Variety of camps, programs for youth offered this summer

A variety of camps and programs for kids and teens is being offered this summer through Western Carolina University’s Office of Continuing and Professional Education.

The “Rocket to Creativity” camp will be held for rising second- through ninth-graders from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, June 22, through Friday, June 26. The camp engages children in fun and challenging activities that promote creative thinking and problem-solving. Students may choose from a variety of projects such as creating historical documentaries and costumes for science fiction films. Interest groups to be offered include “Crime Scene Investigation,” “The Inventors Club,” “Robotics,” “Spy and Espionage,” “Clown Around with Animation” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The cost to attend is $130 and includes lunch.

Robotics with LEGOS Summer Day Camps will offer three sessions. Students will explore the technology behind robotic technology while building and programming with LEGO building sets. Session one will be held June 22-26 for students who will be in grades six and seven this fall. Session two will be held Monday, July 20, through Friday, July 24, and session three will be held Monday, Aug. 3, through Friday, Aug. 7. Sessions two and three are designed for students who will be in grades five through seven in the fall. Another camp, Robotics Engineering for Teens, will be offered Monday, July 27, through Friday, July 31, for rising eighth- through 10th-graders. Participants will learn the basics of engineering design and problem-solving processes. All robotics camps will meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. The early-registration fee is $119. Early registration is recommended, as spaces in the camps is limited.

One camp at WCU is designed for young marching band musicians. Summer Symposium for the Marching Arts is an opportunity for high school students to join the band directors of the WCU Pride of the Mountains Marching Band for a week of developing new skills. The camp will run Sunday, June 28, through Thursday, July 2. More details and registration is available at

Summer Reading Adventures, a program to help rising first-, second- and third-grade students maintain the literacy level they developed throughout the school year, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 6, through Friday, July 10. Through reading aloud, shared writing experiences, workshops and small guided reading groups, students will learn and practice strategies needed to be effective readers and writers. Summer Reading Adventures will be taught by Holly Whisnant and Jeri Hensley, national board-certified teachers who have more than 20 years combined experience in elementary school classrooms. Cost to attend is $139.

“Step Back in Time” Summer Day Camps will offer kids between the ages of nine and 11 four different days of unique activities. Each day of camp will feature a new theme. “Home Skills and Remembering” will be the theme Thursday, July 16, and the camp will include activities such as candle-dipping, raising bees, and visits to Judaculla Rock and to a local graveyard. “Workday” will be the Thursday, July 30, theme and will involve open-hearth cooking, making butter and ice cream, and weaving. The Thursday, Aug. 6, theme, “Old Time Schools,” will include making copy books, writing with quill pens, using old-time slates, and visits to the Old Norton School and the Zachary Tolbert House. “Farming,” the theme Thursday, Aug. 20, will involve activities featuring mystery farming tools, heritage crops and visits to the Community Garden and to a farm located in Balsam. The “Step Back in Time” camps will be held 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Participants may attend any one or all of the camps. Cost is $25 per camp, which includes lunch and snacks.

Catamount Adventures Camp will offer two sessions of outdoor adventures in hiking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting and kayaking. Rising third- through fifth-graders may attend the camp July 20-July 24 for a fee of $250, which includes lunch. Rising sixth- through eighth-graders may attend the camp scheduled for July 27-July 31. The cost is $275, which includes lunch. Both camps will run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

A series of swim classes will be offered through the summer that are suitable for children ranging in age from 6 months to teens. Swim classes are offered in three age divisions: “shark” level for ages 6 years and up; “fish” level for ages 3 through 5; and “minnows” level for 6 months to 3 years old. An adult must be in the pool with the child at the minnow or fish level. Classes are held in the Reid Gymnasium pool on weekdays. The costs for the sessions are $75 for sharks and $44 for fish and minnows. More information is available at

For more general information about youth camps and programs at WCU, visit or call 828-227-7397.