The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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June 25, 2013

From Barbies to Nerf, robotics to running, summer camps offer activities for everyone

As the children in the classroom worked studiously Tuesday on their clay creations, Amber Baker called them to attention.

“Class, class,” Baker called out.

“Yes, yes,” was the response from her students, whose eyes were immediately on their instructor.

“Now that you have your heads attached to the bodies, we’ll now put in eyes and a beak,” said Baker, using an overhead projector to show the youngsters how to use the modeling tools to add features to clay owls.

Parrish Dodson watched the demonstration and prepared to complete his owl.

“It’s really fun,” the 9-year-old said of working with clay. “You can make anything.”

Baker said the purpose of the three-day Clay Camp, which began Tuesday at Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin, is to teach youngsters the basics of working with clay. They will be creating a slab, pinch pots and coils.

“But also, they’ll learn that it takes a lot of practice and patience when working with clay,” she said. “Not very many people know how to pick it up immediately.”

While Clay Camp is giving children a chance to stretch their artistic abilities, across town at Missouri Southern State University’s Leggett & Platt Athletic Center, girls have been honing their skills on the basketball court this week.

Spiva and Missouri Southern are just two of the local organizations working to help youngsters pass the time this summer with educational and fitness activities, and even camps designed to just let kids have fun.

There’s something for everybody: Barbie Camp or G.I. Joe Camp, volleyball and basketball camps, Lego and robotics camps, and more.

Here’s the rundown on some upcoming camps.


The Joplin Family Y’s Day Camp 2013 continues through Aug. 14.

Weekly themes are American Heroes, July 1-5 (closed July 4); Adventures Through History, July 8-12; Wacky Recreation, July 15-19; Mysteries of Science, July 22-26; Fitness Frenzy, July 29-Aug. 2; Wild Water, Aug. 5-9; and Bon Voyage, Aug. 12-13. Meals will be provided.

The cost is $95 per week for Y members and $125 for nonmembers, for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. The sixth- through eighth-grade day camp is $60 for members and $80 for nonmembers. Scholarships are available. The daily program fee is $25 per child.

Details: 417-623-4597 (downtown branch), 417-781-9622 (south branch) or

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