BY TOM LAVIS
The Community Education and Outreach department at Pitt-Johnstown will conduct a series of “Rock Your Summer” camps for youngsters.
Jeanne Susko, director of community education and outreach at Pitt-Johnstown, said the program is designed to get children active and away from computers, television and texting.
“It’s an opportunity for children to experience something new without realizing that they are learning,” Susko said.
Pitt-Johnstown is partnering with Mountain Playhouse and Green Gables to offer sessions using employees who excel in their line of expertise.
Camps begin Monday with Green Gables’ Garden to Table workshop for children ages 8 and up. Each day children will gather foods and learn to perform basic gardening from the restaurant’s garden. Children will share in the fun of making healthy foods and snacks that they will sample and enjoy throughout the week.
A weeklong theater camp July 18-22 will be taught on stage at Mountain Playhouse by professional actors.
The larger “Rock Your Summer” camps enroll from 40 to 75 students.
“I like to think the more the merrier, knowing that in the past we’ve had weeklong camps that exceeded 100 students, so we’re prepared,” Susko said.
“This is an opportunity for kids to learn something new in the summer. Ninety-nine percent of our instructors are certified teachers from the area.”
Costs for each camp vary based on the hours of classroom time and supplies required.
“There are no hidden fees since the cost of the camp/class is all inclusive, covering costs of supplies and food,” said Susko.
Continuing to be one of the most popular choices is Learn Camp, which runs from June 27-July 1, and is celebrating its 30th anniversary this summer.
The camp is designed for children entering grades 3 through 8 in the fall. It includes five classes daily: Amazing Mechanical Engineering, Computer Celebrations, Russian Adventures, CSI: Mystery Science and Watercolor Mosaic Magic.
“Children coming for camps get the opportunity to truly immerse themselves into the subject of the class and have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of projects and activities during that time,” Susko said.
“An added benefit is how students meet and make new friends, with some friendships that last a lifetime.”
It is not unusual for children to take more than one camp session during the summer.
“It has been fabulous seeing children grow up through our programs and actually enter Pitt-Johnstown after high school,” Susko said.
“We share bragging rights that some of our past alums of Learn and Summerfun camps have won numerous awards in high school, college and the business world. Some have attended Ivy League colleges and even won state and national attention.”
Celebrating its sixth anniversary is the Junior Naturalist Outdoor Adventure Camp for children ages 8 and up.
Children enjoy snorkeling, rappelling, wilderness trekking, canoeing, swimming and riding the Tyrolean traverse.
The Academy of Engineering & Science is offering a hands-on civil engineering class called Catastrophe (July 25-29) for children entering grades 6-8 in the fall. This camp is being offered at Pitt-Johnstown in partnership with The Learning Lamp.
Camp Preschool Aug. 1-5 features Animal Adventures for children ages 4-6.
The last day to register for camps and classes is 10 days prior to the starting date, as long as seats are available.
“We encourage parents to register early,” Susko said.
Information: 269-2099 or visit www.pitt-johnstown.pitt.edu/outreach.
The following is a list of Pitt-Johnstown’s “Rock Your Summer” camps:
Monday through June 17: Green Gables’ Garden to Table workshop, ages 8 and up.
June 20-24: Junior Naturalist Outdoor Adventure Camp, ages 8 and up.
June 27-July 1: Learn Camp, ages 8 to 13.
July 18-22: Mountain Playhouse Theater Workshop, ages 8 and up.
July 25-29: Civil Engineering Camp: Catastrophe, grades 6 to 9; Hip Hop Mini Dance Camp, ages 9 and up; Spanish Camp, ages 10 and up.
Aug. 1-5: Camp Preschool, ages 4-6; French Camp, ages 10 and up.
Aug. 1-4: Acting Basics, ages 11 and up; Stage Stars, ages 11 and up.
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