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Summer camp review


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I'm attempting to be proactive this year and get some ideas for next summer while your memories are fresh.  I'd love to learn from anyone what camps/summer experiences their kids have really enjoyed and found challenging.  (And if there are camps you don't recommend.)

My son has just begun 6th grade, and many of the academic camps we've done in the past have been a bust.  "Boring!"  "Too easy!"  In the research I've done the serious academic camps, where the kids can take classes at university, start after 7th grade.  My son is in Duke TIPS and Johns Hopkins CTY, and he particularly loves medical/biological sciences (not engineering/robotics), math, international politics, and linguistics, particularly old English.  Any recs along those lines are particularly helpful!

Thanks!

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My local natural history museum offers a "Junior Medical Camp" each summer - different levels based on grade.  My kids enjoy it and always learn a lot.

You might also look into what offerings the zoo has for your child's age.  Some of them seem interesting, others not so much.

Nearby expensive private schools often have summer camps that have unique or interesting themes.  One that was a hit for my kid this year was "putt putt design."  It was a woodworking course that applied STEM concepts as well as each child's creativity.  There was another one where they took the kids around to various cultural places around the metro center - museums, ethnic restaurants, etc. etc. 

One of my kids enjoyed a sleep-away music / musical theater camp at a nearby university.

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This would be a few years out (high school) but my 14 year old did BYU's StarTalk Arabic program this year; it was intense, she learned a ton, and she had a great time.

There are other StarTalk programs around the country for high priority languages, this is the only one we have personal experience though. My dd's teacher was from Jordan and the students were from all over the US.

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My son who is going into 7th did a 6 week STEM-focused program at the local university. I believe it was modeled after a similar program in Texas so there may be others around the country. It is actually a three year program--he will go back the next two summers. Commuter not sleep away camp. They had four classes each day: engineering, problem solving, logic, and career awareness. Friday's were field trips to STEM oriented museums and events.

I think the classes for years 2 and 3 are different.

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Thanks for a good start.  Unfortunately, my son did a STEM camp at Rice University last summer, but was bored to tears.  He had read more on the subject than the instructors, who were college students (not necessarily from Rice) who had just taken a summer camp counselor job and were using kits.  It may be that that the courses get better as the kids get older, but I don't think I'll be able to convince him to do it again.  He has also done camps at the most rigorous private school in town and at the Natural Science Museum, but he had read so far ahead of where they were, it was the same situation.  He'll be able to take summer college classes with Duke TIP at Rice starting in 8th grade, but that is a little while off.  I've heard mixed reviews about Duke TIP CRISIS, depending on location.  He liked the concept of the camp.  I'd love to know if anyone attended a session they liked.  

 

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