The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

May 26, 2009

'Keep them engaged' | Area summer camps help kids stay in learning modes



Summer camps at area colleges and learning centers will keep kids active and interested until school begins again.

On the Pitt-Johnstown campus in Richland Township, three camps are scheduled: A Junior Naturalist Outdoor Adventure Camp will be held from June 22-26; LEARN Camp: Where College is for Kids will be held July 13-17; and SummerFun 2009 will be held from July 20 to Aug. 15.

An Academy of Engineering will be offered July 20 through Aug. 7 and an Earth Globe Science Camp will be held Aug. 10-14, both in partnership with The Learning Lamp.

Jeanne Susko, director of Community Education and Outreach at Pitt-Johnstown, said registration for all camps will be accepted as long as there are vacancies.

“Registrations are being taken now,” Susko said. “These camps have always been popular, and I think with families taking ‘staycations,’ parents will be looking toward putting money into a class or camp.

“They can drop off their kids and know they’re being taken care of in a safe environment,” she said.

For information, go to and click on outreach office, then Rock Your Summer.

Summer camps for children ages 6 to 12 will range from sports to the arts at St. Francis University in Loretto.

Sports camps will begin June 9 and feature basketball, soccer, volleyball, swimming and golf. Kid’s College classes will begin June 16 and topics will be music, dance, art, writing, robotics and science.

Deb Stohon, program specialist in the continuing education office, said the robotics and golf camps have been popular.

“We’ve been amazed at how many we’ve gotten for the acting and musical theater classes,” Stohon said. “Kids are really interested.”

Registrations for all camps will be taken up to June 12, she said.

For a complete listing of camps, go to and click on children’s camps.

Mount Aloysius College in Cresson will offer camps on astronomy, baby-sitting certification, basketball, baseball, volleyball, eco-adventure, sports enhancement, plants, Spanish and becoming a junior chef.

Classes start June 22.

Jackie Gutshall, director of marketing and public relations, said some of the kid’s camps offered in previous years will be missing from this year’s roster.

“We want to try to add some diversity and interest for kids of all ages so they’re not coming to the same camps each year,” Gutshall said. “We’re looking this year for what we want to do next year.

“We’re going to expand our camps year-round.”

Registrations will be accepted up to one week before the start date, and campers will be able to register online, she said.

For information, go to The Learning Lamp, 108 College Park Plaza, Richland Township, summer camps that had been conducted only in the Greater Johnstown area will expand to include sites in Bedford, Somerset and Westmoreland counties.

“This is driven by the schools we’ve worked with,” said Leah Spangler, executive director.

“They had seen coverage of our programs and some of them drove in to attend, then told their home districts,” she said.

Classes at The Learning Lamp begin June 8 and instructions are geared to students in preschool through grade 12. Campers of all ages will learn about arts, science and technology.

“It’s not just educational,” Spangler said. “It’s socialization and a learning experience. The concept is to keep them engaged, but not like school.”

For a complete listing of camps, go to


To enroll your children in a summer camp, call these numbers:

Pitt-Johnstown: 269-2099.

St. Francis University: 472-3012.

Mount Aloysius College: 886-6465.

The Learning Lamp: 262-0732 or (866) 785-LAMP.