Prevent the Summer Slide With Camps That Teach

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By Erin D. Pittman

School’s out for summer, and every parent is thinking two things: 1) “How am I going to keep these kids busy all day?” and 2) “Holy moly, I hope they don’t forget everything they learned last year!” Thanks to some incredible Prince William organizations, you can kill both of those worries with one stone — camps that teach. Many camps in our area focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) lessons, problem solving skills, group/team work, focus and creativity, all of which can keep your kids happy and learning now, as well as engaged and ready to jump back into school in the fall. Here are just some of the offerings.


NOVA Community College’s SySTEMic summer camps are STEM camps for children in grades 3 through 12. Camps feature coding, robotics, rocketry, Arduino, cybersecurity skills and more with a teacher to student ratio of 1:10.

“NOVA SySTEMic summer camps are an opportunity for students to explore areas of STEM that they may not have the opportunity to explore during the academic year. By utilizing hands-on project-based activities students engage in practical application of STEM concepts that provide immediate feedback and challenges for students to grow and succeed in a low risk environment. Our camps are designed and led by  professional teachers and students who have a passion for STEM,” said Director Josh Labrie.

Visit for more information or to register.

Camp Invention

Camp Invention is run by the National Inventors Hall of Fame and is also rooted in STEM concepts. Campers will tap into their natural curiosity and through a teamwork approach and immersive learning, tackle all sorts of challenges. Camp Invention is for students in grades kindergarten through 6th. Visit for more information or to register.

Abrakadoodle Art Camps

If you have a budding artist on your hands whose creativity is just screaming to be released, Abrakadoodle camps might be the perfect place to grow. These camps are held at schools and community locations throughout Prince William and include art lessons, music, games, crafts and special activities for children
ages 3 to 12. Remember that even though it’s not academic based, your children’s developing brains are engaged in creative problem solving, determined focus and social interactions. Visit for more information or to register.

Prince William Parks and Recreation Sports Camps

While these aren’t your typical classroom learning sessions, PWC’s sports camps offer skill-building activities and opportunities to focus and develop passion for the games your children love. Look for soccer, golf, basketball, volleyball and multi-sports camps for all ages at

Other Local Educational Camps

Bull Run Mountains Conservancy
Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory
George Mason University
4-H Camps

Erin Pittman has been a writer for 10 years, but a lover of words her entire life. Her work is published in local magazines and on local and national blogs. Contact Erin at


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