Summer Spectacular, Camp Oxbow Add to CSU Summer Camp Choices

COLUMBUS, Ga. - New offerings through the Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center and the College of Education and Health Professions have expanded youth summer camps options through Columbus State University.

Camp Oxbow and Summer Spectacular 2011, both through June, will complement the June-July camps covering space science, athletics, mathematics, ballet and the wide-ranging Activ8 activities – all coordinated through CSU Continuing Education. 

Summer Spectacular

CSU teacher education students and faculty will direct Summer Spectacular in weekly sessions, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, June 6-30, at North Columbus Elementary School.

Themed “On the Move: Road, Water, Rail, Air, and Space Transportation,” activities will immerse participants, ages 4-11, in an “educational, innovative experience while providing tons of fun,” said CSU education professor Jan Burcham, director of the program.

The program, which started in 2005, offers families an alternative, fun learning opportunity, while CSU teacher education students gain valuable field experience and more freedom in their approach to curriculum and teaching styles.

The Columbus State students will guide children in designing activities and selecting transportation topics to explore in multi-age classrooms. The approach corresponds to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development – to help participants improve their thinking skills, become more independent and improve their self-esteem.

“The curriculum is driven by the children's interest in the subject matter,” said Burcham. “Our focus is on teaching the whole child, not just on delivering content. When giving the children the opportunity to learn new things they are interested in, they are able to do so much more than expected.”

The cost per child is $100 for the entire camp (four weeks) or $30 per week. Spaces are limited and will be filled based on order of registration. For more information or registration forms, go to or call 706-569-2888.

Camp Oxbow

“Leave No Child Inside” is the theme for Camp Oxbow, which is actually three separate camps from June 6-24 at CSU’s Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center.

“The camps will cover different approaches to exploring nature and are designed to immerse rising third- through eighth-graders in topics they would study at school, but with the added experience of Oxbow Meadows’ gardens and hiking trails,” said camp director Lisa Randolph.

Wetland Wonders, June 6-10, explores the center’s surrounding wetlands. While catching insects and bird watching, the participants will meet live animals that call the wetlands home. Crafts and games will teach the importance of clean water.

Green Guardians runs June 13-17 and concentrates on the protection and preservation of the natural environment. Campers will play games and make crafts, helping them discover ways to minimize impact on the environment. Participants also will meet rare and endangered species that inhabit Oxbow and finish the week with an eco-friendly group project.

Naturally Artistic, June 20-24, involves participants in photographing wildlife, creating pottery with Georgia clays and more. Results from a group project will be displayed at the center, while the students take home some of their work as well.

“Studies show that getting kids outside immersed in nature can help alleviate health problems such as childhood obesity,” said Randolph, also the lead teacher and interim assistant director for the learning center. “The mission of Oxbow Meadows is to increase awareness of local ecology, which can lead to the improvement of CRCT scores. Our goal for Camp Oxbow is to make sure that it’s educational and entertaining.”

Registration fees per child are $195 for Wetland Wonders and Green Guardians and $215 for Naturally Artistic. CSU faculty and staff receive a $50 discount per camp for their children.

For more information, contact Randolph at 706-687-4090 or

Registration Open for Activ8, Other Youth Camps

Families also can register their children, ages 4-14, for summer camps comprising CSU’s award-winning Activ8 program.

Activ8's various enrichment and sports camps open May 23 and run weekly through July 29. Upon registration, parents and kids can build their own schedules according to separate age groups: 4-7, 8-11 and 12-14.

The program, with activities covering sports, dance, technology, arts and more, has earned statewide recognition and recently was a Muscogee Moms Award winner as the area's top summer camp program.

For more information, call CSU Continuing Education 706-507-8070 or go to or for an online catalog and registration information.

The websites include information about other Columbus State summer camps offered through Athletics, Coca-Cola Space Science Center, the CSU Dance Conservatory and the Columbus Regional Mathematics Collaborative.