Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fun and learning, yours for the taking

Community School summer

Express Staff Writer

Everyone from little adventurers to teens in search of school credit will find a program to suit their needs this summer at Sun Valley's Community School.

No matter if your goal is getting your young child engaged in the natural world or helping your high schooler to advance a level in math, something in the Community School's roster of programs is sure to suit your needs. Thirty teachers will staff camps this year, ensuring individual attention and focus on each child.

For a full listing and description of the dozens of programs, visit and click on the "Summer Programs" button.

Questions? Contact Mike Wade, summer programs director, at or at 622-3960, ext. 109.

Popular youth camps are available June 20 through Aug. 12 for kids ages 4-12.

New this year is a chess and Lego camp for children ages 4-11. Campers will learn to play chess, or advance their skills, with Daniel Vellotti, an award-winning chess champ. Stories, puzzles and games are themed with familiar cartoon characters to create a one-of-a-kind learning experience. This four-day camp runs July 11-14 from 9 a.m. to noon and costs $325. There is also an all-day option that includes a Lego camp where children will build, battle and learn each day. Lego camp alone is $325. Chess plus Lego camp is $550.

Theme camps for children ages 4-5 and 6-8 are also available and include gardening, animals, history, arts and crafts, water fun and nature hikes. Prices for half days (9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) for 4- to 5-year-olds is $375 for two weeks. Full days (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) for ages 6--8 cost $700 for two weeks.

For the youngest campers, the Community School offers a creative moment camp with a ballet emphasis. Hour-long classes meet twice a week. Cost is $100 for a three-week session.

A Reading and Writing camp for kids ages 7-11 is provided in two-week sessions. This workshop is intended to be fun and highly individualized, and to get the creative juices flowing.

In addition, elementary-age students can choose from math skill-building camps and study skills to help transition from elementary to middle school.

Once children get a bit older, it becomes more challenging to keep them focused and enthusiastic about structured summer activities. One suggestion for "tweens" is a Tech Camp, engaging this age group's interest in anything technological.

Campers build robots and rockets, write a book and illustrate it, create photo collages, go geocaching, direct movies or learn about weather. Cost is $425 for a one-week session, including all equipment, or $800 for two weeks.

Middle schoolers can also choose from a long list of academic and outdoor programs. Among them: art classes in drawing, painting, ceramics and photography, as well as iMovie making, introduction to Spanish, creative writing, math skills and transitioning from middle to high school courses.

To help this age group enjoy Idaho's beautiful summer weather, there is a Wilderness First Aid course, plus rock climbing, learning to kayak, backpacking in the White Clouds and even a trip to Thailand.

High school students can earn a trimester's worth of credit in the summer, getting a jump on the next school year or lightening a course load during the regular academic year, and thereby freeing up time for training for, or participating in, winter sports.

Consult the school's website for updated offerings. Classes will be available in English, history, psychology, Spanish, science, math, photography, PSAT/SAT prep, geology, AP literature and even driver education. Kids can study psychology in the morning and rock climb in the afternoon.

For-credit classes meet for three weeks, five days per week, from June 20 through July 8. Students may take up to three classes for academic credit.

Sports camps in volleyball and lacrosse are available.

All offerings are open to the public. Academic classes are available to students from other schools who can receive credit with pre-arranged approval from their schools.

Most classes are held on the Sun Valley campus, but camps and outdoor programs are held on- and off-campus. Register early. Programs fill up quickly.

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