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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University June 27, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 38
The Faces of Summer

More than 1,200 children, ages 6 to 17, take part each year in lacrosse camps run by the varsity men's and women's coaches.

Tots, teens and adults, too, come to campus to play and to learn

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Beginning in early June, the demographics of the Homewood campus population undergo a radical transformation: In comes a cavalcade of bright-eyed tots and teens, replacing the recently departed 20-something majority.

In addition to the hundreds of undergraduates and grad students who enroll in Johns Hopkins summer courses, each year several thousand children ages 3 to 17 enroll in an assortment of JHU summer academic and athletic programs.

In the Pre-College Summer Program, high schoolers come to the Homewood campus to get a quick taste of college life. The students take two immersion-style classes taught by world-renowned Johns Hopkins faculty members. When class is not in session, the students participate in planned social activities, including dances and excursions into Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Jessica Madrigal, the director of Summer and Intersession Programs for the School of Arts and Sciences, says that those who register for the pre-college program are a talented, smart group who are looking for an intensive higher education experience.

"In addition to the course work, for which they earn college credit, we give them tours of Hopkins centers and research facilities, so they get a sense of the breadth of work that transpires here," she says. "Socially, they eat together in our dining halls, sleep in our residence halls and go on trips together. It's like freshman year of college in a five-week period."

For incoming Johns Hopkins students or those enrolled elsewhere, the Visiting Student Program offers a chance to explore possible majors, add a minor or pursue another interest. In this program, participants attend one or both of two five-week terms, with classes scheduled throughout the day.

For academically gifted students ages 12 to 16, the university's Center for Talented Youth offers a three-week program at Homewood where nearly 700 young students immerse themselves in one course each. The students live on campus under the supervision of resident assistants and participate in activities such as sports, arts and crafts, dances and a talent show.

Sports is what it's all about for the hundreds of children ages 5 to 13 who come to Robert Babb's general day camp, which runs from June 20 to July 29. Babb, the longtime head coach of the Johns Hopkins baseball team, directs the camp, which since 1963 has offered co-ed athletic pursuits such as baseball, softball, swimming, field hockey and soccer, mixed in with some arts and crafts.

Babb says the camp, which attracts nearly 150 participants per one-week session, has proved tremendously popular.

"Basically what we set out to do is give children of the surrounding communities wholesome activities at an affordable price," Babb says.

Perhaps the most popular of summer programs have been the lacrosse camps run by the varsity men's and women's lacrosse coaches. The camps, which always sell out, annually draw more than 1,200 children who take part in one of five sessions geared for ages 6 to 17. A common site at Homewood each summer is the dozens of lacrosse stick-wielding youth on their way to games and practices on Homewood Field from their dorm on Charles Street.

A new addition to the summer slate of Homewood offerings this year is the Martial Arts and Academics camp, run by Hazel's American Martial Arts Academy. Open to children ages 3 to 13, the camp, in addition to martial arts training, offers martial arts-themed activities in chess, math and reading, all held at the Mattin Center.

For adults, Johns Hopkins University Conference Services hosts between 40 and 50 programs from June to mid-August, ranging from small boardroom meetings to large medical conferences.

At Homewood during the summer, the faces might change, but school is anything but closed.


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