For more information on various summer camp options, visit the following:
* Forsyth County school system: http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us//site/Default.aspx?PageID=45011
* Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department: http://www.forsythco.com/department.asp?DeptID=13
* Pinecrest Academy: www.PinecrestAcademy.org
* University of North Georgia summer program: http://ung.edu/undergrad/summerAccel
* Summer camps -- Academies offer arts, sports activities.
FORSYTH COUNTY — Several weeks of school remain, but many Forsyth County parents have begun searching for summer camp options. They won’t have to look far.
While there is no shortage of privately run dance, theater, crafts, martial arts and other youth camps, families will also find a wide array of summer offerings through Forsyth County’s school system and parks and recreation department, as well as area colleges.
“Parks and recreation offers a really wide variety of summer camps, everything from tennis and gymnastics camps to cooking and outdoor adventure camps,” said Tommy Bruce, assistant director of the department.
“Our camp programs have grown over the years and today we offer more than 100 different types of camps.”
Among them are Summer Safari, Recreation Rodeo, Build It Bash, Camp Science Investigation, Safety Town, Nature's Art Camp, Clay Camp and Princess Ballet Camp.
Also available are camps in taekwondo, whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, baton twirling, junior chefs, magic, archery and dozens of others.
“We also have traditional summer day camps at all three of our county recreation centers,” said Laura Pate, department supervisor. “These camps are for children ages 6 to 10 and include activities such as games, art, fitness, special guests and a weekly field trip.”
The local school system’s camp options include those focused on invention, rising kindergarteners, knights academy, summer book club, drama and photography.
Others involve Legos, Claymation, Dr. Seuss, chess, robotics, the Revolutionary War and STEM, which is short for science, technology, engineering and math.
Fonda Harrison, chief academic officer for the school district, said the camps can be “a chance for students to learn a new skill or improve upon their current knowledge without having to leave the county.”
“Keeping young minds sharp is important during any break from school, and we encourage all students to continue learning while at home, during summer travels, or with camps such as our school-based options,” she said.
For older children, the University of North Georgia is offering a summer Accel dual-enrollment program for high school students interested in language or science and math.
The program can shorten the time it takes for a student to earn a college degree.
"Allowing high school students to take college courses that also satisfy their high school graduation requirements gives them a head start on their college degree without them having to pay tuition or have it count against their HOPE scholarship," said Chaudron Gille, vice president for university affairs and academic services.
"A student who begins taking Accel courses in their junior year could enter college as a sophomore, saving a year of time and tuition. It’s a great opportunity at a time when many families struggle to pay for college.”
Students can earn four college credits for a language, or up to seven for the STEM Institute. However, space is limited and applicants must have at least a 3.25 grade-point average, among other requirements.
Pinecrest Academy, a private Catholic school in south Forsyth, also has a long list of summer camps that are open to anyone in the community.
For older students, there’s basketball, driver’s education, rocketry, engineering and babysitting boot camps.
For children as young as 4 there are kids’ karate, little scientist, Disney sing-along and summer time fun camp. There are also many athletic offerings, as well as camps for musical theater, Spanish, special effects, emergency veterinarian, video game design, meteorology, cosmos and band.
Liz Bartling, summer camps coordinator, said the camps “provide a wonderful opportunity for children and teens to learn new skills, stay active, make new friends, and have some summer fun in a safe environment.
“Many parents are looking for fun, yet affordable, activities for their children during the summer months, and a camp can be the perfect solution ... there is something for everyone,” she said.