Those lazy, hazy, crazy, creative days of summer

Summer is here. When I was a younger mom, I loved and struggled with this time of year. While I embraced a more laid-back schedule during the kids’ summer vacation, I also worried about how I would find balance with them at home every day. It usually took about 15 minutes after getting off the bus on that last day of school before I would start to hear, “I’m bored.” We all needed a little structure in our days to keep us sane.

In the absence of anything better to do, we would often go to the pool, where I would sit exposed to the hot sun, watching the freckles of my careless, baby-oiled youth multiply like rabbits right before my eyes. The kids would splash happily, showing me infinite variations of the same jump off the diving board, requesting video to capture each and every identical moment. I would internally scroll through my mental to-do list, anxious about how to meet the expectations of both work and motherhood. I remember the anxiety and treasure the memories now; those summers were indeed fleeting.

Camps at the Adams County Arts Council (ACAC) were a staple. ACAC’s week-long, half-day camp experiences allow just enough time to submerge in creative, focused activities while allowing everyone to sleep a little later than during the school year and enjoy lazy summer evenings. The best weeks were when the kids had something to do outside the house that was fun, social, and creative, giving just enough structure to our days.

ACAC offers 52 exciting summer camps this year for all ages, from preschool to high school. There is something for everyone, whether you want to practice and improve a well-honed skill or try something brand new. In June, students aged 12 and up will use Prismacolor pencils to draw beautiful works of art with accomplished artist instructor Stanley Gilmore. Students ages 8 through 10 are invited to tour downtown Gettysburg with local favorite artist Erin Brown, who will share great tips on sketching buildings and using watercolor, markers, and charcoal for whimsical creations reflecting each student’s unique perspective of our community. Levato Shaw will blow the minds of the 11-to-14-year-old crowd with amazing optical illusions, and Kara Boehne-Miele invites older kids to bake and decorate delicious and beautiful cookies for any occasion. And that’s just in June.

Anyone who has seen and appreciates beautiful paper-art greeting cards (I have purchased several at Lark as cards/gifts for my most special friends) will love quilling camp in July with instructor Carrie Baez. Sculpture, photography, fused glass, and sewing are just a few more examples of camps you won’t find anywhere else, allowing young people to explore new skills, perfect old ones, make friends, and create memorable art to last a lifetime.

Scholarships are available for qualifying families thanks to support from our donors and sponsors. Summer camps and youth outreach programs throughout the school year are sponsored in part by Adams Electric Cooperative, Inc., Adams County Commissioners, The Anne & Phillip Glatfelter III Foundation, Robert C. Hoffman Charitable Endowment Trust, PNC Bank, The Stabler Foundation, The Marie Keese Lelash Foundation, and The Rice Family Foundation.

For more information or to register for ACAC’s summer camps, visit For scholarship information, call 717-334-5006.