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Summer camp options: There is more for kids to do this summer than staying plugged in

Photos by Ben Hillyer

NATCHEZ — Back when local outdoors aficionado Lena Yarbrough was a kid, she played every day under the sun until it sank away.

“We didn’t come inside until Mom flashed the garage lights at us,” Yarbrough said.

It was dark when they were beckoned back inside the house and begrudgingly marched into the air conditioning.

These days, that’s not so much the case, she said.

Children are so plugged in and preoccupied with virtual adventures, that many lack the experience outdoor adventures of their own, Yarbrough said.

“(Today’s children) are lacking in enjoyment on a more active level, and it’s sad,” Yarbrough said.

But this summer offers plenty of options to get children off the couch, out the door, dirtied up and on their way to a visceral experience with potential to change those lazy habits.

Yarbrough said getting in touch with the outdoors and physical exercise does good for more than just the body.

“Gosh knows it’s a self confidence builder,” she said.

Yarbrough’s business, Everyday Adventure, offers two weeklong outdoor adventure camps for children ages 8 to 15.

Everyday Adventure camps

Children will be exposed to kayaking, hiking, adventure races and nature walks as they explore all the areas nature has to offer in the Miss-Lou and beyond.

The last day will end with an adventure race at Sojourner Farm, and students will also pick up an education about their surroundings from a wildlife biologist.

Two sessions of the camp are from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. June 11-15 and July 9-13. The cost is $275 and includes lunch, equipment and transportation from the Everyday Adventure headquarters at 334 Main St. to each day trip.

Limited spots are available, and interested parents should call Yarbrough at 601-392-3079 or Alonda Wright at 386-527-8337.

Historic Jefferson College camps

Camps offered at the college will not only get children outdoors but teach them skills about they way people used to live that they can hang on to until adulthood, Historic Jefferson College Branch Director Robin Person said.

“A lot of people spend too much time outside and get to fear things in outdoors,” Persons aid.

The camps will teach children to learn about snakes and spiders, for instance, so that fear turns into an engagement with nature.

“If (children) can spend some time outside then (they) know how to identify different things,” Person said.

The HJC’s Frontier Survival camp is for ages 10-14, from 1 to 4 p.m. this Wednesday to Friday.

Participants will learn hands-on skills needed by frontiersmen and women to survive the wildness of Mississippi in the 18th and 19th centuries. Activities include archery, hunting, map and compass reading and more. Contact Toni Avance at tavance@cableone.net.

Civil War Adventure Camp is for ages 812, from 9 a.m. to noon July 11-12.

Young Civil War enthusiasts are encouraged to sign up for a unique look at the Civil War from a soldier’s point of view. The students will learn how to drill and parade, get a black powder rifle demonstration and learn about the gear necessary for survival while in the military.  Cost is $25, and pre-registration is required.  Contact Clark Burkett at xavier122175@att.net.

Naturalist Camp is for ages 9-12, from 9 a.m. to noon July 24-27.

The camp will focus on hands-on projects and observation of insects, mammals, reptiles, amphibian, bugs and plants. Cost is $25, and pre-registration is required. Contact Robin at rperson@mdah.state.ms.us.

Adams County Farm Camp

Adams County Farm Camp is for third to fifth graders, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. this Tuesday and Wednesday. The camp will start and end at the Adams County Extension office and is sponsored by the extension office, the Adams County Farm Bureau and the Soil and Water Conservation Service. The camp offers a hands-on education experience geared toward how agriculture contributes to daily lives.

The campers will visit seven local farming operations and learn about cattle, conservation, aquatic pond management, horses, sod production, blueberry management, wildlife observation, forestry, and farming in the field. Activities include blueberry picking, using veterinary medicine and using nets to measure fish populations.

The camp is limited to the first 30 children who sign up and pay their $15 registration fee. The fees will help cover cost of transportation, lunch, a camp T-shirt, supplies and souvenirs.

For more information contact the Adams County Extension Service at 601-445-8201.

NPS Junior Ranger camp

Natchez National Historical Park Rangers is offering Junior Ranger camp, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 11-15 and July 9-13 at Melrose and the William Johnson House.

Programs, activities, crafts and games will focus on the natural and cultural history of the Natchez area and encourage children to get outdoors.

Pre-registration is required. Registration forms and information is available at the Melrose visitor center.

Space is limited to 25 participants and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information call 601-446-5790 or visit www.nps.gov/natc.

Discovery Week camp

Grand Village of the Natchez Indians will host Discovery Week camp for children ages 8-11, from 9 a.m. to noon June 18-22

Little Discovery Week camp for children ages 5-7 will be from 10 a.m. to noon June 25-29.

Both camps offer nature walks, pottery lessons and native American games and crafts, including stick ball and fire starting. Camp for the older children also offers French reenactors and flintknapping.

Space is limited for both camps. Discovery Week costs $40, and Little Discovery Week costs $25. The fees cover the cost of a T-shirt and supplies.

Public Youth Swim Lessons

The Natchez Swim Association and City of Natchez is offering summer swim lessons at that Natchez Senior Citizen’s Multipurpose Center pool for children ages 6-13.

Classes are from 2 to 2:45 p.m. and 3 to 3:45 p.m. this Monday through Thursday and June 11-14.

The cost is $40 a week paid with cash to the Natchez Swim Association. For more information call Natchez Recreation Department at 601-445-4927.

Tennis camp

Duncan Park Tennis Center offers tennis camp this year for six weeks.

For grades third and under camp is at 8 to 9 a.m. and 9 to 10 a.m. either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday for $75.

For grades fourth through sixth, camp is from 10 to 11 a.m. and 11 a.m. to noon either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday for $75.

The program for grade seventh and above is from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for $85.

For more information call Duncan Tennis Center at 601-442-1584 or Henry Harris 601-597-8070.

Library programs

The George Armstrong Library in Natchez offers a number of camps through its summer library program with this year’s theme “Dream Big Read.”

Camp for pre-kindergarten and kindergartners is from 10 to 10:30 a.m. on every Tuesday from June 19 to July 10.

Camp for first through third-grade students is from 10 to 11:30 a.m. every Wednesday from June 20 to July 11. For grades fourth through sixth, camp is from 2 to 3:30 p.m. every Wednesday during the same dates.

The Woodville Public Library offers camp to children of all ages from 2 to 3:30 p.m. June 6-27.

The Armstrong Library will host a teen program from 3 to 4:30 p.m. every Tuesday from June 19 to July 10. The Woodville library offers a teen program from 2 to 3:30 p.m. every Wednesday from June 6-27.

The Concordia Parish also offers summer reading program for ages 4 and under is at 9:30 a.m., ages 5-10 will be at 10:15 a.m. and teen programs for ages 11 and up will be at 11:15 a.m. On Mondays the programs will be at the Bookmobile at Monterey Concordia Bank. On Tuesdays the program will be at the Vidalia Library. On Thursdays the program will be at the Ferriday Library and on Fridays the program will be at the Clayton Library.

Guest at the programs include magician David LeBoeuf, musician Judy Ginsburgh, puppet show performers Harvey Rabbit and Friends, story teller Sylvia Davis and the snake handler Terry Vandeventer.

Art camps

Natchez Fine Framing offers summer art classes for children ages 6-18 at Natchez Fine Framing and Art Gallery at 518 Main St.

Classes for ages 6-11 are from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Every Tuesday beginning this week and every Wednesday from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Teen classes for ages 12-18 are from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

For more information call 601-446-9345.

Sun Moon and Stars offers two week-long camps for children ages 5 to 12, from June 11-15 and July 23-27.

Instructor Erin Myers said the camp will have children paint something different every day with acrylic on canvas.

Classes for children ages 7-8 will be from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Ages 9-12 will be from 2 to 4 p.m.

Classes are $100 a week for the younger ages and $125 for older children. Call 601-304-1603 for more information.

Music camp

Kathleen Mackey King’s Children’s Prep Music Studio will offer summer camp for ages 2010, from June 18-22. The cost is $65.

Three-year-olds sessions are from 4:15 to 5 p.m., ages 4-5 sessions are from 3:15 to 4 p.m. and ages 6-10 are from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m.

The program will focus on lessons about singing, movement, reading music, musical games, music appreciation and playing music.

Call King at 601-445-5980 for more information. Register at kmkmusicpre.tripod.com, or e-mail King at kmaking@bellsouth.net.

Theater camp

Natchez Little Theatre is offering a summer youth workshop beginning at 2 p.m. this Tuesday for children in fourth grade through community college.

Parents or guardians are asked to attend for registration. This session will end at 5 p.m. and the workshop will run until June 28 from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays,

The workshop will conclude with a performance and reception at 6 p.m.

For more information on the workshop call the theatre at 319 Linton Ave. at 601-442-2233 or visit the website at www.natcheztheatre.org.