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Camp can brush away the ‘mental cobwebs’

Summer. Education camps help keep kids sharp for the coming school year.

Even for those ultra-curious kids who love soaking up knowledge, sitting in the classroom can be a chore. This summer, enroll your kids in camp programs designed to take education away from the blackboard — and make it fun. “Camps can provide the opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge, or to help maintain and strengthen the skills and knowledge [children] already have,� says Rhonda Geyer, director of noncredit programs at Temple University. Many educational camps, like Temple’s Summer Education Camp programs at the Ambler campus, are organized into a series of one-week sessions so campers can sample a variety of topics — both those they’ve already had some exposure to and others that will let them explore something new. “You want to find topics that will be fun, interesting and educational,� Geyer says. Camp is not summer school, though, so “the program should also pro-

vide recreation and other downtime, so kids can have some fun.� She adds: “It is summertime, after all.� At Temple, programs range from creative courses in drawing, cartooning and writing to computerbased technical challenges. Some combine both, like website design and robotics. Kids who prefer being outdoors can learn geocaching or study wildlife. Students who need a boost maintaining or strengthening basic skills in math or reading and writing also have access to camps that emphasize fun. Temple offers the Jumpstart! series, which helps kids through individual and group activities. It’s structured with the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment in mind. “Practicing learning skills in a camp-like environment can be fun and also help students return to school without the ‘mental cobwebs’ that sometimes collect over the summer,� Geyer says. “Hopefully they will have a new positive perspective concerning their own skill strengths, abilities and interests.�


Kids at Temple University Camps stay engaged in intellectual pursuits. / TEMPLE UNIVERSITY Advice

What should you look for in a camp you’re considering? •

The instructors should be competent and qualiďŹ ed; often they are teachers in local school districts.


The sta-to-camper ratio should be low: It’s around 1:10 in most Temple programs.


The facilities: Camps held on college campuses beneďŹ t from stateof-the-art computer labs, air-conditioned classrooms and good sports facilities.

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