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Specialty Summer Camps Offer Kids More Choices of Fun

The growing popularity of technology camps and other substitutes for a traditional experience in the woods. Transcript of radio broadcast:

This is the VOA Special English Education Report.


Millions of children in the United States go to summer camp. Some go to play outdoors at traditional camps in the woods, in the mountains or on a lake.

But families now have many choices of specialty camps. These can be in the middle of nature or a big city. Specialty camps offer young people the chance to learn about different subjects. Anything from space exploration to business to medicine.

In technology camps, one subject that children can learn about is video game design. They learn how to use computer programs to create games of their own.

One program that teaches video game design is called Cybercamps, located at the University of Maryland. Children can learn how to design their own virtual worlds to set their video game in. Then, they program their own rules and objects into the game.

Cybercamps also offers courses in robot building and Web design. A recent story in the Washington Post described how one child made a robot that could sing a song. Another made a robot that could follow a black line drawn on a piece of cardboard. Also, children can learn how to make Web sites. One child made a site for Pokemon, one of his favorite cartoon shows.

Kids-N-Technology is a day camp offered in several American cities. Boys and girls age eight to eighteen get the chance to build their own desktop or laptop computer or game machine. They take it home after the camp is over.

In the past twenty years, the number of day camps in the United States has grown by almost ninety percent. Still, more than half of all camps are overnight camps. But the American Camp Association says, over all, the most popular length of time for kids to attend a summer camp is one week or less.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Erin Braswell, with music from the best of Allan Sherman. To learn about American education, and for transcripts and archives of our reports, go to I'm Bob Doughty.