Here's to another successful Summer Academy session! For the second year in a row, youth from all over the country came to experience summer camp at the Tiger Woods Learning Center's state-of-the-art educational facility in Anaheim, Calif. A total of 117 campers representing 17 states attended, including youth from Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas and North Carolina. Summer Academy 2012 served kids from military families as well as students from Washington, D.C., and Florida Learning Center campuses.
Once again, the Tiger Woods Learning Center provided scholarships to military kids to attend camp at no cost. Military members make many sacrifices, and Summer Academy was a great way for military children to slow down their busy lives, to have fun and to just be kids.
From July 15-20, Summer Academy campers attended career-oriented classes, learned to play golf and spent their evenings zip-lining, swimming, shooting archery and hiking at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center, where they bunked. Students spent their days at the Tiger Woods Learning Center, exploring their interests through testing and racing robotic cars, designing their own video games, learning about marine biology and flying rockets out on the golf course. Summer Academy students also experienced hands-on dissections of animals like snakes, pigs and starfish. Down the hall, aspiring engineers built speedy mousetrap cars and their own wind turbines to understand and harness the power of energy.
Outside the building, Golf Academy proceeded in full swing. Experienced golf instructors taught young golfers about the game through personal instruction and career development. Students were out there not only to play golf, but also to learn about the golf industry, which offers a wide variety of careers. In addition, Golf Academy students also learned how to make their own golf clubs, which they were able to take home.
Disneyland always creates a buzz at Summer Academy. The highly anticipated outing had campers talking days ahead. Campers attended Disneyland workshops such as Energy and Waves and the funny "It's Tough To Be a Bug!" 3D show to learn about the physics of roller coasters and the effects of sound waves. Afterwards, kids got to be kids by enjoying all the wonders of Disneyland. Space Mountain is always a favorite, and Grizzly River Run offered a cool haven from the sizzling summer heat.
After a week of learning and fun, students celebrated their time at Summer Academy on their final day. They made their family and friends proud, working hard to showcase their week's work. Parents got to tour the Learning Center's classrooms, seeing firsthand what their kids had been learning and creating all week.
Camp counselors made s'mores, sang songs, told jokes and performed skits by the blazing fire on the final night of Summer Academy. Many students bonded during the week. Many didn't want to leave. San Diego resident Victoria expressed sadness, saying, "I don't want camp to be over." But then she smiled and realized, "At least I get to come back for two more years!"
With kids learning, connecting and having fun, Summer Academy was a huge success. Thank you to all the incredible sponsors who made this unforgettable week possible for these deserving children.