Gear Up for Summer Camp!
Summer is a much-needed break for both parents and kids after meeting the demands of a rigid school schedule. Days of sleeping late, vacationing, and basking in the outdoors are highly anticipated. However, it is also the perfect opportunity to explore your child’s special interests, talents, and dig a little deeper into education with summer camps. Summer camps are a great option to provide children with a community of caring mentors, great friendships, and lasting memories. There are options for everyone but space is limited so research the possibilities early.
If sports interest your child, there are many camps that appeal to their talents. Tupelo Youth Soccer Association offers two weeklong camps for ages four and up, June 12-16 and July 10-14. Additional information and registration is available online at http://leagues.bluesombrero.com/Default.aspx?tabid=915157
Check with your town’s parks and recreation department for sports camp offerings. Also, the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University host a plethora of sports camps for children.
Extreme Athletics in Saltillo is a competitive cheerleading gym that teaches tumbling, stunting, cheer, and dance. heir summer camp is sure to make your child flip!
Tupelo Tennis Academy’s summer tennis program goes throughout the summer for children beginning at age five for all skill levels. Clinics are held at the Rob Leake City Tupelo Tennis Facility in the Joyner Neighborhood. For more information visit, www.tupelotennisacademy.com
Flip Flop Gymnastics in Saltillo as well as many other gymnastics studios including IJump in Fulton host summer camps that allow kids to expel some energy.
If creativity makes your children tick, Wet Paint, a paint your own pottery studio in Tupelo, offers a weeklong art camp for children. And, Art 108 in Baldwyn and Art Adventures with Mrs. Mallory in Tupelo both host art lessons and camps.
Pied Piper Players, a children’s theatre group, hosts a day camp at the Tupelo High School Performing Arts Center for children who have completed kindergarten through eighth grade. They also have opportunities for high school students to be involved. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Saltillo Performing Arts Center and Tupelo Community Theatre also host summer camps.
Every little girl enjoys being girly. The North Mississippi Dance Center and the Tupelo Academy of Dance Arts offer summer camps for many ages as well as princess camps for preschoolers.
Oren Dunn City Museum in Tupelo hosts an “I Love History” weeklong summer day camp. Call 662-841-6438 for more information.
Many area churches offer vacation bible schools as a summer enrichment program for young church members as well as children in the community. Typically they end at sixth grade, however, young people in seventh and older are encouraged to be VBS helpers. For more information, contact area churches.
WinShape Camp will be at Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo, July 24-28. It is a day camp that lasts one week for grades first through ninth that combines sports, recreation, arts, Bible study, and worship into one incredible week. You can look for the information at camps.winshape.org or you can call the church at (662) 842-6917. The cost is $209 for the week. Registration opens March 17.
HealthWorks! is an interactive children’s educational center that encourages kids of all ages to make great life choices. It offers several day camps for many ages. Each camp is themed and planned with age-appropriate activities and information. Visit www.healthworkskidsms.org or call (662) 377-5437 for information.
The University of Mississippi offers a variety of day and overnight camps for all ages that appeal to all interests. These include academics, art, sports, CSI, musical instrument, and much more. For additional information, visit http://olemiss.edu/summer.html
Tupelo Public School District’s Camp Opportunity is a series of weeklong camps held in June offered to students by the school district. The camps are led by teachers and designed to provide hands-on learning experiences through art, science, and other activities. Anyone interested can call the TPSD central office at (662) 841-8850 for more information.
Mississippi State University allows kids to choose from over 100 summer programs designed to educate and inspire kids from elementary to high school. Their camps give kids the opportunity to further their knowledge and skills in academics, athletics, and creative areas while allowing them to experience life at Mississippi State University. Day camps as well as overnight camps are offered. For more information visit, http://ce.extension.msstate.edu/programs/summer-camps
The Youth Services Division of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department reaches out to the youth of the community in the hope to offer guidance to help influence the decisions they make in life. Day camps are offered for those entering second grade to seventh. Volunteer opportunities are available for older high school students. They will also host a Summer Survivor Camp June 5-9. This weeklong, overnight camp is open to Lee County students entering seventh through ninth grades. Applications are due March 30. For information visit, http://leecosheriff.com/youth-services/
Mississippi State University Lee County Extension 4H hosts day camps that provide hands-on learning and education programs for kids that build skills like responsibility, resiliency, and hard work, helping them succeed in life. For more information, visit http://extension.msstate.edu/msu-extension-lee-county
If an overnight camp sounds like something your child would enjoy, there are many options at the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University to investigate.
Located near Tupelo, Morganwood Free Will Baptist Youth Camps are conducted in June with each week representing a different age group ranging from grades preschool through twelfth. Learn more at www.morganwoodcamp.org
Camp Lake Stephens is a United Methodist camp located near Oxford that offers a variety of camp programs through the summer for various age groups. Activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, archery, rappelling, and high rope challenges make this camp a favored destination. Take advantage of the lower registration fees that increase after April 7. For more information and to register online visit, www.camplakestephens.com
Space Camp in Huntsville, AL, is certainly a camp out of this world. Beginning at age nine, kids are able to launch into the adventure of a lifetime when they join the ranks of where aspiring explorers train to live and work in space. Space Camp, Aviation Challenge, and Space Camp Robotics are all camps that are sure to excite yet challenge your little one. Visit www.spacecamp.com for the exciting details.
Kathryn Rhea resides in Tupelo with her husband, Harris, and two children, Clayton and Charles. She believes in enrolling children in summer camps to enrich their lives with hands-on fun learning, which is much more than a TV or iPad can provide.