College for kids

Whether they were getting their hands dirty or showing off their creative side, students took various classes recently as they participated in Lycoming College for Kids and Teens.

The week-long program has been held for the past 25 years and gives students in second through eighth grades the opportunity to explore and learn about several topics on campus.

Darlene Connelly, who has been with the program since its inception and has had her own children go through it, said the idea for the camp was to give children the opportunity to keep busy also while learning.

“Our whole goal is to have some brain camps, if you will,” Connelly said, noting how many sports camps and clinics there are in the area.

She added that there is a need for programs like this one, as there are many students who want to be in a school setting in the summer.

“It’s amazing to me how many kids say, ‘I wish I could go to school all year,’ ” Connelly said.

Classes offered are separated by age groups. Students are able to choose two classes to participate in – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Class offerings include grossology, where students participate in laboratory experiments and explore sciences; geocaching, which allows students to use GPS systems to hunt for items; and scrap-it, where students learn to scrapbook and create their own book.

Volunteers teach the classes, which last three hours each. Connelly said they try and offer enough classes that allow class sizes to remain relatively small.

And among the skills students learn from various topics of discussion, Connelly said, especially for the younger participants, they learn to follow directions and work with others.

The opportunity to spend time on a college campus and work in labs and spaces designed for higher education, also is exciting for participants.

“They’re thrilled out of their minds,” Connelly said.

Connelly calls the camp a “great opportunity,” and she knows it first-hand. Her children all have gone through the program and have gone on to doctorate degrees. They all have given back to the program and seen the positive effects of it.

“Both of the girls told me that one of the biggest things on their resume that they’re asked about is this program,” Connelly said.

Overall, the experience keeps the children’s minds active through the summer months.

“It’s a wonderful programs with an exposure to a number of programs,” Connelly said.