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Summer camps take over campus

Registration for the Tyler Junior College Children’s Summer Camp is currently open, and it isn’t rocket science.

The camps, however, are. Everything from rocket science to volleyball is offered for children ages 8 to 18 depending on the camp.

They range in price from $35-$400 and last from one to four days. Some of the more unusual camps are LEGO Robotics, C.S.I. and Art Around the World.

“We want the kids to know it is fun and educational. The theme of the camp is career exploration and cultural awareness,” Paige Parrish, community services program development manager, said. “I tried to get more math, science and technology because there is such a deficit in our country. I wanted to get areas where our country is lagging behind.”

LEGO Robotics, according to the Summer Camp Catalog, is a camp where kids team up and design and build robots from LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Kits. They will program their robots with a code called RCX, a simple but powerful code used in robotics.

“What I tried to do is get different projects toward future trends. I also emphasized having cultural competence,” Parrish said.

The camps such as the fencing class require special techniques, knowledge and experience, and therefore, requires a qualified instructor. Parrish said the teachers are experts and competent in their field.

“The ballroom dancing teacher has had 29 years of experience and is a two-time national champion of the Fred Astaire Competition,” Parrish said. “The French foil fencing teacher was on the Texas A&M fencing team, is a member of the U.S. Fencing Association and the U.S. Fencing Coaching Association.”

The camps also offer a way for kids to do community service and volunteer work.

“Students need to become civically aware. They will go to Meals on Wheels to get in touch with the community,” Parrish said. “They will be going to the East Texas Food Bank, and learn to give back at a young age.”

None of the activity camps are overnight, which means transportation must be provided. However, some of the athletic camps, like the tennis camp, are resident camps.

Participants in the tennis camp paid $100 extra to stay in the dorms and for meals. They will be staying in Claridge Hall.

The camps don’t need volunteers for the specific programs, but could use them for other things, for more information call (903) 510-2902 or send an e-mail to ppar@tjc.edu.

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