From inventing to scouting to volunteering, there are plenty of local activities to keep your student busy during the summer months.
And now is the time to look for a summer camp as many are beginning to fill up. Most of the day camp options are full with the Chesapeake Experience in York County, for example.
Here are five places to get you started on your summer camp search.
From the creation of a "Duck Chucking Device" to a treasure navigation challenge, kids will stay busy incorporating the scientific method against a fanciful backdrop during the Camp Invention program.
The weeklong camp, which will take place from June 17-21 at Christopher Newport University in Newport News and from July 8-12 at Poquoson Elementary School, is designed for first grade through sixth grade students.
Each day during the camp, students will work their way through "modules" or themed challenges in teams. This year, the camp focuses on Earth themes, such as traveling the globe to discover crystals and extreme cold and exploring the land and sky to decipher the Earth's patterns.
The camp costs $220 for the week. Parents who sign up online before Thursday, May 30 can use the code SPRING to save $15.
For more information, visit invent.org/camp.
The Girl Scouts of Colonial Coast offer a sleep-away camp experience available to any girl who wants to attend.
The week-long programs take place at one of several camping locations on the Peninsula, and are designed for elementary and middle-school students. Themed weeks vary from outdoor cooking to adventure programs, which include high ropes courses and rock climbing. There is even a week designed to train young ladies to start their own baby-sitting business.
In addition to the themed programs, there are arts and crafts projects, swimming, hiking and other outdoor activities.
Camps range in price from $185 to $300 a week. Find more information at gsccc.org/camp.
The Colonial Virginia Council Boy Scouts offers a Cub Scout day camp during the summer for registered cub scouts in first through fifth grade. You can find more information about the cub scout program at cvcboyscouts.org.
Parks and rec
Most cities and counties offer summer camp programs at reasonable prices.
Hampton's parks and recreation department has a summer-long program from June 17 to August 23 featuring field trips, swimming, crafts and inside and outside playtime.
The summer camp runs from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily for parents who need childcare when school is out. The camp costs $80 a week. For information, call 825-4805.
The Newport News parks and recreation department will host a similar Adventureland camp this summer. Registration information can be found at redefiningplay.com.
James City County's parks and recreation department also will host a day-long summer camp. Find more information at jamescitycountyva.gov/recreation.
Don't forget the plethora of Peninsula museums. Most offer unique camp experiences for students during the summer months.
The Virginia Air and Space Center has a different camp theme each week of summer, from learning how to take part in a crime scene investigation (CSI) to preparing rocket launches. Each camp will include a science kit to facilitate the hands-on learning activities.
The camps cost $170 to $180 a week and extended care is available. For more information: vasc.org/camps.
Most of the summer programs for young children are already full at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News. There are still spots available for programs catering to older students, like the Junior Naturalists program from Aug. 19-23 for upcoming fifth and sixth graders. During the weeklong camp, students will search a beach for living critters, investigate the world of fresh water creatures, and explore wild habitats and the creatures that live there.
Students who have completed sixth or seventh grade can join the Appalachian Mountains and Caving camp, where the students will hike Virginia's mountains, explore streams and waterfalls, head underground into caves and camp in tents at night. This weeklong travel camp costs $460.
Find more information: thevlm.org/Summer-Childrens-Programs.
While teenagers might not attend a traditional summer camp, you can get them out of the house with some volunteer work.
Habitat for Humanity is a popular volunteer choice for teens during the summer months, and those ages 16 and older can help on construction sites with a signed waiver form from their parent or guardian. There are also volunteer opportunities in the Restore retail locations. Teens 16 and older can help with a signed waiver.
For more information about the Peninsula chapter, go to habitatpgw.org/volunteer.
Volunteers at the Peninsula SPCA must be at least 16 years old, although parent and child teams can volunteer together. The child must be 13 years old to participate. A volunteer interest meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 15. For more information: peninsulaspca.com.
Children who are 12 years old can volunteer at the Virginia Peninsula Food Bank with a parent. Teenagers age 15 and older can volunteer on their own.
Interested volunteers should call 596-7188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
The website volunteermatch.com offers information and ideas for volunteering in your hometown at many local organizations.
Find more family activities at hrticket.com.