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Summer Camps for Creative Youth 2021

By Katie Wilde, GAC Volunteer

Keeping in mind (as if we could forget!) that things may change, it’s wonderful to see how many creative summer camps are still happening in one form or another.

Musically inclined kids have several week-long rock experiences to choose from this summer. Jam School’s Summer Rock Camp welcomes older kids ages 8-13 while CMA Music calls on mini rockstars ages 4-11 to join their Rock and Roll Camp (details at bottom of their homepage). Both camps will be in-person, restrictions permitting.

Embrace drama with Great Big Theatre Company’s virtual and in-person summer camps for kids ages 4-5 and 6-14. The content is different each week so campers can register for multiple weeks with no risk of boredom.

Got ants in your pants, like me? Toddlers to teens can dance away some of that pent-up energy this summer in size-limited groups as part of various camps offered by Guelph Academy of Dance and Performance Dance Academy.

What about those visual and tactile youth who like to get messy and make stuff? The designers, the planners, the make-it-up-as-you-goers?

The Art Gallery of Guelph is running Camp-to-Go, a series of six different week-long camps for ages 7-12 that combine virtual instruction and social opportunities with hands-on creativity. Take-home supply kits are provided ahead of time. Blue Amber Arts Academy’s summer art courses, Elements of Design and Acrylic Pouring with Colour Schemes, run once a week for 8 weeks, for 10-15 year olds. At Focus on Nature’s Guelph Summer Camp, kids ages 8-13 will enjoy some welcome fresh air while they sharpen their photography skills.

PortPrep offers summer art camps that help teens and young adults who are serious about animation, illustration  and architecture build the skills they need as they prepare portfolios for competitive post-secondary programs.

Lego-lovers, budding sculptors and mischievous engineers can make things that move at Brick Works Academy. Their virtual and in-person camps for older kids and tweens teach the computer side of creativity, from graphic design to music production, animation, games and comics.Guelph Gryphons rec centre will virtually facilitate a lego/clay animation camp for 8-11 year olds and a filmmaking camp for kids aged 11-15. Supplies provided. Play with Clay in downtown Guelph keeps it quick and cheerful in their morning-only day camps. Kids ages 5-16 are supported from start to finish as they build and glaze their pottery masterpieces from scratch.

Did you know that the Guelph Public Library has a staggering wealth of programming beyond the written word? GPL is always home to bookworms and storytellers taking advantage of everything from playwriting workshops to Summer Reading Clubs, but there is a range of craft, tech, music and other activities to be had there as well!

For young ones with special needs KidsAbility has put together this helpful list of participation programs like Rainbow Day Camp.

Knowing our history is knowing ourselves, and although they’re not presenting camps in any strict sense, Guelph Museums and Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) can help connect both parents and kids to important sparks of inspiration and understanding. With their video series, workshops, and recommendations - such as GBHS’s top 100 list of books, movies and more, there is much to explore together. 

In addition to the organizations mentioned above, there are many more that have offered arts camps in the past and will again as soon as possible. Follow and connect with them to ensure you hear when things are taken off ‘pause’, and don’t forget to ask about subsidies or earlybird discounts on upcoming camps!


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