Ready, set, summer: Camp registrations open

Published 12:08 am Sunday, May 29, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Neashion Williams enrolls her son Gabriel Davis, 7, in a summer library program at the George W. Armstrong library Friday afternoon in Natchez.

NATCHEZ — Children, teens and even adults have no reason to whine, “I’m bored,” this summer.

Local libraries, colleges, arts organizations and studios have scheduled a variety of interesting, educational and just plain fun activities for the young to the young-at-heart.

Beth Richard, assistant librarian at the Willie Mae Dunn Library at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, has worked with artists and instructors to develop a lineup that should appeal to aspiring photographers, wannabe cheerleaders and emerging musicians.

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“(Children) will really enjoy the classes,” Richard said. “They think they will be stuck in the classroom, but the courses are very hands-on, and they will be learning things that teachers don’t have the opportunity to teach in a regular school day. It’s fun and educational, so there is some value to what we’re offering.”

The newest course being offered is the Institute for Young Filmmakers, taught by Mark LaFrancis.

“If kids are serious about filmmaking, he helps them develop the story and transfer it to film,” Richard said. “They will really get an in-depth opportunity to study filmmaking, and can take their DVD home with them at the end of the course.”

The Natchez Armstrong Library has scheduled summer programs for children, teens and adults.

Lesley Martinez reads a children’s book at the library.

Marianne Raley, youth services coordinator at the library, said sixth graders will be invited to join the teen summer library program.

“We’re doing a combination of things,” Raley said. “We will have culture programs, starting with Mexican crafts, Guatemalan worry dolls and fruit salsa. We tend to do more hands-on things since the group is small.”

Raley said the teen program will also follow look at the decades in America. They will discuss iconic events and people of American decades and work on corresponding projects.

“The last day we will be meeting for picnic in the park at St. Mary’s,” Raley said. “There will be prizes, games and food — which generally attracts teens.”

Anne White, assistant director at the library, said last year the library started the adult reading program.

“Kids shouldn’t have all the fun,” White said.

This year’s adult reading program theme is “Novel Destinations.”

“This year we will have more programming for adults, like travel documentaries,” White said. “We would like to find someone willing to come in and do a PowerPoint presentation on their trips, or maybe tips on taking better digital pictures on vacation. We want to make sure grownups aren’t left out either.”

Amanda Taylor, library director for Concordia Parish, said the Ferriday Library has incorporated technology into library programs, which are open to teens and adults.

“One of our adult summer programs is iPhones,” Taylor said. “Lots of people have bought iPhones, and Stephen Collins will show you all the things iPhones will do.”

Taylor said program participants are required to bring their iPhones.

Collins will also lead a teen course on podcasting at the Ferriday Library.

“Young people are very interested technology, and it will be a new feature for them to learn and improve,” Taylor said.

Taylor said adults will also have an opportunity to study John Grisham’s book “Ford County,” at the Vidalia Library.

“It will be light and fun,” Taylor said. “The presenter is Georgiann Potts, who is an instructor from the University of Louisiana — Monroe. She was a discussion leader and presenter before, and she is lots of fun.”

Taylor said she hopes everyone in the community will take advantage of the summer programs.

“Summer programs are always an enriching experience, anytime you come to library you are always learning something new. We love doing programming and we enjoy our citizens that come. Also, all of our programs are free and open to the public.”

With dozens of programs scheduled through the end of July, participants can enter fall being a little smarter, more skilled and in better shape.

Area summer camps and events:

Natchez Armstrong Library
Natchez Armstrong Library will be offering three categories of programs this summer — children’s from pre-K to grade five, teen program for sixth-12th grade and adults.
The children’s program for pre-K and kindergarteners will be 10-10:30 a.m. Wednesdays starting June 15, ending July 20.
Grades first-fifth will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays starting June 14 and ending July 19.
Grades sixth-12th will be from 3-4:30
Thursdays, beginning June 16 and ending July 21.
Adults weekly program will be 4-5:30 p.m. Thursdays, beginning June 16 and ending July 21.
All programs are free of charge.

Concordia Parish Libraries
Concordia Parish Libraries in Ferriday, Vidalia, Clayton and Concordia Bank in Monterey will offer programs for small children to adults beginning June 6 through July 19.
Preschool programs begin at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays at the Vidalia Library and Thursdays at the Ferriday Library.
Elementary programs for grades kindergarten through fifth grade will be at 10:15 a.m. Mondays in Monterey (at Concordia Bank), Tuesdays at the Vidalia Library, Thursdays at the Ferriday Library and Fridays at the Clayton Library.
Teen programs for grades sixth through eighth begin at 11:15 a.m. Tuesdays at the Vidalia Library, Thursdays and the Ferriday Library and Fridays at the Clayton Library.
Adult programs begin July 21. John Grisham’s “Ford County” will be discussed at 6 p.m. July 21 and 28 at the Vidalia Library. An iPhones for adults course will be 10 a.m. July 23 and July 30 at the Ferriday library.
All programs are free of charge.

Discovery Week At The Grand Village Of The Natchez Indians
Discovery week will be June 13-17 at the Grand Village of Natchez Indians. Play stickball, learn about flint-knapping and pottery, walk nature trails, play games and make crafts. Discovery week is for ages 8-11. $40 includes all supplies. For reservations call 601-446-6502. Registration deadline is Wednesday, June 8.

Natchez Recreation Department
Youth golf summer program will offer four daily youth golf camps according to age group. All groups are limited to 12 youths. Age groups are 9-12  and 13-17 . Camps begin June 6 through 26. A $5 cash registration deposit is required and returned for those who show up for camp. For entry forms and more information call Greg Brooking at 601-442-5955.
Duncan Park Tennis Center will offer summer camp from June 6-July 29. Cost is $65 for the six weeks. Call 601-445-4927 for more information.

Kathleen Mackey King’s
Children’s Prep Music Studio
Summer classes are June 20-24 for children to improve self-discipline, concentration, growth and development with hands-on musical training. Classes are for groups 3-4, 5-7 and 8-10. Register by June 13. Tuition is $65. For more information call 601-445-5980.

Natchez Clay
Kids clay camp will be July 25-July 29 for kids age 7-12. Teen artist week will be July 11-July 15 for teens age 12-18. Hand building class will begin June 7 for ages 15 and up. Beginner wheel throwing class will begin June 8 for adults and children age 15 and up.  Register at or call 601-660-2375.

Natchez Historical Park Junior Ranger Camp
Junior Ranger Camp will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 20-July 15 at Melrose. Junior Ranger Camp is for ages 8-12. This camp is free and pre-registration is required. To register stop by the Melrose visitor center to pick up the necessary forms and to receive more information.  Call Melissa Tynes at 601-446-5790 for more information.

Historic Jefferson College Summer Camps
Pioneer Camps will be May 31-June 3, and June 7-10 according to age group. Cost is $20 and pre-registration is required.  Contact Kay McNeil at 601-442-2901 or
Civil War Adventure Camp will be July 6-8 for boys and girls, ages 8-12. Cost is $20, pre-registration is required.  Contact Clark Burkett at 601-442-2901 or
EXPLORE! Insects will be July 16 at two different times according to age group. Pre-registration and payment required. Fee is $10. Contact Kay McNeil at or 601-442-9021 for more details.
Naturalist Camp will be July 19-22 for kids ages 9-12. Cost is $20 and pre-registration is required.  Contact Robin Person at 601-442-2901 or

Copiah-Lincoln Kids College
Kids College camps are June 6-July 21 and include art, screen printing, computers, science, digital photography, cheerleading, filmmaking, math and guitar. To register, come to the Willie Mae Dunn Library located in the Tom Reed Academic Building at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Registration forms can be returned by mail to: Kids College, Copiah-Lincoln Community College, 11 Co-Lin Circle, Natchez, MS  39120 or if paying by credit card call 601-446-1103. Class sizes are limited. All supplies are included in the registration fees, which vary. Class times are 9 a.m.-noon Monday through Thursday unless specified otherwise. Classes are in the Redd-Watkins Vocational-Technical Center.

Summer art classes
Summer art classes run June through August for ages 5-11 and 12-18 at Natchez Fine Framing, located at 518 Main Street. To register call 601-446-9345.

Summer art camps
Summer art camps will be June 13-July 29 at Natchez Art Association Studio at the corner of Canal and Franklin streets. Enjoy a summer of fun exploring the different types of medium and styles in the arts. Contact Loraine Griffin for more information at 601-807-3290.