Nittany lion mascot seated on bench at scranton campus entrance

Penn State Scranton's youth summer camps are being held virtually this year, which makes for a quieter campus, but still an interesting variety of fun and interesting opportunities for local children and teens.

Image: Penn State

Campus to offer virtual Nittany Cub youth camps this summer

DUNMORE, Pa. – After a one-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn State Scranton’s popular Nittany Cub Summer Camp program for area children is returning in virtual form.

Throughout the summer, the campus’ Center for Business Development and Community Outreach (CBDCO) will host a full schedule of unique, fun and educational camps presented through Zoom. In addition to camps specific to the campus, families will also be able to sign up their children for camps done in collaboration with other Penn State campuses, including Altoona, Berks, Lehigh Valley and Schuylkill.

According to CBDCO Director John Drake, ongoing University and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety measures ultimately dictated the decision to make the camps virtual. This decision, he said, had to be made months prior to the beginning of camps.

“We’ll definitely miss having the kids on campus, but we had to make a decision that was in the best health and safety interests of the kids and everyone else involved in the camps,” Drake said. “Fortunately, though, going virtual allows us to collaborate with some of the other campuses, so that it increases the variety of camps.”

This year, the campus will offer Zoom versions of two of its most popular camps, "Wizards and Cauldrons" and "Arts Around the World," both of which are taught by local teacher Julie Tischler.

Meanwhile, Scranton will partner with the other campuses on camps geared around numerous interesting subjects, among them the medical field, creative writing, criminal psychology, the ins and outs of starting a business, ancient Egyptian culture, and the Titanic.

“The students are learning, but they don’t know they’re learning because they’re having so much fun. And it’s a chance for them to meet new people and form new friendships,” Durdan said. “What’s also great is that some of the camps give students a nice opportunity to explore potential career paths.”

The camps also serve as a great introduction to Penn State (many campers go on to pursue degrees at the campus), and for numerous local families, they’ve become an annual rite of summer.

“Because so many families bring their kids back year after year, we’ve made some nice connections with a lot of parents. And we really enjoy that,” Drake said. “This summer, we get to reengage with them, at least in a virtual fashion.”

Here is the schedule of Nittany Cub Camps:

Health Careers Camp, Grades 9-12: June 21-25, 10 a.m. to noon

Cultivating Creativity for Young Authors Camp, Grades 5-8: June 28-July 2, 9 a.m. to noon

Scratch Gaming and Programming Camp, Ages 8-11: June 28-July 2, 9 to 10 a.m.

Teen Entrepreneur Challenge Camp, Grades 10-12: July 6-16 (Tuesday to Friday), 10 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m.

Creative Communication Camp, Grades 9-12: July 12-16, 10 a.m. to noon

Criminal Minds Camp, Grades 9-12:

Criminal Minds Section I: July 12-16, 10 a.m. to noon

            Criminal Minds Section II: July 26-30, 10 a.m. to noon

Wizards and Cauldrons Camp, Ages 10-13: July 19-23, 10 a.m. to noon

Arts Around the World Camp:

            Arts Around the World Section I, Ages: 10-13: July 19-23, 1 to 3 p.m.

Arts Around the World Section II, Ages 12-15: July 26-30, 1 to 3 p.m.

Titanic Tour Camp, Ages 8-12: July 26-30, 1 to 3 p.m.

Excavating Ancient Egypt Camp, Ages 8-12: Aug. 2-6, 1 to 3 p.m.

Admission-wise, camps range from $79 to $350. To register, or for an extensive description of each camp, visit: https://scranton.psu.edu/cubcamps. For further information, contact Durdan at 570-963-2509 or [email protected].

SAT Prep Courses

In addition, CBDCO will be offering virtual SAT exam prep courses for high school students this summer. The courses will be held on Zoom every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon beginning July 7 and concluding Aug. 18. Admission is $149.50 for each prep session (verbal and math), with materials included.

To register for the SAT courses, visit: https://scranton.psu.edu/SAT-prep. For additional information, call 570-963-2509 or email [email protected].