Your guide to find a program for your family
THOUGH IT FEELS like the holidays just ended, now is the time to set the schedule for summer camps before spaces and sessions fill up. Many favorites are back this year as the world emerges from a Covid cocoon. We have culled a list of local options for the artsy, sporty and everyone in between. From adventure to magic, you may find yourself a little jealous of what the littles and bigs of your life have to choose from.
Color Wheel Studio
Founded in 2002 on Church Street, Color Wheel Studio helps young artists develop their passion for the arts with their after-school, school break, summer camps and art class programming. Here, children ages 5 to 18 are encouraged to express themselves creatively with ceramics, sculptures, drawings, paintings and mixed media art. Color Wheel Studio has been so well-received by the community that they’re opening their third Decatur location this spring.
Their curated after-school and summer art programs offer a variety of engaging themes pulling from different art genres, as well as a fun hands-on way to learn art history, techniques and mediums. There are also exciting new initiatives in the works for the entire community.
“Color Wheel always adds some fun with whimsical themes like Splat!, which gives kids the opportunity to have some down and dirty, messy fun or Think Small…Think Big which plays on scale, allowing whimsy with miniature-sized art to experiencing impactful, oversized projects,” says Marlis Cornett, director.
Degreed artists helm the classes, and their “high-quality art experiences” enable children to grow and learn in a safe and nurturing environment.
“Color Wheel’s Summer Camp is all about trying something new, making new friends and having fun. We use art to empower our kids as artists and community members,” says Cornett.
For more information, visit Colorwheelstudio.com.
Bryant Tennis Camps at Emory
Is your child a budding tennis star or want to be one? Perhaps he or she simply likes playing the game. If so, then you will want to read more about Bryant Tennis Camps’ Summer Program. Founded and led by coach Amy Bryant, a nationally recognized collegiate head coach with more than 22 years of experience, this specialty camp welcomes tennis students from ages 5 to 14 and of all skill levels.
Summer camp (half-day and full day offered) begins June 6, runs for four weeks, and is held at Emory’s topnotch facilities on
indoor and outdoor courts. Campers also have access to racquetball courts and a swimming pool. At camp, kids partake in drills, games and activities.
“We really focus on keeping campers moving – small camper to counselor ratio – with short lines and creative games that offer positive reinforcement for all levels of tennis! We also do a lot of traditional summer camp activities in the afternoons like making tie-dye shirts, enjoying swim time and having scavenger hunts and water balloon tosses,” says Bryant.
Boys and girls ages 5 to 8 are in the Swoop’s Starters group, while students ages 9 to14 are in the High Flyers group. Swoop’s Starters is for beginner and advanced beginner levels – they will learn on smaller courts with bigger balls and be introduced to forehand, backhand, volleys and overhead. Some will even learn to serve. Full day campers will learn to keep score and will play lots of skill-reinforcing games.
“Our goal is for your child to love tennis after just one week of camp,” explains Bryant.
High Flyers is for advanced beginners and intermediate levels –they will be introduced or have the following skills reinforced: forehand, backhand, volleys, overhead, serve and return of serve. Kids will play sets and tiebreakers. “Our goal is for your child to feel confident on the court after just one week of camp,” Bryant continues.
Former campers love this program so much that they often return as counselors, along with several college tennis players. “Kids love that it’s non-stop fun and they enjoy striving to earn the ‘candy can’ prize at the end of each day. Parents love that it’s well-organized and their children come home tired at the end of today. I love seeing the kids develop from year to year as tennis players and people!” says Bryant.
For more information, visit bryantcamps.com.
Little Shop of Stories
Do your children love getting lost in stories and books? Check out Little Shop of Stories Summer Camp. Registration began online in February, and one of their sessions of Camp Hogwarts (one of the most popular programs) is already full. This Decatur bookstore has a few different summer programs. We are Going to Camp (rising Grades 1 to 2) is a four-day camp in early summer that offers crafts, activities and stories with your favorite fictional friends. Make Your Own Myth Camp (rising Grades 3 to 5) is for kids to learn about ancient mythological heroes, play games and participate in activities. Backpack Explorers (rising Grades 1 to 2) teaches about different kinds of birds and bugs, leads fun art projects with leaves and flowers,
and offers kids a chance to earn special badges and grow a garden. Find more information about Comics Camp, Spy Camp, D&D Camp, and Dragon Camp. Camp Hogwarts currently has availability in its August session.
For more information, visit Littleshopofstories.com.
Druid Hills Dance Center
With a mission “to create a fun and encouraging space for young dancers to train in a variety of dance techniques and grow their artistic imaginations,” this 10-yearold Decatur dance studio offers classes in ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, modern and hip-hop styles of dance. This summer the dance studio is hosting a list of summer camp programs for “Minis” and “Youths.” Find Fairy Princess Dance Camp and Disney Dance Camp among favorites. Additionally, there are junior and senior
level programs including Young Choreographers Camp, Center Stage Dance Camp, Pro Technique Dance Intensive and Off Broadway Dance Intensive.
For more information, visit ruidHillsDance.com.
At Circus Camp, your kids will learn fun circus skills, including trapeze, tightrope, juggling and magic, as well as be entertained daily with a live show by circus professionals. Open to kids ages 5 and up, including teens, this Decatur summer camp is interactive, safe and entertaining. After watching highly-trained counselors show off their circus skills, kids get to choose the skills they’d like to learn. There are also special sessions of intensive Aerial Camp, where campers
focus on advanced aerial skills (trapeze, Spanish web, cirque silks, lyra), athletic fitness, balance, strength and flexibility with seasoned professionals. Aerial Camp runs simultaneously with regular camp. Note: Space is limited to allow more time on the equipment, so register ASAP.
For more information, visit circuscamp.org.