MARQUETTE - With June just around the corner, area youth are preparing to tuck their school supplies away for the year in favor of their much-heralded summer vacation.
And though the textbooks will wait on classroom shelves for next year's students, that doesn't mean learning has to sit on the shelf with them.
In and around the Marquette area are an abundance of summer programs that are designed to engage the minds of young children all the way through teenagers.
Kids from around the western and central Upper Peninsula participated in a youth archery event at Chief Lake Wilderness Youth Camp near Republic last fall. The camp, currently undergoing construction, is gearing up for a full summer of events. (File photo)
Some of those programs include day camps, sleep-away camps and summer educational classes.
One of those day camps is the Chief Lake Wilderness Youth Camp, located in Republic.
A non-profit organization that specializes in teaching kids about everything outdoors, it's currently undergoing construction, so it cannot yet hold students for more than one day.
However, the camp's Director of Project and Program Development Steve Nesbitt said that doesn't mean the camp won't offer anything.
"We're trying to host as many one-day outdoor events for area youth as we can," Nesbitt said. "These events we're having before the camp has completed construction, they're little tidbits and tastes of the programming we'll be having once the camp is operational. Everything from forestry, fishing, camping, wilderness survival, habitats, gardening, just all types (of outdoor activities)."
Nesbitt said the calendar for the summer programming is still being finalized, but it will be posted on the camp's website at www.chieflakewildernessyouthcamp.org.
The Upper Peninsula Bible Camp, located in Little Lake, is also undergoing construction, though its summer program is ready to go, with a number of different camping opportunities for area youth.
The camp offers 11 different camping sessions for kids age 6-18, including one session that will take high schoolers and college students to the Boundary Waters of Minnesota to canoe trip.
For more information on costs, times and age requirements, visit upbiblecamp.org.
Parents who may want to keep their kids a little closer to home have plenty of educational opportunities for their kids in and around the Marquette area as well.
The YMCA in Marquette is offering a list of summer programming that includes a day-camp for young people at its facility in the Vandenboom Early Childhood Development Center and at the Y.
The Y is offering a Pre-school Adventure Camp for children 4-5 years old and going into kindergarten in the fall as well as a regular Day Camp for children at least 5 years old and entering kindergarten all the way up to 12 years old.
Each week will offer a different theme, including "Treasure hunters" and "Under the Sea."
For more information on programs the Y is offering this summer, visit its website at www.ymcamqt.org or call 227-9622.
Northern Michigan University's Seaborg Center is also hosting summer programming, including its long-standing College for Kids event, which has run every year for two decades.
Children in kindergarten through eighth grade are included in the event, with four-day sessions running throughout the summer. A variety of science-related courses are offered, with each course designed to be age-appropriate.
For more information on College for Kids programming, visit nmu.edu/seaborg or call 227-2002.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.