Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Summer camps and activities for kids, teens in Las Cruces

LAS CRUCES – Looking for things to keep your kids active this summer? Check out this list of camps and activities going on in and around Las Cruces.

Summer break is just around the corner as the 2021-2022 school year comes to an end of this month. Kids will soon have weeks of free time on their hands (remember, the school year begins in July this year). Why not keep busy taking advantage of the programs local organizations have to offer?

Free swim days at city pools

The City of Las Cruces’ Parks & Recreation Department announced that they will be offering free swim days at the city’s outdoor pools this summer on May 30, June 19, July 3 and Sept. 5. Days correspond with a national holiday.

The pools include East Mesa Bataan Memorial Pool at 6141 Reynolds Drive and Laabs Pool at 750 W. Picacho Ave.

Sessions will be held from noon to 3 pm and from 3:30 to 6:30 pm Sessions will be subject to capacity regulations and inclement weather. Children 8 years old and younger must always be accompanied by an adult with only two children 8 and younger per adult.

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Group reservations will not be scheduled during free swim sessions. Information about pool capacity or other questions can be found by calling the Las Cruces Regional Aquatic Center at 575-541-2782.

Planet Fitness’ High School Summer Pass program

With school out, Planet Fitness is offering students aged 14 to 19 a free summer pass to work out at any of their locations through Aug. 31. This gives teens a place to remain active while sports programs and other school activities are on hiatus. It is also an opportunity for the company to promote healthy physical and mental wellness.

To further encourage a healthy lifestyle, parents and guardians of teens who sign up will be able to download a free digital copy of “Family Table,” a cookbook by Robert Irvine.

Teens who sign up also want access to the gym’s in-club fitness training and trainer-led workout videos. Online signup can be found at PlanetFitness.com/SummerPass.

Those signed up will also be entered into a sweep stakes. Planet Fitness will give a $500 scholarship to one teen in each state and Washington DC as well as one $5,000 grand prize at the end of the summer.

Doña Ana Arts Council Summer Art Camps

The local arts council announced that they will offer three art camps for children this summer. These include:

  • Career Art Paths, June 6-17, Alma d’Arte Charter High School
  • Opera Storytellers Camp, June 20-July 1, Centennial High School
  • Missoula Children’s Theatre, July 11-16, Alma d’Arte Charter High School

Career Art Paths is for students in the fifth through eighth grades. Working artists will talk to students over the two weeks about their careers and art practice. Students will work on hands-on art projects and will display their work at the end of the camp at an art show curated by the students and teachers. This class costs $100 with a limited number of scholarships.

The Opera Storytellers Camp is available for students in third through twelfth grade and will be directed by Christa Fredrickson at Centennial High. The end goal of the camp is for the kids to compose and perform and 30-minute musical drama. Students also want to learn about lighting, sound, sets and costume design.

This camp costs $250 per student. A free performance will be held at the end of the two weeks.

Missoula Children’s Theatre, a touring company, will be in Las Cruces in mid-July for a production of “The Frog Prince.” They will bring all the components of the show except the cast. Kids will audition for parts on the first day of camp.

More:Doña Ana Arts Council exhibit features ‘Water and Women’

The cost of the camp is $70 per student, but families with multiple children registered will get a 50% discount. Two performances of the production will be held July 16.

Registration forms for all three camps can be found online at daarts.org/foryouth.

Young Women in Computing at New Mexico State University

NMSU Department of Computer Science’s Young Women in Computing will host two summer camps this year for those who identify as female, genderqueer or nonbinary in middle school and high school. Participation is free and supplies will be provided by the department. Middle school students who complete the two-week camp will receive a $100 stipend. High schoolers will receive a $200 stipend.

The camps are part of a project to increase the interest and number of women in the field of computer science. Participation is on a first-come basis and is not a competitive process. Registration will remain open until all spots are filled.

Curriculum for middle school students will include Python, virtual reality and other emerging technologies. They will have the chance to explore the field of study while also socializing and learning by creating. High school curriculum will differ a bit but will still include learning about virtual reality, web and game development and programming languages.

Interested students can register for the middle school camp online at https://bit.ly/YWICMSCamp22 and the high school camp online at https://bit.ly/YWICMSCamp22. You can find out more information by emailing [email protected]

Summer camps through the city’s museums

The City of Las Cruces’ museum system is offering a series of camps for children of various ages throughout June and July. Registration can be done in person at the Museum of Nature & Science, located at 411 N. Main St. The museum is open from 10 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Saturday.

Each camp will cost $20 and be held from 9 am to noon Monday through Friday. Programs include:

  • “Model Trains” at the Railroad Museum from June 6-10. Registration closes June 4. This is open for children aged 13 to 17.
  • “Junior Archaeologists” at the Branigan Cultural Center from June 13 to 17. Registration closes June 11. This is open for children aged 10 to 13.
  • “Riding the Rails” at the Railroad Museum from June 27 to July 1. Registration ends June 25. Children aged 10 to 13 can participate.
  • “Art Brut” at the Museum of Art from June 27 to July 1. Registration ends June 25. Registration is open for children aged 6 to 10.
  • “Around the World” at the Branigan Cultural Center from July 11 to 15. Registration ends July 9. Children aged 6 to 10 can register.
  • “Magnificent Minis!” at the Museum of Art from July 11 to 15. Registration ends July 9. Teens aged 13 to 17 can participate.

Scholarships for the camps are available due to the Foundation for Las Cruces Museums’ William Wachtel Memorial Scholarship Fund. Students can apply online at http://bit.ly/LCMScholarships.

NMSU’s Learning Games Lab

Learning Games Lab at NMSU will host three free sessions this summer for middle and high schoolers. Sessions will involve playing and evaluating games and interactive experiences as well as designing and pitching ideas for games. The group’s mission is to develop educational games, apps and other interactives.

Sessions will be held:

  • May 31-June 3, 8:30 am to noon, middle school students
  • June 6-10, 8:30 am to noon, middle school students
  • June 20-24, 1-4:30 pm, high school students

Students can apply by filling out a survey online at https://acesnmsu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0k7PdzcDtEuZyVo. Selection will be announced two weeks after applying. Amanda Armstrong, games lab coordinator, can be reached at 575-646-1076 or [email protected] for any questions.

Swim Night Out at Gym Magic

Parents looking for a night away from the kids can head over to Gym Magic every third Saturday of the month. The program hosts an evening of swimming in their heated pool, games, music, movies and more for kids who can swim independently.

More:New Mexico Senior Olympics to be staged at Las Cruces. Here’s what’s new for 2022.

The program is open to the public and available for kids aged 6 and up. Kids will be entertained and safely monitored from 6:30 to 8:30 pm The cost is $29 per student with a 10% discount for siblings.

Registration and dates can be found online at www.gymmagic.com/swim-night-out.

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Leah Romero is the trending reporter at the Las Cruces Sun-News and can be reached at 575-418-3442, [email protected] or @rromero_leah on Twitter.

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