Summer camps don’t have to be all about lake houses, swimming lessons, mosquito bites and archery.
Kids with a creative bent have options to explore their muses over the summer, and a lot of artistic expression can be packed into three months. For any student looking for artistic ways to spend their summer vacation, Boulder County offers a wealth of options. Whether it’s discovering a love of the stage in a theater or dance camp or taking a spin at airborne gymnastics, students can find their muse, along with friends, confidence and inspiration, at these local summer camps.
Boulder School of Fine Art
The Boulder School of Fine Art (bsofa.net) is a perfect place to start for young aspiring artists. Billed as “a classical atelier of the modern tradition,” BSFA connects students with intensive, immersive education in the visual and plastic arts. Kids who want to get started in painting or sculpture will find inspiration and expertise here.
Similarly, the Arts HUB (artshub.org), located in Lafayette offers students a mix of performance and visual arts; their summer lineup of classes includes a mix of theater productions, crafting courses, visual arts courses and even jewelry making.
Boulder Performing Arts Co.
For those young artists whose interests lie solidly in the stage realm of the arts, Boulder County has plenty of places where an aspiring actor, dancer or performer can hone their craft and build up experience in front of an audience. The Boulder Performing Arts Co. (boulderperformingarts.com) combines summer curriculum rooted in drawing, painting and sculpting with a solid focus on stage performance. Attendees of all ages will have the chance to take part in professional productions in all capacities, from acting, singing, dancing and performing to seeing the construction of a set and the intricacies of lighting design.
Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids
With locations in Denver and Boulder, the Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids (theaterforkids.net) offers a similar blend of camps that stress all phases of a professional stage production. The Boulder RMTK facility offers indoor and outdoor camps, and leads productions geared toward performers of all ages.
One of Boulder County’s most respected cultural institutions also offers an educational option for aspiring young performers. Every summer, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and CU Presents (cupresents.org) welcomes students ages 6-18 to CU Boulder’s campus to study Shakespeare in a professional setting.
Young performers who want to build experience on film also have summer options, as Reel Kids (myreelkids.com) offers students state-of-the-art courses geared specifically for the craft and science of acting on film. With a range of courses that stress film performance, improv and other tech skills, as well as summer production, Reel Kids offers a different take on the performing arts summer camp concept.
Colorado Music Festival and Center for Musical Arts
While the Colorado Music Festival and Center for Musical Arts (centerformusicalarts.org) offers young musicians plenty in the way of technical expertise and depth, its classes also stress the fun side of learning music. Students have the chance to discover the power of their inner muses and the larger community, whether it’s through individual music lessons, their week-long summer music camps or curriculum rooted in specific instruments.
Some artists prefer to express themselves through physical movement, and the Boulder County community offers plenty of options for those who prefer that artistic route. With locations in Longmont and Frederick, Airborne Gymnastics (airbornegym.com) offers students of all ages a gateway into the creativity of physical movement and expression. Their summer camp options are a perfect entry for aspiring gymnasts, dancers and tumblers.
Frequent Flyers’ summer courses offer a curriculum rooted in aerial-based routines. The school (frequentflyers.org) offers classes for different age ranges, all with a similar stress on trapeze, hoop and other work designed to get students in the air.
Similarly, CATS Gymnastics (catsgym.com) offers a wide array of gymnastic programs for students of all ages. Their acronym – Colorado Athletic Training School – hints at the high bar kids of all ages will find at the CATS summer camp series of courses.
Shining Mountain Waldorf School Circus Arts Camps
All of the skills mentioned above – performing arts, music, gymnastics and even drawing, painting and sculpture – can come in handy for young artists who envision a creative path in the circus arts. The Shining Mountain Waldorf School (shiningmountainwaldorf.org) offers a summer course specifically geared for students interested in the fundamentals of circus arts, a discipline that combines elements of acting, stage makeup, aerial routines, gymnastics and comedy in one field. This camp for rising sixth-graders and older students is a perfect synthesis of a myriad of artistic skills.
By Adam Goldstein