Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Palmer summer camps

School lets out in about three weeks. At my house, the glut of sudden free time is great...for about three days. Then the wiggles move in to drive every adult within range absolutely nuts.

The solution? Camp - day or sleepaway. The Palmer Arts Council and Trailside Discovery out at Spring Creek Farms both offer a nice variety this year. The PAC's lineup is here, but below are a few highlights:

Summer Theatre Academies, hosted by the awesome Annie Williams at Sherrod. Annie's been the ringmaster of these day camp/workshops since they started several years ago. The home base remains Sherrod Elementary, where for two week intervals, students memorize, perform and block around three complete plays. At the end of the session, parents are invited to a stage production. Last year, my daughter participated in a June session with Annie and had a total blast. If your child loves to ham it up in front of a crowd, check this out. Tuition runs between $275-300 per session.

Misty Holler, art teacher at Academy Charter School, heads up these one-week sessions where students get to sculpt, paint, draw and otherwise feed their artistic souls. The group also explores the area around Academy on daily hikes, and learns from local artists who guest teach.

For the musically inclined, check out both the Summer Youth Band, directed by PJMS music teacher Matt Swalling at PHS, and the Percussion Camp. Dr. Meggie Aube hosts a five-day intensive workshop for all things drum-like, which results in a set at Vagabond Blues. The band performs at various summer venues, including the Governor's Picnic and Palmer Pride lunch. A Junior Band program is new this year for middle school students interested in keeping their skills strong.

New this year is a theater camp for high schoolers. Brian Mead and Grant Olson - Colony High and PJMS teachers respectively - have teamed up to offer older teens a chance to develop some acting skills. This summer-long program will be punctuated by two or three public performances. Enrollment is limited.

For kids ages 4-13, Trailside Discovery - hosted by the Alaska Center for the Environment -  is hosting week-long day camps that begin June 4 and conclude August 6. From a wildlife safari to Dinosaurs, Volcanoes and Quakes to a survival challenge, these camps are outdoor oriented and intensive. Kids ages 9-13 are invited on a few overnight camps, including a river float and backpack trip or a visit to the Knik River glacier. Almost all my children have participated in these day camps, which are great for learning and exploration. I'm looking forward to sending my youngest there at least a few times this summer.

So what about you? If you know of any Palmer activity for kids this summer, share them in the comments!

--Melodie Wright

1 comment:

quest for the simple life said...

Here is a great link to the UAF extension program. They are offering a go-green camp for Alaskan kids this summer.