EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


April 22, 2008

Focus: So many offerings, so many camps

It's not just about swimming to the raft, arts and crafts, and sing-a-longs anymore.

Summer day camps around the region offer kids big and small everything including sea kayaking, tennis lessons, Web site development, horse rides and even tours of the county jail.

"It's so different for kids now. There are so many different interests and so many programs for them," said Ernie Greenslade, Northern Essex Community College spokeswoman.

Again this summer, NECC is offering College for Kids and Arts Alive, two children's summer camps located on the college's Haverhill campus.

This year, College for Kids is running a junior division, for 9- to 11-year-olds, and a senior division for 12- to 14-year-olds. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and campers can select morning, midday and afternoon classes.

And look at some of the classes kids can take: Musical theater, computers, movie-making, junk-box creations, book-publishing, scene study, modern dance, hands-on Algebra, biology, Web design and Shakespeare.

Arts Alive is geared for kids ages 6- to 8-years-old. Rotating classes run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and focus on theater, art, music, science poetry, dance and storytelling.

Public and private school teachers from around the region are teaching for both camps.

"There's really something for everyone," said Greenslade, noting her son participated in the camps for five years. "He really loved it."

The Merrimack Valley YMCA offers a traditional day camp environment at Camp Otter on Captain's Pond in Salem, N.H. The 10-week camp is a favorite for kids ages 6 to 13 from Andover, North Andover, Lawrence, Methuen, Salem, Windham and Atkinson, said Elizabeth Covino, spokesperson for the Merrimack Valley YMCA.

New this year are a series of Camp Otter specialty camps for kids ages 10 to 14. After meeting each day at Camp Otter, the kids participate in a variety of off-site activities in the Road Rangers Travel Camp. Road Rangers will hike, horseback ride, hit the high ropes, take an overnight canoe trip, explore caves and head to a waterpark. They'll also get to pick and budget some activities too, Covino said.

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