Middle Georgians have plenty of options with summer camps

lshirley@macon.comApril 5, 2013 

Summer and camps go hand in hand, and Middle Georgians have a variety of options to choose from.

Bibb County Cooperative Extension gives kids a chance to get outside and do some traditional camp activities.

The Cloverleaf 4-H Camp is for fifth- and sixth-graders, with a goal of about 50 coming from Bibb County.

“We’ll be taking a group of 4-Hers to Rock Eagle on July 8-12,” said Kelle Ashley, Bibb County Cooperative Extension agent for 4-H and youth. “The camp has a Native American theme based on three tribes: the Cherokee, Shawnee and Muscogee. We’ll have tons of classes such as canoeing, herpetology, tennis, archery and lake ecology. The kids will learn about Indian folklore and do crafts. They’ll also take nature hikes and have campfires with songs and stories -- typical camp activities.”

The Extension Office’s other camp is Nature Explorers, focusing on forestry, fisheries, water resources, soils, insects and wildlife and takes place June 3-7 for rising sixth-graders. This is the second year of the program, which was started by the Bibb County Master Naturalists, a group of adult volunteers working through 4-H and the Cooperative Extension.

“They saw a need for this kind of program and wanted to give back, to get kids out of the classroom and give them some hands-on experience. We’ll meet at the Extension Office every day and take field trips to different spots. We’ll go to the Go Fish Education Center in Perry, Dauset Trails, the Hephzibah Home to study water quality, maybe do an agricultural class as well,” said Karol Kelly, Bibb County Cooperative Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources.

Cloverleaf Camp costs $100, which includes transportation, lodging, food and a T-shirt, and the registration deadline is Tuesday. Nature Explorers also costs $100, with the registration deadline set for May 17. Need-based scholarships are available for both camps.

Kids of all ages can burn off all the energy pent up from the school year at Sportz Quest’s Summer Classes and Skill Development Camps, which run from June 3-Aug. 1. Sportz Quest is an instructional gym and fitness facility for children and offers a different three-day skill development plan each week of the summer program with themes such as Cheer and Tumbling Skills, Future All-Stars, Music and Movement and Princess Tumble and Dance.

“We are working on gross motor skills such as strength, flexibility, balance and coordination,” said Rachel Foster, director of Sportz Quest. “For sports, we work on physical fitness characteristics that translate to all sports.”

Sportz Quest’s camps range in cost from $48-$135, and registration is open as long as spaces remain available.

“We like to monitor the number of instructors to students, so our camps are small comparatively, ranging from six kids to about 18. We do usually fill up for the most part, but we anticipate last minute registrations as well as those who know their schedule and can plan ahead,” Foster said.

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