PARKERSBURG - Kids and teenagers have an abundance of activities to choose from over their summer break, from dance and theater to sports and art classes.
The Parkersburg Art Center holds camps throughout the summer. While art camps for young children are booked, teenagers ages 13 to 19 can still sign up for the week-long Art Intensive held from 1 to 4 p.m. July 25 through July 29.
The intensive will be taught by two professional artists, Brittany Knicely and Bev Walker.
"This will be a very hands-on experience. The kids will be doing some work outside, some solo projects and other projects with teams. They'll be working mostly with recyclable materials," said Abby Hayhurst, art center director. "One project will be for the city of Parkersburg."
Fees for the Art Intensive are $85 for art center members and $95 for non-members. Registration forms can be found at www.parkersburgartcenter.org.
Art lovers of all ages will enjoy the two exhibits shown at the art center this summer. The Innovative Arts Alliance, comprised of 11 artists from West Virginia and Ohio, are displaying a collection of textile and sculptural art pieces until July 15. Poster artist Benji Daves, metal sculptor Kevin Wiles and Marietta artist Geoff Schenkel will have their works on display beginning July 22.
"Kids of all ages will love these exhibits," said Hayhurst. "For a young person, art is key. It teaches creative thinking, teaches kids to think outside the box. It also teaches physical coordination and team building skills, and it gives kids confidence."
The YMCA of Parkersburg holds state-licensed day camps for children as young as 4 years up to teenagers. The day camp runs from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday throughout the summer. Each week, campers will take field trips, such as a sternwheeler ride and a trip to Indian Acres Park at the Marietta Aquatic Center, said Ronnie Lott, senior programs director for the YMCA of Parkersburg.
Weekly sports camps are held seven weeks out of the summer.
"The camps will focus on a specific sport each week," said Lott. "These are very popular with kids."
Cheerleading, volleyball, basketball, baseball, soccer and tennis will be featured, as well as an All Sports Camp, which will teach a variety of sports. The camps are available to students in grades K-6, except for tennis, which is offered to students in grades K-8, and volleyball, offered to students in grades 5-9.
Fees for sport camps are $40 for members and $65 for non-members. Financial assistance is available.
"While kids are home on their summer break, it's important for them to get out and be active instead of spending all their time indoors playing video games and watching TV," said Lott. "Kids should aim for at least an hour of physical activity every day."
Swim lessons for kids of all ages and a swim team for children 5 years and older are also offered throughout the summer at the YMCA.
For those interested in the dramatic arts, the Smoot Theatre offers Camp Broadway and Camp Vaudeville. Camp Broadway, offered to students in grades 8-12 and beyond, began rehearsals for its production of "The Boyfriend" last week.
Smoot artistic director Felice Jorgeson said Camp Broadway is booked, but several spots remain open for Camp Vaudeville, a theater camp for students in grades 1-7.
"It's our 22nd year for this camp. It's a lot of fun," said Jorgeson. "The kids learn about singing, dancing, mime, acting. Our theme this year is the 'Roaring Twenties.' We always try to incorporate a lot of history into our theater camps."
Camp Vaudeville is held weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from July 18 through July 27. To sign up, visit www.smoottheatre.com for registration forms.
Schrader Youth Ballet on Market Street will hold a summer dance intensive July 18 to 22 for girls and boys in grades K-5. Instructor Erin Augenstein will teach a morning class from 9 to 9:50 a.m. for children entering kindergarten and first grade. A class for students in grades 2-5 will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. during the week.
The summer intensive will include instruction in classical ballet and jazz dance. Fees are $40 for kindergarteners and first graders and $50 for students in grades 2-5. For more information, visit www.schraderyouthballet.com.
For those looking for outdoor recreation, Mountwood Park offers a 50-acre lake for fishing, dozens of miles of hiking and biking trails and camping and boating opportunities. The park will host family drive-in movie nights on July 15 and July 29.