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‘A different kind of learning’ at UNH summer camp

By Kyle Kitterdge, Contributing Writer

The University of New Hampshire is host to many students during the year, with plenty of learning going on. But during the summer, a different kind of learning takes place.

Registration for the Summer 2015 Camps is now open. Kids from kindergarten through 12th grade are eligible to sign up for various programs offered.

The camps offer a variety of programs for all interests. The different camp categories include academic enrichment, arts, traditional camps and water activities.

The programs have access to many of the facilities at UNH. They also go to many different places around the Seacoast area such as the White Mountains, Mendums Pond and Appledore Island. UNH-Manchester plays host to some of the camps as well. 

Many of the academic and athletic departments run the programs, which are held at various sessions throughout the summer. Instructors are primarily UNH faculty and staff members.

“All are run by different program directors and they work really hard to make sure that it’s safe, that the kids are having fun and they’re also learning a lot at the same time,” said Cathy Leach, the educational program coordinator of the Summer Youth Programs. “And the program feedback we get is that our managers hit all of those things.” 

While the camps are run mostly by academic instructors, Leach explained that students can still apply if they contact the program directors on the website, which can be found at to work at the summer camps.

“I think what we offer is a really robust program for kids,” Leach said. “For minors between ages 5 through 8, when you have those kids it’s geared a little more towards traditional activities and fun. And then as you get to the older students it may become a little more educational.”

One of these instructors is Mary Beth Marino, a theatre and dance lecturer, who is directing one of the dance intensive programs hosted by the theatre and dance department.

“We teach a variety of dance styles. We have ones offering ballet, classical ballet, jazz, contemporary, and acrobatics,” Marino said.   

The dance programs are just one of the programs that the UNH theatre and dance department offers. Others include playwriting and musical theatre.

“Teaching has mostly been so rewarding, and it allows me to see former students that are now teaching and offers an opportunity to meet younger generation to connect with the community,” Marino said.  “I’m looking forward to another year.”

There are day camps and overnight camps as well.

The Marine Immersion class at the Isle of Shoals is a two-week residential program held at the Shoals Marine Lab on Appledore Island off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine for students that have completed their sophomore, junior or senior years of high school. The program focuses on coastal marine habitats, with an emphasis on issues that relate to global habitats and concerns, using laboratory exercises and fieldwork.

Freshman Matt Sarbieski, participated in the program this summer.

“I thought it was a great experience,” Sarbieski said, “Going out to a great location and getting to experience the rigor of a college level class really helped prepare me for school. You’ll get valuable knowledge from it and the work is tedious but, fun. And you get to meet some awesome people too. It’s a win-win.”

The programs primarily attract New Hampshire kids from the Seacoast, but some of the programs attract kids from all around New England. Many UNH faculty members also send their kids into the camps.

A few of the smaller programs like Kids Eager for Engineering Program with Elementary Researched-based Science (KEEPERS), Elementary Program Introducing Computing or EPIC, and Techsplorers & Techventures filled up within hours. 

“It’s definitely something that anyone looking for college experience should try,” Sarbieski said.

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