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15 Upcoming Kids’ Summer Camps in and around Peachtree Corners

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We’ve compiled a list of upcoming summer camps in the Peachtree Corners area at local schools, parks and museums,
UFA Norcross Academy summer camps

Many of us can probably recall fond childhood memories of camp. I know I can. From conquering my fear of heights on a rock wall to learning how to throw pottery and perfecting my serve in tennis, summer camps allowed me to explore my curiosities and try new things.

I can still remember Jenna, my favorite camp counselor, blasting Queen’s famous “I Want to Ride My Bicycle” while a gaggle of 13-year-old girls sang at the top of their lungs.

Now more than ever, it’s important for kids to feel safe in a fun environment, free of stress, where they can make similar memories that will last a lifetime.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of upcoming summer camps in the Peachtree Corners area. Whether at a local school, park or museum, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect summer camp for your children.

Community camps

1. Pinckneyville Park Community Recreation Center, located off Peachtree Industrial Blvd in Berkeley Lake, is offering two Summer Specialty camps for children ages 8 to 12. From Tuesday, May 28, to Friday, May 31, campers will learn old and new world drawing, painting, and sculpting techniques to create their very own masterpieces.

2. The second Summer Specialty camp is for the young actors in the family. From Monday, July 8, to Friday, July 12, campers will stretch their creative muscles and showcase their passion for performance.

There is a $40 supply fee due to instructor Chris Harris on the first day of camp. Campers are advised to bring lunches and snacks with them. Registration is now open. Call 678-277-0920 for more information.

3. The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) is offering a mind-blowing ten weeks of summer days camps from May 27 to August 2, for children of all ages. MJCCA has a diverse range of activities, including sports, dance, faith, leadership, arts and cooking.

The center also has a brand new outdoor aquatic center for summer 2024. This facility offers a zero-entry pool, shallow areas with multiple options for all ages, an in-pool sundeck, a water slide, a shaded pool, deck areas, renovated locker rooms, picnic areas and more!

We’ve compiled a list of upcoming summer camps in the Peachtree Corners area at local schools, parks and museums,
MJCCA summer day camps

At MJCCA, summers are truly life changing. Campers will master new skills, form friendships that will last a lifetime and strengthen their Jewish identities. Visit mjccadaycamps.org/camps to see the full lineup of camp offerings.

4. Summer is a time for kids to find their sense of adventure and expand the limits of their imagination. From exploring nature to building imaginary worlds, Robert D. Fowler YMCA focuses on social-emotional learning and offers kids new experiences to discover what they love.

Robert D. Fowler YMCA has over 100 half-day and full-day traditional and specialty camp options happening from May 28 to August 2.  

Specialty camps allow kids to expand their interests and learn new skills. Whether it’s cooking, basketball, drama or STEAM, children will have space to grow stronger, try new things and build their confidence in a safe and nurturing environment.

The traditional campers will have fun engaging in a wide variety of games, activities and team projects, in an environment that allows them to connect with new people.

Preschool-aged children, teenagers and everyone in between can find their perfect camp at ymcaatlanta.org/camp/day-camp.

5. Give your child a summer adventure to remember at Duluth’s Shorty Howell Park. Campers ages 7 to 13 can choose from four diverse day camp options.

From natural wonders to cultural traditions, campers will explore every corner of the globe during Around the World from June 24 through June 28. Mix it Up features a variety of classic camp activities to keep kids entertained and engaged. This camp will take place from July 8 to July 12.

The Shorty Howell Olympics are also back from July 15 to July 19. Campers can go for the gold through friendly competition, athletic showdowns and inter-camp games. The last camp of the season, Build It, allows participants to unleash their creativity and design their best craft creations from July 22 to July 26.

Lunch is provided, but campers are welcome to bring their own. Registration is now open and can be completed by calling 678-277-0900.

School camps

6. Greater Atlanta Christian camps are where active play, enriching experiences and true relationships meet.

With more than 30 summer enrichment programs in athletics, arts, academics and fun, campers can make new friends, discover new talents and explore in a safe, Christian environment.

We’ve compiled a list of upcoming summer camps in the Peachtree Corners area at local schools, parks and museums,
Greater Atlanta Christian School summer camps

With a group of trained counselors, your child will be encouraged and celebrated in all they do.

GAC parent Erica Pierre was thrilled with her children’s camp experience. “From the contagious smiles of the counselors that greet them in the mornings to fun times at the pool, this camp finds so many ways to create not only a fun, but also a meaningful time for each child.”

Learn more at greateratlantachristian.org/campus-life/summer-camp.

7. Marist School invites children and teens, ages 5 to 17, to enjoy a summer filled with a wide array of camps that cater to a myriad of interests. For those with a passion for athletics, multiple sports camps are available. Budding musicians and producers can explore their talents in the music technology and production camp.

For students seeking to boost their academic skills, Marist School provides a personal essay startup workshop and an intensive SAT/ACT boot camp.

STEM fans will find the science camp both educational and exciting, while those interested in health and wellness can dive into the sports medicine camp.

Future broadcasters can develop their skills in the sports center and entertainment tonight broadcasting camps. Additionally, the theater camp is the perfect stage for aspiring actors and performers to shine.

These programs run from June 3 to August 2, promising a summer of learning, fun and personal growth for young individuals at Marist School. For the full list of available programs, visit maristschoolga.myrec.com/info/activities.

8. For nearly three decades, Pinecrest Academy has hosted an array of summer camps filled with fun and educational value. These camps play a pivotal role in boosting confidence, fostering friendships and imparting new skills to children in a secure and caring Christian environment.

Pinecrest welcomes children of many ages, from rising kindergartners to 12th graders, at their 68-acre campus.

The schedule of activities includes a Coding Camp, Spanish Immersion Camp, Culinary Arts Camp and many more specialized programs like Paladin Boys Basketball Boot Camp, Play-Well TEKnologies and Sewing Camp.

The camps are scheduled from June 3 to July 19. Registration is forthcoming and the complete camp lineup can be found at pinecrestacademy.org/campus-life/summer-camps.

9. Wesleyan School’s summer camps have been a highlight for kids ages 5 to 14. With a blend of arts, athletics, STEM and life skills, these camps offer a rich mix of activities for kids. Wesleyan offers flexible half-day options starting at $175 and full-day camps for $400, fitting both schedules and budgets.

We’ve compiled a list of upcoming summer camps in the Peachtree Corners area at local schools, parks and museums,
Wesleyan School summer camps

This summer, the fun runs from June 10-28 and July 8-19. These camps have everything from sports like soccer and lacrosse to creative pursuits like chess and sewing.

Kids can also dive into science with robotics programming or get artistic with photography. Each session is led by skilled counselors and coaches, ensuring a safe and engaging experience.

Contact Kelly Weatherly, Wesleyan’s Director of Auxiliary Programs and Outreach for more information at kweatherly@wesleyanschool.org.

Arts, sports and STEM

10. Creativity and fun await at Spruill Summer Art Camp! This summer, young artists ages 5 to 14 are invited to an extraordinary journey of discovery. From May 28 to August 9, each camp has its own captivating theme.

Camp hours are set from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with additional before-care and after-care options available to accommodate various schedules.

For the younger age group (5 to 10 years), campers start with a morning session led by a teacher, followed by a lunch break, and then an afternoon session with a different instructor.

This format allows children to create an array of artworks, which are then showcased to parents at week’s end. A dedicated team of volunteers, including many former campers, is always ready to assist, ensuring that each camper receives the necessary support to thrive.

For rising sixth to ninth graders, the Spruill offers specialized Studio Art Camps. These sessions are conducted by professional teaching artists who introduce new art skills, assist in refining techniques and provide opportunities for campers to express their creative ideas. Visit spruillarts.org/camps to register.

11. This summer, the High Museum of Art invites young artists to immerse themselves in fine art through its weeklong camps designed for first through eighth graders.

The 2024 Summer Art Camp, opening for registration on February 13 (early access now available for members), offers a unique way for children to explore the Museum’s galleries and learn about its collections.

We’ve compiled a list of upcoming summer camps in the Peachtree Corners area at local schools, parks and museums,
High Museum of Art summer camps

They will also get to visit special exhibitions and develop their artistic skills in drawing, painting and design.

Guided by professional teaching artists, campers will engage in activities that enhance their creativity and allow them to experiment with new techniques.

The camps run Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., during various weeks from June 3 through August 2, with morning drop-off starting at 8:30 a.m. and afternoon pick-up until 4 p.m.

There is also an aftercare option available until 6 p.m. for late pickups at an additional cost. Members of the High Museum are eligible for discounts and early registration, and non-members can easily add a membership during registration.

For more details or assistance, the Museum provides a Camp FAQ and can be contacted at HMAcamps@high.org or 404-800-0547.

12. The 2024 season at Top Dog Volleyball Club is underway, focusing on teams from 12U to 17U. This summer, the club is planning clinics and open gyms for May and June, which are open to everyone, not just club members.

Key dates to watch out for include the club tryouts scheduled for July 12-14. For the latest events and registration, the club suggests subscribing to their newsletter and is open to queries at info@topdogvolleyball.com or 678-333-0982.

13. United Fútbol Academy Norcross will host its 2024 Summer Ball Mastery Camp this June and July. Players of all skill levels born between 2011 and 2018 are welcome to participate.

Directed by Juan Cruz, this camp is an excellent opportunity for young soccer players to improve their ball-handling skills, foot speed, 1v1 moves, stop/start techniques, and clever maneuvers that keep opponents guessing.

The camp runs weekly from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Friday, with sessions scheduled for June 3-7, June 10-14, June 17-21 and July 8-12.

The Academy meets at Summerour Middle School in Norcross. Participants must bring their own ball, shin guards, plenty of water or ice, snacks or sports drinks and any necessary medications or EpiPens.

Parents can reach Juan Cruz at norcrosscamps@unitedfa.org for further information or to register their children for this rigorous training experience.

14. Club SciKidz believes that every child is a scientist and that they can become better scientists!

This summer, Club SciKidz will introduce a new format with many different camp options for a wide range of age groups.

For Pre-K to Kindergarten, camp themes include “Jurassic,” “Little Scientist” and “Mini Medical School,” among others. First through third graders can choose from “3D Creator,” “Junior Robot Engineer,” “Video Game Maker” and more.

Fourth through seventh graders have more advanced options like “Emergency Vet,” “Forensic Detective” and “Young EcoExplorer.”

Camps run Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, parents can contact Club SciKidz at 678-483-5651 or support@clubscikidz.com.

15. Paul Duke STEM High School in Norcross is hosting an array of Summer STEM camps for ages 7 through 12, with dates including June 3-7, June 10-14 and June 17-21.

Campers will learn tons of new skills like Scratch, game development, Roblox, Python and robotics, with an emphasis on hands-on learning and building technological acumen.

The camps have small class sizes and a 7:1 student-to-instructor ratio and are taught by vetted instructors from top universities.

Paul Duke STEM provides full-day and half-day options, along with pre-camp and post-camp care for additional fees. Half-day summer programs are also available for younger participants, specially tailored for those at least five years old, focusing on educational Minecraft lessons and creative projects.

Anna is a contributor to Peachtree Corners Magazine. She graduated with a B.A. in English Composition from Georgia State University and has five years of experience performing multimedia writing, editing, and publishing for automotive, small business, and general assignment media.

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Twin Authors Chronicle Antics of ‘Four-Legged Brother’

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On Feb. 1, the young authors Megan and Mackenzie Grant released the children’s book, “How We Love Our Four-Legged Brother.”
Megan and Mackenzie Grant

Berkeley Lake second graders make fans across the globe with sweet children’s story.

When rescue dog Apollo found his forever home with Megan and Mackenzie Grant, the Berkeley Lake twins knew they had added a special member to the family. He’s so beloved that he’s considered their “four-legged brother.”

Apollo is a Boston terrier. The breed is known for its friendliness and love of people and children. According to the Purina Company, makers of all kinds of pet food, Boston terriers  make affectionate pets and are outgoing and social. 

While they are called ‘terriers,’ they are not in the terrier group, nor do they behave like them. They are far happier at home with their owner than getting into the usual mischief. 

But Megan and Mackenzie see him as a silly addition to the family.

“He’s super cool because he’s always up for fun and loves us a whole bunch. And guess what? We love him back even more! He’s like the best friend ever, wagging his tail and making everything awesome!” they said in a press release.

Apollo’s birthday inspiration

As his first birthday approached, the girls, six years old at the time, wanted his day to be special.

“I said, ‘Well if you want to come up with something to do, let’s write it out,’” said mom Tameka Womack.  “So they started writing out all these different adventures, and it was so cute.”

Megan recalled that their teacher had told them about someone who had published a book, and she asked if they could, too.

“When I read through it, they had all the different things, like playing dress up because we had bought some clothes for him. And we take them out for long walks around the lake and stuff,”  Womack added.

Although their favorite subjects in school are PE and art, they did such a good job with the tale that Tameka worked with them to get it published. On Feb. 1, the young authors released the children’s book, “How We Love Our Four-Legged Brother.”

Publishing success

The 30-page book took off almost immediately. Available for print and digital through Amazon and print editions through Barnes & Noble, the book has reached customers in the U.K., Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy,  Poland and throughout the U.S.

The girls and their mom were so pleased and surprised to find out the book was No. 1 in its category on Amazon.

“They were just so excited that people actually bought the book,” said Womack. “They were just like, ‘Wow, who is buying this?’”

Feedback from fellow twins, animal lovers and teachers showed that the story resonated on many levels.

“As an educator, I am always on the lookout for diverse and inclusive literature for my students. ‘How We Love Our Four-Legged Brother’ not only captivated the imaginations of the children in my class but also served as a wonderful conversation starter about friendship, empathy and the beauty of diversity,” wrote Ashleigh Darby.

The royalties from book sales are tucked away, with a percentage going to Apollo’s wardrobe.

“He won’t go out in the rain without his raincoat … or out in the winter without his sweater,” said Womack. “We have a little budget for his clothes because every time the girls see something, they’re like, ‘Oh, I think Apollo will like it.’  I’m like, I think he would too, but let’s let it stay in the store.”

Nurturing creativity

Although both mom and dad are engineers and kind of hoped that the twins would follow in their footsteps, Womack said she’s okay with them being artistic and creative.

“Writing is teaching them some responsibility and teaching them a little bit about money,” she said. “Now they want to write a book every day.”

Between raising three daughters (the twins have an older teenage sister), running a household with her husband and keeping up with her career at Georgia Tech, Womack said she’ll look for time to continue helping the girls with their dreams.

“With summer coming up, I would definitely encourage parents to help their children explore their creativity in any kind of way, from digging holes in the ground to … seeing the world … to creating books instead of being on the internet,” said Womack. I try to limit my kids’ screen time … and build real memories.”

Find “How We Love Our Four-Legged Brother” on Amazon.

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Local State Reps Give Roundup of Legislative Session

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(left to right) Dale Russell, Rep. Ruwa Romman and Rep. Scott Hilton // Photos by George Hunter

Hilton, Romman trade friendly banter that reflects diverse views in Georgia government

Georgia State House District 97 Representative Ruwa Romman and District 48 Representative Scott Hilton, whose constituents include parts of Southwest Gwinnett County, including Peachtree Corners, sat down for a second time to share information about legislative action at the State Capital

Their discussion was part of the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce First Friday Breakfast series at Atlanta Hilton Northeast.

Although they sit on opposite sides of the aisle, Hilton and Romman both seek to sponsor and pass legislation that improves and maintains a high quality of life in the Peach State and provides its residents with what they need. 

Elected in 2022, this was Romman’s sophomore year in the State House. She serves on the Georgia House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee, Georgia House Information and Audits Committee and Georgia House Interstate Cooperation Committee. 

Hilton previously served in the State House from 2017 to 2019 but took a “sabbatical,” as he calls it, to serve as executive director for the Georgians First Commission under the Office of Governor Brian Kemp

He was re-elected to his current position in 2022. He is the vice chair of the Georgia House Creative Arts and Entertainment Committee and the Georgia House Education Committee, as well as a member of the Georgia House Public Health Committee and the Committee on Georgia House Urban Affairs.

Senate Bill 63

The moderator, Norcross resident and former WAGA political reporter Dale Russell started off with a topic making headlines: Senate Bill 63. This law, signed by Gov. Kemp shortly after the session ended, prohibits charities, individuals or groups from providing bail funds for more than three people per year unless they register as bonding agencies. It also expands mandatory cash bail to 30 new offenses.

“I think it’s going to bring home safety to the community,” said Hilton. “I ran on that issue because as I was knocking on doors, I’ve heard from folks who [want to] keep our community safe. And unfortunately, no community has been immune from the uptick in crime that we had seen post-COVID, so this was one of those bills in response to that.”

Hilton gave examples of crimes where individuals out on bail committed acts such as murder.

“That was our commitment back to our constituents to say, ‘Listen, we’re not going to let bad guys back out onto the streets again to do more crime.’ This bill was in response to this; it’s going to keep our community safe, hold those accountable and bring justice to those who break the law,” Hilton remarked. 

“Unfortunately, right now, we’ve got district attorneys and sheriffs across Georgia who are blatantly disregarding the law and letting folks back out on the streets who pose, you know, safety risks to law-abiding citizens like you and I and your businesses,” he continued.

Russel pointed out that there’s been a lot of criticism of this law. 

“The ACLU was totally against it. Some felt like it was imprisoning poor people in the sense, for minor crimes,” he said.

“I do agree with the criticism for a few reasons,” said Romman. 

“The problem with this bill is that of the 30 crimes that are listed as now requiring a cash bail, the majority of them don’t actually require jail time, even if you’re found guilty of them. So now, somebody who would not even have ever served time for those crimes that are listed could now serve jail time because they cannot afford their bail,” she explained.

She added that the law doesn’t address the crimes it’s supposed to protect citizens from.

“We see these headlines, but this bill doesn’t address those because what we see happening is that a lot of churches now will no longer be able to bail people out that cannot afford their bail because of this bill,” she said.

“And churches that have been trying to, for example, reunite a parent with their children for Christmas, or whatever the case may be, can no longer do that. There is actually an exception written into this bill for bail bondsmen. So, it’s not like being able to pay cash bail is completely out of the question. It just means that somebody can make money off of it now,” Romman continued.

Hilton said the state isn’t done with addressing public safety issues as they come up.

“I know that’s been a priority of the governor, and I think rightfully so; you know, there’s a reason we’ve got citizens flocking to Georgia over the last ten years; we’ve added a million Georgians to our state, and they are leaving states with policies that don’t have this. They’re coming to Georgia for economic prosperity, for safety and for good schools,” said Hilton.

House Bill 1105

Another controversial bill, HB 1105, is framed as a public safety bill that requires local enforcement to coordinate with federal immigration officials when someone in custody is suspected of being in the country illegally. 

Some say it’s an immigration bill.

“I know that the federal administration is trying to tell us there’s not a crisis. But there is a humanitarian crisis going on right now on our southern border.  … But they’re not handling it the right way, and it’s starting to impact our communities,” said Hilton.

“We’ve got sheriffs who have folks in their custody, who [need] to be reported up to ICE. And essentially, they’re sort of ignoring what’s in the law right now that says you got to report these folks,” he explained.

Romman doesn’t see it that way.

“Again, when you read the contents of the bill, that is, unfortunately, not what it does,” she said. “I’m one of the few, if not the only, member of the legislature that’s done any border project work,” she remarked.

She talked about her work keeping unaccompanied immigrant minors safe.

“I want to remind people that when we talk about immigration, there’s an entire spectrum of people that we are talking about. And it’s not just at the border, it’s also people that fly into our country legally, that gets narrowed into a terrible immigration system,” Romman said.

“It forces our state and county and city police to do federal-level work without more funding. What we’re doing is we’re actually adding an increased burden, essentially onto their workload that we are not paying for. And in addition, within this bill, if they do not do this, they could lose more funding.”

She added that this will take the police away from focusing on local issues and trying to work with people who live in their communities.

“If a community member feels like if they reach out to police for help, and the police are going to deport them, they are less likely to report crimes and less likely to work with our local police department,” Romman said. “If we’re serious about immigration and its relationship to crime, immigrants are 30% less likely to commit crimes, and I don’t want to vilify an entire group of people.”

Romman said she supports a holistic, three-pronged approach that includes improving conditions on the border and pathways to citizenship.

Business-related legislation

When the smoke cleared, both Hilton and Romman joked that they had different opinions about many issues but agreed that’s a healthy part of how the government works. 

“The fact that we do disagree and the fact that you, the community, have varying choices and options out there. I think it’s a healthy part of the process,” said Hilton. “And we do have fun. I was telling somebody we play kickball about halfway through the session, and we do get along.”

The discussion moved on to topics such as the FTC ruling on non-compete clauses and tort reform, which just about everyone in the room agreed upon. Although employees could see the beauty of disallowing non-compete clauses, as business owners, they’d hate to see trade secrets put in jeopardy or valuable time and money put into training to benefit another company. 

And everyone wanted to see caps on personal injury claims for things like slip-and-falls and fleet vehicle accidents.

“One of the few regrets I have coming out of session is that we didn’t do more on tort reform,” said Hilton. “Right now, Georgia is the number one judicial hellhole in the nation, meaning that we have more lawsuits on businesses and payouts than anywhere else in the country.”

This was one area where both representatives had similar views.

“I don’t think this is a left or right issue,” said Romman. “I want to make sure that whatever tort reform we pursue does not let, for example, a bad-acting company off the hook. But on the flip side, if somebody is just going around and suing everybody all the time to try and make some money off of it, how do you protect corporations and businesses from those kinds of bad incidents litigation?”

“What I will continue to look for when it comes to tort reform is, how are we going about balancing that?” she added.

Looking ahead

As the session wrapped, Romman and Hilton pointed out legislation they’d like to see move forward next year.

“House Bill 971 creates a $300 tax credit for taxpayers who sign up for firearm safety training or purchase a safe storage device. It’s a bipartisan measure, viewed by some as a small but perhaps significant move for gun safety advocates, which was tabled in the Senate room,” said Romman. 

She said the bill wouldn’t even require someone to disclose that they owned a firearm, but it was meant to incentivize people to store their firearms properly.

“There wasn’t a lot of appetite if somebody didn’t properly store their gun to have consequences for that, so we thought it would just incentivize better behavior,” she said.

Hilton mentioned school safety. 

“Over the last three years, every single school in Georgia has gotten a one-time $100,000 grant for School Safety. That’s every school in Georgia; in this most recent budget, we included $45,000 in recurring money for every school in the state to do whatever they want to ensure their campuses are safe,” he said. This includes private schools as well.

At the end of the event, Hilton and Romman reminded the audience that they weren’t running against each other, and even though their views were different, their goals for a better Georgia were equally as passionate.

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City of Peachtree Corners Unveils Space-Inspired Tot Lot Playground

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Last November, the city began constructing a new tot lot playground for children under six years old that is themed around space exploration. 
Photos by Dorie Liu

On Friday, May 10, 2024, the City of Peachtree Corners held a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony of its new space-themed Tot Lot Playground on Town Green.

Last November, the city began constructing a new tot lot playground for children under six years old that is themed around space exploration.  This new play area includes a rocket ship, a moon rover, a crashed UFO and other fun designs. It was also created to be fully accessible, ensuring all children can enjoy it.

During the ribbon-cutting, children and their guardians enjoyed fun activities, including an ice cream truck, bubble lady, balloon animals, face painting and even a visit from Buzz Lightyear.

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