24, No. 22, June 2, 2005
camps offer academics, athletics and music
More information about UI summer camps can be found at the links below or by calling the sponsoring unit or department:
Athletic summer camps, Division of Intercollegiate Athletics
Math and engineering summer campus, College of Engineering Outreach
Illinois Summer Youth Music camps
Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
marks the beginning of summer camp season, and the playing fields, classrooms
and rehearsal halls on the Urbana campus will be flooded with middle-school
and high-school students eager to improve their skills in music, athletics
About 4,000 children will attend sports camps offered through the Division
of Intercollegiate Athletics. DIA offers more than 50 camps this summer
for individuals and teams, including cheerleading, gymnastics, football,
volleyball, golf, tennis, track and field and wrestling. Many of the
camps have waiting lists including boys’ basketball, which filled
quickly after coach Bruce Weber led the Fighting Illini men’s
team to the NCAA finals this spring.
About 1,200 budding musicians and thespians will grace Urbana’s
stages and rehearsal halls as participants in Illinois Summer Youth
Music camps. Now in its 57th year, ISYM hosts 16 camps in musical theater
and musicianship, including choral performance, orchestral performance,
chamber performance and jazz. The campers, many of whom receive partial
or full scholarships from their schools, spend their time in rehearsals,
private lessons and classes, and give a concert for parents on the final
day of camp.
David Allen, the coordinator of outreach and public engagement for the
School of Music, who was an ISYM camper in junior high and high school
during the 1980s, said that today’s campers “want more than
a rehearsal that leads to a concert at the end of the week, and for
that reason, we have instituted classes in music technology, piano lab,
conducting and composition.”
“My goal is to present the students with something that opens
their eyes to some new aspects of music that they haven’t experienced
or to enhance the experiences they’re already having in their
school programs,” Allen said. “I was a high-school band
director for eight years, and I know what we need in our school music
programs and can see how through ISYM the university is able to help
students not only have a great experience for seven days but can enhance
what music programs throughout the country are doing by giving kids
something they can take home with them.”
ISYM attracts quite a few out-of-state participants and some international
campers, Allen said. This year, a camper will travel to Urbana from
Taipei, Taiwan; last year, ISYM had one camper from Germany and another
In addition to athletics and music, there also are several camps for
kids who want to do some serious brain building and career exploration
while having fun.
The Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Science and Engineering,
sponsored by the College of Engineering and the Women in Engineering
Program, encourages young women to pursue careers in technical fields
through two weeklong camps. In the structures camp, seventh- and eighth-grade
girls are exposed to basic project-related principles of physics, materials,
civil engineering, aerodynamics and chemistry, which they put to the
test by constructing projects built to withstand natural forces and
also to meet detailed design and construction specifications. In the
computer science camp, eighth- and ninth-grade girls work with computer
visualization and modeling programs.
New this year is a Discover Engineering camp for high-school sophomores
interested in math and science. Campers are exposed to the various disciplines
in engineering and work on projects from different engineering fields.
The camp is designed to help students considering careers in engineering
decide if engineering is right for them and, if so, which discipline
most interests them.
The College of Engineering also sponsors an Exploring Your Options camp,
a weeklong program that exposes high-school juniors and seniors to the
field of engineering and includes a LEGO Mindstorm Competition that
involves campers building robots to navigate an obstacle course.
A wet-and-wild icebreaker on the first night of camp that also is a
highlight for many campers is the “battle of the boats”
competition in which teams of campers build cardboard boats and race
them across a swimming pool, said Mary Weaver, coordinator of the Worldwide
Youth in Science and Engineering program.
Young people who have stars in their eyes can learn about aerospace
engineering and aviation at a weeklong camp sponsored by the department
of aerospace engineering and NASA’s Illinois Space Grant Consortium.
In classroom sessions, labs and demonstrations, campers design and build
model rockets and gliders and go on field trips to a local remote-control
airplane field and the Institute of Aviation at Willard Airport in Savoy.
About 180 children – pre-kindergarten through eighth grade –
will attend day camps at Robert Allerton Park and Conference Center,
Monticello. A local art teacher will instruct young artists in using
various media, including sculpture and drawing, during the Allerton
Artists camps; kids in the Allerton Explorers camps will learn about
animals, birds and astronomy.
According to preliminary enrollment figures, the Housing Division expects
to provide accommodations for about 3,600 campers this summer, said
Kirsten Ruby, the assistant director of housing for marketing. Some
camps house participants at privately owned residence halls near campus.
In addition to youth, the UI residence halls will house about 1,400
adults this summer who will come to campus for professional development
workshops, institutes and other programs, Ruby said.