Smart. Artistic. Musical. Fit. Fun. These adjectives all describe Austin’s population. But, how do central Texans become so awesome? Well, for starters, various summer camps help develop the above qualities in the city’s youngest Austinites. Austin offers a long list of summer camps in categories such as outdoor recreation, sports, education, arts and culture, special needs, and special interest.
Outdoor Texas Camp sharpens campers’ hunting, fishing, and outdoor skills. Texas Lions Camp caters to children with disabilities and makes use of the Texas Hill Country. Longhorn Soccer Camp develops a killer kick at an early age. American Ballet Theater Summer Intensive calls out to prima ballerinas. Here are more examples of summer camps available to Austin’s youth:
Camp Champions asks campers ages 6-18 to step out of their comfort zones to try new activities. In the heart of the hill country, Susie and Steve Baskin believe, “Every child has an inner champion,” and when kids feel like champions, they’re more likely to succeed. Above all, the camp strives to make every kid feel like a winner by helping build confidence, friendship, and a healthy vitamin D reserve.
The shores of Lake Austin and the hiking-optimal terrain of hill country yield a winning campground. Camp activities include aquatic sports, such as waterskiing, kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing, wake boarding, and of course, swimming; outdoor land activities, such as sports, archery, rope climbing, horseback riding, and go-cart driving; and indoor land activities, such as arts and crafts, ceramics, cooking, painting, dance, drama, and music. A few of Camp Champion’s alumni are Michael and Susan Dell; Willie Nelson’s artistically accomplished sons Lucas and Micah; musician Lisa Loeb; and professional wakeskater Bret Little.
Mad Science summer day camp helps pre-kindergarteners through fifth graders form positive associations with science. Mad Scientist counselors engage kids in hands-on science experiments, demonstrating how the scientific method isn’t monotonous—it’s fun! The summer camp makes children feel at home in a lab, but it also helps campers understand science’s omnipresence in our natural world. Mad Science familiarizes kids with science by allowing them to “touch, see, hear, smell, and taste what science is really about.”
Texas Art Project overnight camp directs children’s energy and imagination into creative outlets, helping them cultivate artistic talent. TAP’s philosophy says, “There is no benchmark at TAP camp. We believe that with direction and motivation, each camper can push beyond his or her perceived limitations.”
TAP breaks age groups into three sections: Junior Camp (ages 8-13), Senior Camp (14-18), and TAP Advanced (15-18). Junior campers arrive at TAP with an interest in performance art, and TAP’s objective is to augment their dedication. Senior campers come back to camp after having cultivated their artistic interests. They focus their energy on a specific “major” of singing, acting, or dancing by spending each day studying their craft from physical and theoretical angles. TAP Advanced is designed for teens that plan on continuing their artistic endeavors in college. Admittance into this group requires an audition video. Each age division spends camp time working toward a final performance, where they can show off their music, dancing, singing, and acting skills to a live audience.
It’s a fun challenge to create our next champions, scientists, and stage stars! View Central Texas Summer Camps by Gracy Title to learn about even more opportunities to broaden children’s potential this summer.