Students in EMU's Summer Musical Theatre rehearse "The Addams Family" at MainStage Theater in August 2023. (Photo by Macson McGuigan / EMU)

A guide to summer programs at EMU for children of all ages

When EMU students leave campus for the summer, a whole new crop of younger students arrive. Whether it’s classes in soccer, musical theatre, art or solar energy, EMU summer programs offer something to engage just about any child, from five years old to recent high school graduates. Here’s a roundup of some of those programs.

For girls into soccer:

Nike Girls Soccer Camp

Coach Anna Hardin

For: Girls ages 5 to 13
Date: Monday, June 10, to Friday, June 14, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Fee: $215
More info:
This camp offers a unique and engaging environment where girls ages 5 to 13 can have fun learning new skills, perfecting techniques, increasing their knowledge of the game and making new friends. Royals Head Women’s Soccer Coach Anna Hardin and her staff lead a curriculum blending traditional and modern coaching methods to help every camper progress to a higher level of soccer play.

For children interested in theatre:

Students rehearse The Addams Family at Summer Musical Theatre last year. (Photo by Macson McGuigan / EMU)

Summer Musical Theatre

Students develop their skills in acting, singing and dancing in a supportive environment of highly-skilled, award-winning professionals and college faculty. EMU Theatre Program Director Justin Poole and resident choreographer Ellie de Waal lead two three-week musical theatre intensives, each culminating in public performances of a major musical production. More info at

Junior Program
For: Rising 4th-8th graders
Date: Monday, June 24, to Saturday, July 13. Mondays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Final shows on Friday, July 12, and Saturday, July 13, at 7 p.m.
Fee: $1,000 includes three weeks of instruction and rehearsal and two public performances
Deadline to register: June 14
Students explore the world of musical theatre and perform two musical revue shows in this three-week program. Auditions are not required.

Senior Program
For: Rising 9th-2024 high school graduates
Date: Monday, July 22, to Sunday, Aug. 11. Mondays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Final shows on Friday, Aug. 9, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 10, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 11, at 2 p.m.
Fee: $1,200 includes full days of instruction and rehearsal as well as three public performances
Deadline to register: July 12
Students can choose between a dedicated three-week performance track or technical theatre track, culminating in the presentation of Seussical the Musical in the MainStage Theatre. Students in the performance track will engage in all morning classes and rehearsals and perform on stage. Those in the technical theatre track will engage in all morning classes and work with the costume designer, technical director, stage management team and others to support the production in all technical areas.

For children who like the visual arts:

Students work on paintings during a class work session. (Photos courtesy of the Visual and Communication Arts Department)
Students sketch animals at the Discovery Room in the Suter Science Center.

Summer Art Academy

For: Ages 8-11
Date: Monday, June 17, to Friday, June 21 (first week); Monday, June 24, to Friday, June 28 (second week). Classes for both weeks are held from 9 a.m. to noon.
Fee: $180 per week of classes
More info:
Cyndi Gusler, professor of visual arts at EMU, leads small classes for children as they explore the world of drawing and painting. Students in the Amazing Animals and Beautiful Botanicals class (first week) hike a trail, collect sketches on a nature walk and use that inspiration to make paintings and drawings full of vibrant color. Students in the Acrylic and Watercolor Painting class (second week) will improve their painting technique, build their artistic imagination and learn to paint from life in EMU’s art studio and outside on its beautiful campus.

For children who are science-minded:

Students build a solar suitcase at Solar Solutionary Camp. (Photo courtesy of EMU Continuing and Professional Education)

Solar Solutionary Camp

For: Rising 8th-12th graders
Date: Monday, June 10, to Friday, June 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fee: $250
More info:
Campers will take field trips to local solar facilities and learn about solar energy as they build and deploy a solar suitcase to Africa for those without access to electricity. Students will gain a better understanding of the problems surrounding energy access and the threat of climate change. They will be divided into teams — assembly engineers, quality control engineers, reporters, community relations, and artists — and each team will have a set of tasks essential to the deployment of the solar suitcase.

Solar Solutionary Camp is in collaboration with the JMU Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Energy. 

Join the Discussion on “A guide to summer programs at EMU for children of all ages

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *