If you’re looking for something to do this summer in mid-Michigan, look no further.
Across the world, young students and their families are seeking ways to avoid learning loss due to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One way to potentially avoid the “pandemic plummet” — or simply get out of the house for some much-needed socialization and fresh air — is a summer camp. After holding camps virtually in 2020 due to the pandemic, Alma College, in Alma, Michigan, is back at it this summer in person.
There are a variety of activities at Alma, including performing arts camps, athletic camps in specific sports, cheerleading camps, and leadership camps, for kids from second grade through high school.
Kari Yerington, assistant director of residence life at Alma College, has a few suggestions for cool camps that families can get involved in, so that when students return to classrooms in the fall, they’ll be energized and already in learning mode.
First, a word about safety
Alma College is committed to creating a safe and healthy environment on campus, Kari said. The college adheres to all local, state and federal guidelines to ensure that the community and its guests remain safe and healthy. All faculty, staff, students and guests are required to practice safe social distancing in and around college facilities. Campers will receive more detailed information prior to arriving to campus, but families should know that they will be tested for COVID-19 before camps start.
The hottest new camp this summer is …
Ask college athletic directors across the country about the fastest-growing sports right now and they will likely come back with one common answer: eSports! Indeed, eSports and game design are way more popular than they were during the time of “Galaga” and “Mrs. Pac-Man.” (Kids, ask your parents.) Kari says she loves all of the summer camps at Alma College, but she’s really excited for the newest one, eSports and Game Design, which takes advantage of the recently opened, one-of-a-kind, bar-slash-restaurant-slash-eSports-hub , in downtown Alma.
Avoid the ‘pandemic plummet’
Learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a real issue, academics say, and summer camps can help avoid that. Alma College offers camps in several different subject areas, for students across various grade levels. They include Global Challenge, a United Nations Security Council crisis simulation for high school students, and Explorers Week, a science and mathematics course for students in grades 2-through-6. There are also science and mathematics courses for older children and a research course for incoming first-year college students, ACORN.
Exercising your social skills and body
Has staying inside during the pandemic led you and your kids to feel a little under-socialized and physically out-of-shape? (If so, you’re not alone, says the author of this piece.) Alma College offers a number of performing arts camps that can help get you feeling more “human,” including bagpipe competition, choral conducting and intensive dance. There are also athletics camps and events, where you can learn skills in football, basketball and volleyball from real collegiate athletes.
Summer camps at Alma College start in mid-June and run through August.