Richard Cooch
Special to the Bonanza

Back to: North Shore
May 8, 2013
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A review of Lake Tahoe summer programs

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rich Cooch is a senior at Sierra Nevada College. Following is the culmination of a class project, in which he researched and looked at some of the region’s summer programs. Rich and his fellow SNC seniors will graduate the morning of Saturday, May 18.

Winter has just about tucked itself back into hiding for few months. In response, schools are wrapping up final projects, hiking trails are being rebuilt, pools are opening and summer programs are gearing up and prepping for another summer in the sun at Lake Tahoe.

As learners of this world, particularly those who are young, spending time outside is just as important as time spent in the classroom.

However, concurrent with an increased use of computers and technology, kids’ time spent outdoors has decreased tremendously.

Good news — Lake Tahoe and its surrounding area offer a wide variety of summer programs for kids and teens, both educational and recreational

Choosing the right program though can be a daunting task as there are numerous camps and programs in the area.

To better assist with making an informed decision, here is a list outlining eight summer programs around Lake Tahoe.

KidZone Museum: Family Camp at Sagehen Creek

Located at the KidZone Museum in Truckee, this two-day educational retreat is a surefire way to get the whole family outside and immersed in nature, just north of Truckee at Sagehen Creek.

Here, over the course of August 3-4, kids and parents alike can have fun learning about wildlife such as mammals, watching fish live in action in nearby streams, and of course — plenty of time to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Don’t forget about arts and crafts and sing-alongs, too. The cost for adults and children is split into overnight tickets and day tickets.

For more information, including registration, call KidZone museum at 530-587-5437, or visit their website at kidzonemuseum.org.

KidZone Museum: Farm Camp

Another program offered by KidZone Museum is their five-day camp designed to educate about farming and agriculture.

Campers age 4-6 can expect to dig deep into the world of planting, harvesting, composting and more while working with local farmers and farmer’s markets, earning a true hands-on agriculture experience.

Farm Camp is split into three sessions: session one: June 24-28, session two: July 15-19 and session three: July 22-26. Each session will run as a day camp from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday-Friday.

KidZone Museum offers a discounted rate for members of $100 per camper; the public rate is $120.

For more information, including registration, call KidZone museum at (530) 587-5437, or visit their website at kidzonemuseum.org.

KidZone Museum: Junior Entomologists

Calling all insect inspectors — this is your gig. Here, kids will have the opportunity to get their hands in the dirt, looking for bugs and insects while discovering their role on the environment and local ecology.

Children age 6-8 are invited to explore various trails and locations in the Truckee area from 9 a.m. to noon, July 8-11.

Members of KidZone are offered a $100 rate, as well as members of the Tahoe Institute of Natural Sciences. Public admission is $120.

For more information, including registration, call KidZone museum at 530-587-5437, or visit their website at kidzonemuseum.org.

KidZone Museum: Lake Tahoe Explorers

The last of the summer programs offered by KidZone Museum offers kids age 9-12 a fully immersed outdoor learning experience.

While observing wildlife, forest, and water ecology, campers will also learn about the eco-cycle of Lake Tahoe and how it plays a role on our Earth as a whole. Camp is in session from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 24-28.

Kids will be able to dive into a new world of active learning and fun filled afternoons of kayaking, hiking and more at KidZone Museum’s Lake Tahoe Explorers camp.

For members, admission is $230 (includes transportation, kayak rentals and all activity fees.) Admission for the public is $260, including the same.

For more information, including registration, call KidZone museum at 530-587-5437, or visit their website at kidzonemuseum.org.

Gateway Mountain Center: Camp Sugar Bowl

Rock climbing, swimming, painting, even yoga — Camp Sugar Bowl is sure to please the physically active camper looking for the perfect balance of thrill and leisure.

Located at Sugar Bowl, camp meets daily over the course of two separate sessions. Session one meets July 23-27, session two: July 30-Aug 3.

In each session, age groups are split into three categories: Explore in Nature camp: age 4-6, Adventure in Nature camp: age 7-10, Mountain Adventure camp: age 11-14.

Cost for each camp varies as well: Explore in Nature: $450, Adventure in Nature: $550, Mountain Adventure: $650.

For information such as registration, contact Peter Mayfield at 530-205-6245, email peter@sierraexperience.org, or visit sugarbowl.com/summer-on-the-summit.

Gateway Mountain Center: Donner Summit Rock Climbing Camp

The second of Gateway Mountain Center’s summer programs is geared toward adrenaline-seekers age 10-18.

Here, they have an option to spend one of two sessions as an overnight camper or visit daily. Session one is in swing from July 15-20, and session two from August 5-10.

Kids can expect to spend quality time learning knots, rope use, safety awareness, anchoring, repelling and learning different techniques to become a skilled climber, while also swimming in alpine lakes and whitewater rafting.

The cost for each session is $685 per overnight camper, and $485 per day camper ($485/day camper does not include lodging).

To register or learn more, contact Peter Mayfield at 530-205-6245, email peter@sierraexperience.org, or visit sierraexperience.org.

Nevada 4-H Summer Camp

The Nevada 4-H summer program is unique from other camps, as they specialize in youth development for practical use in today’s world.

From July 14-20, Nevada 4-H offers campers age 9-13 everyday life-skills such as problem solving, communication, identifying personal values, ethics, volunteer opportunities and more.

4-H stands for Head, Heart, Hands and Health, and implements a strong hands-on learning experience.

Activities of the Nevada 4-H Summer Camp are always being updated and reformatted in order to provide the camper with the freshest experience, but activities in the past have included arts and crafts, dances, workshops, skits and even balloon rides.

The cost for camp is $230, however scholarships are available through their website (unce.unr.edu/4H/camp). To register or apply for a scholarship, contact Amanda Allegre at 775-423-5121, or visit their website.

Tahoe Tessie’s Summer Camp

Hosted in South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Tessie’s reminds you to bring your swimsuit. Water safety, stand up paddleboard instruction, water games, surfing, paddleboard games and racing paddleboards as a part of “Team Tessie” are a few of the activities to choose from at Tahoe Tessie’s Summer Camp.

Other land activities include beach games, education of environmental and marine science, karate lessons and more. Camp is split into two sessions as day camp; three age groups per session: Little dragons age 5-7, Dragons age 8-11 and Big Dragons age 12-15. Session one runs from June 18-July 20, session two from July 23-August 24.

Tahoe Tessie’s camp offers a variety of pricing options. For information regarding registration and other inquiries, contact Tahoe Tessie’s Summer Camp at 530-307-2218.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated May 8, 2013 06:13PM Published May 8, 2013 03:04PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.