Summer Opportunities Fair
Date: Jan. 25 • Location: MICDS • Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. • With the winter holidays not far behind us, summer may seem like a distant thought, but it will be here before we know it. The days will get longer, the sun will start shining, and school will be out, prompting the often dreaded question: What are the kids going to do? Thanks to the annual Summer Opportunities Fair, parents can find activities that stimulate intellectual curiosity, promote physical activity and offer good, old-fashioned fun.
This year’s event, held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 25 at MICDS, features countless exciting opportunities that can take kids down the street, across the country or around the world. The fair is open to the public, and admission is free. T&S spoke with two camp directors to get a sneak peek at the 2020 offerings.
An exciting summer adventure doesn’t have to require extensive travel or even an overnight stay. Camp Pegasus at MICDS offers a variety of innovative, full-day programs for kids entering kindergarten through 12th grade. “We have unique activities tailored for every level,” director Charlotte Dougherty says. “Campers are kept physically active and mentally challenged. We want them to have fun, but also be tired at the end of the day.”
For sixth-graders and younger, Camp Pegasus offers two-week sessions that provide days full of thematic, playful learning with activities focused on art, science and physical activity, including indoor swimming instruction. Older campers can choose from two specialized programs. In Tech Track, kids entering seventh through ninth grade get to explore exciting topics such as forensics, music production, tabletop game development, robotics and coding. MICDS Summer Stock Theater lets seventh-through 12th-graders work with a professional director in a state-of-the-art theater. “Campers go through the entire creative process,” Dougherty says. “They write, produce and direct their own play in three weeks. It’s pretty exceptional.”
Towering Pines Camp for Boys and Camp Woodland for Girls in Eagle River, Wisconsin, offer kids a full spectrum of classic camp activities that engage a variety of interests. During two-, four-and six-week sessions, campers can participate in six activities of their choice. Options include creative and performing arts, horseback riding, sailing, gymnastics, tennis and marksmanship.
“It’s like signing your kids up for a variety of lessons, but it’s all in one place,” director JoAnne Trimpe says. “Our goal is to help campers expand their interests by exposing them to activities they might not encounter at home or in school.” The camps accept kids and teens ages 7 to 16, and the experience evolves each summer. As part of a teen leadership program, 15 and 16-year-olds are given the chance to act as peer mentors. After selecting an activity based on their interests, they receive special instruction from counselors before teaching it to others.
“We provide an accepting community that allows kids to explore and learn on their journey to who they want to be in the world,” Trimpe says. “Towering Pines Camp and Camp Woodland are places where the seeds of youth can develop and grow.”