TJC offers different types of summer camps, from athletic camps to drama camps and even a camp to build robots out of LEGO’s.
Robert Mahon, director of the Ornelas HPE Center and assistant football coach, estimated 150-200 kids attend the summer camps each year, aging from 4 to 15-years-old. There are approximately 17 different camps offered.
“It’s providing fun things to do in the summer for the kids so they aren’t stuck in the house,” said Mahon.
LEGO Robotics and C.S.I (crime scene investigation) camps are the most in demand. Each of those camps has a capacity of about 12 students, yet there are always more kids wanting to participate. Another one of the popular camps is Center Stage, a drama camp, which has about 20 kids participate each session.
Lego Robotics camp is geared for ages 10 to 12. The camp will allow kids to design and build robots with a programming camp used by the actual LEGO Company. The members of this camp will be split up into teams and have a different challenge each day on building the robot. Megan Ballard will be the camp instructor this year and had been an assistant instructor in the past.
“Hopefully, I’d just like to get them [the kids] interested in engineering,” said Ballard. Ballard is also a part of the UT-Tyler Robotics team. “I was thinking about bringing one of our robots and showing it to the kids.”
The C.S.I camp is for ages 9-12 and it will introduce the participants to some of the actual laboratory and crime scene techniques used by real investigators. They will also learn about evidence collection and dusting for fingerprints. The camp will be headed by Campus Safety Officer BJ Williams.
There will be about three water-based camps, including an aquatic camp, scuba diving and open water certification. The aquatic camp is for kids ages 8-11 and provides introductory work to swimming skills. Whereas those who are already comfortable with the water can take a scuba diving class and/or get their open water certification.
“I think that they will have fun in summer camp, especially my oldest daughter Ashley,” said Bullard mother Tiffany Stephens.
Stephens’ 11 year-old Ashley and 8-year-old Christian are already excited about the camps.
“The kids are having a hard time just picking one,” said Stephens, “If it was up to them, they’d go to every single one offered.”
Stephens’ youngest child Luci, 2, is too young for camp but that isn’t stopping Stephens from planning ahead.
“When Luci turns 4, I think she may like the pony camp,” said Stephens.
There will also be several athletic camps offered along with the activity camps. For more information on athletic camps visit wwww.apacheathletics.com/f/Apache_Camps.php or call (903) 510-2458. For information on activity camps go to www.tjc.edu/hpcenter/summercamps.