Beating the boredom in summer

The end of the school years does not have to mean extensive time in front of the television or boredom for kids. Organizations all over the city of Amarillo are offering various summer day camps to provide kids with something to do, and even learn, in these summer months.

The City of Amarillo Parks & Recreation Department will be having kids out in their parks enjoying summer lunches, sports, and creating arts and crafts.

â??We have our Starlight Theater concert in the park every Tuesday night from 7-9 pm, the free concert series, we do all kinds of sports camps, we have a science camp,â?? said Rachel Cunningham, marketing coordinator for the Amarillo Parks and Recreation Department. â??We have things from all ages, from pretty much as early as you want to bring them, to our senior socials. We have a lot of facilities that we want people to use and we want people to go and see our parks.â??

The Amarillo Zoo is offering a combination of academics and animals in their Junior Zoo Keeper Camp series. There will be four different themes for the camps; reptile & amphibian keeper, carnivore keeper, hoof stock keeper and invertebrate keeper. Kids will be able to learn about the behind-the-scenes work of zoo-keeping through keeper chats, zoo tours, and crafts.

Dates are listed below:

June 16-20 (Junior Reptile & Amphibian) ages: 9-12

June 23-27 (Junior Carnivore Keeper) ages: 6-8

June 30-July 4 (Junior Hoof Stock Keeper) ages: 9-12

July 7-11 (Junior Invertebrate Keeper) ages: 6-8

July 14-18 (Junior Carnivore Keeper) ages 9-12

July 21-25 (Junior Reptile & Amphibian) ages:6-8

July 28-August 1 (Junior Invertebrate) ages: 9-12

August 4-8 (Junior Hoof Stock) ages: 6-8

August 11-15 (Junior Carnivore) ages: 9-12

For parents who want to make sure their children do not turn off their thinking caps for the summer, Amarillo College will be hosting various classes and camps through the Badgers Kidsâ?? camp. Classes include sports camps, Lego classes for little ones, academic classes, and tech classes for kids in grades 5-8 to prepare themselves before going back to school.

â??You know, kids donâ??t shut off their brains when they play, so when you go to camp, you play all day and your brain is constantly working and thatâ??s the best kind of stimulation there is. Learning is fun at these camps, these classes in the summer, and itâ??s so much fun,â?? said MJ Coats, marketing consultant for Continuing Education at Amarillo College. â??The teachers are relaxed, the kids are relaxed. Itâ??s happy, itâ??s great.â??

To register or find out more about the classes available through Amarillo College go to:

The Panhandle Plains Historical Museum will have â??Madonnas of the Prairie Poetry Contestâ?? inspired by the current temporary art exhibition and their â??Education Summer Programâ?? which will occur each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. An education staff member will be available in the People of the Plains, Art and Paleontology/Geology to discuss a different topic each week. For more information go to

Representatives from many of the programs said that classes and spots are still available now, but the popular weeks and classes are filling up quickly and that parents should sign up immediately.