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Camp trains youth to lead, protect environment

By Johnny Jackson and Curt Yeomans

jjackson@henryherald.com and cyeomans@news-daily.com

Bright Star Early Learning Center at Locust Grove is offering a dual summer camp this year.

During camp, students will be split into two different focuses.

One of the focuses of the camp will be in leadership, a camp in which children learn community leadership skills.

The other is an environmentally conscious camp for kids to help teach various ways to support their environment.

The leadership focus will include a visit to the Georgia Capitol, said camp director Sandra Hansen, also the owner of the center which opened earlier this spring.

"We're trying to expose them to as much leadership as possible," Hansen said. "Kids are going to begin to look at themselves as leaders and look at their strengths and weaknesses. They will go out into the community and see how their strengths best help the community."

The environmentally conscious focus will derive various service projects from cleaning yards to adopting sections of highway. They're going to be focused on one major project in each camp including the creation an on-campus recycling center.

"It will teach children how they can demonstrate more responsibility with regard to the environment," she said. "It's about learning as much about the community and environment and how we can help."

Other activities, according to Hansen, will include swimming, visits to amusement parks, outdoor hikes, and other field trips.

The dual summer camp, for ages 6 -12 years old, is $125 per week per child and will be held at Bright Star Early Learning Center at Locust Grove, located at 655 Strickland Road in Locust Grove.

Camp begins June 2- Aug. 1, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday - Friday with an off day on July 4. Doors will open at 6 a.m. and close at 6:30 p.m.

"There's really important developmental growth going on at our summer camp," she added. "They would be able to take a more active role in the community and on the environment. I like to look at it as we're shaping our future leaders, [and] we can't wait until they're in high school to start."

If a parent wants their child to be challenged artistically, there is an option out there as well.

Children ranging from upcoming first-graders, to ninth-graders will explore the arts this summer through two camps offered by Arts Clayton.

The agency, which strives to promote the arts in the local community, particularly with children, will offer its annual Kaleidoscope Arts Camp, and the Youth Teen Camp from June 9, through June 20, at Lee Street Elementary School, 178 Lee Street in Jonesboro.

"It is Arts Clayton's goal to encourage children to explore and develop an appreciation for all of the Arts and to learn that by working together through the arts, we bridge all gaps and come together as a community," said Sara Cookson, the coordinator for both of Arts Clayton's summer camps, in a statement to announce the programs.

The Kaleidoscope Arts Camp is designed for rising first-graders, through sixth-graders, and participants must take a performing arts class and a visual arts class. The cost to participate in the program is $155 per child, and the cost pays for supplies, daily programs offered by the camp's organizers, snacks and a camp T-shirt.

Some of the daily programs offered this year include a theatrical performance and visits by the Clayton County police and fire departments, literature illustrator Michael White, storytellers and a puppeteer.

The Youth Teen Camp is for upcoming seventh-, through ninth-graders. The students can participate in one-week courses on animation, cartoon design, painting, drawing, digital photography, or a two week theater course.

The costs to participate in the courses ranges from $55, to $260, depending on the students choice of classes.

At the end of the summer camps, a grand finale celebration will take place on the evening of June 20. It will include performances and a gallery show featuring art made by participants in both the Kadeiloscope Arts, and Youth Teen camps.

Children can be signed up for either camp by calling Arts Clayton at (770)473-5775.

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On the net:

Arts Clayton: www.artsclayton.org

Bright Star Learning Center: www.brightstarelc.net