Summer camps run gamut, including theater, orchestra, outdoors

By Steve Palisin

Youth dance, jump and celebrate last summer in a Kevin Jones Performing Arts Studio Camp in Conway. The 2017 day camp, based at Cypress Camping Resort, across from Socastee High School, spans a week each for students entering grades 3-5, June 19-23; grades 6-8, June 26-30; and grades 9-12, July 3-7, and each wraps up with a showcase performance. More details at 843-251-9542 or
Youth dance, jump and celebrate last summer in a Kevin Jones Performing Arts Studio Camp in Conway. The 2017 day camp, based at Cypress Camping Resort, across from Socastee High School, spans a week each for students entering grades 3-5, June 19-23; grades 6-8, June 26-30; and grades 9-12, July 3-7, and each wraps up with a showcase performance. More details at 843-251-9542 or Courtesy photo

Long before the school year ends – June 1 in Horry County, June 2 in Georgetown County, and June 9 in Brunswick County – thoughts of summer camp might pepper people’s minds.

Among parents and youth, choices can go in various directions, so planning become even more paramount as summer break approaches. Besides the tried and true day camps full of variety, options include camps centering on the arts, sports, science, and nature and outdoors.

Kevin Jones, said this marks his third summer for his Performing Arts Studio Camps locally. They cater to three age groups: grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12, each for a week of daylong sessions and finishing with a showcase performance. The 2017 camps, starting in later June, are at Cypress Camping Resort, across from Socastee High School.

The artistic and musical director, Jones said having helped as music director for three recent plays led by Farrah Beaudry at Socastee High, that a “love for performing” unites everyone for this “different feeling from a typical camp.”

Turnout truly brings a mix, Jones said, because for some youth, “this will be their first time on stage,” and for others, a final step to get ready to go off to college to major in musical theater. He said the camp covers an array of content, besides building up to a show at the end. The subject matter includes “relationships with acting, singing and dancing, and going “really big on training” in such areas as improv and character development, as well as “how to survive dance calls,” and other elements in “the business of acting.”

All participants also go home with professional studio headshots and a resume, to help them accelerate their own marketing, said Jones, who also hosts an annual residential camp near Roanoke, Va.

A Toronto native who loves living in Myrtle Beach, Jones said he had visited this area “since I was a kid.” With a resume including Broadway and touring productions of “Beauty and the Beast,” as well as “Annie,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Evita” and “Phantom of the Opera,” Jones said seeing camp alumni who “have gone on to have really great careers” provides his staff quite an honor, for any roles in “a small piece of that” success youth and young adults achieve.

Orchestra camp primed for premiere

The Horry County School of Music, a new nonprofit, will stage an Orchestra Camp in later July, welcoming string players who attend Horry County Schools, in beginning (youth entering sixth grade), advanced, and honor levels, each concluding with concert on Aug. 4.

Huadong Lu, founder and music director, said this orchestral outreach effort, begun a few months ago, spans three levels: beginning (players entering sixth grade), advanced, and honor, the result of “a lot of support” from instrumental music teachers and administrative personnel districtwide, including North Myrtle Beach High School, where he leads the orchestra.

Encouraging students to stay engaged with their instruments, and keep learning, through summer, Lu said, the day camp also gives the youth a “wonderful opportunity” to study with fellow aspiring, dedicated, aspiring musicians whose families “cannot afford” to enroll in other places for this extracurricular education.

For youngsters entering sixth grade and beginning music instruction in school, Lu said, “we want to give them a head start,” especially because of the concentration and planned 1-to-10 teacher-to-student ratio at this camp.

With hopes of enrolling 100 students in this debut camp, Lu, a Chinese native who earned his master’s degree in violin performance and music education at Kent State University in Ohio and has taught around the world, foresees a summer venture that’s “really fun for the kids and teachers.”

This sampling of camps reflects a fraction of many options available across the Grand Strand, and maybe can spur other ideas as parents and their children scout for quality time to spend, and friendships to make, this summer.


▪ North Myrtle Beach Ocean Rescue Junior Lifeguard Program, geared to ages 10-15, 9-11 a.m. June 12-22 on beach at Seventh Avenue South – except June 15, which is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in city’s J. Bryan Floyd Community Center. Also, registrants will take basic swim test at 3 p.m. June 10 at North Myrtle Beach Aquatic & Fitness Center., swimming 100 yards without a life jacket or other flotation support. $25, including T-shirt, swim shirt and backpack. Signup available at city’s Beach Services warehouse, at Sixth Avenue South and Bay Street, or contact city Beach Patrol Officer May Lauzon at 843-281-3819, or email

▪ “Reach for the Stars’ PSAT-SAT Camps, for students entering grades 9-12, with Bill McKenzie of Socastee, a longtime PSAT-SAT preparations tutor, four-day sessions, each 9 a.m.-noon Mondays-Thursdays: June 19-22 at Myrtle Beach High School, July 10-13 at Waccamaw High in Pawleys Island, July 24-27 at Socastee High, and Aug. 7-10 at Horry County Memorial Library Socastee branch. Each $175. 843-293-7551, or email


▪ “Summer KidsArt” three-day camps in June and July, for ages 5-7 and 8-12, at Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, 3100 S. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach. Each $55 ($45 members. 843-238-2510,, or email

▪ Kevin Jones Performing Arts Studio Camps, weeklong sessions, each 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-7:30 or 8 p.m. Friday (each including showcase performance) at Cypress Camping Resort, across from Socastee High School: for students entering grades 3-5, June 19-23; grades 6-8, June 26-30; and grades 9-12, July 3-7. Each $375. 843-251-9542 or

▪ Coastal Dance Centre camps, for ages 3 and older, starting June 19, at studios in Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet. 843-839-5678, 843-651-2006 or

▪ Dance and cheer/tumble camps, starting June 26, at Litchfield Dance Arts Academy, 97 Otis Drive, Litchfield Beach for ages 2 1/3-3 1/2 (three days), and 6-12 (weeklong). Rates vary by program. 843-237-7465 or

▪ Orchestra Camp, for string players in Horry County Schools – through Horry County School of Music – Mondays-Fridays, July 24-Aug. 4 – in levels for beginning (youth entering sixth grade) and advanced, each for $120, and honor ($170) – at Myrtle Beach High School, each concluding with concert Aug. 4. $20 discount for registration by May 31.


▪ Classic Swing Golf School Junior Program, for ages 5-14 in weeklong sessions, June 6-Aug. 11, at Legends Resort, 1500 Legends Drive, off U.S. 501, northwest of Myrtle Beach. $129 week, $30 day, or any three weeks $300. 843-903-5560, 800-827-2656 or

▪ Youth Sailing Camp, for ages 8-14, in weeklong, half-day sessions, June 6-Aug. 4, at S.C. Maritime Museum, 729 Front St., Georgetown, on Sampit River. Each $200. 843-520-0111 or


▪ Summer camp, weeklong sessions for ages 3-students entering grade 5, June 5-Aug. 4 (but not July 3-7) at North Myrtle Beach Christian School, 9535 S.C. 90, Longs. $100 week, plus onetime $150 registration/activity fee that includes field trips. 843-399-7181, or email office@nmbchristianschool.

▪ “Mad Science” mostly weeklong camps – for students entering grades 1-6, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 12-15 at Coastal Montessori; and at Surfside Presbyterian Church, each 9 a.m.-noon: “Secret Agent Lab-Detective Camp” (grades 1-5), June 26-30, and “Rockin’ Rockets & Aerodynamics,” July 10-14. Each $149, also with $20 discounts available with early bird registration. 843-651-7505 or

▪ Camp Invention – through National Inventors Hall of Fame, based in North Canton, Ohio – for students entering kindergarten-grade 6, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. June 12-16 at Palmetto Academy of Learning and Success charter school, 3012 Fred Nash Blvd., Myrtle Beach, along U.S. 17 Bypass, between Farrow Parkway and Shetland Lane (near Joe’s Airport Diner). $225. 800-968-4332 or

▪ Coastal Carolina University Kids Camps, weeklong, in various themes for ages 6-10, June 12-Aug. 11 (but not July 3-7) at CCU’s education centers at 79th Avenue North and U.S. 17 in Myrtle Beach (843-349-2767) and 14427 Ocean Highway, Litchfield Beach (843-349-6584). Each per week: $90 half day, $180 full day.


▪ Camp Brookgreen, in weeklong sessions, mostly 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and $185 each ($160 members), at Brookgreen Gardens, on U.S. 17, between Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach: for students entering kindergarten-grade 1, “Camp Polliwog” June 5-9, and “Brookgreen Safari” June 12-16; grades 2-3, “Leap Frogs” June 19-23, and “Science Olympics” June 26-30; grades 4-5, “Creative G’Art’ening” July 17-21, and “Animal Keepers” July 24-28; and grades 6-12, “Art Camp,” 10 a.m.-1 p.m. July 10-14, for $150 ($130 members). 843-235-6049 or

▪ Coastal Ecology Camps, for students entering grades 2-5, in four-day weeklong sessions – mostly 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays – June 6-July 14, at Hobcaw Barony, on U.S. 17, just north of Georgetown. $125. Weekly 843-546-4623 or

▪ Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina camps, (membership not required) at Sandy Ridge Girl Scout Program and Training Center, 3680 Girl Scout Road, near Bennettsville. Prices vary per program. 843-479-6814 or

▪ Variety of themed camps, for ages 6-13, in half- and full days, and overnight and full week sessions,. at Ripley’s Aquarium, at Broadway at the Beach, on 29th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. Prices vary. 843-916-0888 or 800-734-8888, ext. 3226; or

▪ Weeklong day camps, for ages 5-16, each 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, starting June 19 for some age groups, at N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, on U.S. 421, just south of Kure Beach, N.C. Prices vary. 910-458-7468 or

City/county day camps with variety

▪ City camps, in weeklong sessions, through Conway (843-488-1950 or, Myrtle Beach (843-918-2290 or and North Myrtle Beach Aquatic & Fitness Center (843-281-3744 or

▪ County camps through Horry County Parks and Recreation (843-915-5330 or and Georgetown County Parks & Recreation (843-545-3275 or

▪ YMCA Summer Fun Camps, in sessions through Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA in Myrtle Beach (843-449-9622) and GeorgetownCounty Family YMCA (843-545-9622).

▪ Camp Brunswick, for ages 6-11, with weeklong sessions through Brunswick County Parks and Recreation camp, in various spots. 910-371-3182 or

▪ Communities in Schools day camps for Shallotte and Cedar Grove middle school students, in Brunswick County, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, June 19-July 27. Free, with registration: 910-712-0745, 910-712-0816, or 910-253-5327, ext. 1516; with forms accessed at

Contact Steve Palisin at 843-444-1764.