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Camp Balcones Springs

Established in 1993, Camp Balcones Springs was founded on Christian principles and is among Texas’ most progressive camps, redefining the camp experience for children, ages 7 to 17, and having one of the highest counselor-to-camper ratios in the industry. With unique activities and traditions CBS is the perfect place for your camper to call home. At Camp Balcones Springs our mission is to change lives for the better through fun, relationships, and spiritual impact.

Go full STEAM ahead at Austin STEAM Scout Camp!

It’s the fourth year for the Austin STEAM Scout Camp, and this year, they’re gearing up to explore one of Earth’s deepest and most mysterious natural wonders with TechLab: Caves.

“Each year, the Austin STEAM Scout Camp trains youth to live in extreme environments,” said Jessica Snider, Director of STEM, Conservation and Sustainability, Boy Scouts Capitol Area Council. “This year we’re exploring how to survive the extreme environment of caves.”

The Austin STEAM Camp provides the type of engagement, excitement and hands-on activities required for successful early STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education. Camp attendees use tools like DSLR cameras, laser cutter/engravers, 3D printers, robotics kits, hydrology display boards, Adobe Creative Suite and Labview software to explore, design and create.

New classes for this year’s camp include a welding class for older youth, and a CNC woodworking class, where the kids can use CNC (computer numeric control) routers. For younger kids, there will be two different tracks, covering topics including programming, animation, physics and geology.

Campers are taught by professional staff assembled through Austin Independent School District, STEM Scouts and Boy Scouts of America. The camp believes that the future of a creative and tech savvy population in Austin rests in engaging and educating children. In a world where more and more jobs require knowledge of STEM, the Austin STEAM Scout Camp is a positive learning experience for every camp goer. In addition to powering full “STEAM” ahead into the world of caves, this year’s camp will also focus on collaboration and the importance of treating others well.

“This year, we’re going to talk about collaboration and inclusiveness,” said Snider. “One of the things the camp’s really working on is helping kids start to work in collaborative environments, to communicate their ideas, and to hear and value each other’s ideas.”

The camp is open to boys and girls entering the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth grades, and camp participants do not have to be a registered Boy Scout or Girl Scout to attend.  Week 1 runs June 11-June 15, Week 2 runs June 18-June 22, Week 3 runs June 25-June 29, Week 4 runs July 9-July 13, and Week 5 runs July 16-20. There are 200 spaces available each week, with seven class options for ages 11 and up, and two different class set options for younger campers, giving them a broad and thorough survey of the various disciplines.

“The younger kids go through all of our classes,” said Snider. “One of the interesting things we found is that, when younger kids come in, most want to do robotics, but by taking all four classes, they gained a broader interest in all of the topics.”

The Austin STEAM Scout Camp also believes STEAM should available to all youth, and is working to ensure opportunities are in place so anyone who wants to attend is able to do so. Generous grants have allowed the camp to provide scholarships for several students from disadvantaged areas. It’s all part of the camp’s mission to share the importance of STEAM with students from all walks of life.

“Attendance in a camp like this can make the big different in students’ STEM readiness,” said Snider. “We aim to make sure all youth know that STEAM can be for them.”

Registration is $325 per youth, and includes a T-shirt, patch, flash drive and two nutritious snacks daily. For registration and more info, visit www.techlab.camp today!



Austin company Waldo Photos has new way to find kids’ camp photos

By Nicole Villalpando

Every July, as I send my kids to a three-week camp near Waco, I become a crazy person. Each day, I log into the camp’s photo site and begin searching like a mad woman for proof of life. On days, when there might be a happy, smiling photos of one of them, I’m over the moon. On days when I can’t find them anywhere, I’m in the depths of depression and worry. Are they having a good time? Are they participating? Is everyone playing nicely with others? Do they have any friends.

This whole process takes hours. Each day.

Austin-based Waldo Photos wants to change that. This summer, it’s working with camps like T Bar M Camps, Camp Balcones Springs and Still Water Camps to use its facial recognition software to find particular kids’ photos among the hundreds they upload each day and text parents the photos of their children.

Chief operating officer Rodney Rice started Waldo Photos because he was just like me. For the last 20 years, he and his wife would spend hours each night trying to find their three kids’ photos at camp. It was a shame, he says, because it was the only week out of the year when they had time to themselves, and yet, they were spending hours looking for their kids.

“What we’ve tried to do is make it simple,” Rice says.

The camp registers to be part of Waldo Photos and gives each parent a code. Parents then download the app and put in a code that registers them to participate. They then upload a photo of their child and Waldo Photos begins searching for their child’s photos among the hundreds the camp uploads.

Once Waldo Photo’s software finds their child’s photos, it texts to the parents (and grandparents and campers themselves or whomever they designate). As more photos get uploaded, they get more texts of their child. They can then post the photos to the social media of their choice. They can control what other people see, versus the camp posting all their photos on Facebook for all to see. The photo parents upload to Waldo Photos to recognize their child is also secured from public view, Rice says. “Security is at the cornerstone of what we do,” Rice says. “We take it really seriously.”

Parents pay $15 for a one-week camp and $25 for a camp that is two weeks or more. The camp receives 50 percent of that money. Most of the camps have put it toward a scholarship fund.

“It’s a win win for everyone,” Rice says.

The technology took Waldo Photos two years to perfect. Children’s images are more complicated than adults, Rice says, because their facial features aren’t as defined, and often kids have similar features. Their features are also changing, so a recent picture to compare it to is important as well.

The technology, though, has been “crazy unbelievable” when it comes to what it has been able to pull up from the huge pile of photos it searches through. “We were worried about the action shots, the jumping of the cliffs,” Rice says. They were also worried about face painting, too. “It’s been pretty cool to see what people are getting.”

The hope is that after multiple years of pulling kids’ photos parents will also be able to very easily create a memory book for camp without having to go through all the photos again.

For the camps, Waldo Photos is also creating a dashboard where the camp can see how many times each camper was photographed. “They want to know that they are capturing all their campers,” Rice says.

Waldo Photos can also do this for events like family reunions, conventions and weddings. waldophotos.com




Waldo Photos curates a camp’s photos and texts parents their child’s photos.

How to survive parties, school, camps in a gluten, dairy and egg-free world from chef Amy Fothergill

By Nicole Villalpando

San Francisco-area chef Amy Fothergill had to put her training to use in a different way when she had two children with food sensitivities. Daughter Kate, 9, has flare ups of her eczema when she eats gluten or dairy. Her son, Santo, 11, has intestinal reactions when he has gluten.

Five years ago her family went gluten-free. Three years ago, they also eliminated dairy and eggs, but have since added back in eggs. While they never confirmed that Kate has celiac disease, they did do genetic testing that found that both Fothergill and her husband are carriers for the genetic mutation that people with celiac disease have and she’s noticed that has better digestion, has more energy, more restful sleeping and overall improved health.

Fothergill, who has a book “The Warm Kitchen:Gluten Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love,” offers us these suggestions for parents who have children with food allergies or intolerances, particularly gluten, about how to adjust to school and social activities.

Have good communication with teachers and other parents. Be vocal about what your child’s food needs are and be proactive about finding solutions. However, don’t expect that the teacher or parent will change what they are planning to suit your child. It’s nice when it happens, but not realistic to depend on that.

Try to pre-plan with similar food alternates. Fothergill finds out ahead of time when there will be a party at school or what a birthday party host will be serving.

If it’s not what her children can eat, she will make her children the gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free equivalent if that is possible. A teacher even asked her to make the whole class gluten-free spaghetti for an event so that it wouldn’t be an issue.

Try to always have food on-hand. Fothergill keeps a freezer of food, especially baked goods for parties. She also sets up teachers with either pre-packaged cookies or frozen cupcakes they can keep in the freezer at school for when parties happen. Of course, on the occasion when her kids don’t have access to an alternative, they learn that “they can’t always get what the want,” she says. “Sometimes you have to wait.”

Eat before an event. If her kids are headed to a play date, she has them make a gluten-free sandwich beforehand. If there aren’t good choices at the event, they won’t be hungry.

Bring something with you. She also tries to have snacks on-hand wherever they go.

Learn where there could be cross-contamination. They stopped eating things like corn chips and fries because of the cross-contamination that happens when a restaurant fries the onion rings or the chicken nuggets in the same fryer as the chips or the fries. She’s also learned to always ask questions even if you would think something like a risotto would be gluten-free, but you find out that that particular chef puts flour in his risotto. She’s also learned to look at beauty products as well.

Empower kids to be their own advocates. It gets easier with time, but her kids have learned how to talk to adults and their friends about their food needs. “It makes them independent,” she says.

That’s not to say there are never hitches. Last year, her son went on an overnight field trip. She had checked about what food was going to be served in advance and had made arrangements for some gluten-free alternatives, but when the actual trip happened, her son didn’t have access to the gluten-free food, and he didn’t want to ask about it. He paid the price the next day with discomfort.

Here is Fothergill’s recipe for cupcakes her kids can eat:

Dairy and Egg-free (and Gluten-free) Vanilla Cupcakes

Milk substitute:

1 Tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice

1 cup milk substitute

Egg substitute:

1/4 cup applesauce

2 tsp. baking powder

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. water

Dry ingredients:

2 cups Amy’s Gluten-free Four Blend

1 cup white sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. xanthan gum

Wet ingredients:

1/4 cup coconut oil or vegetable shortening, melted

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cupcake pans with liners or grease a 13-inch-by-9-inch pan.

Measure the milk substitute and add the vinegar or lemon juice. Mix the applesauce, baking powder, oil and water in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and xanthan gum together. Add the milk substitute, egg substitute, coconut or vegetable oil and vanilla. Mix together smooth.

Using a hinged scooper, portion batter into cups, filling 2/3 full. Bake about 15-18 minutes. Cupcakes will spring back when they are done. For cake, bake for about 27-30 minutes.

Cool pans on wire racks for 5 minutes then remove cupcakes from pans, place cupcakes back on rack and cool to room temperature before frosting, about an hour.

Keep the leftovers refrigerated after one day so the cupcakes or cake stays fresher or freeze for future use.

Amy’s Gluten-free Flour Blend

3 cups brown rice flour

1 cup tapioca flour or starch

1 cup potato starch (not flour)

1 cup millet flour

Mix together and keep in an air-tight container.

Note: If you can’t find or don’t want to use millet flour, you can substitute with an equal amount of white rice or brown rice flour.

Dairy-free Creamy Frosting

1 cup vegetable shortening, softened

4-6 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tsp. milk substitute

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the shortening for 30 seconds. Add 4 cups of the sugar, vanilla and milk substitute. Mix until blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add more sugar if the frosting is too thin.

Makes enough for 24 cupcakes or one large cake.


— “The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love,”

Amy Fothergill


Amy Fothergill is a chef who knows how to cook for gluten-free kids because she has two.


Before you forget: Evaluate this summer’s camps for next year

Jessica Gonzales, from the Oak Hill YMCA, is outnumbered as her camp kids spray her with water guns as part of the festivities in the summer camp Olympics. The YMCA of Austin is hosting its 2015 Summer Camp Olympics Friday, July 24, at the Texas School for the Deaf. The Summer Camp Olympics is designed to engage children in good old fashioned fun and to get a little wet on a hot day. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

By Nicole Villalpando

Every year you swear your going to write down some things about the summer camps you’ve been sending your kids to so you’ll remember them when it’s time to sign up next year. And then you don’t. Then come January or February, when it’s time to start signing up for camps again, you think, “Huh, I think my kid liked that camp, but I can’t remember why.” “Huh, I remember there was something about that camp that was problematic … what was it?”

The really horrible things you remember. The OK things you don’t. We’re here to help. Even if your child has aged out of a camp, jot down some notes because it will help you figure out a camp or activity for the next year.

Print out these questions below to help you and your kids put your mental notes onto paper, or at least take some electronic notes and mail them to yourself based on this evaluation. You also can add your own questions to this evaluation.

Name of camp:

Contact with phone number, email, website: 


Was it easy to get to?

Length of camps in weeks, hours: 


Was it worth the price?

Were meals and snacks provided or did I provide them?

Other equipment or supplies needed?

Did I feel my child was safe and well-cared for at this camp?

My impressions of the staff at this camp:


My child loved this camp because …


My child did not like this camp because …


Things my child wishes would have been different: 


Things my child would be upset about if it wasn’t there next year: 


Friends my child made that we should connect with during the school year:


Children my child should not be with next year if possible: 


Things I liked about this camp:


Things I would like to see changed for next year?


Does my child want to go back?


Do I want my child to go back?


Does this camp offer school-year holiday coverage or after-school care?


Would my child want to attend those other activities?





Enjoy learning, creativity and fun at YPW Camps

Statesman Content Marketing

Young Peoples Workshop (YPW) in Austin, TX offers a unique spin on summer camp, with customizable camp options and even a full-immersion Spanish Day Camp that are sure to make your child’s summer one of learning, creativity and fun.

Available to children ages three to twelve, YPW leads over 28 camps including science, art and technology camps offered in English. These camps include “The Scientific Artist” where your child will discover the artistic side of science (i.e. the difference between light and pigment), “Engineering FUNdamentals” where campers learn how engineers apply scientific and technical knowledge to design machines and devices through hands-on activities, and “Mosaics & Sculptures” where your child will utilize no-bake clay, glass tiles, wire, fabric and more to create beautiful sculptures and mosaics. Campers can choose a variety of classes to create a customized schedule based on their interests.

“We have a camp for every child’s curiosities,” said Monica Moreno, director of YPW. “We make learning exciting by creating an interactive and individualized experience for every camper.”

YPW also offers the “YPW Spanish Immersion Day Camp.” This is the only YPW camp offered in Spanish, and all activities are conducted entirely in Spanish, with beginner to advanced levels for preschool to middle school age groups.

“The best way to learn a language is to become completely immersed in it,” said Moreno. “Even beginner students become quickly comfortable with this method of education.”

Instructors use a playful teaching style, with dramatic presentation, songs, games, miming and gestures to enhance both comprehension and fun during this full-immersion camp experience. Spanish Camp features unique curriculum such as how to prepare and cook traditional Latin American dishes, as well as a variety of field trips to a Latin Supermarket, Latin TV News Station, Austin Zoo, Mexican-American Cultural Center and more.

YPW is also helping to ease the registration and selection process for parents by designing a customized summer camp schedule, ensuring a rich and diverse experience for the camper. This “YPW customized camp experience” is available at www.ypwkids.com/specialcampschedule. Parents can fill out the online form, and YPW will custom-select camps in both English and Spanish for each campers. YPW can also customize the whole summer to include only camps in science, technology and art in English, or a combination of both English and Spanish camps.

YPW Camps run Monday through Friday from June to August, with full and half day options available. All YPW instructors are certified schoolteachers or highly trained professionals with extensive experience. For the summer camp registration form and more information about YPW, please visit www.ypwkids.com.




Express yourself this summer with TexARTS

Statesman Content Marketing

Since 2006 TexARTS, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) performing and visual arts center, has called the Lake Travis area home.  Located in the heart of Lakeway, TexARTS has served thousands of Austin area students by offering year-round arts education classes in voice, dance, acting and the visual arts.  Additionally, the TexARTS Academy produces a full season of completely staged youth and teen musicals.

TexARTS has an incredible summer planned, offering full day, half day and mini camps in dance, theatre, voice and visual arts.  TexARTS will kick off the summer with the musical theatre production of the Broadway hit Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” (June 5-25).  Young actors, ages 7 – 14, of all levels are invited to audition for this three-week production-based camp. The Youth Summer Musical allows students to rehearse while receiving instruction in acting, dance and vocal technique. The camp culminates in public performances on June 22 – 25 at the Kam & James Morris Theatre at TexARTS. Placement auditions will be held the first day of camp and everyone gets a role!

TexARTS will also continue to offer the popular series of youth summer performing and visual arts camps and a variety of programming for children and teens of all levels. This year’s lineup includes the youth acting intensive  “The Cinderella Chronicles” (June 26 – July 7) and “Charlotte’s Web” (July 17 -28), and a dance technique intensive (August 7-11) led by Broadway veteran Darren Gibson.

The weekly “Best of” camps offer students the opportunity to learn songs, scenes and choreography from various Broadway shows including MOANA, WICKED, ANNIE, HAIRSPRAY, and other kid friendly musicals.  These week-long camps are under the guidance of experienced professionals and will focus on basic vocal technique, acting skills, dance and musical theatre.  Each “Best of” camp ends with a public performance for friends and family.

Young painters, sculptors and artists have the opportunity to enroll in four different visual arts camps.  Each session is designed to let campers work with different materials and focus on various techniques.

Campers, ages 2 – 4, can take part in the fun by enrolling in a Mini Camp.  Mini Camps are an exciting introduction to the world of theatre.  Weekly themes include Super Heroes Unite, Elsa and Olaf’s Summer Vacation and the Cat in the Hat’s Madcap Adventure.  It’s a summer you won’t want to miss.

TexARTS summer session begins June 5 and run through August 18. Camps will be held at TexARTS in the Erin Doherty Studios (2300 Lohmans Spur, Suite #160, Lakeway, TX). For more information or to register for TexARTS upcoming performing and visual arts summer camps, please visit www.tex-arts.org or call 512-852-9079 x104.


The Questions Every Parent Should Ask When Choosing a Summer Camp

Two happy boys enjoying kayaking on the river

Summer dawns, which means one thing for thousands of Texas children: camp.

Here are the questions every parent should ask when choosing a summer camp for their children,

  1. What is the camper to teacher ratio for the majority of the day?
  2. How do they handle supervision of children, discipline issues?
  3. What age groups will be combined together? (If you have a younger child, you may not want them mixed with older children.)
  4. What is the schedule for the program, what will they be doing each day? Review how much is downtime versus planned activities.
  5. Ask the qualifications of the teacher? Age, training, years working with children: especially ask who has First Aid and CPR
  6. Does all staff have satisfactory and up-to-date criminal background checks?
  7. What is the policy for handling injuries and illness?
  8. What does the physical space and outside play area look like? Can children wander away or can outsiders reach them? Are there fences, locks or other precautions?
  9. Do the campers go swimming or near water? Do they take swim proficiency tests? Is there a lifeguard on duty? What are the ratios for supervision in water?
  10. What insurance does the program carry? Do they have liability insurance?

Consideration for field trips

  1. Who is driving the vehicle and what is their driving record?
  2. Are there safety restraints in the vehicle?
  3. How far do they go on field trips?
  4. What is their procedure for checking the vehicle to ensure no child is left on?
  5. How many teachers attend a field trip?
  6. Is there a vehicle inspection report?

Embracing Nature! Stepping Stone School

By Susan Brunk, M. Ed. Associate Director of Curriculum, Stepping Stone School

In the spirit of fall, I took my children to a nearby farm for some outdoor fun.  Squatting in a small field, I attempted to capture some cute pumpkin patch photos while the children sat on the itchy hay squinting in the sunlight:

“It too bright, Mommy!” my three-year-old says. My older daughter whines, “I’m hot!” And then the baby falls back, hits her head on a pumpkin and begins to wail. Outdoor time over…

All too often outdoor time is grouped in the “Maybe later…” category of our lives or we shorten it to fifteen minute chunks of time and call it recess. Why is that, I wonder? Maybe it’s the challenge of getting out there… sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, insect repellent, proper footwear, proper outer wear, etc. Or the fears that have become associated with the outdoors: sunburn leads to skin cancer, mosquito bites lead to Zika virus, and boisterous play leads to broken bones.

In a startling statistic by James Campbell in his publication “Are we Raising a Generation of Nature-Phobic Kids?” he states, “Many children now spend less than 30 minutes per week playing outside. It’s not just kids and their preoccupation with iPads and video games, or busy streets and ‘stranger danger’ that is fueling the disinclination to get outdoors. It’s a widespread phenomenon. Grown-ups fare little better. Statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency suggest that adults, too, spend 93% of their lives inside buildings or vehicles, living under what nature writer Richard Louv calls ‘protective house arrest.” (ExchangeEveryDay, Sept. 6, 2016)

Less than 30 minutes PER WEEK!  As I attempt to pick my jaw up off the floor, consider the following:

  • According to research, children who play outdoors regularly are happier, healthier, stronger, and more imaginative than children who do not spend time outdoors. (Head Start Body Start, 2014)
  • Time spent outdoors is the best way to get vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for a properly functioning immune system and plays a role in regulating a person’s mood. (Head Start Body Start, 2014)
  • As time spent outdoors has dwindled, childhood obesity rates have more than tripled over the past three decades. (Spencer, 2007)
  • Outdoor play provides ample opportunity for children to practice and develop physically through ball-handling skills, climbing, jumping, and running. (Pica, 2014)
  • Imaginative play outdoors fosters independence, social skills, and cooperation. (Pica, 2014)
  • Playing outside provides children with the opportunity to connect with nature and builds a healthy respect for nature. (Spencer, 2007)

So, the next time you are tempted, to again place outdoor time in the “Maybe later…” category consider the benefits which ultimately outweigh the momentary hassles and allow your children to soak up the sunshine and fun.

Enjoy the fine arts at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School

Statesman Content Marketing

St. Stephen’s Episcopal School is hosting a summer of fantastic camp experiences for all young artists from Austin, Central Texas and beyond.

All Camps are hosted on the beautiful 370 acre St. Stephen’s campus nestled in the hills of West Austin.  The campus offers breathtaking views and state-of-the-art facilities perfect for camps.  Our fine arts facilities include a 400 seat theater, dance studios, recording studios, photography studio and a darkroom as well as art classrooms and numerous other performance spaces. 24 hour security ensures peace of mind for all parents regardless of whether your child is attending either our day or residential camps. We have something for those interested or talented in photography, improvisational acting, singing, playing in a band, directing, producing or movie making.

The World of Improv is an exploration of all aspects of improv comedy and theatre performance. From storytelling, to off-the-cuff scene work to straight up wacky gameplay, you’ll be certain to get a heavy dose of hilarious as Mr. Sweetlamb (a near 20-year veteran of improv who has trained at Second City, UCB, and other awesome places in NYC, Chicago, and LA) delves deep into his bag of tricks. These will not be games played in any theatre class run by Mr. Sweetlamb at St. Stephen’s but a whole new slate of fun and funny games.

Photography Camp is an introductory photography course designed for middle and high school students. Students will be introduced to basic principles of photography (f-stops, shutter speeds, composition, lighting) and the digital darkroom, including basic Photoshop techniques. Students will have the opportunity to shoot a variety of subjects, including portraits, landscapes, and still lifes. Individual interests and ideas are encouraged as students build their portfolios. The daily schedule will include shooting time in the studio and in the natural environment on campus. The course will end with a brief introduction to alternative processes such as cyanotypes.

VocalEase Singing Camp.  Experiencing the whole body as the vocal instrument creates a foundation for developing a singer’s fullest potential.  In VocalEase Singing Camp, young singers will learn the mechanics of the vocal instrument, will be coached with the most current and cutting edge methods of voice training in bodywork and alignment, and practice the stability and beauty of traditional Bel Canto training. Singers can step into a new level of vocal freedom to optimize creative vocal expression.

Rock On!  Each summer there are some kids who don’t want to play sports or make pottery. They want to wear ripped jeans and play their music loud.  Introducing Rock On. Campers will experience the evolution of Rock through band formation, songwriting and specialized instruction. Our budding rock stars will record, mix and produce each other’s music. They’ll practice like pros, with pros. Camp will conclude with a couple of performances for our new bands.

Texas Arts Project offers a personalized artistic journey combining inter-disciplinary coursework, individual attention from industry professionals, artistic challenges encouraging growth, and a safe space for students from all backgrounds to overcome personal artistic obstacles. There is no benchmark at TAP camp. We believe that with direction and motivation, each camper can push beyond his or her perceived personal limitations. Teachers use the small classes as an opportunity to advance and enhance each student’s personal journey. Fast-paced, professional-style rehearsals and film shoots allow campers to excel as both artists and people. Campers leave with a sense of personal fulfillment, often exhibiting greater self-confidence, a deeper passion for their art form and a true commitment to themselves, their art, and the people around them.

For more information about all summer programs at St. Stephen’s please go to www.sstx.org/summercamps contact Shane Maguire at smaguire@sstx.org or call 512-327-1213.


Immerse in nature and medieval at the Sherwood Forest Summer Camp!

Statesman Content Marketing

Imagine the creative answers Sherwood Forest Summer Camp goers give when asked by their teachers that quintessential question this fall: What did you do this summer? You can bet the answer won’t be about the latest video games. In fact, the reply might even come in proper Queen’s English.

Sherwood Forest Summer Camp activities, which start July 9-15, takes place in a 23-acre wooded medieval village where campers are transported back to a world of knights, ladies and a simpler way of life. Campers now have the option to sleep in the castle or “rough it” in a pavilion where they might have a late-night visit from the Merry Folk of Sherwood Forest.

While at camp, kids are immersed in nature, new experiences and building friendships. Modern devices like cell phones, video games and television aren’t available, giving youngsters an opportunity to fully engage and explore a magical Renaissance world.

“Green” campers, who have never attended the camp, will follow the Path of the Scholar where they learn a bit of everything, experiencing 10-12 classes twice per week. All Sea Dragons (age 7-9) will follow the Path of the Scholar as well.

“Veteran” campers— those who have already attended at least one week of Sherwood Forest Summer Camp— can continue following the Path of the Scholar, or if they are age 10 and older, they can choose the specialist path offered during their session as an alternative. Specialist paths offer campers the opportunity to delve more deeply into that week’s subject matter.

New campers attending multiple weeks must follow the Path of the Scholar their first week and then may choose either to continue as a Scholar or to specialize for subsequent week(s).

Developing skills essential to daily Renaissance life is exciting and edifying for young campers, especially at an impressionable age when positive influences are most valuable. Try Falconry, Blacksmithing, Leatherworking and more.

Session 1 runs July 9-15, Session 2 is July 16-22 and Session 3 is July 23-29. And for those parents who may be a bit jealous of the fun our campers have been having, there is now a weekend “Grown Up Camp” that runs July 23-25!

With a maximum of 160 campers per session, early registration is important. Complete details on the camp, schedules and activities, including a downloadable brochure, are available at www.sherwoodforestfaire.com


School of Rock: Rock & Roll Summer Camps for the aspiring rocker in your family!

Statesman Content Marketing

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 and two week 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! 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

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 25% off any summer camp tuition. Just use the coupon code SORSTATESMAN2017 at checkout.

Here’s what we have in store for Summer 2017:

  • Rookies camp – introduces the music fundamentals in a fun way to beginners aged 6-8.
  • Rock 101 camps – the perfect opportunity for budding young rockers aged 8 to 13 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: “British Invasion”, “Summer of Love 50th Anniversary”, “Legends of Rock” and “Indie Rock” – campers aged 10 – 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!

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 11th 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 details and to reserve your spot, visit http://rocki.ng/austinrockcamps or call us at (512) 670-2360. You can also email us at austin@schoolofrock.com.

The School of Rock is located at 2525 W Anderson Lane, Suite 138, Austin, TX, 78757


Spend a legendary summer at the Paramount Theatre!

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Paramount Academy for the Arts Summer Camp offers something special. Perhaps it is the historic venue. Maybe it’s the uniquely themed camps or our dynamic faculty. One thing is certain, Paramount Academy for the Arts Summer Camp offers 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

The Paramount Academy of the Arts will have 10 exciting weeks of summer camps for students entering 1st grade all the way through high school. No matter your interest, we have a camp for you!

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 4 sessions on-site at the Paramount and one offered in South Austin.

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 on-site at the Paramount and one in North Austin. 

roboARTS Camp combines playmaking and robotics. Students in roboARTS write original plays, design and program robots, and then perform in their plays alongside their original robot characters. This exciting new camp is offered through a partnership with Science in a Suitcase and will be hosted at Hyde Park Baptist Church.

For our older students, Paramount Academy for the Arts offers Summer Technique Intensives for Teens. This summer’s intensives include Film Acting, Comedy, and Song Writing, all offered on-site at the Paramount.

At Paramount Academy for the Arts Summer Camp your child will have the chance to perform on the historic stages of the Paramount and Stateside Theatres. They will hone their craft as a singer, dancer, actor and triplet threat performer. They will learn artistic skills from some of Austin’s most celebrated artists, and they will channel their creativity and see their own original stories come to life. Paramount Academy for the Arts Summer Camp offers experiences you won’t find anywhere else in a venue second-to-none. We offer an experience that will create lifetime memories.

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



Discover the great outdoors at McKinney Roughs

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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, McKinney Roughs has 1,100 acres of pine forests, box canyons and post oak meadows to explore.

McKinney Roughs 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 uncovering the native plant and animal species in the area.

“We’ve provided outdoor experiences for campers at McKinney Roughs for 15 years,” said LCRA Park 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.”

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 swim at Bastrop State Park, 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.

Camp Information

McKinney Roughs provides up to eight weeks of day camp – from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday – beginning June 19. Each one-week session is $225. 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 10-14) and six (July 31-Aug. 4). The cost is $30 for either before or after care, or $60 for both. Before care is from 7-9 a.m., and after care is from 4-6 p.m.

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



Learn skills and have fun with Lonestar Soccer Club

Come and have fun kicking a ball around this summer and improve your soccer skills at a Lonestar Soccer Club (LSC) camp! Our Lonestar Premier Camps are designed around developing a player’s individual technique and love for the ‘beautiful game’ in a fun, safe and challenging environment. Premier camps are designed for U5-U12 boys and girls of all skill levels and are held at convenient locations— from South Austin to Williamson County, Round Rock and Taylor.

The typical student-teacher ratio is 12:1 or better. Each day includes individual foot skills, technical drills, tactical practices, small-sided games, coached scrimmages, speed and agility training and daily tournaments. Our experienced and nationally licensed staff is from Spain, Argentina, Brazil, United Kingdom, United States and Canada. Each coach has extensive professional soccer coaching experience, and offers an unmatched level of talent and enthusiasm for teaching your child the greatest game in the world.

2016 camps start at Spring Break and run through summer and winter. Spring and winter camps are a set fee of $150, and summer camps are $225. Each camp runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Campers should bring snacks and a bag lunch each day for breaks and lunchtime. And every summer camper receives a free Nike camp T-shirt and Nike soccer ball!

Ready to play? For more information, visit www.lonestar-sc.com or contact Robert Lopez at rlopez@lonestar-sc.com. We look forward to seeing your child at one of our camps this year!


“All the world’s a stage” at kidsActing Studio

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William Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage,” in his play As You Like It. But, kidsActing Studio, Austin’s best and most fun place to learn acting, is bringing it to life by providing kids between the ages of 4 and 18 an opportunity to try musicals, comedy, show choir, stage combat, and more. They may choose one-week classes or multi-week sessions that culminate in a full production performance – lights, sounds, costumes, action!

Established in 1980, kidsActing is Austin’s longest operating performing arts school, serving over 2,500 students per year. With over 15 locations, there are a variety of camps, classes, and shows from which to choose.

“At kidsActing, we believe in empowering every student by providing a supportive and fun environment where young people can be inspired, creative, and can shine!” explained Dede Clark, Artistic Director. “This summer, we’re so excited about our fun camps. There is sure to be something to keep your young actor in the limelight.”

This summer kidsActing is offering themes like Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Snowy White and the 7 Dogs, Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin, and many more. For the older stars, there’s Club Glee! Show Choir, featuring hit songs from Broadway. Young musical performers love Triple Threat classes that include Aloha Moana, Tangled and Peter Pan.

And, for those looking to hone their acting skills, our 3-week acting camp and 4-week musical camp offer full production, in-depth classes to learn and apply core acting tools and methods. kidsActing’s full-scale summer productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Addam’s Family.

“From auditions all the way to final bows, kidsActing gives kids the experience of starring in a professionally produced show,” Dede explained. kidsActing also has a student tech program for those who want to work backstage and learn the technical aspects of theatre while running the show.

Dede is also very excited about the newly announced Center Stage Theatre Elite Ensemble and its production of Cabaret. “This group of teen performers (ages 13-19) have a passion and dedication to musical theatre, clearly evidenced by their excellence. They are talented and committed to achieving a high standard.” No matter how your young star wants to shine, kidsActing is guaranteed to have the right camp, class or production for them. For a full list of summer camps and productions, visit www.kidsActingStudio.com.

kidsActing Studio
2826 Real Street
Austin, Texas 78722


Prepare for EPIC fun at Girl Scout summer camp

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WARNING: This is NOT your everyday summer experience. Girls must come ready to play, explore, discover, and have the time of their life. It’s going to be EPIC.

Girls live in a world of screens—Smartphone! Laptop! TV! Tablet!—and sometimes they just need to get away from it all. We get it. That’s why we have camp! At Girl Scout summer camp, the adventure is high and the fun is big—like, really BIG. Every girl should have the chance to spend their summer trying new things, exploring the great outdoors, making incredible memories with awesome new friends, and grow under the supervision and mentorship of highly trained camp staff. Whether coming for the day or a two-week overnight adventure, at Girl Scout camp, girls learn new skills, meet new people, and try things they have never done before like sailing, horseback riding, even wand making and playing a lively game of Quidditch at our “Harriett Potter” camp!
Girl Scout camps offer something for every girl: outdoor adventures, wacky water fun at the pool, team challenges, creative crafts, games and so much more! Super fun camp themes include: Wilderness Explorers, Cowgirl Splash, Smooth Sailing, Agents of SHIELD Training Camp, Girl Scouts to the Rescue, Survivor, Flashlights and Fairy Tales, CSI, Zombiepocalypse, and of course Harriett Potter camp where girls really discover the magic of camp.

All girls are welcome! Not a Girl Scout yet? No problem! Every girl joins Girl Scouts at registration if they aren’t already a member. Want to join but have a financial obstacle? Girl Scouts of Central Texas believes in the importance of the camp experience for every young person. We work hard to make sure that camp is financially within reach for every Girl Scout!

Our 2017 Camp Guide is an invaluable resource to help a girl choose the camp program that’s right for her. Learn about what makes each of our adventures unique, what to expect during the process of registration, and where to find answers about what our campers can expect during their stay.

Girl Scouts of Central Texas camp builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. But most of all they are a FUN place for girls to spend their summer! Away from the screens and pressures of everyday life. Join us for an unforgettable summer!

Visit www.gsctx.org to learn more about helping a girl go to camp and become a woman who shapes tomorrow.

***Girl Scouts of Central Texas camps are accredited through the American Camp Association.


Extend the wonder with summer of adventure with Extend-A-Care

Boy swimming, underwater shot

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Caring for kids is what Extend-A-Care does all year long. The organization was formed to provide quality, affordable child care for parents and it runs 75 after-school camps in school districts across the Austin metro area. But why not keep the learning and good times going all summer?

Extend-A-Care is now registering for all-day licensed child care for children 3-12 years old for weekly summer sessions that start June 5 and run through August 11.

Each week has its own theme, taken from literature books that the students read. From the books springs a curriculum that offers children a continuous source of new and engaging material and themed activities throughout the week.

Examples of the sessions include “Surfs Up! Aloha Summer!” (Session 1) where campers ride the waves of summer fun with activities that are sure to make a splash! Surf’s up, dude! Campers also will learn about the island culture of our 50th state, as well as the power of the ocean, through music, experiments, surfing games, and various children’s literature.

The week of August 14-18 (Session 11) is “The Sky’s the Limit!” This week full of aerodynamic crafts and fantasy flights of fun will inspire campers to investigate the world of aviation, high-flying adventure books and the wonder of being able to fly.

The affordable fee covers care from 7:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for most of the 10 sites (7 a.m. for Hays and Galindo locations), snacks at mid-morning and in the afternoon, and weekly field trips plus swimming twice a week to stay cool. Fee assistance is available. There is also a discount for those who pay in advance for a full summer of child care by May 12.

To sign up, log on to www.eackids.org. For more information call 512-472-9402.


Enjoy painting, drawing, mosaics, jewelry making and more at The Contemporary Austin!

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The natural setting at The Contemporary Austin – Laguna Gloria has been fostering creativity and enhancing visual awareness for visitors for more than 50 years, and this summer is no exception with a wide variety of programs for all ages! Highly qualified art teachers guide students in small classes (12 to 13 kids) as they learn to observe the beauty that surrounds them and appreciate it through the creation of art. We’re looking forward to artistically inspiring the more than 2,500 kids who are expected to enroll this summer in classes on the gorgeous 12-acre historic site at The Contemporary Austin – Art School at Laguna Gloria.

“The kids love exploring the grounds,” says Judith Sims, site director for the campus, which is located off MoPac on West 35th Street on Lake Austin. “In the Beautiful Bugs class, for example, four-and-five-year-olds learn how art and biology intersect and re-create the beauty and color found in nature, while in Photo and Photoshop, older kids get to know the natural landscape through the lens of their cameras, before exploring the creative possibilities of Photoshop in the studio.”

In addition to painting, drawing, mosaics, jewelry making, and more, every year brings some new ideas and new classes for kids and for teens. Younger students can join us for the new clay class Tots Making Pots, where they can use ingredients from the kitchen to make works of art that are both useful and beautiful. Or they can learn their Art ABCs, honing their visual intelligence as they explore painting, drawing, and sculpture and delve into concepts like color, pattern, and space.

While most classes take place at Laguna Gloria, this year teens can trade lakeside tranquility for the dynamic action of downtown Austin in the class Skyline Drawing. Students meet on The Moody Rooftop at the museum’s Jones Center location for an immersive new drawing class that incorporates this rich urban environment, where artist Jim Hodges’s inspiring outdoor sculpture, With Liberty and Justice for All (A Work in Progress), now hovers over the streetscape below.

“We have whimsical classes for the younger kids and more serious explorations of art-making techniques for the older kids who want to try something new or build on their skills,” Sims continued. “And all of these high-quality programs take full advantage of our beautiful locations – Laguna Gloria’s wooded beauty on Lake Austin and the Jones Center’s unique urban milieu.”

Details: Week-long summer classes begin June 5 and run through August 18. 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. A limited number of scholarships will also be available. We look forward to seeing you this summer!



Explore the wonder of the rainforest at Austin STEAM Scout Camp

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It’s the third year for the Austin STEAM Scout Camp, and they’re gearing up to explore one of Earth’s greatest treasures — TechLab: Rainforest.

“With two great new classes, this year will be amazing,” says Jessica Snider, Director of STEM, Conservation and Sustainability, Boy Scouts Capitol Area Council. “Every year we have a theme that trains kids to live in extreme environments. This year it’s going to be rainforest, so we’re working with partners to develop ways to teach camp participants citizen science programming, VR and drone science and expedition planning and expedition gear development.”

The Austin STEAM Camp provides the type of engagement, excitement and hands-on activities required for successful early STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education. Camp attendees will use tools like DSLR cameras, laser cutter/engravers, 3D printers, robotics kits (including state-of-the-art NAO robots), hydrology display boards, Adobe Creative Suite software, VR and remote sensing to explore, study, design and create. The camp will also feature classes like Toy Design (for younger kids) and Model Design (for older kids) where attendees will learn everything from the basics of CAD design and Tinkercad to working with and taking care of the actual 3D printers.

The camp is open to boys and girls entering the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth grades, and camp participants do not have to be a registered Boy Scout or Girl Scout to attend. Week 1 will run June 13-June 17, Week 2 will run June 20-June 24,  Week 3 will run June 27-July 1, Week 4 will run July 11-July 15 and Week 5 will run July 17-21. There are 800 spaces available, with 8 different class options for kids ages 11 and up, and four topics covered in the classes for kids age 10 and under. In a world where more and more jobs require knowledge of STEM, this camp is one that will be a learning experience for any camp goer.

“One of the things we push is, to be a good citizen, you really need to understand STEM,” says Snider. “You need to know how science and technology affects our world.”

The camp also believes that STEAM should available to all youth, and is working to ensure opportunities are in place so anyone who wants to attend is able to do so. Generous grants have allowed the camp to provide scholarships for students from disadvantaged areas. The camp provides free breakfast and lunches for attendees who come in on scholarship, along with transportation.

“Attendance in a camp like this can make the big different in students’ STEM readiness,” says Snider. “By knock down barriers like cost and transportation, we aim to make sure all youth know that STEM can be for them.”


Registration is $325 per youth, and will include a T-shirt, patch, flash drive and two nutritious snacks daily. Box lunches are available for order for each day; please select this option during registration and indicate any dietary concerns.

For registration and more info, visit http://www.techlab.camp/.


Imagine, dance, discover & play at Ballet Austin’s summer camps!

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Children are born with oceans of creativity and love to express themselves through movement. Ballet Austin Kids Camps bring fun and imaginative worlds for children (ages 4 to 10) where they explore their innate creativity through the art of movement and music. Here’s a preview of what’s in store for this summer’s camps at Ballet Austin:

Imagination in Motion Camp: A Wildlife Safari (ages 4-8) | June 5–9: 9:30am–12pm

A journey through jungles, deserts, and forests where children discover exciting animals of the wild. Imagine running like giraffes, dancing bears, playful monkeys, lions, lizards, and more! Children will experience the natural world through games, crafts, animal fun, dance and movement activities.

The Broadway Kids Camp: Disney Classics (ages 5-10) | June 12–16: 9:00am–12:15pm

Children discover aspects of musical theatre as they learn kid-friendly choreography and favorite songs from well-known Disney Broadway musicals! Each day features singing, dancing, rehearsals and games, with a fun performance in the theater on the final day.

Dance Discoveries Camp: Favorite Fairies of the Ballet (ages 5-10) | August 7–11: 8:30am–12pm

Features classic ballet favorites such as The Sleeping Beauty, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Cinderella. Children learn about the different stories and characters that inhabit these classic fairytales, and learn some of the steps and other choreographic elements that go into creating these magical characters on stage.

Dance Discoveries Camp: Peter Pan! (ages 5-10) | August 14–18: 1:00pm–4:30pm

A journey to Neverland with Peter Pan, Wendy, and Captain Hook! Children learn about this magical fairytale, its music and characters while learning some of the steps and other choreographic elements that go into creating these playful characters on stage.

“Our camps are designed to give children the opportunity to explore dance movement and related art forms through music, story, dance, and the visual arts” – Vicki Parsons, Butler Center for Dance & Fitness Director

Children discover, create, and have fun while preparing for a special performance for family and friends on the last day of the camp. All camps are held at Ballet Austin’s Butler Dance Education Center located at 501 West 3rd Street. For registration information, visit balletaustin.org/kidscamps or call 512-501-8704.

Express yourself through writing at Badgerdog!

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It’s 9:45 a.m. in a classroom full of 5th graders on a hot summer morning. The room is quiet, except for the sound of pencils scribbling across the page, and the occasional whisper from one writer to her neighbor: “My character’s name is Hairy Potato!”

This energetic silence is the sound of invention—of words coming together in the mind and pouring out onto the page. It’s the sound of stories that didn’t exist until just now, at last taking shape.

Of course, the room won’t stay quiet for long. When writing time ends, sharing time begins, ushering in the clamor of hands waving high in the air and neighbors leaning over to show one another what they’ve created. Welcome to the Library Foundation’s Badgerdog Creative Writing Summer Camp!

On the first day of camp, some of these 5th graders say they love to write. Others say writing’s not their best subject, or they’re not “super good at it.” For the young writing enthusiast, Badgerdog is an opportunity to discover new writers, new forms of writing, and new techniques to expand their tool box. For the reluctant writers, Badgerdog offers a different approach to writing, where “mistakes” are merely experiments, where you can’t fail, there are no grades, and there’s no single right way to write.

“My favorite thing about Badgerdog is being able to write what we want and not do boring school-like assignments,” says Patrick, a camper in the high school workshop at The Griffin School. “We learn writing theory by writing, not by memorization.”

Badgerdog’s teaching artists are all are writers themselves. They love literature so thoroughly, they’ve made it their career. And they know how challenging it can be to find inspiration, to push through a tough writing moment, and to seek advice from others. They also understand that writers aren’t born writers—it simply takes practice.

In addition to writing, campers at Badgerdog also learn how to share their work aloud, how to respond to the work of others, and how revise work for publication. All campers in Badgerdog’s three-week program have one piece published in Badgerdog’s anthologies—Rise for third- through sixth-graders, and Emerge for seventh- through twelfth-graders.

While writing for writing’s sake is a worthy pursuit, Badgerdog believes writers deserve a celebration, which is why each session of summer camp ends with a reading on site. Later in the fall, a camp-wide reading is held at Austin ISD’s Performing Arts Center to coincide with the release of Rise and Emerge.

Each summer, Badgerdog Creative Writing Summer Camp brings a new sense of creativity to hundreds of kids and teens, who become stronger writers, speakers, and collaborators as a result. Workshops are held across Austin in three sessions. Badgerdog also offers the Summer Book Crush and Spring Break Writing Workshops. For more information, visit: www.austinlibrary.org.

Create, Explore, and Perform at the Austin Chamber Music Workshop

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Austin is filled with students playing in their school band or orchestra or taking private lessons. The Austin Chamber Music Workshop is the perfect place for young musicians to come together in a supportive and challenging environment to hone their skills by playing in a small ensemble with new friends.

Based on auditions in May, students are placed into a small ensemble with students of similar age and ability and assigned music that is appropriate for their skill level but still challenging. Each day during the workshop they meet with their ensemble and an instructor that has specific expertise in the ensemble’s unique instrument configuration. Students also participate in electives such as music composition and improvisation for more creative outlets.

Olivia Erwin, a recent workshop graduate recounts her experience: “One of the things that made such a huge impression on me was ACMC’s outstanding and dedicated team of teachers, supporters, and administrators. Today I still consider the ACMC community my family. They have been there and facilitated every step of my growth towards becoming a young adult, musician, and overall artist!”

ACMC is honored to once again host the Workshop at the impeccable facilities in the University of Texas’ Butler School of Music. “The opportunity for Workshop students to get a taste of a day in the life of a college music student is a huge benefit of our program along with the expert faculty instruction and explorative elective classes offered each summer,” says Artistic Director Michelle Schumann.

Jeni Gossard, ACMC’s Director of Education discusses the advantages of practicing with both standard and uniquely arranged ensembles: “the Workshop is open to young artists that play any instrument which is something that differentiates our program from others. Students learn to play in both standard and unique instrument configurations, making them more versatile and open-minded in their musical development. Each member of our incredibly talented faculty team comes from a diverse musical background, which allows students the opportunity to ask questions and explore new musical ideas.”

The Workshop runs concurrently with the Austin Chamber Music Festival featuring an international array of chamber music’s best and brightest stars. The visiting artists make themselves available to Workshop students for masterclasses, noonday concerts, and question and answer sessions. All students receive three free tickets to every Festival concert at UT’s Bates Recital Hall.

Student graduates of the Workshop have gone on to form professional ensembles of their own, teach at the university level, and play in internationally recognized symphony and opera groups. Of course, not every young musician will go on to become professional players. ACMC develops and implements the curriculum in a way that ensures the positive impact of working in a small team towards a common goal has lasting benefits on all Workshop students.

The 2017 Austin Chamber Music Workshop is open to students aged 7-18. Students aged 7-10 participate in the Primary Division, which runs weekdays from July 10-22. Students aged 11-18 make up the Young Artists Division, which runs weekdays from July 6-22. There is also an Adult Division that runs from July 5-20 for those parents looking to play in a chamber ensemble and/or chamber orchestra!