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Beat the summer blues with local camps
Offerings for all tastes available from area agencies
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Although it may seem like the school year just started, in reality students have little more than two weeks left in the year.

Soon, kids will be saying goodbye to homework and hello to an age-old phrase: "I'm bored."

Summer camps, both overnight and day camps, can not only keep the boredom monster at bay, they can also help parents rest easy knowing that their children are safe while they are at work.

Locally, there are a number of summer camp opportunities. The Gainesville Parks and Recreation and the Hall County Parks and Leisure departments and the Georgia Mountains YMCA are all hosting a number of weeklong camps throughout the summer. The camps cover a variety of areas of interest including travel, cooking and animals.

The Hall County Schools System will also be hosting their "eXtreme eXperiences" camp for sixth- through eighth-graders at Lanier Charter Career Academy, 2719 Tumbling Creek Road in Gainesville, from June 6-9. The camp is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and gives children the opportunity to learn more about things like computer programming, cake baking and even construction. The cost is $75 per camper.

If extended camps aren't within your budget, there are still a number of summer enrichment opportunities available. Many organizations will be hosting classes and activities that are for a single day and that cost less than a full week at camp.

There will be a kids craft class at the East Hall Community Center and The Mulberry Creek Community Center each month throughout the summer. Each class costs $2 per child.

And in July, the city will host a Kids Can Cook, Too class at the Martha Hope Cabin. Tuition for that one-day class is $20 for city residents, or $30 for children who live outside city limits.

The Hall County Public Library System is another priceless entertainment option. Throughout the summer, the system will host a variety of free activities for children and teenagers.

From storytimes to movie screenings and craft classes, there's something going on at each of the library's branches throughout the week.

For instance, the Murrayville Library will be showing a family film June 3, while the Spout Springs Library will be hosting "Lee Bryan That Puppet Guy" on June 8.

And for all of those would-be campers who are looking for a little aquatic recreation, the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center's outdoor Splash Zone will open for the summer at 10 a.m. May 28. Daily admission ranges in price from $2 to $7, while a 90-day passport to the Splash Zone starts at $50.

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