Summer camps at local attractions foster fun and creative thinking

The concept of summer camp has evolved from those lazy days of swimming, bug-collecting and free play. Today, children have plenty of opportunities for summer fun that also expands their minds. Whether they’re into art, science, exploration, photography or other creative pursuits, chances are one of Baltimore’s fine museums or attractions has a summer camp that’s a perfect match.

A Visionary Experience

The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) in Federal Hill is not your ordinary museum, so campers can be sure that their summer camp experience is anything but. This is the fourth year the museum is hosting Visionary Summer Camp, which includes one session for fourth and fifth graders and three sessions for middle school students.

Each week in July, there will be a new theme featuring encounters with visionary artists and tons of hands-on creating and collaborating. For example, the Magic Lantern Workshop will show students how to create live stop-motion animation, a technique that uses 3D figures made out of clay. Campers will learn about AVAM artists and create their own unique masterpieces using everyday materials and an excessive amount of hot glue.

American Visionary Art Museum: 800 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD, 21230
Cost: $200 for members, $250 for non-members.
2011 Schedule
Tuesdays-Fridays, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Four weekly sessions: July 5-8; July 12-15; July 19-22; July 26-29
Information: visit avam.org, call 410-244-1900 or e-mail Felice Cleveland at felice@avam.org.

Cultivating Curious Minds

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA)’s Summer Creativity Camp features daily gallery tours and hands-on art making. Weekly themes incorporate topics kids enjoy along with the BMA’s intriguing collections from around the world.

B’More Artful Globe Trotters will show how art-making techniques across continents connect us. Mysterious Materials will help children discover all the wonderful ways to turn everyday products like clay or staples into grand works of art. From Ordinary to Extraordinary will show how they can use everyday objects to explore their own creativity and develop a personal style. Finally, Fantasy Art Camp will explore the mythological stories behind the artwork and encourage campers to create their own version of a fantastical creature or landscape.

The Baltimore Museum of Art: 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore MD, 21218
2011 Schedule
Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.)
Four weekly sessions, with theme: June 20-24, B’More Artful Globe Trotters; June 27-July 1, Mysterious Materials; July 5-8, From Ordinary to Extraordinary; July 11-15, Fantasy Camp
Cost: $225 for members, $325 for non-members
Information: visit artbma.org, call 443-573-1700, or e-mail Rebecca Karp at rkarp@artbma.org.

Sensational Summer Science

Camp MSC at the Maryland Science Center offers week-long full day and half day programs geared toward students ages 6-13 13 with a love of all things science.

The youngest campers will enjoy programs such as Animal Antics, where they can meet the Maryland Science Center’s scaly, slimy and furry friends up close, and It’s a Gas, where they’ll learn all about solids, liquids and gases with hands on-activities and experiments. CSI: Camp Scene Investigations will give older campers the opportunity to become forensic scientists for a week, investigating strange happenings and solving “crimes” around the Maryland Science Center.

Photography lovers will enjoy Oh Snap!, where they will explore the chemistry of photo development and the science behind eye-pleasing images. Everyone will benefit from Science Recycled, in which campers will rescue recyclables, transform trash into treasure and invent their own pollution solutions.

The Maryland Science Center: 601 Light Street, Baltimore MD, 21230
2011 Schedule
Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; half-day, 9 a.m.-noon
Five sessions: June 27-July 1; July 4-8; July 11-15; July18-22; July 25-29
Cost (includes lunch): $275 for members, $290 for non-members; Half day, $115, $130.
Information: visit mdsci.org or call 410-545-2982

Inside the Artist’s Studio

Summers at The Walters Art Museum offers kids entering grades 1-12 a unique and fun-filled summer experience taught by professional artists and museum educators. First- through fifth-graders will explore art techniques and cultural themes through gallery visits, in-depth art projects and collaborative theater activities. At the end of each week, campers will hold their very own art exhibitions and presentations.

Choose from four weekly sessions (morning or full day) with themes such as Art Detectives and Secrets of the Samurai. The Artist’s Studio Experience, geared toward grades 6-12, gives campers the opportunity to work side-by-side with a local artist from a specialized field of fine art. While creating their own works of art, students will learn about different techniques and artists throughout history that are specific to the week’s theme. Campers will also have the opportunity to explore careers in the art world and build their own portfolio.

The Walters Art Museum: 600 N. Charles St., Baltimore MD, 21201;
2011 Art Camp
Grades 1-5

Mondays-Fridays; full day, 9 a.m.-4:15 p.m.; morning only, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Five sessions: July 5-8, July 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-29. Themes vary
Cost: $190 for members; $320 for non-members; Half day, $100 and $170
2011 The Artist’s Studio Experience
Grades 6-12
Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Two sessions: August 1-5, Aug. 8-12. Themes vary
Cost: $150 for members; $280 for non-members
Information: visit thewalters.org or call 410-547-9000, ext. 300

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Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.