Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) in Maryland are embracing the summer break by offering a variety of summer camps to students. These camps allow students to learn, have fun, and enhance their academic skills before the new school year begins in the fall.

The CCPS summer camps are designed to be enriching experiences for the students. Although the term “enrichment camp” may sound like an intense academic program, these camps offer a unique and engaging approach to learning. Students participate in activities that make academic concepts more enjoyable and accessible.

Brian Dixon, eighth-grade student at Milton M. Somers Middle School, creates a 2D model of important figures in history in the area of space exploration at a Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) STEM camp at the James E. Richmond (JER) Science Center. Credit: Charles County Public Schools

In one of the Readers Theaters camps, students engaged with literature by creating paper mache masks based on their chosen books. Kelly Craft, a learning resource teacher at Mary B. Neal Elementary School and camp leader, explained, “They are divided into three groups, and each will paint their paper mache to resemble their character in their story. Yesterday they broke into three groups, each picking a story they will develop into a play to perform at the end of the week.”

At the Lackey sports camp, students were seen having a blast playing Tchoukball, which combines elements of basketball and handball. Camp counselor Kate Cox expressed her enthusiasm for the camp, stating, “I have been a camper since I was little, was a volunteer for two years, and now I’m getting paid as a counselor. This job is the best way to get paid; you get to run around and have fun with the kids.”

The James E. Richmond (JER) Science Center offered a STEM camp where students delved into the world of space exploration. Students created 2D and 3D models of trailblazers in space exploration history in one session. Beth Freeman, a Berry and Neal Elementary school science teacher, shared, “They have made rockets, described colors that come to mind and created cartoons. The group is very creative with the materials that they have been given.”

For middle school students, the STEM camp at JER Science Center allowed them to explore the space industry and tap into their artistic skills simultaneously. Seventh-grade student Phoenix Huntt-Davis expressed her excitement about the camp, saying, “My mom thought it would be a good idea for me to come to this camp. I like to work with technology with computers and coding, but I want to be a photographer when I grow up.”

Elementary students at the science center participated in another STEM camp session focused on coding using Ozobots. These small programmable robots allowed students to learn coding through drawn lines and color codes. The camp provided opportunities for teamwork and problem-solving. Darasimi Odubena, a fourth-grade student at Neal Elementary, shared her interest in the challenges presented by coding, stating, “I like to do coding outside of the camp, but I want to be a surgeon when I grow up.”

The CCPS summer camps offer students a chance to engage with various subjects in a fun and interactive manner. By combining learning with enjoyable activities, the camps provide a valuable experience that helps students grow academically and develop new skills. As the summer break progresses, these camps will continue to inspire and educate the young minds of Charles County.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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