Registration still open for youth summer camps

STEM camps offer sessions such as the Tinker Lab, where campers can take electronics apart and see how they work.
STEM camps offer sessions such as the Tinker Lab, where campers can take electronics apart and see how they work.

Summer is just around the corner.

If you’re looking for a fun, educational way for your kids to spend those school-less months, consider an NIU summer camp. From June to August, NIU offers more than 30 day and residential camps for students entering first- through 12th-grade.

From athletics to activism, there is something for every young learner.

Registration is now open for all camps, many of which offer early registration discounts. Some camps also offer reduced rates for multiple campers from a single family, children of NIU employees, and returning campers. Need-based and merit-based scholarships are also available from many camps.

Mark Pietrowski, associate director of College of Liberal Arts & Sciences External Programming, says that camps help students prepare for the rigors of higher education.

“We have seen firsthand how summer camp experiences help inspire students to develop their skills and interests further at the university level,” Pietrowski says.

Camps also offer a social outlet for students.

Creative Writing Day Camp students share stories over lunch at NIU’s Grant Hall.
Creative Writing Day Camp students share stories over lunch at NIU’s Grant Hall.

Deborah Booth, director for the College of Visual and Performing Arts External Programs, has seen lasting friendships form between campers. “Beyond providing campers with expert training in something they love, these camps provide a great social setting for kids with the same interests to get to know one another,” Booth says.

Campers will also have a chance to explore university life, from living in residence halls and dining in the cafeteria to experiencing advanced curriculum and problem-based learning.

STEM Outreach Director Pati Sievert tells parents and students that summer camps are not like a typical week of school.

“Summer camps offer a unique, in-depth learning experience that you’re not going to find elsewhere. Students get the opportunity to dig into concepts and careers that they might not otherwise be exposed to.” One camper reached out to Sievert after camp and told her, “My life started with science camp!”

Camp directors assure parents that campers will be able to learn in a fun, safe environment. “You can be confident that your child’s safety is a priority,” Sievert says. Campers are always accompanied by camp staff, who are trained and mature, and who pass annual background checks.

Registration for call camps is open now, but spaces are going fast. To find a camp that is right for your young learner, download a brochure or visit NIU’s Summer Camps web portal to see a complete list of camps or search by date, subject area or grade level.

Young athletes can take their training to the next level at NIU’s athletics camps.
Young athletes can take their training to the next level at NIU’s athletics camps.

Athletics

The Huskies might have ended up at the Orange Bowl, but they started out as young athletes with big dreams. At NIU’s sports camps, top collegiate coaches provide instruction to help makes those dreams a reality.

Campers are grouped according to age and skill level and use NIU facilities.

Huskie Pup Camps

NIU’s Huskie Pup Camp, administered by the Department of Campus Recreation, offers fun educational programs for youth ages 6 through 12. Camps run Monday through Thursday, from June 10 through Aug. 8.

Children of students, faculty, staff and community members can register for each of the nine summer sessions for just $125 for each four-day session. The camp is also open to the general public for $150 per week.

Liberal Arts and Sciences

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences External Programming hosts camps to help students learn to fine-tune their creative endeavors or channel their efforts into global leadership initiatives.

  • NEW Archaeology Day Camp – Grades 6-8. Aug. 5-9.
  • Broadcast Journalism Camp – Grades 9-12. July 14-19.
  • Creative Writing Camp – Grades 9-12. June 16-21.
  • Creative Writing Day Camp – Grades 6-8. July 29-Aug. 2.
  • Film Camp – Grades 9-12. June 23-28.
  • Global Leadership and Philanthropy Camp – Grades 9-12. June 16-21.
  • NEW GSA Camp: LGBTQA Leadership and Activism – Grades 9-12. July 7-12.
  • NEW Journalism Camp – Grades 9-12. July 14-19.
  • NEW Math Camp – Grades 9-12. July 7-12.
  • Speech Camp – Grades 9-12. June 23-28.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)/Engineering and Engineering Technology

Teens interested in health careers can register for STEM Career Exploration Camp and get hands-on experience in NIU’s labs.
Teens interested in health careers can register for STEM Career Exploration Camp and get hands-on experience in NIU’s labs.

Northern Illinois University is a regional leader in STEM studies.

Building on the popularity of community programs such as STEMfest, Science Saturdays and the STEM Teen Read, NIU STEM Outreach and other STEM departments invite students to participate in day and residential camps on everything from the science of art and roller coasters to the exploration of STEM careers.

  • Camp Invention Day Camp – Grades 1-6. June 17-21
  • STEM Career Exploration Camp – Grades 9-12. July 28-Aug. 2.
    • Track 1: Health Careers
    • Track 2: Engineering Careers
    • Track 3: Video Game Careers
  • Engineering Amusement – Grades 5-7. July 21-26
  • Enhancing Engineering Pathways – June 10-14
  • Exploring STEM through Art – Grades 7-9, June 23-28
  • Exploring STEM through Nature – Grades 7-9. June 23-28
  • Green Energy – Grades 6-8. July 7-12.
  • Nanotechnology Day Camp – Grades 10-12. Aug. 5-9.

Video Game Design

The Digital Convergence Lab hosts day camps where students can explore the technical and creative sides of game design. The DCL staff will guide students through lessons on animation, virtual worlds, character design, story development, logic and even sound effects as they create the detailed worlds of their games.

  • Games Camp Just for Girls – Ages 10-16. June 24-28.
  • STEM Career Exploration Camp (Video Game Careers) – Grades 9-12. July 28-Aug. 2.
  • Advanced Video Games Camp – Ages 13-adult. Aug. 5-9.

Visual and Performing Arts

At the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ summer camps, budding artists, musicians, and thespians will learn to innovate, experiment, and grow through group activities, personal exercises and feedback from mentoring artists.

  • NIU Jazz Camp – Grades 9-12. July 14-19.
  • Theatre Arts Camp Junior – Grades 7-9. July 7-12.
  • Theatre Arts Camp Senior – Grades 10-13. July 14-19.
  • Visual Arts Camp – Grades 9-12. July 14-19.
The College of Visual and Performing Arts will offer its popular Jazz Camp the week of July 14.
The College of Visual and Performing Arts will offer its popular Jazz Camp the week of July 14.
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