By CHERIL VERNON
By the end of this week, all area students will be out of school.
That will mean parents will be looking for places for their children to go to keep them occupied during the summer.
Longtime Palestine piano and music teacher Michelle Bolton will be offering a series of unique summer camps for children now through the middle of August.
“I am trying to give kids something a little different to do that is affordable, that they can do locally without tying up their whole summer. They can pick and choose things they like to do,” Bolton said.
With a background in teaching piano lessons and music, Bolton also has done catering, cake decorating and puppeteering — which makes her a perfect candidate for offering classes which can range from “Fun with Icing” to “Move Over Muppets” puppet camp to “Pizza, Pizza, Pizza” and “Paint Like Michelangelo!”
“With the puppet camp, I would eventually like to make puppet teams that could go to area nursing homes. I want to instill the ideas of community service and volunteerism, or being able to assess the needs and seeing what you can do to fix it,” Bolton said.
The summer camps will be held in O’Sweet Pea’s party room and at Palestine Church.
“Palestine Church has a puppet stage and are allowing us to use their puppets to learn about puppeteering,” Bolton said.
The camps kicked off last week with some of the students from Christian Heritage Academy attending due to their early release.
“We did ‘Fun with Icing’ and the camp “It Is All About Me,” Bolton said. “In most of the camps, the kids will have completed projects to take home.”
During the icing camp, students learned decorating techniques and created cupcakes and cookies. In the “It Is All About Me” camp, students completed projects focused on themselves, decorating T-shirts and making a scrapbook.
“We talked about the importance of documenting their pictures where and when things happen and the kids designed their own scrapbooking pages. They really got the concept and had fun picking out the pictures and finding matching paper to go with it,” Bolton said.
Bolton plans to have assistance from a handful of college students and/or recent graduates to help facilitate the camps.
Here is a list of summer camps Bolton will offer:
• “Fun With Icing” — Learn decorating techniques and create creative cupcakes. Kids ages K-8 (complete) will have a sweet time making treats, some to eat and some to share. Older children will make cookies in style of the Cookie Factory. The camp will be offered June 18-19, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at O’Sweet Pea. Cost is $40.
• “It Is All About Me” — Students will complete projects that focus on themselves. Bring a white T-shirt to decorate, pictures of yourself for a scrapbook page and a photo of yourself to color. The camp will be offered July 8 and July 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. at O’Sweet Pea. Cost is $35.
• “Move Over Muppets” (puppet camp) — Learn the art of puppeteering. Make your own puppets and stage, learn to work as a team and earn a place in the new puppet ministry for the community. The camp will be offered June 12-13 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or June 25 and June 27 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Palestine Church. Cost is $35.
• “On a Beach Somewhere” — Grass skirts and leis. Come be part of the island fun. June 25 and June 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost is $35.
• “Fashionista” — Is fashion designing in your future? Bring your own jeans and canvas tennis shoes to design and decorate. July 2 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at O’Sweet Pea. Cost is $25.
• “Stars and Stripes” — Name that tune. How many patriotic songs can you name? Come learn to play some patriotic songs using handbells and boomwackers. Create red, white and blue treats and art projects. The camp will be offered July 2-3 from 1 to 3 p.m. at O’Sweet Pea. Cost is $35.
• “Christmas in July” — Let’s celebrate the most wonderful time of the year twice! Kids will discover Christmas traditions of other countries and make some of their Christmas dishes and decorations. Christmas music, baking fun and arts and crafts. The students will make Lottie Moon Christmas cookies. Children are asked to bring a small donated item for Operation Christmas Child. The item will be announced at registration. This will be offered July 8-9 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and July 10-11 from 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at O’Sweet Pea. Cost is $40.
• “Paint Like Michelangelo” — Come join in as students are introduced to some of the great artists, use different mediums and unlock your artistic talents in the style of various artists. The camp will be offered June 25-27 from 1 to 3 p.m. and July 16-18 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Palestine Church. Cost is $45.
• “Dots.... Come Explore Pointillism by Seurat, Pop Art of Warhol and More” — Learn to appreciate some unusual art styles and materials used by various artists. The camp will be offered June 18-20 from 1 to 3 p.m. at O’Sweet Pea.
• “Indescribable Only Because There’s Too Much to Tell!” — Music and art camp. Instruments will be made from recycled goods, chalk drawings, marionettes, singing, instrument playing and more. The camp will be offered June 11-13 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. or July 16-18 from 1 to 3:30 p.m., both at Palestine Church.
• “Kindergarten Here I Come” — Busy hands, busy minds, music, crafts and more. Six weeks plus bonus week. The camp will be offered on Wednesdays from 9 to 10 a.m. June 5 through July 17. Cost is $125.
• “Sleepless Sleepover: Sleepover Fun Without the Sleep” — This sleepover occurs during the day. Make sleepover treats, crafts and scrapbook pages. Bring a pillowcase to decorate and an oversized T-shirt (to make a sleep shirt). This camp will be offered Aug. 13-14 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or Aug. 13-14 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Place to be announced. Cost is $40.
• “So...Oops...Sew” — Learn the basics of counted cross stitch and old fashioned embroidery. The camp will be offered June 26 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Palestine Church. Cost is $25.
• “Pizza, Pizza, Pizza” — Come make different types of pizza. The camp will be held July 3 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at O’Sweet Pea. Cost is $25.
• “A Chocolate Lover’s Dream” — Let’s discover what can be done with chocolate. The camp will be offered July 9 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Cost is $25.
• “How Does My Garden Grow” — Make creative creations for your beautiful outside world. The camp will be offered July 11 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Cost is $25.
• “Because I Am Blessed” — Community outreach. Learn the art of serving and the importance of community volunteers. The group participating will take their favorite projects to kids in the community. There is no cost except each student’s time. The places and times will be announced. This camp is for fifth grade and above.
• “Encore” — Favorite camps will be tallied up to do an encore version, same camp, new activities. Aug. 8 and 9 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or from 1 to 3 p.m. Place to be announced.
All camps involve having fun with potentially messy materials. Those attending should wear play clothes. If you attend back-to-back camps, please bring a sack lunch. All materials and supplies will be included in the fee unless requested in camp information. All camps will be at O’Sweet Pea and Palestine Church.
Projects made during the summer camp will be exhibited during a community art show in August.
Limited space for the camps are available. Parents are encouraged to sign up their child a week before the camp will start to make sure of availability. Sibling and multi-camp discounts are available. Payment is due upon registering.
“Registering in advance will allow me to make sure I have enough materials available for everyone,” Bolton said.
For information or to register for a summer camp, call or text Bolton at 903-724-4586 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.