Summer FunCamps and activities abound throughout Vicksburg area

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, May 9, 2012

School’s out soon, and that means summer fun is right around the corner.

Camps and special activities for children in the Vicksburg area range from dressing up like a princess to donning a swim suit for lessons at the pool, from singing show tunes to singing by the campfire.

Registration is limited in many cases, so call early for details.

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Warner-Tully YMCA Camp in Claiborne County has proved so popular, for example, an extra camp session was added this year, said the new “Big Chief,” Kollin Falk.

Falk, 24, takes on the lead camp role held for many years by Casey Custer who was promoted this year to executive director of the Purks Y.

“Warner Tully’s a great camp,” Falk said. “What I’ve noticed is that it’s the way camp used to be.”

Falk, who’s been employed at Purks Y for a little over a year, plans to continue the same popular features Warner-Tully Camp has offered for more than 50 years, like the Magic Campfire, the Mud Slide and the Death Hike.

“Those things won’t change,” he said, “but we’ve added some things, like a zip line over the lake that the kids will really enjoy.”

Falk is a native of Chicago and a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in parks and recreation with an emphasis on outdoor education. He’s worked at summer camps since he was a kid, he said.

“About the only jobs I ever had have been camping jobs,” he said.

Becoming Big Chief is a great opportunity, he said.

“This camp has such a strong community following, and the campers become a close-knit group,” Falk said. “I really, really enjoy it.”

The many camps and workshops from which parents and kids can choose include:

• Can’t Stop Singing! — Show choir camp for first- through eighth-grade students, 8 a.m.-noon June 18-22 or 25-29 at Warren Central High School; $90. Contact Nancy Robertson, 601-638-5122 ext. 160.

• Exploring Art and Nature with the Masters — Art projects with instructor Lane Berg, 9 a.m.-noon June 4-8 (ages 6-10) and 11-15 (ages 11-16) at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center, 1302 Adams St.; $15. Information 601-631-2997.

• First Presbyterian kindergarten and prekindergarten — Weekly themed camps, $75, 9 a.m-noon; June 11-15, Sensory Sensations (ages 3-6) and Mad Science (ages 4-9); June 25-29, Making Music (ages 3-8) and Discover God’s World (ages 2-3); and July 9-13, heART and Soul (ages 3-8) and Get Fit & Go Green ($100, ages 4-9); daily snacks and class supplies provided. Information, 601-636-1288.

• Fun Time Summer Camp — Vicksburg Parks and Recreation Department free camp for ages 6-10, 8:30-3 p.m. Monday through Friday June 4-July 27 at Jackson Street Community Center. Registration today through May 30 at the community center, 1023 Walnut St., or the recreation department, 100 Army-Navy Drive. Information 601-634-4514.

• Learn to Swim — American Red Cross lessons, 3-year-olds to adult; June 4-15, June 25-July 6 and July 16-27; registration, in person only, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. May 16-19 at City Pool; $12 per two-week class. Information 601-634-4516.

• Third Annual Magnolia Speech Sprint 5K Run/Walk and 1/2 Mile Fun Run — All ages, June 2; 6:30 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. race start; $10 and $20 before Monday; Jackson Academy-Raider Park, Sheffield Drive in Jackson. Information at the “Race Calendar” link at

• Princess Camp — Activities for girls 4-9; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. June 11-15 and 18-22; $100; for information and location, contact Lana Hand, 601-218-4320.

• Spirit of the Wood — Art through wood and other natural resources with instructor Leslie Silver; ages 10-16; 2-4 p.m. June 4 and 5 at the SCHC; free. Information, 601-631-2997.

• Summer Art Workshops — Painting, printing, textiles and other forms, ages 7 and up; 1-4 p.m. June 11-15, June 18-22 and July 9-13; Art At Heart, 1915-D Mission 66. Information, 601-415-9592 or

• Summer Enrichment Program — Character building, sports, arts and crafts, academics and field trips, 7:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday June 4-July 20 at Kings Empowerment Center, 224 R.L. Chase Circle; free lunch; $50 per child or $100 for three siblings; information 601-634-4788 or 601-634-4756. Applications for teachers and teacher assistants also accepted; volunteers welcome.

• Tara Wildlife Youth Camps — For boys and girls 9-16, one-week sessions at Tara Wildlife, 6791 Eagle Lake Shore Road May 27-June 2, June 17-23 and July 15-21; Archery Camp June 4-8; Mississippi Forestry Extension Conservation Camps (reserved by MSU) June 10-15 and 24-29; National Guard Wildlife Camp (reserved for children of military) July 8-13 and July 22-27; $600 per session. Information, Mark Bowen, 601-279-4261 or

• Vicksburg Multicultural Arts Camp — Art, dance, music and cuisine of a different culture with instructors Karen Biedenharn and Tracy Gardner, for ages 6-12; 8 a.m.-noon June 25-29 at the SCHC; $50 includes supplies, materials and a snack. Information 601-631-2997.

• Warner-Tully YMCA Camp — Fishing, canoeing, hiking, devotions, crafts, air-conditioned cabins; two-night mini camp, ages 6-10, June 8-10, $120-$130; one-week sessions, ages 7-13, beginning June 10, fees vary. Contact the Vicksburg Y, 601-638-1071 or

• YMCA Summer Fun Camp — Ten-week day program for ages 5-12, May 29-Aug. 7, offered at Purks Y, 267 YMCA Place, and Ver Beck Branch YMCA, 1884 Oak Ridge Road; members $80 per week, nonmembers $90 per week; registration packets available at Purks Y. Information 601-638-1071.

Mississippi universities have also scheduled events for elementary and high school students, including:

• Alcorn State University in partnership with the Children’s Defense Fund — Literacy-enhancing program for K-12th graders, June 18 to July 27; free; Applications accepted until May 18 at, or paper applications at the Office of Student Engagement in the James L. Bolden Campus Union. Information, Dr. Valerie Thompson, 601-877-6385 or Dr. Carrie Ford, 601-877-4716.

• Mississippi State University:

The Natural Resources Summer Camp — June 10-14 for rising ninth-graders to graduating seniors, who will be introduced to opportunities in scientific and conservation careers through water quality testing, canoeing, birding and forest wildlife management activities; $190, includes food, lodging and on-site transportation. To register, visit

• The Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture Camp — July 8-12 for ages 12-18, with archery, bowfishing, trap/skeet shooting, canoeing, classes on wildlife biology and management and opportunities to obtain hunter education and boater safety certifications; $285, includes food, lodging and on-site transportation; space is limited. To register, visit,

• The 43rd annual Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Summer Camp — June 3-6, with a variety of educational and fun activities for 15- to 17-year-olds with horticultural interests; field trips to a local orchard, a vegetable farm and MSU greenhouses; plant propagation, interior plants, sports turf, landscape design, plant identification and floral design; $175, includes food, lodging, materials and other supplies. Applications due by May 21; contact Kathy Johnson at 662-325-2311 or

• The University of Southern Mississippi — Summer academically-talented youth program, July 1-20 for seventh-10th- graders with qualifying SAT or ACT scores; pre-calculus, anatomy and physiology, criminal justice, creative writing and other courses; tuition includes room and board, recreation and limited accident insurance. Information, 601-266-5236 or online at