Considering Summer Camps and Programs for Your Gifted Child

March 7, 2012

By Jennifer Kennedy

Yunasa Campers
Summer opportunities allow gifted kids to connect with others around shared interests and experiences.

It’s time to start thinking about your kids’ summer plans!  There are great summer opportunities available for gifted children, and many have applications due in the next month or two.

There are several types of summer opportunities to consider, but the two most common are:

  1. Day Camps and Programs
  2. Residential Camps and Programs

IEA offers summer programs in both of these categories.

  • Academy is a day enrichment program in South Pasadena, California, that provides high-achieving elementary and middle school students with challenging classes that focus on exploration and application of knowledge. Courses this summer will include favorites like Chemistry and Rocket to Calculus, as well as brand new class options.
  • Apprenticeship is a three or four week residential program that matches gifted students from across the country with highly-regarded mentors in fields like science, industrial design, math, and medicine. This year’s program will be offered in Los Angeles and San Diego.
  • Yunasa and Yunasa West are week long residential camps for highly gifted 10-14 year olds. The camps are facilitated by renowned experts in the field of gifted education and are devoted to teaching campers techniques for integrating the intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical aspects of their lives.

Because each child is unique, the ideal program for each child will vary, so consider your child’s personality before deciding on a camp or program. As Dr. Bob Schultz of the University of Toledo points out, you may want to keep in mind that intensities in gifted children will have an enormous impact on their experiences at an overnight camp, so the set-up and focus of residential camps are important. NAGC’s Parenting for High Potential has a list of questions to ask about camps and programs in order to help match your child with the best summer opportunity for their strengths, needs, and interests.

Once you have decided what type of program is best for your gifted child, there are many resources available to help you find those opportunities, including the following:

  • IEA’s Gifted Resource Center allows you to search for summer programs for gifted kids using specific criteria such as location, keywords, and age group.
  • Hoagies’ Gifted has an extensive list of summer programs for gifted kids by state.
  • The National Association for Gifted Children also has a database of summer programs searchable by state and keyword.
  • The Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented has a list of summer programs specifically for gifted kids in Texas and throughout the U.S.

Good luck with your search!

Have any more tips for finding summer camps and programs for your child? Let us know in the comments!

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