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Don’t Wait to Plan Summer Camp Fun

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summer camps

We’re coming up to those lazy days of summer more quickly than you might realize. It’s just a few calendar page flips until the last day of the school year will be here.

For Gwinnett County Public Schools and Cornerstone Christian Academy, the last school day is May 22. For Greater Atlanta Christian School, it’s May 23 and Wesleyan School’s last day is May 24.

That means weeks of students with time away from school. While they claim they can’t wait to get a break, we’re all too familiar with the “I’m bored…” whine that often starts within the first week. Or we notice the reddened, glazed eyes from too much screen time and think ‘There’s got to be something better for them to do.’ Of course, there is.

The summer camp solution

Summer camps are a time-honored solution for filling weeks of school break. Camps not only keep kids busy, they also keep them active — physically and mentally.

Traditional summer camps focus on sports and warm weather activities. These days, however, there are a wide variety of camps to choose from that feature topics like art, theatre and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Whatever camps are the best fit for your kid’s summertime, start researching and registering now. Summer camps fill up quickly!

Activity and nature camps

The classic concept of summer camp is a day spent outdoors, swimming and playing sports with the guidance of counselors. While many camps follow that pattern, they often add more.

The goal at Camp All-American is to build strong character in the lives of young people. The full-day camps they offer are available for kids aged 5 through 17 and include Bible study, physical activity, and specialty camps. Campers can also choose from a wide range of specialties like art, cheerleading, photography, and soccer.

Camp All-American runs for 10 weeks and is held at Perimeter Church in Johns Creek. Day camps for 1st to 6th grade students are also held at Dunwoody Baptist Church. Registration opens Superbowl Sunday; campallamerican.com is the place to get details.

Christ the King Lutheran Church offers Preschool Summer Camps that are designed for children aged 2 to rising kindergartners. Three sessions are available, June 24-28; July 22-26; and August 12-16. Go to ctklutheran.org/preschool or call 770-449-7217 for more information.

The 10 sessions of summer camp programs at Robert D. Fowler Family YMCA run from May 28 through August 2. There’s a lot to choose from, too: traditional camps, sports camps, specialty camps, teen camps and half-day preschool camps. Sports include baseball, flag football and volleyball, and specialty camps offer STEM, film, cartooning, dance and more. Go to ymcaatlanta.org/program-locations/summer-camp/norcross.php for more.

The summer camps at Autrey Mill Nature Preserve & Heritage Center in Johns Creek emphasize reconnecting kids with nature and history, allowing them a break from technology and competition. Campers are kept engaged with activities and learning opportunities, but they’re also given plenty of time to explore and imagine.

Autrey Mill has several options of full-day summer camps for campers aged 5 to 14 years, and half-day camps are available for 4-year-olds. Visit autreymill.org for camp themes, schedules and more.

Summer camps are not summer school

Several area schools offer camps during the summer months. Though many keep a focus on learning, they bring in a strong element of fun.

Wesleyan School has a long list of camps for kids aged 4 through 8th grade. There’s Summer Art Fun; Cooking and Forensic Science. Students interested in science and technology may especially enjoy camps like Movie Makers and Game Designers, Coding and Lego Robotics, Project Invention, STEAM for Middle School or Xtreme STEAM for Lower School.

Camps are offered over six weeks in the summer in a safe, nurturing environment. Registration began January 21, and you can get details at wesleyanschool/camps.

At Greater Atlanta Christian School, more than 30 summer programs in academics, arts, and athletics are offered through the seven weeks of camp, June 3 through July 26. Campers enjoy making new friends and exploring new talents in a secure, Christian setting.

Some of the camps have opportunities for field trips that take students to various locations in metro Atlanta for fun learning experiences. Visit gac.growcamps.org for the 2019 schedule and details.

The Primrose School of Peachtree Corners offers a Summer Adventure Club for children in kindergarten through 5th grade. The kids become artists, explorers and scientists as they’re guided through experiments, engineering design challenges and other themed activities. Call the school at 770-409-8732 or visit their website, PrimrosePeachtreeCorners.com, to learn more.

Pinecrest Academy in Cumming welcomes all children 5 and older to their summer camps, which begin in late May and run through late July. The school typically hosts over 25 camps each summer. A favorite, Camp Altius, features fun activities like scavenger hunts, team games, splash time and crazy crafts.

There are also many special interest camps with a focus on subjects like the arts, Spanish, science and athletics. For the budding techies and scientists, there are camps on Coding + STEM, Robotics, Rocketry & Aeronautics and Introduction to Engineering. Visit pinecrestacademy.org/page/campus-life/summer-camps for details and information on registering.

University summer camps

The University of Georgia holds its Summer Academy Camps a little further away, in Athens, Ga., for middle and high school students. Camp choices range from STEM and the arts to college and career preparation camps. Some of the STEM camps choices are Robotics, Engineering, Video Game Design, and even a Mini Medical School.

Kids interested in the arts can choose from Fashion Design, Photography, Screen Writing and more. The Career Preparation and Specialized Camps have focuses that include culinary skills and law. A residential option is available for students to stay in a college dorm during the week. Registration opens February 6; go to ugasummer.com to sign up.

Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology both offer summer tech camps through iDTech, focusing on STEM education including coding, game development and robotics. At Emory, the week-long camps and two-week academies are for ages 7 to 18 and run May 27 to July 26. Georgia Tech’s week-long iDTech camps, scheduled June 10 to July 19, are for girls only, aged 10 to 15. Get more info at idtech.com.

Tech summer camps

Summer camps with a technology bent is the perfect way to add some productivity to your kids’ screen time. Prototype Prime is introducing the Kids 4 Coding camps this year, and there are also more tech camps in the area.

Kids 4 Coding Summer Camps will be held at both Gwinnett Technical College locations. In Lawrenceville, the camp runs from June 3 to July 19, and in Alpharetta, from July 15 to 26. There’s a variety of tech-based camp themes, such as Microbit & Swift Programming, Mobile Apps + Augmented Reality and Game Design. Full and half day sessions are available. To sign up and see the full list of choices, visit kids4coding.com.

Club SciKidz has summer camp locations throughout the area, including Duluth First United Methodist Church. Children from ages 7 to 15 have 60 STEM and STEAM camp choices, including Young Scientist, F/X Zombie, Veterinary Medicine and Manga Maker. Details are at ClubSciKidz.com.

The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) is offering a beginner’s Tech 101 camp for 1st and 2nd graders, Whiz Learning Kids, that runs from June 24-28. Campers will learn to use different design elements — images, text, color, and backdrops — to create digital scrapbook pages. They’ll even have the opportunity to design their own animations using basic programming techniques. See the full range of camps at mjccadaycamps.org.

At Fernbank Science Center, 4th to 8th grade students can sign up for a week-long Lego Robotics Camp that covers areas like programming and motors for Lego Mindstorm robotics. Find out more at fernbank.edu/roboticscamp.html. ■

Contributing Editor Kathy Dean has been a writer and editor for over 20 years. Some of the publications she has contributed to are Atlanta Senior Life, Atlanta INtown, Transatlantic Journal and The Guide to Coweta and Fayette Counties.

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City Government

Memorial Day – City Hall Closed, Waste Collection Delayed One Day

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City Hall will be closed on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day. City Hall will resume normal business hours, (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) on Tuesday, May 28.

Memorial Day is a trash and recycling holiday for Waste Management; the collection will be delayed by one day for the entire week (i.e. Monday’s collection will be on Tuesday; Tuesday’s on Wednesday; Wednesday’s on Thursday; Thursday’s on Friday; and Friday’s on Saturday.)

Please have your trash at the curb by 6:00 a.m. on your collection day.

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Community

An Evening with Commissioner Ben Ku

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Presented by the Gwinnett County Public Library, Commissioner Ku will speak at the Peachtree Corners Branch, 5570 Spalding Drive, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092 on Thursday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Commissioner Ben Ku was elected to the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners in 2018 and serves District 2 which includes Peachtree Corners, Berkeley Lake, Norcross, Tucker, and Lilburn. Commissioner Ku is a Georgia native and the grandson of Chinese immigrants, who moved to Atlanta to help engineer the original MARTA heavy rail system.

Join Ben Ku to hear about his vision for Gwinnett County.

For more information, please visit www.gwinnettpl.org or call 770-978-5154.

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City Government

Councilmember Sadd Among 2019 Leadership Gwinnett Graduating Class

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Phil Sadd

Councilmember Phil Sadd, who represents Post 1, is among the 39 local leaders to graduate from the Leadership Gwinnett Class of 2019.

Sadd was selected last spring for the prestigious nine-month program that began in August 2018. The class represented diverse industries including education, law, corporate, nonprofit, technology, health care, politics and government. All who graduate are more knowledgeable about the issues and challenges facing Gwinnett County and are more connected to the county’s decision makers and leaders, according to a 2018 Deloitte alumni impact survey.

“I entered into the leadership Gwinnett program already in a leadership position and feeling like I was doing the most I could,” said Sadd. “Leadership Gwinnett was the key to unlocking my additional growth. Because of the connections I’ve made and things I’ve learned, my potential has expanded.”

The Leadership Gwinnett program is designed to educate, equip and engage diverse leaders and inspire civic involvement. During the program the class participated in two major retreats, eight monthly study groups and seven learning days.The program included presentations from 150 speakers covering topics such as leadership in a world class community, infrastructure, economics, education, and health & human services.

“We are proud that Phil was selected to be part of the Leadership Gwinnett Class of 2019,” said Mayor Mike Mason. “I know he benefitted immensely by participating and undoubtedly, the city will benefit as well.”

Leadership Gwinnett’s vision is to develop a thriving community sustained by an inclusive network of empowered leaders. Participants greatly understand civic and social issues and leverage their connections for Gwinnett’s greater good. From its founding in 1985, nearly 1,200 have graduated from the program.

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