Summer Camps that Jump, Juggle, Explore, and Squash Boredom

Camp Invention StudentsParents – Make a note for next year!


Moving Queen to Rook 5 … spinning plates and juggling scarves … transforming the ecosystem of a distant exoplanet … researching, pitching, and investing in a self-developed product … exploring a city’s stories … meeting new water critters …

Who knew all of this – and more – could be experienced in just one summer! Behold the Summer Enrichment Camps at IU13.

Each summer, IU13 Summer Enrichment Camps offer students new ways to explore their gifts and interests while creating an interactive and challenging team environment. Those in the community look towards IU13 for quality educational experiences, and those at the forefront of these Enrichment Camps wanted an arena for gifted, advanced, and curious students to explore various academic options.

As a result, the camps were born in 2009 to provide fun for kids, while still encouraging an atmosphere of growth and learning. These camps were equally designed to promote teamwork, problem solving, and social interaction. Janice Estabrook, Coordinator of Gifted and Enrichment Services, emphasizes the importance of teaching these kids “21st century skills” – skills like collaboration, teamwork, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Likewise, the enrichment camps thrive on the feedback of their community – parents, children, and camp counselors alike. They wish to meet the needs of those participating, listening carefully to suggestions made and questions posed by parents. Communication is a priority in these camps, as multiple videos and pictures are posted via social media to give parents a taste of what their children are involved in.

IU13 offers multiple camps to suit a variety of student interests, personalities, and schedules. Explore a few of the Summer 2017 offerings:

  • For students who wish to learn how to play chess, enhance their thinking skills, and discover new ways to strategize, “Summer Chess Exploration” was a great option.
  • Or, for those more invested in the natural world, there was the recent addition of “Jump In,” where students explored wetlands, rivers, and creeks at the Lancaster County Environmental Center. Here, campers participated in hiking and canoeing activities, all while drawing and documenting their findings.
  • In the perennially enjoyed “Camp Invention,” students entering Grades 1-6 were prompted to think for themselves, to solve problems, and to create inventions freely with one another. Students received first-hand experience at launching rockets, creating exoplanets, and taking apart common household electronics … resulting in feedback like “amazing,” “challenging in a good way,” and “boredom squasher.”
  • Students in Grades 6 through 8 took fun to the next level in “Invention Project,” where they were taught entrepreneurial skills, circuitry, economics, and bioengineering. Afterwards, they used these abilities to research, pitch, and invest in the product as a team.

For the future, IU13 wishes to continue to grow their middle school camps and promote their new camps, like “Centripetal Circus,” where physics, math, theater, and creative writing became part of the fabric of lessons as students entering Grades 3-5 learned a variety of circus skills like balancing objects, spinning plates, juggling scarves, and hooping with more than one hoop. Or another new offering this summer, “Voices of Lancaster: Past and Present Capturing the Spirit of the City,” embraced the concept of giving students the opportunity to explore the vibrant stories of the people who made, and continue to make, Lancaster City a progressive cultural hub.

For IU13, offering enrichment camps is more than simply having fun; it's about learning to translate lessons from camp into lessons learned in school and beyond, translating into the real world later in life. These camps build leadership qualities in not only campers, but counselors and interns as well. Enrichment camps have a strong focus on community, helping to encourage good citizens that are responsible, accountable, and ready for what life brings. And did we mention, they are lots of fun?

For more information, please contact Janice Estabrook.