Children participate in Oxford College's summer sports camp.

Oxford campus bustles with summer events

Just because most Oxford College students take a break from their normal classes over the summer, doesn't mean the campus isn't filled with people.

Hundreds of students—both local and from all over the country—descend on the Oxford campus every summer for an offering of summer camps, special programs, and other activities led by Oxford staff, some Oxford students, and other programs’ leaders and volunteers.

“Several of our camps have been coming to campus since the ’90s and we’re ecstatic to continue serving them every year,” says Danielle Dockery, events manager at Oxford.

The Arts Association in Newton County just finished up its 20th year of Creative Kids Camp, a summer arts camp for kindergarten through fifth grade students that is held on the Oxford campus. Students study and discover music, singing, dance, drama, and visual art.

“Many changes have taken place over those 20 years, both with the camp and campus,” says Abigail Coggin, operations director for the Arts Association. “Oxford and its staff are always flexible and willing to assist us with any requests we may have.

“The campus is a beautiful and safe location for our campers to visit each year,” she adds. “We’re pleased with our partnership with Oxford and look forward to many more years to come.”

For six weeks this summer, Oxford also has created three summer camp options for children ages 6 to 13 to engage them in sports, technology, and the arts while on the Oxford campus:

  • All Sports Camp: June 11-15 (Olympics Week), June 25-29 (Sports Around the World Week) and July 9-13 (Outdoor Oxford Week) from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. for ages 6-13. Campers will try out a multitude of sports from basketball to soccer to tennis to swimming and more while putting an emphasis on fun, sportsmanship, and participation.
  • Tech/Coding Camp: June 18-22 and July 23-27 from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. for ages 8-13. Campers will learn the fundamentals of coding and watch their ideas come to life. Students will leave camp with ongoing access to games and apps they created to share with friends and family.
  • Art Camp: July 16-20 from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. for ages 6-13. The camp will unleash children’s creativity and provide them with a wonderful introduction to several forms of visual art. Each day brings a new project that may include painting, papermaking, natural dying or a myriad of other art forms.
Each of the three camps cost $185 per week if students attend one to three weeks of camp, or a discounted rate of $170 per week if they attend four or more weeks of camp, plus a $25 registration fee per family. Pricing includes all necessary supplies, lunch, a snack, and before and after camp care from 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. if needed.

Register for any of those three camps by creating an account.

“This is a structured program that will keep children mentally and physically active all summer,” Dockery says. “In past years, we offered a loosely structured camp program that was geared only towards an athletics demographic. This will be the first year to have Art and Tech Camps which are crafted by Oxford faculty and staff, as well as a more diversified sports program.”

She hopes local families will take advantage of a more expansive and inclusive camp program.

“It offers something for everyone,” says Kay Norgard, Oxford event coordinator. “Children's interests are constantly evolving and we’re taking a step to make sure those interests get a chance to be explored.

“It’s also great for parents because our before and after care comes included, so we’re able to work with a variety of parental schedules,” she adds.

Students will spend their time problem solving, being creative, and having exposure to new programs and techniques.

“This program was put together very intentionally to involve more learning, rather than just keeping the kids busy,” Dockery says.

Oxford plans to expand the program in future years to include other topics, like science, music, farming, culinary skills, and more.

“Oxford College is a cool place to be in the summer because of its beautiful campus and state of the art facilities,” Norgard says. “It also has a great community feel—many of Oxford’s faculty and staff remain on campus during the summer and are parents themselves.”

Some other groups that meet at Oxford over the summer include:

  • East Metro Tennis Camp: area students ages 8-18 learn various tennis skills based on their age and level.
  • International Karate Kobudo Union Camp: a Martial Arts Federation that provides quality leadership, instruction and certifications in traditional Karate-Do in its 32nd summer camp on the Oxford campus.
  • Own Oxford: a program held for incoming first-year Oxford College students. A four-day, three-night adventure will help students experience the Oxford campus and reveal how they can leave a legacy of their own at Oxford. While staying on campus, students who participate in this program will form lasting bonds with other incoming students, learn more about themselves, and connect with the campus in a distinctive way.
  • Gwinnett Quilters’ Guild Summer Retreat: a nonprofit organization that strives to bring quality programming to its membership and sponsors quilt education that furthers the love, art and craft of quilting. (gwinnettquiltersguild.org)
  • Covington Century Ride: with ride lengths of 32, 67 or 100 miles available, it has something for everybody and is sponsored by the Southern Bicycle League.