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Camp UNH

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
August 3, 2011

Perception is that a college campus goes quiet in the summer. At UNH it’s anything but as the 18 to 20-somethings are replaced with first-through-high school-aged kids studying everything from Mandarin Chinese to engineering to drama to stem cell research to career options. And then there are the sports camps, and Camp Wildcat, where campers do such traditional activities as swimming and arts and crafts. 

Grace, the daughter of Editorial and Creative Services writer Kristin Duisberg, returned to UNH for the second year in a row.

“I've done three different UNH camps this summer — Chinese, drama, and art — and I've loved them all! They've all been a great way to learn something new and also have fun. I especially like getting a little idea of what it's like to be a college student," says Grace, an 11-year-old who will enter seventh grade this fall.

Katie Ellis’ two daughters, eight and 10, got an introduction to building light circuits while attending Keepers camp this summer.

“We love the way the children are introduced to a variety of engineering disciplines with fun hands-on activities.  Both my girls are very interested in science, and I think  programs like Keepers are a big part of why they think science is interesting and fun,” Ellis says.“They do fun activities like building light circuits, chocolate pavement that they can eat, and parachutes.  All in all, a very fun time.”

Here’s a list of some of the other camps that are, or have, taken place on campus this summer.

Camp Wildcat: More than 500 kids attend Camp Wildcat, a day camp for first through seventh grader students that, along with a traditional camp experience, offers three separate weeks of specific activities. Discovery Week has campers exploring nature, the weather and the environment. During Travel Week, kids visit such places as the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium, the Seacoast Science Center, the Isle of Shoals, and Water Country. And Outdoor Adventure Week gives campers the opportunity to take swimming lessons, go kayaking, climbing, and skateboarding as well as providing them with an introduction to Native American culture.

STARTALK Chinese Language Summer Camp: This is the second year UNH has offered the two-week day camp that helps students in grades five through 10 develop basic Mandarin Chinese language skills. The program also provides daily cultural activities such as Chinese martial arts, calligraphy, and dragon dancing.

Summer Youth Music School (SYMS): A residential program that serves 650 kids who sleep in the dorms and eat in the dining halls, SYMS has been providing music instruction to students in grades eight through 12 for 65 years. About half of the students are from New Hampshire. During the one-week junior session and two-week senior session, students rehearse, learn, and perform a number of ensembles.

SYMS Prep: A division of the SYMS program, SYMS Prep is a day camp that provides an introductory level SYMS experience to band students exiting grades four, five, and six.

Theatre Day Camp and Dance Intensives: For students in grades three through 12, the department of theatre and dance has offered theatre and dance summer intensive programs for more than 20 years. About 130 students attend eight different day programs that provide training in acting, playwriting, musical theatre, stage movement, design, aerial dance, ballet, hip hop, and more.

Writer’s Academy: The Writer’s Academy, now in its 14th year, is a nonresidential program that teaches writing to sixth through eleventh graders. The program accepts 100 students a year.

UNH Tech Camp: Offered through the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS), UNH Tech Camp is a two-week day camp for students in grades seven through 10. Geared to campers who are interested in an exciting engineering experience, the tech camp offers hands-on activities as well as the chance to develop a project in an area of interest.

KEEPERS: The Joan and James Leitzel Center promotes KEEPERS (Kids Eager for Engineering Program with Elementary Research-based Science) is a weeklong, half-day camp that acquaints elementary students with the various engineering fields. Activities are designed to assist the development of inquiry and design skills. Students explore fun, real science concepts, and engage in short stories and hands-on challenges.

Project SMART: Project SMART is designed to help spur upper-class high school students into careers in science and mathematics. Students work with faculty in three disciplinary modules—space science, marine and environmental science, and bio- and nanotechnology. Forty-four students attended this year’s camp.

Adventure Youth Summer Day Camp: The Thompson School of Applied Science’s Adventure Youth Summer Day Camp serves students entering sixth to eighth grade, helping them to begin to explore future career options.

Art Classes for Children, Teens and Adults: The Museum of Art offers week-long classes in drawing, painting, puppet making, photography, printmaking, woodworking and fiber art. Morning and afternoon sessions are offered.

Athletic Camps: Numerous sports camps, day and overnight, are offered for elementary and high school students throughout the summer. Among them are basketball; field hockey; football; gymnastics; hockey; lacrosse, soccer, track and volleyball. 


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