one of the best ways to keep your player active, healthy, and engaged in soccer throughout the year in a fun, individually focused curriculum that develops soccer skills, builds social skills, and creates lasting memories for all players.

Our soccer camps and leagues are held weekly throughout North/South/Central Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Williamson County and Hays County with both indoor and outdoor options.

Lonestar Soccer Club

“My kids had a blast at Lonestar Camps! The coaches made every day exciting, challenging and developmentally appropriate for each skill level. My kids couldn’t wait to start the fall season and show off the new skills they learned.” — K. Neilond (mother to two soccer players).

Each day includes individual foot skills, technical drills, tactical practices, small-sided games, coached scrimmages, speed and agility training, daily tournaments and more. Our camp programs are designed around developing a player’s individual technique and love for the ‘beautiful game’ in a fun, safe and challenging environment. Our experienced and nationally licensed staff brings extensive professional soccer coaching experience and offers an unmatched level of talent and enthusiasm for teaching your child the greatest game in the world.

Lonestar Soccer Programs are an exclusive opportunity for players of all ages and levels to learn and be exposed to the highest level of coaching in the greater Austin area! Our expert coaches have played at the top levels from collegiate to professional and provide players an individually focused curriculum to develop their soccer skills, build social skills and create lasting memories. Make this the best summer ever and join us for a fun way to keep active, healthy and engaged in soccer throughout one of our indoor or outdoor week-long camps or summer leagues.

For more information, including camp and league dates and detailed pricing information, please visit www.lonestar-sc.com. We can’t wait to see you on the field with us this year!

Kids Acting Studio

Kids Acting Studio

kidsActing, Austin’s favorite and longest-operating year-round school for young performers, has offered engaging summer camps for children ages 4-18 since 1980. This year we’re going all out as we host award-winning single and multiple week camps — all of which culminate in performances for friends and family. Most importantly, kidsActing ensures a summer filled with friends and fun.

Kids Acting Studio

WHY ENROLL IN A CAMP AT KIDSACTING?

For starters, summer camps at kidsActing revolve around producing a show for family and friends. They’re designed to be FUN while also teaching kids how to audition, memorize lines, block scenes, sing and learn music (if it’s a music camp), dance or perform stage combat, and create and become characters who captivate audiences.

kidsActing camps are taught in easily digested blocks: new skills, review, fun. These mini-intensives are designed to create a trusting and connected team, encouraging kids to safely stretch outside their comfort zone, and experience creativity in a tactile way.

OUR MULTI-WEEK CAMPS

kidsActing’s multi-week camps are 3 or 4 weeks, for ages 8-18. This year’s multi-week camps include the 3-week, Full-Scale Play Production in Juneand the 4-week, Full-Scale Musical Production in July. There is also a Student Tech Theatre program for ages 13 and up.

Campers rehearse as well as perform at Center Stage Theatre, our full-sized venue. They learn to trust, listen, and communicate to build relationships on stage with their characters. Campers in a full-scale production experience a professionally produced show from first auditions to final bows.

Professional directors, choreographers, and vocal teachers lead the multi-week production camps. Full-Scale plays and musicals also have professionally designed costumes, make-up/hair, sets, props, lights, sound, and live accompaniment (for musicals).

Kids Acting Studio

SINGLE-WEEK CAMPS

Our one-week camps are five full days of fun for various age groups from 5-16. This year, we’re offering several popular camps, including:

Triple Threat Musicals (Various age groups, 5-16)

Campers will sing, dance and act while playing fun theatre games. Kids will perform in a mini-musical revue complete with costumes, lights, live music, and above all, FUN. Each camp emphasizes a specific musical theme.

Adventures in Acting (Various age groups 6-14)

Campers are invited to join an EPIC journey with no singing required! Campers interested in acting and stage combat become a character in an amazing adventure, and treat friends and family to a performance complete with costumes, lights, and props. There are great roles for everyone, and each camp emphasizes a specific theme.

Greatest Showman Show Choir (formerly Glee) (Various age groups 7-14)

In our Greatest Showman show choir, our professional choreographer and vocal coach provide a great week of singing and dancing as a group. Kids get voice training from a professional and learn to harmonize and dance like pros. Our summer show choir is all about The Greatest Showman, including all your favorite songs from the movie. At the end of the week, kids perform a fabulous show for family and friends.

Creative Kids (Half-Day for Ages 4-8)

These half-day Triple Threat camps are playful fun for our younger theatre kids. Each camp has a specific musical theme where the young ones work together to prepare a mini-musical revue, complete with costumes, lights, props, and live music. There are great roles for everyone, and each camp emphasizes a specific musical theme.

ACT NOW!

Award-Winning kidsActing summer camps are a place where children of all ages will not only get the chance to learn valuable skills and have fun, but also to let their star shine all summer long. kidsActing camps are hosted in over 15 locations in and around Austin. It’s easy to find a summer camp in your neighborhood. Visit www.kidsActingStudio.com for more details or call 512-836-5437.

Iron Horse Country Ranch

Iron Horse Country Ranch Motorcycle Summer Camp

Iron Horse Country Ranch Motorcycle Summer Camp

One of the greatest experiences your child will ever have is to drive an off-road motorcycle in the great outdoors. Iron Horse Country Ranch Motorcycle Summer Camp offers just that, and so much more!

What is provided: Weekly Day and Overnight Sessions. Campers learn how to ride dirt bikes on a beautiful, 100-acre Texas Hill Country ranch complete with rolling hills, woods and creeks, a large fishing pond and over 8 miles of tracks, trails and motocross training ranges. Motorcycle riding is combined with traditional camp activities such as swimming, games and, for overnight weeks, campfires, s’mores and fireworks!

Who gets to come:  Girls and boys ages 8-15. From beginners on up. The camp supplies all the gear, training and motorcycles for the week. Most campers come never having ridden a dirt bike before. Kids come from all over the country to ride at this one-of-a-kind premier camp.

FUN starts with Safety: The training program is based on the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and is tuned to children. It is consequently one of the safest programs for learning to ride dirt bike motorcycles in the country. The camp starts from the ground up. The number one goal is for campers to have FUN — kids have to feel safe and competent if they are to enjoy themselves. Your child will be carefully oriented and always watched and instructed by coaches on the ranch. All safety gear is provided. It is for this reason that Iron Horse has thrived over the last decade, why word-of- mouth has given the camp many new fans and why it has become one of the only summer camp motocross facilities in the country.

There’s more than motorcycles: The camp aims to get your child to experience life in the great outdoors, at its best. The daily schedule provides opportunities to go fishing, swim, play water volleyball, air-hockey, ping-pong and other games. Overnight Camp weeks offer sunset rides, outdoor evening games and moonlight swims before the day is put to rest.

Iron Horse Country Ranch Motorcycle Summer Camp

The camp provides everything your child needs — Honda CRF off-road trail motorcycle models, safety gear, snacks, drinks, a great place to ride with instruction, and an 8-1 ratio of riders to instructor. All meals provided for overnight weeks. Facilities include air-conditioned bunk house, recreation center, club house with a swimming pool, a café and more.

Transportation is provided to and from camp in an air-conditioned coach bus that serves the Northwest Austin, Cedar Park, Leander and Georgetown areas, complete with TVs and friendly staff.

Sessions get full by late spring. Register online now! www.ironhorsecountry.com.

MORE ABOUT MOTORCYCLE CLUB

Shuttle Pickups from Northwest Austin High-Schools, Cedar Park, Steiner Ranch, Grandview Elementary & Georgetown

Ranch Address:  9100 E. FM 243, Bertram, Texas 78605

Phone: 512-917-5733

Email: info@ironhorsecountry.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ironhorsecountry    

Instagram: www.instagram.com/ironhorse-countryranch

Extend-A-Care for Kids

Have an Enchanted Summer with Extend-A-Care!

Extend-A-Care for Kids’ Summer Day Camp (5-12 year olds) is the place to keep your children physically active and engaged in learning activities while making new friends and enjoying new experiences. Our Summer Day Camp environment allows children to have positive social experiences through enrichment activities that promote social emotional learning (self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, self-awareness, and responsible decision-making), voice and choice, creativity, physical activities and others.

Throughout the summer, your child will experience a variety of enriching activities such as basketball, soccer, baseball, flag football, arts & crafts, cooking, painting and much more! Our summer curriculum is based on weekly themes, which are developed from children’s literature books introduced to students during the camp. This offers children a constant source of new and interesting material and activities.

This summer’s theme is “Enchanted Summer”— between “once upon a time” and “happily ever-after” lies a magical world of possibilities, heroics, fantasy and fun with all the giant-battling, spell-casting, princess-saving glory and adventure a camper’s imagination can conjure and create. Join Extend-A-Care for Kids this summer as we explore the realms of magic, mystery and enchantment found in literature, expression, science and nature.

Children will also attend weekly field trips—one on-site trip and one off-site trip each week for the exception of session 1 and 1A. The Extend-A-Care for Kids Summer 2019 Camp will also feature exciting clubs for your children! The clubs include the Kindle club, Film Club, Fitness club, Calligraphy/Drawing club, a LEGO Robotics club, a Photography club, and an XBOX club! These clubs will rotate through the sites during the summer, which will provide every child a chance to experience the fabulous clubs.

With dozens of camp experiences to enjoy, Extend-A-Care is a one-of-a-kind camp with something for every kid. For more information on Extend-A-Care summer programs, and to register your kid(s) for Extend-A-Care’s “Enchanted Summer” camp, please visit www.eackids.org. Register today!

Contemporary Austin Laguna

Kids develop skills and a love for art while connecting with Austin’s creative spirit at The Contemporary Austin!

Unlock the magic of the potter’s wheel. Draw a portrait of yourself, your favorite animal, or even a robot from your imagination. Paint landscapes along the banks of Lake Austin. Design a video game. Explore Austin’s urban environment through photos or sketches from a rooftop deck overlooking downtown. Cut, grind, and weld a steel sculpture. These are just some of the many options at The Contemporary Austin Art School.

Perched along the Colorado River just south of Mt. Bonnell, the 14-acres of the Contemporary Austin –  Laguna Gloria house the majority of the Art School’s summer program. And, with nearly 200 classes for all ages from preschool to high school, there is something for everyone.

“Many of the classes for our youngest students revolve around a creative theme or subject matter to draw them into a love of making art,” explains the school’s director, Matt Hoggle.

In Art Around the World, kids travel the world while learning about the art of native cultures, from Hopi sculptures, to Japanese origami, to Egyptian masks, and more. In Dynamic Dinosaurs, budding artists uncover, gather, and exhibit their own dino treasures, including plaster casts, newspaper bones, and clay artifacts. “Space Voyagers, Beautiful Bugs, The World of Dr. Seuss, Castles, Kings, and Queens … There is a class that will build on the interests of nearly any child,” Hoggle continued.

Older kids spend more time focusing on specific mediums or movements. In classes like Cartooning, Digital Photo and Photoshop, Claymation, or Mosaics, students can explore different facets of a particular medium or process, while classes like Fun with Frida, Explorations in Abstract Art, Classical Drawing and Painting, and So Surreal immerse them in the world of a particular artist or style.

“We’re an Art School that caters to beginners and experienced artists alike, so for the high schoolers, we try to offer classes suited to young people with a general interest in art, as well as those who are ready to begin developing their portfolio,” Hoggle explained. “In that sense, The Contemporary Austin – Art School is a particular good choice regardless of your level.” 

Experienced teen artists may advance their skills in Life Drawing for Teens, Working with Wood and Steel, and other advanced classes, while artists of any experience level can jump into Painting for Teens, Mural Painting for Teens, Ceramics for Teens, and more.

The Contemporary Austin is home to both Laguna Gloria—an inspiring art-in-nature site and home to a contemporary sculpture park—and the dynamic downtown museum the Jones Center on Congress Avenue. For the urbanites, our downtown Jones Center location also offers a handful of classes in the summer, including Urban Photography and Skyline Drawing on the Moody Rooftop.

The unique settings of Laguna Gloria and the Jones Center bring special opportunities for The Contemporary’s students. Classes regularly take advantage of guided tours offered by the museum’s staff and docents, allowing them to see and discuss contemporary sculpture and installations from world famous artists – inspiring and thought-provoking installations by Ai Wei Wei, Jim Hodges, and Terry Allen are just some of the art currently on view.

“It’s important that our kids not just learn and create, but that they have fun doing it,” Hoggle continued. “The skills learned in our classes can benefit future engineers just as much as they can inspire future artists and architects. Our goal is to provide a broad, exciting, and enriching experience for every student.”

Details: Weeklong summer classes begin the day after Memorial Day (May 28), and run through August 16. Classes are held weekdays 9 a.m. until noon, and 1 pm until 4 p.m. Classes fill quickly, so don’t wait to sign up! Register online at www.thecontemporaryaustin.org, or by calling 512-323-6380. We look forward to seeing you this summer!

Kids develop skills and a love for art while connecting with Austin’s creative spirit at The Contemporary Austin!

Unlock the magic of the potter’s wheel. Draw a portrait of yourself, your favorite animal, or even a robot from your imagination. Paint landscapes along the banks of Lake Austin. Design a video game. Explore Austin’s urban environment through photos or sketches from a rooftop deck overlooking downtown. Cut, grind, and weld a steel sculpture. These are just some of the many options at The Contemporary Austin Art School.

Perched along the Colorado River just south of Mt. Bonnell, the 14-acres of the Contemporary Austin –  Laguna Gloria house the majority of the Art School’s summer program. And, with nearly 200 classes for all ages from preschool to high school, there is something for everyone.

“Many of the classes for our youngest students revolve around a creative theme or subject matter to draw them into a love of making art,” explains the school’s director, Matt Hoggle.

In Art Around the World, kids travel the world while learning about the art of native cultures, from Hopi sculptures, to Japanese origami, to Egyptian masks, and more. In Dynamic Dinosaurs, budding artists uncover, gather, and exhibit their own dino treasures, including plaster casts, newspaper bones, and clay artifacts. “Space Voyagers, Beautiful Bugs, The World of Dr. Seuss, Castles, Kings, and Queens … There is a class that will build on the interests of nearly any child,” Hoggle continued.

Older kids spend more time focusing on specific mediums or movements. In classes like Cartooning, Digital Photo and Photoshop, Claymation, or Mosaics, students can explore different facets of a particular medium or process, while classes like Fun with Frida, Explorations in Abstract Art, Classical Drawing and Painting, and So Surreal immerse them in the world of a particular artist or style.

“We’re an Art School that caters to beginners and experienced artists alike, so for the high schoolers, we try to offer classes suited to young people with a general interest in art, as well as those who are ready to begin developing their portfolio,” Hoggle explained. “In that sense, The Contemporary Austin – Art School is a particular good choice regardless of your level.” 

Experienced teen artists may advance their skills in Life Drawing for Teens, Working with Wood and Steel, and other advanced classes, while artists of any experience level can jump into Painting for Teens, Mural Painting for Teens, Ceramics for Teens, and more.

The Contemporary Austin is home to both Laguna Gloria—an inspiring art-in-nature site and home to a contemporary sculpture park—and the dynamic downtown museum the Jones Center on Congress Avenue. For the urbanites, our downtown Jones Center location also offers a handful of classes in the summer, including Urban Photography and Skyline Drawing on the Moody Rooftop.

The unique settings of Laguna Gloria and the Jones Center bring special opportunities for The Contemporary’s students. Classes regularly take advantage of guided tours offered by the museum’s staff and docents, allowing them to see and discuss contemporary sculpture and installations from world famous artists – inspiring and thought-provoking installations by Ai Wei Wei, Jim Hodges, and Terry Allen are just some of the art currently on view.

“It’s important that our kids not just learn and create, but that they have fun doing it,” Hoggle continued. “The skills learned in our classes can benefit future engineers just as much as they can inspire future artists and architects. Our goal is to provide a broad, exciting, and enriching experience for every student.”

Details: Weeklong summer classes begin the day after Memorial Day (May 28), and run through August 16. Classes are held weekdays 9 a.m. until noon, and 1 pm until 4 p.m. Classes fill quickly, so don’t wait to sign up! Register online at www.thecontemporaryaustin.org, or by calling 512-323-6380. We look forward to seeing you this summer!

 

Chaparral Ice Center

Chaparral Ice keeps ‘em cool when they’re out of school

By Kathy Goeke

The coolest camps in town are at Chaparral Ice! Beat the Texas heat and learn to ice skate at our award-winning spring break and summer camps, voted best sports camp in Austin by Camp Sloop subscribers.

Chaparral Ice offers three full-service day camps each year — Camp de Champs Spring Break Camp, Camp de Champs Summer Camp and Camp Avalanche Summer Adventure Camp. All camps offer a full day of activities including supervised ice skating, team building, games and, of course, fun!

Camp de Champs Spring Break Camp – March 18-22, $315

Camp de Champs Summer Camp – 11 individual weeks, June 3-Aug. 16, $315 per week

At Chaparral’s Camp de Champs spring break and summer camps, your child will spend the day learning how to ice skate with two classes taught by certified Learn to Skate USA coaches, plus up to four hours of supervised free skating each day.

Camp de Champs off-ice activities will help your camper achieve their skating goals and feature training techniques, warmups and conditioning exercises approved by U.S. Figure Skating and USA Hockey.

Activities throughout the week include team building, games, and arts and crafts such as puzzle-making, vision boards and miniature gardening.

Camp de Champs is based on skating, but campers also come just for a full day of fun.

Enroll online now at chaparralice.com. Spaces are limited and typically sell out early.

Camp Avalanche Summer Camp – 11 individual weeks, June 3-Aug. 16, $315 per week

Adventure is the name of the game at Camp Avalanche! Your child will skate and also discover the most outrageous quests Austin has to offer.

Each week, campers board the Chaparral bus for field trips to destinations including Typhoon Texas, Zipline Adventures at Candlelight Ranch, Quest Wakeboard and Water Adventure Park, Dart ‘Em Up and more.

Campers will visit nearby Austin parks for swimming, outdoor activities, games and exploring nature.

Campers will also enjoy several hours of supervised ice skating each day, with options to take the Camp de Champs classes for a small additional fee.

This is the perfect time for your child to ice skate, learn the basics and take flight on amazing adventures. Enroll online now at chaparralice.com. Spaces are limited and typically sell out early.

New hockey option

For hockey players, both camps will have hockey specialty classes four days a week, with Stick & Puck, Power Skating, and Skills & Drills to improve off-season expertise.

Sample daily schedule for Camp de Champs:

• 8-9 a.m.: Drop-off

• 9-10 a.m.: Snack, goal-setting and warm-up 

• 10 a.m.-12 p.m.: Skating lessons and practice

• 12-1 p.m.: Lunch

• 1-3 p.m.: Art project, games and warm-up

• 3-5 p.m.: Skating lessons and practice

• 5-6 p.m.: Pick-up

Camp Avalanche first day sample schedule:

• 8-9 a.m.: Drop-off

• 9-10 a.m.: Introductions, rules, get-to-know-you games 

• 10-11 a.m.: Skating

• 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Lunch

• 12-12:45 p.m.: Prep for skating, warm-up

• 12:45-2:15 p.m.: Skating

• 2:15-3 p.m.: Snack & break

• 3-5 p.m.: Skating, games

• 5-6 p.m.: Pick-up

Reviews from our customer satisfaction survey:

• “My daughter loved it!! Also she was able to improve her skating level and the staff was awesome very nice guys, thank you so much!!”

• “My daughter had a blast. It was her first ice skating camp and she enjoyed it. Thanks so much.”

Chaparral Ice is located at 2525 W. Anderson Ln., Austin. Visit www.chaparralice.com to sign up today!

Kathy Goeke is the director of Learn to Skate, figure skating programs and special events at Chaparral Ice.

What camp teaches

What camp teaches

Melissa Erickson
This article appears in Summer Camp magazine 2018.

If raising an emotionally healthy, well-adjusted and confident child is your goal as a parent, send him or her to summer camp.

The best summer camps are places where kids can learn life skills in a safe environment under the leadership of caring adults, said Jay Toporoff, director of Camp Danbee, a summer camp for girls in the Berkshire Mountains in Western Massachusetts. It’s a place where a child can stumble, fall down, pick themselves up and try again better-prepared.

At camp, “children learn how to communicate, compromise, develop life-skill sets they can use as they grow, separate from families, create their own identities and build resilience. In a nutshell, children become empowered,” he said.

“Children have to take on responsibilities and learn to accept failure as they manage things like bunkmate issues and cabin chores,” Toporoff said. “Camp also presents the opportunity for kids to create the rules of their own community, such as setting up bunk guidelines that impact all in the cabin.”

Being away from their parents, campers have to make their own decisions and learn from them, he said.

Summer camp can also be a place where children can expand their horizons and interact with people who are different from themselves.

“Camp is a crucible for teaching empathy, acceptance and tolerance. People are thrust into a living environment that breaks down stereotypes, helps children find commonalities and develop friendships that are based on the person and not the ethnicity or religion or gender of their new friends,” Toporoff said.

Camp is also a place for kids to take risks and try new things, like learning to shoot archery or succeed at a high-ropes course.

“Pushing personal limits in a safe place allows campers to expand their horizons. Taking risks, succeeding, failing and encouraging others to do the same makes for great personal growth and character-building,” Toporoff said.

Letting a child leave the nest can be a scary proposition for parents.

“It is a two-way street where both parent and child allow themselves to let go. Seeing their camper develop skills, cement friendships with both staff and fellow campers, and simply smile for no apparent reason other than their child found a second home — it is a win-win for both parents and camper,” Toporoff said.

“Camp is an amazing opportunity to help kids grow. It is also a time where they can learn gratitude,” Toporoff said. “At Camp Danbee’s opening bonfire campers are reminded that not everyone gets to go to camp. Most children in the world will never experience the friendships, activities and special memories that camper will have. We challenge our campers to pay it forward through acts of kindness and community service as a way to say ‘thank you’ for their opportunity to experience camp and all it has to offer them.”

Trends in summer camp opportunities

Trends in summer camp opportunities

Melissa Erickson
This article appears in Summer Camp magazine 2019.

One of the biggest trends in summer camps is the way they allow kids to make friends the old fashioned way; in person.

“Summer camp is a place where kids can build friendships the way their parents did; face-to-face and heart-to-heart,” said Tom Rosenberg, president and chief executive officer of the American Camp Association. “It’s a place where kids can just be kids. It’s an intentionally safe, human-powered, immersive social environment.”

Making friends the traditional way is a throwback for some kids. A recent study from the Pew Research Center found that while 57 percent of boys and girls ages 13 to 17 have made new friends online, most of these friendships stay in the digital space. Only 20 percent of all teens say they have met an online friend in person.

For overnight campers who spend several days or weeks away from their families, the absence of screens allows kids to develop “human-centered skills” such as cultivating friendships, collaborating on projects and developing their own self-awareness and identity, Rosenberg said. The majority of summer camps, 90 percent, do not allow screens, according to research from the American Camp Association.

Also trending are specialty camps that provide a variety of activities to meet many interests, Rosenberg said:

– Especially popular are STEM camps that explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Kids may be building robots, learning how to code or studying sustainable energy.

– Getting back to nature seems to appeal to young campers, who are increasingly signing up for summer sessions that explore farming, ranching, gardening and cooking. For example, farm campers tend to animals and organic gardens, go on hayrides and learn the importance of taking care of the Earth.

– Arts and crafts camps are perennially popular choices, but today’s campers are doing more than coloring and painting. These fine art classes include silversmithing, glassblowing, jewelry design, animation, fiber art and more.

– Because today’s kids are so busy, many summer camps are embracing mindfulness activities. One-third of summer camps offer yoga or meditation, Rosenberg said.

– Adventure is a hit with campers, and activities like challenge courses, zip lines, backpacking and mountain biking are big draws.

– Nearly half of camps incorporate community service into the curriculum, with projects that include community clean-ups, food drives and volunteering with senior citizens and hospital patients.

When choosing a summer camp, be sure it’s accredited by the American Camp Association, the only independent accrediting organization reviewing camp operations in the country. To find a camp that’s a good fit for your child, use the organization’s Find A Camp tool, find.acacamps.org.

Tips on making friends

Melissa Erickson
This article appears in Summer Camp magazine 2018.

Making friends is easy for some people and harder for others, but at summer camp making connections is one of the main goals. The kids are all attending camp together, usually away from their circle of friends. The adults are trying to create a sense of belonging and connectedness.

“Friendship is a two-way street,” said Jason Sebell, a director at Camps Kenwood and Evergreen in Wilmot, New Hampshire. You need to signal to others that you are open to friendship, he said.

Approaching a potential friend and saying “Can we be friends?” is awkward. Instead, make yourself look appealing as a friend.

“The easiest way to make a friend is to do something fun” like playing a game, Sebell said.

Ever heard of roof ball? All you need is a tennis ball and a building. Throw the ball at the roof, then catch it.

“You can play it alone. You can invite someone watching to join in,” Sebell said.

If it’s a more organized game like basketball, wait for a break and then ask to join in, said Fred Frankel, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at University of California Los Angeles and former director of the UCLA’s Children’s Friendship Programs.

The main key to building a friendship is to strike up a commonality, Frankel said. Make it easier for others to see what your interests are. If you’re into music, wear a T-shirt broadcasting your favorite band’s name. A shirt with a funny take on a math equation or the periodic table shows that you think learning is cool.

Be approachable

Most people think they are approachable, but not everyone is always correct, Sebell said. Parents can help. Send your child to camp with something small that they can share with others such as a deck of cards or a small Lego set, he said.

Encourage your child to have empathy, Sebell said. Initial attempts at friendship may falter a bit, but kids who are polite, caring and respectful will be more successful than those who aren’t. A smile goes a long way.

“Most people go to camp to make friends. If a conversation is awkward, give it a minute. This could be a friend. So much of camp is what you put into it,” Sebell said.

Be open to new friends

“Campers should be prepared to come to camp open-minded and ready to participate and try new things. They should be willing to put themselves out there, talk to new people and ask the adults if they need help,” said Louis Lasko, assistant camp director at Camp Laurelwood, a Jewish overnight camp in Madison, Connecticut. “It is important that parents talk about making friends so their kids are prepared for a new social experience. New campers need to know that making friends may be challenging at first, but if they put in the effort they can make lifelong friends.”

Great summer experiences start before kids even arrive at camp. Some camps ask families to fill out a dossier of questions about their camper indicating their interests and characteristics. If the camp offers a get-together event, attend so that your child can meet potential friends, Sebell said.