Primghar, Iowa – School is back in session, but Iowa State University Extension and Outreach says more than 550 youth took part in ISU Extension and Outreach’s 2016 summer camps, with many of the participants attending multiple camps for a total of 1,411 camp participants.
Five counties – O’Brien, Sioux, Lyon, Osceola and Clay, all join together each summer to provide these educational summer camps throughout Northwest Iowa.
The majority of the camps fell under one or more of the following three categories:
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
- Science and Natural Resources
- Creative Arts
Each camp was different, but overall, camps were geared toward first to eighth grade-aged youth.
ISU’s 2016 STEM Summer Educator, Selena Rinehart, says the camps taught the next generation so many great things about collaborative work and the many opportunities our world contains!
The purpose of the camps was to challenge and enable participants to be problem solvers, communicators, and to get along well with others through a variety of positive activities, according to 2016 Creative Arts Summer Instructor Emily Wielenga. Wielenda says she also believes these camps work to build up participants. She says they create a positive environment where kids can learn and have fun, and she says there is little more can you ask for during the summer months.
With nearly 50 different camps that took place multiple times across Northwest Iowa throughout the summer, local ISU Extension and Outreach offices provided numerous fun and educational opportunities to 4-H members and non-4-H youth and families.
Camp participants came from a wide-variety of backgrounds and experiences, according to Wielenga says some of them struggle in school, are the class clowns, or dominate in every sport, but, Wielenga says, with so many different options, ISU Extension offered something for everyone.
From NASA and Robotics (at STEM camps) to cooking and deep-sea explorations (at Science and Natural Resources camps) to photography and sculpture making (at Creative Arts camps), youth were empowered to take their interests beyond the classroom.
Local ISU Extension and Outreach offices have already begun planning for next summer’s camps, and Wielenga says more information will be available in the spring.