Northwest Indiana offers a variety of camps that keeps kids engaged while educating them.
“Since we are trying to promote STEM education in elementary schools and get children interested in STEM careers, Camp Invention is the perfect introduction to the possibilities these careers offer after high school and college,” said JJ Boylan, principal at Warren Elementary School in Highland.
Camp Invention is a five-day camp that presents kids with hands-on projects and challenges. The curriculum encourages problem solving, teamwork and innovation. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.
Warren Elementary is one of eight schools hosting Camp Invention this summer in the Region and is for kids entering first grade through sixth grade.
The Challenger Learning Center in Hammond offers camps for kids from kindergarten-age to 15.
Most camps are only one day but educate kids on a variety of things such as engineering, robotics, rocketry, astronaut training, space exploring, etc.
The underwater camp is a two-day camp where kids between the ages of 11 and 15 learn how astronauts become “spacewalk ready” by training in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab. In this camp, kids receive basic scuba training and then perform underwater training exercises.
4-H offers camps for members and nonmembers for all ages. For example, Round-Up is for students who have completed seventh, eighth and ninth grades. Campers will have an opportunity to see what college life is like and live in a Purdue residence hall for two nights. They also will attend classes that will expose them to a variety of careers — these classes are created specifically for Round-Up campers.
“4-H Round-Up is very cool. It is offered each summer on the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette. It’s a great way to explore careers and get a taste of college life,” said Julie Jones, extension educator with 4-H Youth Development Purdue Extension-Lake County. “Many who attend decide that they want to join 4-H. 4-H is open to all youth in grades K-12. Members live in cities, suburbs and rural areas. Our clubs meet year-round.”
The Humane Society Calumet Area hosts Critter Camps over the summer.
“The Humane Society of Calumet Area not only has the animal shelter as a subsidiary but also a wildlife rehabilitation center in Valparaiso as well. The wildlife rehabilitation center is also holding summer camps, so HSCA will have six summer camps this year for the very first time — three that are domestics centered and three that are wildlife centered,” said Nicole Harmon, wildlife educator for Moraine Ridge Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
These camps are open to children between the ages of 7 and 12 and have a limit of 15 campers per session. Each week will feature presentations, interactive activities and crafts centered on domestic or wildlife species.