Summer Camps 2011

By Jennifer Gray

Summer days are quickly approaching.  Many of us have fond memories of summer camp — going off somewhere fun, making new friends, trying new activities like horseback riding or sailing.  Today many children don’t even have to leave Mountain Brook to have these unique experiences.  Week-long camps have become very popular.  It seems like almost every organization offers them.  Whatever your interests, there is a camp for you.

We have put together information on some of the most popular camps in our area to help you make your plans.

Zoo Camp
The Birmingham Zoo offers camps throughout the summer for children ages 4K through eighth grade.  Camps are either half day or whole day and offer children opportunities for special behind-the-scenes tours, up-close animal encounters, arts and crafts and other fun.  With the new Trails of Africa opening this spring, this is sure to be a popular camp!  For more information and to register online, visit Science Center Camps
McWane Science Center Camps make learning an unforgettable adventure that you just can’t experience anywhere else. In one week of camp, the budding scientist can discover a dinosaur, travel into outer space or explore the ocean floor. Various themes and activities allow children to experience something new each day. Blast off in Cosmo Camp or get creative in Smarty Arty Pants Camp. Dive in to marine biology or dig paleontology. The flexible programs allow you to choose as many programs as you want for your child, from just one afternoon of exploration to full weeks of fun and learning!

Camps are offered to children ages 4K to sixth grade.  Full day and half day programs are available, and there are preferred rates for members of McWane Science Center.  For more information and to register online visit

Summer Show-Offs
Do you have a born performer at your house?  This camp may be just what you are looking for.  This popular camp is for girls and boys ages 5K through twelveth grade.  Morning or afternoon sessions are offered at Birmingham Metro Church.  Summer Show-Offs, at its heart, teaches confidence and character. Children learn confidence, stage presence, singing and dancing.  Each child is given a solo and shown that everyone can perform on stage. Campers are allowed to experiment and develop their talents without feeling insecure or intimidated.
Every day campers will rehearse group singing, choreography, solos and the correct way to speak and use the microphone. On Friday there will be a grand performance for friends.  For more information and to register visit

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Camps
Choose from a variety of favorite topics including nature and the outdoors, plants and our environment, cooking, art and more! Programs are designed to actively promote your child’s natural sense of creativity and discovery with fun learning experiences in the unmatched setting at Birmingham Botanical Gardens!

New this summer are camps for 4 and 5 year olds entering fall preschool programs. Camps are offered through sixth grade but varies by program.
All sessions are taught by certified or otherwise qualified teachers. Bring your own lunch and water bottle; a light is snack provided. Registration begins March 1 for members and March 15 for all others. Pre-registration is required. Register early! Limited spaces fill quickly. T-shirts will be available for purchase on the first day of camp.

One of their most popular camps is Garden Adventure with American Girls. Campers explore the gardens through the eyes of their American Girl dolls with arts and crafts, stories, songs, and recipes.  Other camps include Exploring the Gardens with Winnie the Pooh, Painting and Pastels in the Gardens, Nature Explorers, Southern Summer Chefs, and Monet’s Garden.

For more information or to register by phone, contact Education Program Coordinator Ellen Hardy at (205)414-3953 or

Mountain Brook Gymnastics
Camp Tunzafun will begin the week of June 6 and offers ten weeks of day camp to choose from. Camp is open for boys and girls ages 3  and up (preschoolers must be 3 and must be potty trained). You do not need to have any previous gymnastics experience.

Each day at camp, campers will have at least an hour of gymnastics time, waterslide time, games, crafts and snack time and will spend time both inside and outside. Each camper receives a camp T-shirt as well. 3 and 4 year olds are allowed to come to a half day camp (8 a.m.-12p.m.), while 5 and up may choose to either come half day (8 a.m.-12p.m.) or full day (8a.m.-4p.m.). Spots are filled on a first come, first serve basis. Once a camp is full, you may have to choose another week!  For more information visit

Trail Rides with Mr. Dan
Brookwood Forest Special Education teacher Dan Gilliland is offering a fun morning of horseback riding for children age fifth grade and up.  Rides are offered by reservation and are for two people.  Riders can be two children,  an adult and child or even two adults. Rides are offered Monday through Friday.  Riders need not be experience.

Mr. Dan uses his 25 plus years experience of working with children and horses to provide a memorable morning.  Riders arrive at Mr. Dan’s farm in St. Clair County at 9 a.m. for a quick orientation. Then they are off to a nearby 4000-acre farm with mountain top views, Indian fish traps, Indian arrowhead hunts and teaching on the habitats and ecosystems of area.  You may bring a sack lunch. Riders will return around 12:30 p.m.  Call Mr. Dan at 305-1629 (cell) or 672-7855 (home) for reservations or more information.

Our own Mountain Brook Community Education also offers a great range of classes and camps for the summer.  These are held in Mountain Brook and in many cases are taught by teachers from our schools.  Below is a listing of programs offered this summer that may be a great fit for someone in your family.  For more information, you may contact Mountain Brook Community Education at (205)969-0109 or visit

MBE Summer Day Camp
Mrs. Jayne Euwer, Crestline kindergarten teacher, is planning another fun-filled summer of new activities and more. This program is for Mountain Brook students who are entering grades 1-6. The Summer Day Program runs from June 6 through July 29. Hours daily are 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Registration fee is $50 per student and is required to participate. Weekly fee is $160 per student. To register, complete the Summer Day Program Registration form on our web site at and mail with registration fee to the address listed on the form. If you have questions, call 969-0109.

Study Organization Skills With Knox Bricken
Check out web site for registration information,

Babysitting Clinic
Learn to become a qualified babysitter and be certified through the American Red Cross. Our course directs basic child care, diapering, feeding, emergency situations, toy selection and first aid. Student should be 11 years old to be certified. Payment must be made at time of registration. Classes are offered Saturday, March 26, June 18 and August 13 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Community Education Classroom. Fee is $50 per student. Students need to bring sack lunch and drink. Call 969-0109 for more information.

Tennis Camp
Instructor Leslie Bashinsky and staff will lead this camp Monday through Thursday, June 6-9 at Mountain Brook Junior High School. Kindergarten through fourth grade session is 9- 10:30 a.m. for a fee of $70. The fourth through ninth  grade session is 9 a.m. – noon for a  $140 fee. For more information call 907-4258.

Rushbiddies Spring Workshop
Mark your calendars for Sunday afternoon, April 17, 3-5 p.m. and Monday evening, April 18, 6-8 p.m.. Rushbiddies will be presenting this two-part intensive workshop in an effort to better prepare our young “chicks” for the hatching of their best ideas and efforts toward a successful Greek Recruitment Experience. On day one we will focus on all of the early work, preparation and paper necessary to help you equip your credentials for the big week. Day two is all about the party. This is your chance to learn how to feel at ease with the flock, and how to keep from getting your feathers ruffle. Think you know how to make party conversation? Just you wait! There is much to learn! You can’t be too prepared at rush parties! Two days for mother and daughter cost $100, either day for mother and daughter $75, and either day for one person $50.  For more information, visit or email to

A Mountain Brook tradition, Summer Happiness in Play (SHIP) provides a wonderful summer program for children who are age 4 by September 1, 2011 through students who will enter 2nd grade in the fall of 2011. Sarah Creveling directs this highly successful program at Mountain Brook Elementary. Cost is $135 per student per session. All sessions are 9 a.m. till noon. Registration begins Tuesday, April 5 at 10:00 a.m. at the Charles Mason Building (Board of Education). For more information call 969-0109.
Session 1A: Mon.-Wed., June 13–29
Session 1B:  Tues.-Thurs., June 14– June 30
Session 2A: Mon.-Wed., July 11– July 27
Session 2B: Tues.-Thurs., July 12– 28

All Star Sports Camp
Join coaches Kyle Ritter and Kirk McClendon for another great summer of sports. The week will include basketball, scooter hockey, volleyball, scooters, putt-putt golf, bowling, wiffleball, track and field, soccer and lots of fun. Bring a sack lunch. Drinks and snacks provided. Drop off and pick up will be in the gym. Adult must sign student in and out. Designed for boys and girls in 4K through sixth grades. Camp fee is $175 per child per session and $150 for each additional child in the family.  Cost for Session 5 is $140 due to short week. Each session at Brookwood Forest Elementary runs 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Session 1: June 6-10
Session 2: June 13-17
Session 3: June 20-24
Session 4: June 27-July 1
Session 5: July 5-8
Session 6: July 11-15

Carolina Shag Dance Lessons
Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Begins April 20. Shag is the dance of carefree days at the beach. It’s a little like swing and jitterbug but slower, smoother and strictly Southern. Instructors are John Harper and Susan Green of the Beach Shaggers of Birmingham. Partners are not required for the lessons. One-hour lessons will begin Wednesday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m and continue for four consecutive Wednesday evenings, concluding May 11. Cost for instruction is $40 per person for all sessions. For information, call John Harper at 879-1531. To register, call 969-0109.

Driving Lessons
Need to know the basics? Individual driving instruction is available. Learn important driving instruction for both city and highway. Larry Wilson is a state certified driving instructor. His general recommendation for teenagers learning to drive is six hours of instruction, which he usually provides in three 2-hour lessons. Cost is $60 per hour or $360 for three 2-hour lessons. Dates are arranged by the instructor. Call Community Education at 969-0109 for information on how to contact instructor and about the forms that are required.

Chess Camp
The Knight School is Birmingham’s premiere intensive chess program, specializing in imparting true chess mastery to Mountain Brook’s sharpest minds in an environment that is addictively fun, laughter-driven and powerfully organized. State Champion Chess Coach David Brooks, B.A., B.A., M.Ed., M.A., Ph.D. continues to unleash an arsenal of world-class teaching, complete with remote control clickers; mandatory chess clocks, highly-competitive color, fully-bracketed tournaments, chess movies, driving music and prizes. Crestline Elementary School will host two sessions of chess camp. Choose the week of June 6 or July 18. Each camp is Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. till noon. To register, contact David Brooks at (205) 823-5715 or

Summer Safari Fine Arts Camp
The caravan goes to art for an hour and a half. We’ll be making paper mache African masks and other fun projects. Supplies included. The fun moves to music for an hour and a half exploring a jungle beat. Leslie Wingo and Debbie Rakes, both Brookwood Forest Elementary teachers, direct this program at the school. Three sessions to choose from: June 13-17, June 27-July 1, or July 11-15. Cost is $225 per student. Sessions are 9 a.m. till noon daily. Drop off and pick up will be at the back carport. For more information or to register, call 969-0109.

Summer on Broadway
The UAB Children’s Creative Learning Center and Mountain Brook Schools present this program at Cherokee Bend Elementary School,  Monday-Thursdays, June 13 – July 22 (Closed July 4), 8 a.m. – noon.  This program is for children ages 3 through 12.  There will be Enrichment Workshop Choices (Dance, Drama, Math, Reading, Science, Technology, Music, Art, etc.). The Enrichment Program is $150.00 per week, and both the Enrichment Program iwth Reading and Enrichment Program with Math are $175 per week. For more information contact Jennifer Summerlin, Instructional Coordinator, at summerlinj@mtnbrook. or Abbey Hankins at

Summer SMART Camp
Spanish, Music and Art…Now that’s SMART! Sara-Kathryn Bates (MBE Spanish teacher), Shari Dorsett (MBE music teacher) and Kendra Haddock (MBE art teacher) have teamed up to host a summer camp available to all incoming kindergarten students through third grade students, June 20-24. Artistic creations, musical productions, Spanish crafts, a trip to Davenport’s for lunch on Thursday and much, much more will encompass our week of pizzazz, which is our 2011 S-M-ART camp theme. Our fun-filled week will conclude on Friday with an artistic, musical and Spanish presentation for parents.

The $255 fee includes tie-dye S-M-ART camp t-shirt, daily snacks and bottled water, one lunch at Davenport’s, and all supplies. Children should bring a sack lunch each day except Thursday when we will go to Davenport’s for lunch.
Camp held June 20–24 from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. at Mountain Brook Elementary.

For more information, contact: Sara-Kathryn Bates (, Shari Dorsett (,  Kendra Haddock ( or call Mountain Brook Community Ed at 969-0109.

Summer Art Class
Summer Art Class for students in grades 1-6 will be held at the Crestline Elementary School art room. The sessions will be Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon. Session 1 is June 20-24 and Session 2 June 27-July 1. Cost is $225 per student per session. Supplies included. Instructor is Vista Nelson. For more information and to register, please contact Vista Nelson at or 205- 835-5857.

Become a Writing Wizard
This camp is designed to expand your rising fourth or fifth grader’s knowledge in the area of writing. We have created an action-packed mini -camp to develop vivid language in their writing, create a rock solid foundation for three modes of writing (narrative, descriptiveand expository), write with sensory details, teach them how to expand story lines that flow using dialogue, supportive reasons, and transition words, as well as much more.
The total cost of the mini camp will be $200. This includes a daily snack, educational materials and supplies. Students will need to bring a sack lunch with a drink each day. Camp teachers will be Karen Scott and Donna Breland. Mrs. Scott is a fifth grade teacher with 17 years of teaching experience, and Donna Breland is a reading coach with 22 years of experience in education. Together, they will unleash the writer inside of your child. Camp sessions will be held at Crestline Elementary School June 13-16 or July 11-14, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. daily

Reading Round Up
Rising first and second graders, Brookwood Forest Elementary, July 11-15, 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Camp is designed to continue growth and progress over the summer months. We have created an action-packed week to review phonics skills, boost comprehension, encourage reading, build basic vocabulary and incorporate daily writing so you can enjoy all the other activities that summer has to offer. Cost is $250. Snacks and supplies are included. Bring sack lunch and drink.

Rising Kindergartners Reading Readiness
July 11-15, 9 a.m. until noon. Program will develop phonemic awareness, increase letter recognition, and solidify alphabetic knowledge. Hands-on activities will improve their pre-reading and vocabulary skills. Through whole group lessons, students will be challenged to answer questions about the daily read aloud. Skills will prepare student for upcoming school year in fun and engaging ways. Cost is $150. Snack and supplies included. Camps are run by National Board-certified teachers with more than 13 years experience. To register call Community Ed at 969-0109.


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