2002 Summer Camps
Summertime, and the living is easier when your young ones aren't moping around the house, glued to the PlayStation or the Cartoon Network, or out gallivanting in whatever playground the devil's built for idle hands this year. Thus, summer camps: organized to provide growing minds and bodies healthy outlets for their energy and imagination when school's no longer in session and both M & P are stuck earning half a living wage each. Summer camps: the stuff of legends and the basis of many books, movies, and adult memories the world over. We're betting our humble gathering of options here -- compiled by Barbara Chisholm, Anne Harris, and others -- provides a lifetime of good memories for your children, while allowing you parents some needed peace of mind.
CHILD'S DAY SUMMER CAMP gives your kids a workout with gymnastics and swim lessons. Also planned for the summer are field trips to places like Discovery Zone, Zilker Park, and the Austin Zoo. Themes include but are not limited to camping, endangered species, and dinosaurs. Ages 4-7. Monday-Friday, 7am-6pm. 2525 Wallingwood #100. 327-3274. www.childsday.com.
WET AND WILD ADVENTURES Kids at this camp take off every morning in their 15-passenger vans for a new, exciting location. Depending on what session you choose, your kid could travel to Schlitterbahn, Pedernales State Park, an indoor rock climbing center, or go on the Blue Bell Creamery Tour. Ages 9-15. Morning drop-off choices are in Oak Hill between 7:30-8am, or West Enfield between 7:30-9am. Afternoon pick-up is between 5-6pm in Oak Hill. Sessions run May 28-Aug 2. 892-2224. www.wetwildcamp.com.
STEPPING STONE SCHOOL has 11 locations in the Austin area offering preschool or school-age care and learning programs. There are classes geared toward perfecting motor and speech skills and learning about the world around them, for ages 18 months to 5 years; and a whole host of differently themed weeks: science, art, the outdoors, and more, for school-age kids (5-11). Various locations. 459-0258. www.steppingstoneschool.com.
TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF SUMMER 2002 is for deaf and hard-of-hearing children in elementary, middle school, and high school, and offers a camp with swimming, arts & crafts, field trips, and other recreational adventures. A basketball camp for older kids 12-18 is on tap, too. On-campus residence available for some camps. June 2-July 5. Texas School for the Deaf, 1102 S. Congress. 462-5329 or 800/DEAF-TSD.
CAMP DOUBLECREEK is a day camp complete with most necessities of an overnight camp: tennis, archery, swimming, a nine-hole miniature golf course, arts & crafts, tumbling, soccer, volleyball -- and did we mention the special classes for horseback riding and gun safety? Ages 4-12. May 27-Aug 16. Pick-up and drop-off at 13 different Austin locations. 255-3661.
YMCA CAMPS "Y" may be the answer instead of the question, with camps of all kinds, for all ages, throughout the summer. Thirteen Austin-area locations, too. 512/236-9622. www.austinymca.org.
HOPE LUTHERAN CHILD CARE Field trips, swimming, fun and games. Sign up for a day, a week, a month, the whole summer! Grades 2-8. May 29-Aug 14. 6414 N. Hampton. 926-0003.
REDEEMER LUTHERAN CDC This summer camp offers field trips, swimming, crafts, gym, outdoor activities, chapel, music, drama, lunches, and snacks. Ages 3-12. June 3-Aug 9. 1500 W. Anderson. 459-3015. www.redeemer.net.
FUN FEST AT CHILDREN'S WORLD Headquartered in Colorado and in 24 states including Texas, Children's World has a summer of festivals and celebrations for kids preschool and up. Various Austin locations. www.childrensworld.com.
Art & Music Camps
THE ART SCHOOL OF AUSTIN MUSEUM OF ART The expanding Austin Museum of Art is investing in future artists and art lovers by providing weeklong camps in drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, sculpture, media arts, and other special interests. Ages 4-13. May 28-Aug 17 at Laguna Gloria (3809 W. 35th) and elementary schools around town. 323-6380. www.amoa.org.
CLAYWAYS Features sculpting. Or pottery. Or just about anything to do with clay, all under the guidance of working professionals. And bookmaking, drawing, and papier-mâché, too! Ages 6-10 and 11-up. June 3-July 29. Clayways Studio, 5442 Burnet Rd. 459-6445. www.clayways.com.
HIDDEN TALENT is where your kids will learn to take a ceramic project from start to finish. Why doom them to drinking from ad-splattered public plastic when they could create their own persona vessel for chocolate milk or root beer? Not to mention a supply of tchotchkes for your heirloom curio cabinet. Ages 8 and up. Tuesday-Friday, 1-4:30pm. Starts June 4. Northcross Mall, 2525 W. Anderson. 323-2551.
DOUGHERTY ARTS SCHOOL This city of Austin facility is home to a variety of camps in visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, and video and computer skills. The wide variety of classes is matched by the range of ages served. Ages 3-14. Classes June 3-Aug 30. Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd. 397-1458. www.ci.austin.tx.us/dougherty.
ST. JAMES EPISCOPAL SCHOOL FINE ARTS CAMP Arts & crafts and swimming, oh my, on the lovely St. James campus. The kinder here will enjoy classes in painting, theatre arts, creative writing, gardening, and making art from recyclable materials. Ages 3-6. First Session: June 3-28. Second Session: July 1-26. 3701 E. MLK. 926-4214.
MITCHIE'S FINE BLACK ARTS has art classes of various kinds throughout the summer, for the creative edification of all your kids. All ages. Saturdays, 1-4pm. 5706 Manor Rd. Ste. B-1. 323-6901.
KINDERMUSIK ADVENTURES CAMP The people at Capital Music know that to turn your infant into the next Chopin, musical education should probably begin early. Children participate in a once-a-week camp that focuses on the aural diversity of our world, fostering creativity and music appreciation by incorporating art, movement, dance, and drama along with the music. Ages infancy to 6. Camps begin June 3. 458-1933. www.capmusic.com.
NATURAL EAR MUSIC CAMP With a staff of experienced musicians, Natural Ear helps your kids to play the instrument of their choice. Kids are paired up in groups of six depending on their levels of experience and musical preferences -- residential camp available. At the end of the three-week course, each band gets to play a real gig. Ages 8-18. Monday-Friday, 11am-3pm. June 10-26 & July 8-26. The Music Lab, 1306 W. Oltorf. 447-5910. www.naturalearmusic.com.
KIDS ACTING For over 20 years, KidsActing has been puttin' on shows chock-full of young folks. Dede Clark has put her formidable skills behind this camp with locations in Austin, Lakeway, Round Rock, Oak Hill, Pflugerville, Cedar Park, and Georgetown. Camps in all aspects of theatre and film. Ages 4-18. 5811 Burnet Rd. 458-KIDS.
CAMP PARAMOUNT 2002 The Austin Theatre Alliance, in collaboration with the Missoula Children's Theatre, presents this tuition-free day-camp at the historic Paramount Theatre. It's also preparation for roles in the play Treasure Island, to be presented on Saturday, Aug 3. The theatre team will be casting 50-60 local kids for this production; auditions open to the first 500 who pre-register. Ages 4-18. Monday, July 29-Saturday, Aug. 3. (Registration packets available at the Paramount box office beginning Monday, June 3. Registration required for all auditions.) Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress. 692-0519. www.theparamount.org.
ZACHARY SCOTT THEATRE CENTER High-profile Zach has weeklong camps for aspiring actors, directors, and comedians. Choose musical theatre, create a show, and comedy/ improv camps plus a special teen-intensive workshop. All day camps culminate in a performance. Ages 5-15. Weeklong camps, May 28-Aug. 16. 476-0594. www.zachscott.com.
STATE THEATER COMPANY Acting for stage, acting for film, and acting just for fun are covered in the various workshops from the downtown professional theater. Half-day and full-day camps available, plus a four-week, all-day camp for high schoolers. Ages 6-19. June 3-July 26. State Theater, 719 Congress. 472-3160. www.statetheatercompany.com.
AUSTIN MUSICAL THEATRE Each kid is a singular sensation at these workshops that teach Broadway-style techniques of singing, dancing, acting, and pizzazz. Brought to you by the same folks who produce the spectacular full-scale musicals at the Paramount. Participants receive first consideration at casting time! Ages 5-17. July 8-13. Austin Musical Theatre Studios, Rivertowne Mall, 2011-C E. Riverside. 428-9696. www.amtpresents.com.
GRRL ACTION 2002 is an innovative summer program of theatre and writing for girls 13-16, the sort of expression-centered work that puts the pow! in empowerment. Participants will transform their creative autobiography into a public performance (July 27-28) and create anthologies from their writings. Instruction is led by Rude Mechanical Artistic Directors Shawn Sides and Madge Darlington. Monday-Friday, July 1-28, 9am-noon. The Off Center, 2211-A Hidalgo. $200. 476-7833. www.rudemechs.com.
ATOMIC BLAST Get those kids hopping hiply at the Atomic Dance Factory, Austin's fiercest urban dance school, where there are plenty of streetwise styles to choose among and all of it almost guaranteed to (healthily) wear out even the most non-stop of go-go-go youngsters. Ages 7-12, 12-16. From June 17. 7503 N. Lamar. 420-9787. www.atomicdancefactory.com.
SUMMER CHESS CAMP Members of the Noureddine Ziane Chess Academy will be teaching beginners and pros alike the guidelines and gambits of chess this summer. Who knows which one of these junior players will go on to embarrass IBM and its vaunted nth-generation programs; certainly, all will go on to earn a greater appreciation and enjoyment of the checkered playing field. July 8-12. Sessions meet in the morning (9am-noon), in the afternoon (1-4pm), or all day (9am-4pm). St. Gabriel's Catholic School, 2500 Wimberley. 888/65-CHESS. www.chesscamp.com.
THE MAGIC CAMP Holy Harry Houdini! Your prestidigitationally inclined kids will enjoy learning sleight-of-hand, puppeteering, and juggling in an atmosphere of fun. Enough skills are packed into these two-week sessions of hocus-pocus focus to marvel audiences for a lifetime. Ages 6-12. June 3-July 19. Ridgetop Elementary School, 5005 Caswell. 288-1596. www.magiccamp.com.
AQUATIC STUDIES 2002 This summertime program from Southwest Texas U. will introduce your son or daughter to two unique aquatic habitats: the San Marcos River and the Edwards Aquifer. Carefree fun in and around the water, serious consideration and exploration of what goes on with the water and its effects on the environment. Ages 9-15. June 2-July 27. 512/245-2329. www.eardc.swt.edu.
GIRLSTART A love of science and technology fuels these girl-o-centric camps of fun and exploration -- just the thing to inspire your young Marie Curie. Choose from among a variety of exciting camps. Grades 4-8. Starting June 3. 608 W. 22nd. 916-4775. www.girlstartcamp.org.
CENTER FOR YOUNG CINEMA is for kids interested in film-making and animation, because that's what they'll be doing in this series of summer camps, with a public screening of their finished works -- at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown! Ages 11-18. Starts July 22. 469-0114. www.cyc-austin.org.
MAD SCIENCE Got some budding Leonardos or Adas in your brood, kids who want to learn more about solar power, chemistry, engineering, biology and all like that? Dry textbooks in mind-numbing succession just won't fit the bill, will they? Better to pack those whippersnappers off to explore the intersection of science and fun, with six different weeklong camps to choose among. Ages 4-12. From May 27. Various locations. 892-1143. www.madscienceaustin.com.
GOLDEN VISTA EQUESTRIAN CENTER will teach your kids everything they ever wanted to know about horses, and lots of things they might've never even imagined. From beginners up to advanced, from grooming to health care to riding, riding, riding -- English- and Western-style -- these two-week sessions are a total immersion in horsing around. Starts May 28. 243-3500. www.goldenvistaequestriancenter.com.
JORDAN BACHMAN PIONEER FARM Thanks to the living museum of Pioneer Farm, kids can get a fun-filled experiece of early American life. Go forward into the past with weeklong summer camps that keep young'uns busy with activities that were once called chores: churning butter, feeding livestock, basket-making, etc. Ages 4-15. May 28-Aug 2. 11418 Sprinkle cut-off. 837-1215.
KIDS ORGANIC GARDENING Let Ronda Dizney introduce your young dears to the wonders of organic gardening -- the soil, the weather, the insects, all the things that make for healthy and edible plants. Was getting your hands dirty ever this much fun? Starts May 28. Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. 515/707-8635.
THE AUSTIN ZOO Our very own Hill Country Zoo of rescued animals lets kids in on the animal antics with hikes around the grounds, animal fun, travels on the train, and first-hand science projects. Engender a respect for the natural world while providing an exciting diversion from the doldrums of summer. Ages 5-18. June 10-Aug 2. 10807 Rawhide Trail. 288-1490 x12. www.austinzoo.com.
HOSPICE AUSTIN'S CAMP BRAVE HEART is a free, three-day summer camp for children and teens who are grieving the death of a loved one. Ages 6-16. First session June 12-14; second session Aug. 13-15. John Knox Ranch near Wimberley, Texas. 342-4700.
CAMP SUBZERO/CAMP AVALANCHE These camps get your kid out of the summer heat and onto the ice. Kids get to ice skate every day, play in a snow park, and try their hand at field hockey on ice. To keep your cubs from turning into polar bears, though, they also allow time for swimming, gymnastics at the nearby gym, and themed arts & crafts. Camp Avalanche is new this year, started to provide age-appropriate challenges and activities for the older kids. Camp Subzero: Ages 5-9. Camp Avalanche: Ages 10-13. Weekly sessions begin June 3, 9am-5pm. Chaparral Ice Center, 14200 N. I-35. 252-8500. www.chaparralice.com.
KIDS INLINE SKATE CAMP Think of as many sports as possible. Now add the word "roller" to them. At this camp, kids will participate in roller hockey, capture the flag, roller basketball, roller T-ball, and whatever else you can think of. Kids aren't just limited to inline skates either: Scooters and skateboards are also welcome. Monday-Friday, 8am-noon, beginning June 3. The Austin Recreation Center, 1301 Shoal Creek. 476-5662. firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUSTIN ROCK GYM Bouncing off the walls is encouraged at this summer camp, only there they call it rapelling. Kids in the beginner classes learn the basics of knotcraft and top-rope climbing. The more advanced classes get to spend some days outdoors with the real rocks and learn more advanced climbing techniques. Monday-Friday, 9am-1pm, beginning June 3. Austin Rock Gym, 4401 Freidrich #300. 416-9299. www.austinrockgym.com.
CHAMPIONS ALL-STAR SPORTS CAMPS are sponsored by Champions for Christ and offer instruction in volleyball, football, or basketball, along with a little spiritual guidance. Special celebrity guests in every session. Camps run different times, dates, and places depending on which sport you're interested in. Check the Web site for details. Ages 9-17. 338-0433. www.championsfc.com/camps.html.
JAMES SILAS BASKETBALL CAMP James Silas, a former star guard for the San Antonio Spurs, returns for a third round of basketball camp. Silas and his professional coaching staff spend the first two days of camp teaching your child the basics of basketball. By day three, kids are divided into teams for some real action. Morning (for ages 7-10) and afternoon (for ages 11-17) sessions are offered. Monday-Friday, starting June 3. 473-2528.
UT SUMMER SPORTS SCHOOL There's tennis lessons (ages 7-17), swimming lessons (ages 1 and up, adults too). Kids aged 7-10 can do it all in the sports camp which combines a variety of sports with field trips, swimming, and tumbling. Check the Web site for more information. First session: June 3-14. UT campus. 471-1272. www.utexas.edu/education/kinesiology/summer sports.edu.