Summer camp extravaganza

By CRAIG KLEIMEYER

Birmingham Zoo Camps

The Birmingham Zoo offers camps throughout the summer for children ages 4K through eighth grade. Camps are either half day or whole day and offer children opportunities for special behind-the-scenes tours, up-close animal encounters, arts and crafts and other fun. These camps also include train and carousel rides and fun playing in the water fountains. The full-day camps are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and half-day camps are from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Brand new camps for the year include Top Chef, Animal Style, Jr., Z.S.I. (Zoo Scene Investigator), Dirty Jobs, Nature Explorers, and Mommy and Me (2 hour camp). Classic favorites such as Art, ZooKeeper and African Safari are back. For more information and to register online, call 397-3887 or visit www.birminghamzoo.com/education/camps/summer-camps.

McWane Science Center Camps

                  McWane Science Center Camps make learning an unforgettable adventure that you just can’t experience anywhere else. Various themes and activities allow children to experience something new each day. Start off the morning with Chemistry Capers and finish the afternoon with Dino Discoveries. Become a mini meteorologist and be a part of a science circus! Camps are offered to children ages 4K to sixth grade. Full day and half day programs are available, and there are preferred rates for member of McWane Science Center. For more information and to register online, visit http://www.mcwane.org/camps_and_more/camps/summercamp.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Camps

Choose from a variety of different topics including nature and the outdoors, plants and our environment, cooking, art and more! Programs are designed to actively promote your child’s natural sense of creativity and discovery with fun learning experiences in the unmatched setting at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Camps are offered for ages 4 through the six grade. All sessions are taught by certified or otherwise qualified teachers. Bring a lunch and a water bottle; a light snack is provided. Pre-registration is required. One of the most popular camps is Garden Adventure with American Girls. Campers explore the gardens through the eyes of their American Girl dolls with arts and crafts, stories, songs and recipes. Other camps include Exploring the Garden with Winnie the Pooh, Monet’s Garden and Paper Art. Camps are weekly from May 29-July 27.

Morning Camps (9 a.m.-1 p.m.)

May 29-June 1: “Painting in The Gardens” and “Let’s Get Growing”

June 4-8: “Flower Fairies,”  “Garden Adventures with American Girl” and “Monet’s Garden”

June 18- 25: “It’s a Buggy World” and “Wild Wings and Creeping Things”

June 25-29: Two “Young Builders: Legos in the Landscape” sessions and “Paper Art”

July 9-13:  “Garden Adventures with American Girl” and “Southern Summer Chefs: The Sweeter

Side”

July 16–20: Two “Southern Summer Chefs” sessions

July 23–27: Two “Let’s Dig Up Some Fun” sessions

Afternoon Camp (1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.)

June 11-15: “Art in the Afternoon: Paper Art” and  “Explore The Gardens with Winnie the Pooh”

Members and non-members can register. Prices range from $102 – $170 for each session.

For a complete list of camp offerings, times, recommended age groups and to register online, visit www.bbgardens.org/summercamps. If you have any further questions, contact Ellen Hardy, education program coordinator, at 205.414.3953 or ehardy@bbgardens.org.

Summer Show-Offs

                  If you have a born performer at your house, this camp might be just what you are looking for. This popular camp is for boys and girls ages 5K through twelfth grade. Morning or afternoon sessions are offered at Birmingham Metro Church. Summer Show-Offs teaches confidence and character, stage presence, singing and dancing. Each child is given a solo and shown that everyone can perform on stage. Campers are allowed to experiment and develop their talents without feeling insecure or intimidated.

Every day, campers will rehearse group singing, choreography, solos and the correct way to speak and use the microphone. On Friday, there will be a grand performance for friends. Camp will be held from June 4-June 8 at the Indian Springs School in Birmingham and from June 18-22 and July 16-20 at Metro Church in Birmingham. For more information and to register, visit www.summershowoffs.com.     6th – 12th —Spots Available

YMCA Camp Cosby
Camp Cosby’s 90th season will open on Sunday, June 2. They will have week-long sessions for eight weeks, beginning with the first session from June 3-9 and ending with the last session from July 22-28. Each week will end on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. With 137 acres nestled in east Alabama, Camp Cosby provides the perfect summer camp atmosphere to over 2,000 campers each summer. Camp Cosby’s facilities and activities include: 22 air-conditioned cabins, an air-conditioned dining hall , a waterpark, swimming pool, over 10 miles of trails for BMX, mini-bikes, horses and hiking, an open air gym, a 22-stall horse barn, a 55-foot alpine tower, Cosby Zoom (Cosby’s own zipline), a media center, and ski boats. Summer camp counselors and staff attend leadership training before the summer so that they will be sure to meet every need for every child. Camp Cosby has an “I am third” motto, which places God first, others second, and yourself third. The combination of a fun and caring staff and strong camp values guarantees campers to have a great experience. Kids aged 6-16 can register for camp. Camp Cosby is located at 2290 Paul Bear Bryant Road in Alpine, Al. For more information and to register, visit http://www.campcosby.org/.

Mountain Top Community Church Camps

Mountain Top’s Family Life Center offers numerous summer camps for your kids. Camps are held weekly beginning on June 4 and lasting until August 3. Camps include two sessions of an adventure camp for the outdoors type of kid who loves hiking, climbing and team challenges and two sessions of an all sports camp, as well as a performing arts camp for the dramatic and artistic as well as the talented dancers. Also, there will be a world mission camp with a focus on other people, cultures and needs, a basketball camp, a cheer/dance camp, and a random camp with a variety of fun and whacky games. Camps are for kids who have completed the first through the sixth grades. Mountain Top Community Church is located at 226 Centerview Drive in Vestavia, AL. For more information and to register, visit http://www.mountaintopchurch.com/pages/page.asp?page_id=101910.

Valley View Ranch Equestrian Camp for Girls

Girls ages 8-17 who love horses can attend Valley View Ranch Equestrian Camp for Girls. Sessions are 1-2 weeks long and run from June 3 through August 3. Valley View Ranch is located at 606 Valley View Ranch Road in Cloudland, GA. To register for a camp session, call (706) 862-6190 or send an email to info@valleyviewranch.com.

YouthServe Birmingham’s  Urban Service Camp

                  YouthServe Birmingham is hosting three five day sessions of summer camp to engage youth in community service and team building activities. YouthServe’s Urban Service brings together a diverse group of youth, ages 13 -18, to spend time in downtown Birmingham and get to know each other. Campers stay at the YMCA downtown and take a tour of historic Birmingham. Campers will play games in the park, basketball at night, scavenger hunts and artistic expression workshops, and they will also participate in social change workshops. The Urban Service Camp will help get teens out of their comfort zones and inform them of community issues as well as train and empower them to become effective leaders. Session 1 will take place from June 25-29; session 2 will take place from July 9-13; and session 3 will take place from July 23-27. For more information, visit http://youthservebham.org/our-programs/.

Girl Scout Camps

Registration opened on February 18 for the 2012 Girl Scout summer camps. Camps are also open to non-members. Girl Scout camps are the place to enjoy the outdoors, make new friends and create memories, but also to conquer challenges, develop leadership skills and improve self-esteem by practicing teamwork and decision making. Camps offer experiences for everyone. Start and end dates are May 29 to August 3.

Camp Coleman

This camp is for girls aged 5 to 17 and offers equestrian programs and special theme camps. Girls can spend time with the horses or spend the week designing clothes and jewelry or canoeing and zip lining at night, all while enjoying swimming, ropes course and other camp activities.  Special sessions include a magical-themed camp where campers attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and a Disney-themed camp. Camp Coleman is located at 4010 Camp Coleman Road in Trussville. Start and end dates for this camp are May 29-August 3. For more information, call (205) 655-3782, email lelliott@girlscoutsnca.org, or visit www.girlscoutsnca.org/camps.

Camp Cottaquilla

This camp is for girls aged 6-17 and offers some very unique resident camp programs.  Special sessions include designing clothes and accessories from recycled items, theater sessions, and a fairy-themed camp.  Also, there will be plenty of time for traditional camp activities of swimming, canoeing or archery. Camp Cottaquilla is located at 2500 Cottaquilla Road in Anniston. Start and end dates are June 4-June 15. For more information, call (256) 295-9082, email bgable@girlscoutsnca.org, or visit www.girlscoutsnca.org/camps.

Kanawahala Program Center (KPC)

KPC is for girls aged 5 to 17 and has a private lake, perfect for week-long water sports sessions.  KPC offers creative camps where girls practice cake-decorating skills, tie-dying clothes or making jewelry.  Special camps include a Mardi Gras week and a rock star week.  Girls can also run the zip line at night or solve a camp mystery in addition to traditional camp activities. KPC offers resident and day camps, and resident and day horse camps. Start and end dates are May 29-July 27. KPC is located at 831 Girl Scout Road in Chelsea. For more information, call (205) 678-8843, email tknowles@girlscoutsnca.org, or visit www.girlscoutsnca.org/camps.

Camp Trico

This camp is for girls aged 5-17. Camp Trico on Lake Guntersville has nearly a mile of shoreline on the state’s largest lake. Water activities like canoeing, tubing behind the pontoon boat, snorkeling, and every other water game you can imagine is just the beginning. Horseback riding, archery, digital photography, cake decorating, extreme camping and event planning are just a few programs you’ll find here this summer.  Camp Trico is located at 315 Trico Drive in Guntersville. Start and end dates are May 18-August 3. For more information, call (256) 582-2617, email acanterbury@girlscoutsnca.org, or visit www.girlscoutsnca.org/camps.

Levite Jewish Community Center Summer Camps

The Levite Jewish Community Center in Homewood will offer summer day camps for Birmingham for the 61st year. Camp Yofi will be for grades 1-7 from June 4-July 20 for a week at a time. Camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30p.m. and will help campers to learn new skills, participate in creative activities by expressing themselves through art and more, make decisions, problem solve as a group, and more. The LJCC will also hold a Right Reaction Class for teens and tweens to help them be prepared for any emergency, specialty camps with activities like swimming, hiking, art, sports and games, and sports camps. As well, the LJCC will have an eight-week program at the early childhood learning center for children 6 months to 5 years old. Registration for all camps began on March 4 at the LJCC Camp Fair. You can sign up for one week or all eleven, and you can mix and match camps. Camper information forms are available at the fitness desk at the LJCC or to be downloaded or completed on the LJCC website, www.bhamjcc.org/camp. Non-members may register beginning April 1 for additional fees. The LJCC is open to everyone in the community. For more information, visit the website or call 879-0411.

Homewood Camps

 LatinSummer Birmingham Camps

The Youth Classes Institute and Samford University present LatinSummer Birmingham. Sponsored by Ascanius, LatinSummer is a two-week summer enrichment program that provides students in grades 2-7 a unique chance to learn about Latin and the classical world. Over the past ten years, LatinSummer has introduced Latin and the Classics to students all over the East Coast. Now, LatinSummer comes for the first time to the Birmingham area, giving students the opportunity to explore classical and conversational Latin, Greco-Roman mythology, and Roman culture and daily life! Topics may include Latin vocabulary and word roots, building hands-on Latin sentences, the Olympic games, Roman clothing, gladiators, architecture, banquets, mosaics and art, and many more! Students will be grouped by age. Instruction, pacing, and content will be tailored to the unique needs of each age group. No prior knowledge of Latin or Classics is required. LatinSummer is open to any student currently enrolled in grades two through seven. All students in the Birmingham area can attend: students in public school, non-public school, and homeschooled students. The dates of the camp are July 16-27, 2012 on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The camp will be held at Samford University. Cost per student is $250. Students on free/reduced lunch pay $65, and students with other significant financial need pay $125. A T-shirt is included. The reduced rates are made possible by generous donors and are available on a first-come, first-served basis; see our website for eligibility requirements. To register, visit www.ascaniusyci.org/birmingham. Deadline to register is May 15.

 Casey Dunn Summer Baseball Camps

                  Join some of the Samford University baseball players, other college and high school coaches, and the Samford baseball staff and become a better baseball player. Camp is open to players in kindergarten through twelfth grade and is held at Samford University. Youth camps are June 18-21, June 25-28, July 9-12 and July 23-26, and the High School Spotlight Camp is July 16-18.  For more information, call 726-4294 or visit http://samfordbaseballcamps.com.

 Adventures in Music Camp at Samford

                  If you are in first through twelfth grades, you can study piano or voice intensely for a week this summer at Samford University! Adventures in Music Camp includes private lessons, guests artists, recitals, lunch and more. It offers theory, music literature, piano or vocal ensemble and piano technique as well. Camp dates are June 18-22 for the first session and July 9-13 for the second session. For more information, call 726-4049 or visit www.samford.edu/arts/music/prepsummercamps.html.

 All Aboard for Music Camp at Samford

                  Introduce your young ones to music at Samford University this summer from July 16-20!  All Aboard for Music Camp helps preschoolers understand and learn about movement and instruments. Camp also includes crafts, recreation and guest artists. Ages 3-6 can attend as long as they have not attended first grade. For more information, call 726-4049 or visit www.samford.edu/arts/music/prepsummercamps.html.

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