Camps let kids engage their brains, have good time

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The school year is almost history. But kids don’t need to park their brains in neutral all summer.
“Summers are a great time for students to explore their interests,” said Teresa Gregory, a Lawndale Elementary School challenge teacher who organizes the Tupelo Public School District’s Summer Opportunity Camps.
“Children continue growing over the summer so they should exercise their minds and bodies.”
Northeast Mississippi has a host of camps and programs designed to help kids from the summer doldrums.
The University of Mississippi offers opportunities in both Tupelo and Oxford.
“It’s very hands-on,” said Sara Hart Fellows of the Ole Miss Tupelo community outreach, which will offer Extreme Lego Engineering, CSI Camp and Drama Camp as part of Kids College. “There’s not going to be a lot of sitting.”
The high-flying kid motivators at HealthWorks! Children’s Education Center learned a lot from their first round of summer camps last year. This summer’s offering is a mix of favorites and new camps like Mad Science, It’s Snowing and Bug Off.
“Every camp will have a little topic time, a hands-on healthy snack, a craft, time in the Zoom Room and time on the Funtastic Floor,” said Kathy Tucker, one of the high-flying kid motivators, or instructors. “We’ve really got a range from science, mystery, gardening and bugs. One of the camps is a demolition derby. We’re going to build it and knock it down.”
Tupelo Parks and Recreation offers very popular day camps at Rockwell and Augustus centers that have already filled up for the summer, as well as sports-focused camps that still have some availability.
“We try to get kids out of the house and have them active in different program,” said Don Lewis, parks and recreation director. “We’ve got plenty of activities to keep them moving and indoor activities to keep them challenged.”