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Midlands-area summer camps: Fun opportunities for kids while school is out

Historic Columbia will offer an “I Love the ’90s” summer camp for ages 8-12. Campers will take an adventure through the ‘90s and see history come to life through interactive activities and exploration of the gardens, grounds and houses.
Historic Columbia will offer an “I Love the ’90s” summer camp for ages 8-12. Campers will take an adventure through the ‘90s and see history come to life through interactive activities and exploration of the gardens, grounds and houses. Historic Columbia

It may still feel like winter outside, but it’s time to start planning for summer. Midlands parents hae a host of options for their kids while school is out — and not all of those options are finalized yet.

Don’t see your camp? Add it at thestate.com/camp. We’ll keep updating this list at gocolumbia.com.

Academic day camps

Camp Brookland: This fun-filled summer camp explores the community, has an interactive curriculum to avoid the summer slide, daily devotion and meals are included in the weekly rate. Ages 5-10 years. 7 a.m.-6 p.m. June 4-Aug. 15. Brookland Academy CDC, 1054 Sunset Blvd. $125. brooklandbaptist.org.



I Love the ’90s!: Campers ages 8 to 12 are invited to take an adventure through the ‘90s and see history come to life through interactive activities and exploration of the gardens, grounds and houses of Historic Columbia. Learn about the founding of Columbia in the 1790s, play historic games from the 1890s, and throwback to the slime and boy bands of the 1990s. There are two sessions: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 24-28 and July 8-12. Historic Columbia, Robert Mills Carriage House, 1616 Blanding St. $180 for members, $220 for non-members. historiccolumbia.org.

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Little girl (3 years, Hispanic) painting little wooden bird feeder. Getty Images

Arts day camps



Carolina Opera Experience: Kids will learn the art of props, make-up, costumes, scenery and musical preparation in this week-long experience concluding with a performance. Grades 5-10. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 8-12. University of South Carolina School of Music, 813 Assembly St. $210. www.sc.edu.



String Project Summer Camp: Students in grades 3 through high school can hone their skills and learn from experienced teachers and graduate students. The camp fosters the excitement of developing skills on an orchestral string instrument and is open to students who have completed one year of instruction. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. July 29-Aug. 2. University of South Carolina School of Music, 851 Park St. $135. www.sc.edu.



Summer Guitar Camp at USC: Through fun activities and games you explore the basics of music reading, strumming, picking and finger-picking techniques in both solo and group settings. The last day of camp features a Guitar Show starring all participants demonstrating how much they learned. Ages 8 and older. 9 a.m.-noon June 24-28. University of South Carolina School of Music, 813 Assembly St. $195. www.sc.edu.



USC Summer Drama Conservatory: This is a summer acting intensive on the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina, directed and taught by USC Theatre Professor Peter Duffy, with the assistance of graduate theatre students. With camps available for Early Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, and High School students, the USC Summer Drama Conservatory provides a challenging, stimulating, and FUN training and performance experience for aspiring theatre artists of all ages. Grades 1-12. High School Conservatory (Grades 9-12): 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. June 10-28; Middle School Conservatory (Grades 6-8): 9 a.m.-noon June 10-21; Upper Elementary Conservatory (Grades 4-5): 9 a.m.-noon June 10-21; Early Elementary Conservatory (Grades 1-3): 9 a.m.-noon June 24-28. University of South Carolina Department of Theatre and Dance, Booker T. Washington Building, 1400 Wheat St. $225-$700. www.theatre.sc.edu.



State Museum Summer Camps: Put on your thinking caps and get creative with this hands-on and innovative STEAM camp. Young engineers will test the laws of physics when they design their own flying contraptions, generate electrifying art with LED creations, and explore a world of physical and chemical reactions as we create crazy canvases. Our yearly “ScribblyBattlyDoodlyBot” competition at the end of the week will send your camper home with their own little mechanical drawing companion. This camp is all about creating our own masterpieces using unconventional techniques and uncommon materials. Ages 6-8. Two sessions: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. June 3-7 and July 15-19. SC State Museum, 301 Gervais St. $160 for members; $200 for non-members. scmuseum.org.



Tiny Textiles: From little looms to wee weavings, young artists explore the many ways to create fantastic art with fibers. Dress for a mess as we work with natural dyes. Ages 4-7. 9 a.m.-noon. June 10-14. Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. $160/$200. columbiamuseum.org.



Mini Museum: Learn the basics of gallery design as you get inspired by our collection and exhibition spaces. Create a model exhibition from start to finish as you participate in your very own One Room Challenge. Age 8-12. 9 a.m.-noon. June 10-14. Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. $180/$225. columbiamuseum.org.



Print Basics: Using the collection galleries as inspiration, campers learn about a variety of printmaking techniques and experiment with relief, monotypes, collographs, and suminagashi. Ages 8-12. 1-4 p.m. June 10-14. Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. $180/$225. columbiamuseum.org.



Modern Urban Muralism: Review the history of modern urban murals, from late ’60s proto-graffiti to ’80s train writing to the explosion of street art in the ’90s and 2000s and more. Students explore, design, and create a mural from inception to completion. Ages 13-18. 1-4 p.m. June 10-14. Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. $200/$250. columbiamuseum.org.



Rhythm and Hues: Rhythm and hues. Timbre and tempera. Beats and brushwork. In this weeklong jam session, campers groove in the galleries exploring works of art with sound, remix their favorites, and create their own masterpieces inspired by chart-topping hits. Ages 4-7. 9 a.m.-noon. June 17-21. Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. $160/$200. columbiamuseum.org.



Dynamic Drawing: Campers explore new drawing media and strategies, improve their drawing abilities, and increase confidence when creating art. Get inspired sketching inside and outside the museum as you learn time-tested techniques to make drawings come to life. Ages 8-12. 9 a.m.-noon. June 17-21. Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main At. $180/$225. columbiamuseum.org.



Jewelry Making: In this beginner metalsmithing and jewelry making class, campers gain the primary skills to create their own metal jewelry, including making rivets, applying texture to metal, and even experimenting with cuttlefish casting. Ages 13-18. 1-4 p.m. June 17-21. Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. $200/$250. columbiamuseum.org.



Heroes and Villains: Create a comic book story from start to finish. Draw characters and environments to tell a story with pictures using storyboards, play drawing games, and, of course, read great comic books. Ages 8-12. 1-4 p.m. June 17-21. Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. $180/$225. columbiamuseum.org.



Drawing Basics: From figure drawing to shading and perspective, campers learn the basics of 2D composition with media ranging from pencils to charcoal. Get inspired sketching inside and outside of the museum as you learn time-tested techniques to make drawings come to life. Ages 13-18. 1-4 p.m. June 17-21. Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. $200/$250. columbiamuseum.org.



Arty by Nature: Artists and scientists are both trying to learn about the world using their senses. This week our group of naturalists learn about capturing the outdoors by examining masterful landscapes. Experiment with using natural resources to create art materials, hear from park rangers about how to make the most out of green spaces, and much more. Age 4-7. 9 a.m.-noon June 24-28. Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. $160/$200. columbiamuseum.org.



Painting Principles: This camp explores paints from tempera to watercolor and beyond. Campers learn about different styles of painting throughout the centuries and even paint on easels en plein air like modern-day Impressionists. Ages 8-12. 9 a.m.-noon. June 24-28. Columbia Museum of Art, 1515 Main St. $180/$225. columbiamuseum.org.

historic columbia
Historic Columbia will offer an “I Love the ’90s” summer camp for ages 8-12. Campers will take an adventure through the ‘90s and see history come to life through interactive activities and exploration of the gardens, grounds and houses. Historic Columbia

Sports day camps

Gamecock Volleyball Camps: We offer several volleyball camps for a variety of age and skill groups. Gamecock Volleyball Camps are open to any and all entrants, limited only by number, age, grade level and/or gender. Grades K-12. There are several sessions offered throughout July including 9 a.m.-5 p.m. July 8-27. 1051 Blossom St. Cost varies depending on the camp. gamecockvolleyballcamps.com.



Harbison Summer Sports Camp: This 10-week camp focuses on teaching the skills of different sports each week. Daily activities include a morning warm up, arts and crafts, swimming time, and more. A free lunch option is available to all campers upon sign up. Join us this summer to have tons of fun, meet new friends, and learn valuable lessons such as teamwork and good sportsmanship. Ages 6-13. Harbison Community Center 106 Hillpine Roard. 7 a.m.-6 p.m. June 10-Aug. 16. 7 or more weeks: $75/week Harbison residents, $90/week non-residents (seven or more weeks); $100/week Harbinson residents, $115/week non-residents (six or fewer weeks). harbisonhoa.com.



Windermere Racquet Club: Junior tennis camps for kids of all levels. Ages 4-18. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. June 17-Aug. 9. Other times based upon level and age. Call for pricing. 107 Plantation Parkway. playtwc.com.

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Columbia Sailing Club’s junior sailing program features seven week-long sessions for ages 7-17. Submitted

Outdoor day camps

4-H20: Exploring Sesquicentennial State Park: Discover the treasures of our local state park. Learn all about water quality, what a watershed is, study the effects of pollution and get up close and personal with aquatic critters. Tour the lake on kayaks, cool off on the splash pad, and go wild about water. Ages 9-14. 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. June 11-13. Sesquicentennial State Park, 9564 Two Notch Road. $55. clemson.edu/extension/4H20.



Columbia Sailing Club Jr. Sailing Program: Seven week-long sessions of sailing instruction for ages 7-17. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. June 3-July 26. 212 Shuler Road. $325 members, $425 non-members. ColumbiaSailingClub.org.



Critter Camp: Enjoy a summer adventure and become a nature detective. Enter the weird and wacky world of small critters. Play games, sing songs and make a craft as we explore the world of bugs. Fees include materials and snack. Ages 4-7 and 8-12. 9-11 a.m. Camps run Tuesday-Thursdays beginning June 4-6. Environmental Education Center at Saluda Shoals Park, 5605 Bush River Road. $50 for ages 4-7; $60 for ages 8-12. www.icrc.net.



Outdoor Adventure Camp: This camp is designed for young adventurers that want to learn basic skills to successfully enjoy the outdoors. Our Park Rangers will teach fire making, shelter options, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, tubing and more. Ages 8-12. 9 a.m.-noon. Camps run Tuesday-Thursdays for eight weeks beginning June 11-13. Environmental Education Center at Saluda Shoals Park, 5606 Bush River Road. $60 www.icrc.net.



Kayak Camp: Learn the fundamentals of kayaking on the Saluda River. Campers will learn universal paddling symbols, strokes, river terminology, geology and some local history. The camp will conclude with a guided trip downstream. Campers should bring sunscreen, water, and hat. Ages 10-16. 9 a.m.-noon. Camps run Tuesday-Thursday for three weeks beginning June 18-20. Environmental Education Center at Saluda Shoals Park, 5605 Bush River Road. $105. www.icrc.net.

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Three girls (8-10) standing with arms around each other, laughing Getty Images

Other day camps

Trinity Baptist Day Camp: Weekly themed day camp for rising kindergarten to rising 6th grade. 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. June 3-Aug. 16. $100/ week. 2003 Charelston Highway. 803-708-4147 or tbccayce.com/kidz.



South Carolina Habitat Safari: Mountain lions, saber tigers, and bears. Oh my! Join us on a trek through South Carolina as we discover the unique plants, animals, and geography of each region. Design your own safari hat, make your own binoculars, and let’s explore. From the mountains to the sea, there’s so much to uncover in this fun-filled South Carolina habitat safari. Ages 6-8. Two sessions: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. June 10-14 and July 22-26. $160/week for members; $200/week non-members. 301 Gervais St. scmuseum.org.



Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Zoocamp: Young explorers will connect with wildlife and journey to wild places when Summer Zoo Camp heats up. Experience the natural world through up-close animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, games, crafts and more. Don’t miss the wildest camp in town. Ages 3-13. June 10-Aug. 16. Ages 3 to 4 with an adult camp meets Tuesday - Thursday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Half-day options from 9 a.m.-noon for ages 4 to 5. 500 Wildlife Parkway. $190 members/$240 non-members. riverbanks.org.



Brussell’s Gymnastics: A full day day camp of fun activities, crafts, science and exercise. We bring in field trips twice a month at no extra cost. Ages 4 to 8th grade. 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. June 10-Aug. 21. 1674 Lake Murray Blvd. $120/week, $30/day a week, $20 for 1-5 hours. brussellsgymnastics.com.



Girls Go for I.T.: Coding camp for middle-school girls. Rising 6-8 grade. There are two one-week sessions: 8:30 a.m.-noon June 17-21 and June 24-28. University of South Carolina, 701 Sumter St. $90. www.ggfit.org.



Journey to the stars: Launch an EdVenture into the history and future of flight. Through hands-on experiments campers will explore the four forces of flight, create their own model aircraft, and study real rocket science. From Kitty Hawk to the first mission to Mars, the next evolution of flight is always on the horizon. Ages 6-7. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. June 10-14. EdVenture Children’s Museum, 211 Gervais St. edventure.org.



Full Steam ahead: This camp brings the best STEAM related programs offered by EdVenture to inspire our campers to nurture their innovative thinking. From Slimy Science and Genetic Junction to Weather You Like it or Not and It’s Just a Phase, this summer program will be all about building, creating, and exploring in the world of science, technolgoy, engineering, the arts, and mathematics. Ages 8-12. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. June 24-28. EdVenture Children’s Museum. 211 Gervais St. edventure.org.



Spy Camp: Welcome to a world of secret codes, hidden messages and deceptive gadgets. Sharpen your problem-solving skills as you uncover a series of mysteries and daily challenges. Use real lab equipment, conduct mind-boggling experiments, and collect insightful clues to save the day. Ages 6-7. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. July 22-26. EdVenture Children’s Museum. 211 Gervais St. edventure.org.



Robotics and 3D Design: Work in teams to build and program a robot with Lego Mindstorm. Robots will compete in daily fun challenges meant to test your design creativity, problem solving and collaboration skills. Learn how to create 3D designs with Tinkercad software. Make, print and take home your own 3D creation. Ages 8-12. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. July 29-Aug. 2. EdVenture Children’s Museum. 211 Gervais St. edventure.org.



Build Together, Move Together: Cars, boats, and planes: what do they all have in common? During this week, campers will design vehicles that move using recycled materials and battery-powered motors. Join us as we race to the finish line at the end of the week in EdVenture’s Great Outdoors. Ages 4-5. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 5-9. EdVenture Children’s Museum. 211 Gervais St. edventure.org.



Trash and Treasure: Turn ordinary, discarded, unused, and overlooked items into extraordinary creations. Build, design, experiment and have fun with catapults, pulleys, zoetropes, terrariums, chemical reactions, stuffed animal pillows, paper toys and more. Ages 8-12. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 5-9. EdVenture Children’s Museum. 211 Gervais St. edventure.org.

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kids with painted faces on hands sitting around camp fire Getty Images/iStockphoto

Overnight camps

Bethel Christian Camp: A Christ-centered residential summer camp with a ton of amazing activities. Ages 7-16. Sessions are one week at a time and determined by age. June 23-Aug. 3. 750 Boy Scout Road, Gaston. $269-$279 (scholarships available). bethelchristiancamp.org.



Carolina Summer Music Conservatory: Advanced high school students of woodwind, brass, percussion, jazz, voice, piano and strings can participate in this intensive one-week training period for both day and boarding students. Open to high school students. July 9-15. 813 Assembly St. $400-$750. www.sc.edu.



Summer Piano Camps & Lessons: Group camps and private lessons are available for children and adults. Ages 5-14. July 9-21. 813 Assembly St. $160-$320. www.sc.edu.

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