It doesn't take long after summer vacation begins for students to start the annual summer phrase -- "I'm bored."
In an effort to combat boredom, parents are in the process of signing up for the traditional day camps, park programs, summer school and sports camps that offer an array of opportunities. There are library and park district programs provided to keep elementary-aged children busy for the summer as well.
There is another option that parents may not think of as a place to look for fun summer programs. Community colleges provide dozens and dozens of camps and classes for young students. The colleges offer young children fun options, from building Lego robots to baking cupcakes or learning about space.
The colleges offer camps catering to just about every interest, said Karen Trush, director of marking for noncredit programming at the College of Lake County. "We like to offer learning in a fun, active way," Trush said. "We try to pick fun interesting topics," she added.
Here are a few of the popular, new or out-of-the-ordinary courses we found at some of the local colleges.
College of Lake County
Call: (847) 543-2022
Main camp: Camp Xplore
New this summer: NASA Space Science and Astronomy Camp. Michelle Szybowicz is a teacher who loves space science and astronomy. She is a NASA Ambassador and will teach students how things fly by making kites, paper airplanes and a Goddard foam rocket.
• Grades 1-3 meet 1-4 p.m. July 9-13.
• Grades 4-8 meet 9:30 to 12:30 p.m. July 9-13.
Hot pick: Lego in Motion. Build creative contraptions and explore the science of motion. Compare gears, pulleys and levers to build the fastest, strongest, coolest projects.
• Meets: 1-4 p.m. June 18-22 at the Southlake campus
• Meets: 1-4 p.m. July 16-20 at the Grayslake campus
• Cost: $175
Creative class: Cartooning. By combining geometric shapes participants draw a new character each week.
• Meets: 9:30-10:30 a.m. Saturdays July 7-28 at the Grayslake campus.
• Grades: 1-4
• Cost: $49
Elgin Community College
Call: (847) 214-7123
Back by popular demand: Kids vs. Wild class. The camp helps participants develop skills they would need to enjoy outdoor adventures including making a simple shelter out of natural materials or look for wild edibles. Most of the day is spent outdoors.
• Meets: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 9-11.
• Ages: 9-13
• Cost: $169
Popular option: Art Explosion. Students make cool art projects with clay, string, cardboard or create pencil and charcoal drawing. All art supplies included in fee.
• Meets: 9 a.m. to noon June 18-21
• Ages: 6-9
• Cost: $139
Hot pick: Lego Innovations and Robotic Adventures. Participants program the indomitable TeeSaur, a friendly robot. Children learn basic steps of programming in Lego language.
• Meets: 1 to 4 p.m. June 18-21
• Ages: 6-8
• Cost: $149
Active: Beginning Cheerleading. The class is focused on learning the basics of cheerleading. Students will be introduced to the proper motion, dance and jump techniques, basic tumble and body control.
• Meets: 10 a.m. to noon June 25-28
• Ages: 6-8
• Cost: $119
InZone offers summer enrichment and sports camps to children ages 8-14. Camps offer both indoor and outdoor activities.
To sign up: harpercollege.edu/inzone
Hot pick: Adventures in Robot Building. Staff members from RobotCity Workshop will lead students through an intense, two-week adventure in robot building.
• Meets: 9 to 10:25 a.m. June 11-June 22 or July 9-20
Creative class: Jammin' Jewelry. Learn the basics of beading through the use of plastic and glass beads as well as clay beads that participants make themselves.
• Meets: 1:10 to 2:35 p.m. June 11-22 or 10:40 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. July 23 to Aug. 3
• Ages: 8-11
• Cost: $169
Cooking class: Bake It, Take It. Students will learn all the tricks and techniques of a real baker as they make cookies, cakes, pies and bars.
• Meets: 1:10 to 2:35 p.m. July 9-20.
• Ages: 8-11
• Cost: $169
College of DuPage
Summer day camp enrichment classes, summer explorer day camps and field trips planned mainly at Parkview Elementary School, 250 S. Park Blvd., Glen Ellyn.
Contact: (630) 942-2208
Web contact: cod.edu/conted, then click Summer 2012 Continuing Education Class Schedule -- Youth, High School and Adult.
Interesting offering: Bermuda Triangle. The Bermuda Triangle is thought to possess unexplainable supernatural powers based on the disappearance of aircraft and ships in its vicinity. The class explores the research and mystery.
• Meets: 9 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. Friday, June 15
• Age: Grades 4-8
• Cost: $59
Field trip: Fossil Dig. Kids will go fossil hunting at Mazon Creek in Coal City. Paleontologist Rob Sulla discusses the importance of fossils as well as the types that may be found.
• Meets: 9 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17
• Age: Grades 1-6
• Cost: $84
Fun camp: Mad Science. An array of camps are planned combining recreation, art and academic enrichment. Mad Science camp is always popular.
• Meets: 8:30 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. June 11-15
• Grades: 1-6
• Cost: Five days $249