Oklahoma City and the surrounding area plan summertime children's events to keep kids engaged, educated and entertained.
Several schools across the state are invigorating young minds with the game of kings: chess. Although chess often is seen as a slow, quiet and intense battle of wits, Albert Rine, president of Owasso's Chess Adventure Camp, said the game can be fun and engaging for students as early as kindergarten. The day camp for chess enthusiasts caters to students kindergarten through 12th grade, breaking up the players by age and skill.
Athletics are a popular way to make the lazy afternoons go by, and Chesapeake Boathouse offers various camps between June and August, with programs introducing kids as young as 8 to proper rowing technique or having older boatmen sharpen theirs. New this year, a "High Performance Youth Strength Camp" will teach students safe and effective weightlifting techniques.
For years, Southern Nazarene University has drawn in wannabe hoopsters for its summer basketball camps, which will be held in June and July. The university utilizes its varsity squad and coaching staff to instruct budding athletes from second through 12th grades. Mike Broughton, head coach of the men's varsity team, said that between 500 and 800 campers participate each year in a bid to sharpen their on-the-court skills.
Just because school is out doesn't mean that the learning process has to stall as well. Mad Science and the Oklahoma City Zoo host programs throughout the summer that encourage learning without making the students feel like they are returning to school early.
The Oklahoma City Zoo will break up its summer programs so more intensive lessons can be taught. Camps like "Animal Transformers," "Seussical Safari" and "Animal Oddballs" will let children choose on which part of the animal kingdom they wish to focus.