by Heather Kliever, 4J TAG Families Email List

Summer will soon be upon us- difficult to believe with the current deluge of rain…

The following is the top summer options I have found, and in some cases used, for my son. All of the camps I list offer financial aid and have proven track records of promoting a positive community experience. Enjoy!

Oak Hill has a plethora of great programming this summer! Here is a link to the overview of all OH’s summer camp offerings: http://oakhillschool.com/student-resources/summer-2017/#1489623724952-51d9deed-ac59

In particular, check out the residential Summer Enrichment Program grid of classes July 23-August 5  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wXh5f5ze5ulWXmrqVHUl8Aj1IpyCySuqrJcjhxsVB9M/edit?ts=585069cb I want to take some of these classes, too!

My son has taken classes through the Summer on the Hill program that I cannot recommend enough!  Excellent staff, super reasonable prices and fantastic variety of topics. Ade will take the Algebra II/PreCalc class even though he is an 8th grader. In the past, the instructors have been willing to take children who meet the pre-requisite requirements so, look at the grade information as a suggestion and be in pleasant communication with the summer coordinator and/or instructor early on. I have had wonder help from staff- they always reply, are excited to hear from you and offer suggestions! I may be gushing here but they are the tops absolutely in my books!
Here is a link to the schedule https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lwCVXrdiyT-2Jyvl03Pe7RcWYv1bqzo6kfe0iUXZyP8/edit

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Have you been keeping up with the recent articles on the importance of nature and movement for children?
If not, check out this New York Times article printed today on “Why Kids Shouldn’t Sit Still in Class”  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/well/family/why-kids-shouldnt-sit-still-in-class.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170321&nlid=65229791&tntemail0=y&_r=0
and this Ken Robinson video from TES discussing five reasons you should take your class outside https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/watch-sir-ken-robinson-shares-five-reasons-you-should-take-your-class. The video is less than three mins long.
OMSI has outdoor camps with residential options. Here is a link to web page that you can customize for your campers needs: https://www.omsi.edu/camps-classes-results. I have not used this camp but have been receiving updates about Camp Gray Coastal Discovery Center in Newport for the last couple years. If you have some experience, please share with the group!
Also, the City of Eugene has excellent outdoor recreation options. I would recommend looking at any offerings through the River House. The prices for the experience is excellent for what is offered. Safety equipment, great staff/student ratios and a schedule that is traditional 40 hr/week work friendly! Cant be beat!  https://www.eugene-or.gov/749/Outdoor

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Southern Oregon University has the oldest TAG summer camp in the state. My son has attended two out of the last three years and really, really enjoyed his time there. Brain Bowl, trips to Emigrant Lake and an evening show at the extraordinary Oregon Shakespeare Festival included! This is an incredible bargain for the experience. If Ade gets in this year I am more than willing to help carpool your camper down, too. The financial aid packages are generous- call early for details and to apply.    https://inside.sou.edu/youth/academy/index.html

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Finally, a camp that I adore but requires a lot of sacrifice with time and driving. The Saturday Academy program through the University of Portland has amazing programs during the academic year and day camps during the summer. We have been hitting the road at 6am the last four Saturdays to get Ade to an Epidemiology class- taught by Kristen Haberthur, a PhD in Viral Immunology and a wicked sense of humor and penchant for dystopian video games. It is very worth the time and effort. If you can get on their mailing list I would recommend looking through the offerings. If something catches your attention share with the group. Perhaps we could figure out a carpool! Generous financial aid available for families on free or reduced lunch. https://www.saturdayacademy.org/
Of particular note, I want to direct your attention to the TAG Challenge Camp offered through Saturday Academy and hosted at Reed College. I am calling to find out if there is a residential or host family option for those of us out of town. https://www.saturdayacademy.org/node/4812?utm_content=buffer0b6b5&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer. Check out the Portland Public Schools TAG site http://www.pps.net/tag this links to the guiding documents that the school district follows in terms of TAG definitions. It. Is. AWESOME!
There are a lot more classes and camps available locally! Please let others know if you have a particular camp or offering that our kids would be interested in this summer.
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Finally, some more resources for you to read regarding TAG and the regular school classroom. Nothing is better than to be an informed parent when advocating for your child!
  • Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom: Identifying, Nurturing, and Challenging Ages 4-9 by Joan Franklin Smutny, Sally Yahnke and Elizabeth A Meckstroth
  • Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use, 3rd Ed., Susan Winebrenner and Dina Brulles
  • Gifted and Talented Children in the Regular Classroom, E Paul Torrence and Dorothy A. Sisk