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Arts and sciences camp combines hands-on learning with a healthy dose of summer FUN

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By Reece Murphy

Summertime can be a bit of a bummer for kids stuck at home with nothing to do.

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Of course, that’s definitely not something the kids at Arts and Sciences camps have to worry about.

Just ask Shai-ann Boulware and Xander Plyler, two of 30 elementary-aged kids participating in this year’s Buford Arts and Sciences Camp at Tabernacle United Methodist Church, which wrapped up Friday, July 19, with an arts and sciences showcase.

“I liked the music because I got to learn a new instrument,” Shai-ann said. “Maybe I’d go outside (at home) and ride my bike – but that’s not as much fun as being here.”

“I liked ‘Hands on Habitat,’” Xander said while holding up a specimen container with two crickets. “That’s where I got these bugs. It’s fun!”

“Hands on Habitat,” a class focused on animals, insects and their environments, was among the many hands-on classes offered during this year’s annual summer program.

Others include martial arts, “Summer Circus,” “Paint Like Picasso” and “Let’s Make (Instrumental) Music,” the music class Shai-ann enjoyed so much.

Depending on the number of children who have signed up for them, other camps have more classes available, such as Movie Making, Backyard Art, “Guitar Hero” and “So You Want to be the Next American Idol?”

LCCA’s Arts and Sciences Camps have become an annual tradition, reaching children throughout the county. The first of the four camps was the week before at Covenant Baptist Church in Lancaster.

With Buford’s Arts and Sciences Camp wrapping up Friday, the next is scheduled for First Baptist Church in Kershaw July 22-26 followed by the camp in Indian Land July 29 through Aug. 2 at Belair United Methodist Church.

LCCA Executive Director Debbie Jaillette said this year’s camps have a “sub-theme” made possible by a J. Marion Sims Foundation grant called Healthy Wellness.

Woven into camp activities are health-related lessons on “intentional movement,” exercise, healthy living and healthy eating, among other concepts.

In all, Jaillette said, the camps fit in perfectly with the council’s mission to “bring art to everyone,”   especially children.

“Art allows them to learn and grow, and become well-rounded, productive members of the community,” she said.

Program Coordinator Julieta Cunningham said this year’s camps have been exceptionally good. Not only have the camps drawn a record number of children, (about 200 by the time the camps are over), it has more talented instructors and courses too.

Like Jaillette, Cunningham said she believes the arts and sciences go hand-in-hand, complimenting each other in stoking children’s curiosity and creativity, life-lessons for a successful life.

“Just like music, art is in everyone’s language,” she said.

If you’d like to sign your elementary-age children up for the remaining camps in Kershaw and Indian Land, there’s still time. The cost is $60 for LCCA members and $75 for non-members, plus a $25 late registration fee.

To register, or for more information, call (803) 285-7451 or email lccavolunteer2@gmail.com.

Contact reporter Reece Murphy at (803) 283-1151