Living

Shakespeare, muskets and ukuleles? Your kids may like these offbeat camps.

Colonial America comes alive for summer campers at Camp Flintlock

Video: Camp Flintlock offers children a look into the past and the opportunity to be immersed in history instead of just watching or reading about it.
Up Next
Video: Camp Flintlock offers children a look into the past and the opportunity to be immersed in history instead of just watching or reading about it.

When school out for the summer, most Triangle parents will start juggling kids in full-on summer hysteria. Luckily, the Triangle boasts a vast selection of summer camps, offering fun far beyond the traditional dodge ball and red rover games.

So here's a look at some of the more offbeat choices — the kayak camps and zookeeper training sessions. The best hunting ground for unusual summer activity can be found on camprooster.com, and though last-minute spots are going fast, these suggestions all have space when last we checked.

Here are a few that caught our eye. Prices, schedules and directions are all available on the camps' websites.

RAL_ FLINTLOCK2NE062117CEL.JPG
Bebe Staton (left) and Evie Georgoulias laugh as their candles look more like earrings during a candle making session at Camp Flintlock in 2017. N&O file photo

For the hardiest kids

Camp Flintlock, a legend in Johnston County, recreates colonial life down to the last detail, requiring that children rise from their tents at 6:30 a.m., split firewood, throw tomahawks and fire black powder muskets. Not only are electronic devices forbidden, but all clothing must be made of cotton or wool — no synthetics.

Over the course of a week, this sleep-away camp will have children writing with quill and ink and bathing in primitive showers. Penalty for repeated misbehavior: dig up a stump. Boys' week is full, we're told, though spaces remain for girls and in an alternative day camp which ends, perhaps mercifully, at 3 p.m. campflintlock.com

IMG_PHOTO____BIZ_CPT-DJ-_2_1_KQ1JK97O_L37560076.JPG
Andrew Duca listens to the sounds of a ukulele in the Mahalo Ukulele booth during the NAMM show at the Anaheim Convention Center in 2014. Why not have your kid join him? LA Times

For the dorky and proud

At ukelele camp, kids have a chance to learn a rare musical instrument that's easy to carry. Though it often gets slandered as a hipster accessory, the ukulele offers kids a shorter neck and fewer strings than other stringed instruments, making it a stepping stone to guitar. In a week's worth of afternoon camps at Notasium in Durham and Cary, kids will learn basic chords and easy charts. With luck and a fake beard, they'll pass for 8-year-old hipsters. durham.notasium.com

TRAVEL UST-UNIVERSALSTUDIOS 6 LA.JPG
Pacey McWilliams 10, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, admires his new magic wand as he enters The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2016. The Museum of Life & Science in Durham offers slightly less exhilarating experiences at day camp.

For Harry Potters in training

At potions, charms and spells camp, parents are cautioned to expect their children arriving home with cauldrons bubbling. Day campers at Durham's Museum of Life & Science will use science to create movie special effects and create their own "magical science castle." As a bonus, the camp promises to solve ancient mysteries. No word on whether participants will face the sorting hat. lifeandscience.org

The relic of the Museum of Life and Science’s “Pre-History Trail” is mostly a curiosity made obsolete by the apatosaurus and newer, interactive displays. But a study shows the brontosaurus may be more important, so let’s bring it back.

IMG_RAL.hr.JUMP2.final.j_4_1_VI2KU7DE_L64789373.JPG
Noah Carter, 12, of Siler City, uses his over sized glove to try to get an autograph after the finish of the Triple A Home Run Derby at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in 2014. Play Ball With the Bulls invites day campers onto the same field.

For the little leaguer you told 'Way to hustle!'

At Play Ball With the Bulls, junior baseball players can practice alongside their minor-league mentors, the Durham Bulls. The three-day camp takes place on the same diamond where the Bulls battle it out for real, and should any of the campers manage to hit one long enough to smack the bull on the left-field fence, the free-steak prize still applies. No lollygaggers. milb.com/durham

On opening day, The Durham Bulls and their fans celebrated last year's championship and the start of a new season.

IMG_DREAM2-CHN-042810-HL_1_1_N11ABEU1.JPG
David Parks as Oberon and Grace Gollmer at Titania rehearse at Smith Middle School's theater for the student production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' by Shakespeare in 2010. Follow their lead at Raleigh Little Theatre's Shakespeare camp.


For the teenage Hamlets brooding upstairs

Shakespeare/stage combat camp at Raleigh Little Theatre inserts high school thespians into a week of the bard mixed with onstage fighting techniques, probably combining the two. Learn to choke down poison like Juliet or die of a stab would while still delivering a soliloquy like Mercutio. Many other theatrical options are available. The camp is this month. raleighlittletheatre.org

RAL_ 20180228_femalelemurs_CAT_065.JPG
Lemur camp in Durham is, alas, full. N&O file photo

The camp you wish you'd booked in time

Leaping Lemurs camp at Duke Lemur Center is, alas, full. You can, of course, still visit the center in Durham or take part in other programs. The center seems to have had several baby lemurs arrive in recent months. lemur.duke.edu

Josh Shaffer: 919-829-4818, @joshshaffer08
Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

  Comments