Roasted marshmallows and zip line courses are still a part of the summer camp experience in Hampton Roads. But now students can add building an iPhone app, publishing a newspaper or re-enacting the Civil War to their list of summer memories.
Here are five summer camps that put a bit of a twist on traditional school-is-out fun.
Build an app
You may not want your teen to spend the summer playing video games, but the counselors at the College of William & Mary's iDTech camp are going to advocate just that. Sort of.
The technology-focused camp pairs students with college students and professionals to embark on real-life projects like mobile app design, 3D game design, flash animation and java programming.
Camp activities go beyond the computer screen, organizers promise, and include creative games and sports activities. Weeklong day-time and overnight camps are available. Camps costs around $900 a week, with additional fees for meals and overnight stays. Williamsburg camps begin June 18.
For more information, visit internaldrive.com.
Re-enact a war
As the region remembers the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battles fought in 1862, students can interact with history during a four-day summer camp at Endview Plantation in Newport News.
From wartime camp life to battle drills and sharpshooting techniques, children ages 8-13 will get an up-close view of the Civil War at the plantation, which served as a Confederate hospital in the 1860s.
There are two camp sessions this year: June 25-28 and July 23-26. The camp costs $160.
Find more information by visiting endview.org or call 887-1862.
Enforce the law
Sweat pours at the Youth Leadership Camp sponsored by the Newport News Police Department and the Boys and Girls Club of the Virginia Peninsula.
Team building and leadership are developed during the weeklong overnight program held at the Coast Guard base in Yorktown, where the students will learn drill and ceremony, be taught swimming survival techniques, learn to navigate using a compass and participate in physical fitness drills.
"For every exercise they participate in they can earn a streamer for their team's flag," says Lieutenant Eric Mansfield, a special operations commander for the police department. "The ultimate goal is to earn the gold leadership streamer, which is presented at graduation by the chief of police to the best team."
The cost of the camp is free and includes food, overnight stays and training uniforms. Campers must submit to an application process, however, and not all applicants may be chosen to attend.
The students can get applications from the Boys and Girls Club. Participants will be chosen by the end of April.
The department also hosts a Youth Police Academy for boys and girls ages 14 to 17. The academy allows students to get an inside look at law enforcement, as they take facility tours, practice training drills and learn about forensic science.
This summer's weeklong camp will take place June 18-22.