What 7-year-old spends their summer thinking about their education? The ones who participate in Winona State University summer camps do.

From engineering and medical sciences to basketball and theatre, WSU hosts a variety of summer camps for young students to encourage and engage them in learning and activities during the summer months.

Registration is now open for most summer camps, including athletics camps, and can be found at http://www.winona.edu/conferencing/summercamps.asp. Registration will continue through the month of April.

According to conferencing assistant for Camp and Conference Services Blandine Berthelot, the camps create a connection with WSU for the students.

“Camps show students that a university campus is a welcoming environment,” Berthelot said. “It shows them that learning also happens outside of the classroom and in the summer time, and there are many ways to learn.”

According to Assistant Athletic Director Chris Kautza, WSU’s athletics camps open the door to aspiring athletes and teach them the skills necessary to continue their athleticism. This year young students have the opportunity to choose from football, soccer, basketball, cross country and volleyball.

“Our athletics camps are a great way to learn the skills of each sport while having a lot of fun with other kids. These are a great way to meet new people, and many times campers are coming from many areas of the region and country,” Kautza said. “The exposure to top quality coaching, and the ability to interact with current Warriors student-athletes is a wonderful opportunity.”

Some of WSU’s camps have received grants and sponsorships from statewide organizations, such as Scrubs Camp and Camp Explore, which are offered in collaboration with the WSU Center of Excellence, HealthForce Minnesota.

Other camps connect students with industry leaders and even their very own family, such as Grandparents University®, where grandparents and grandchildren stay on WSU’s campus and “attend college” together.

Sometimes camps provide an extra learning opportunity for some of students’ favorite hobbies, such as the Summer Jazz Workshop and Lego Mindstorms. And other camps create experiences and opportunities that students may not have realized they could ever have, such as WSU’s HOPE Academy that serves underrepresented youth.

This year, WSU’s College for Kids will celebrate its 30th anniversary of continuing young student education through the summer. College for Kids offers courses in math, science, technology, language arts, physical education, nutrition, hobbies and more for children.

But all of WSU’s camps do one thing: connect students to their education and Winona.

“We get Winona kids to discover new things to love about their city, and we attract campers from outside Winona,” Berthelot said. “It’s our chance to make a good first impression and show them what our university and our city have to offer.”

For the athletic camps, it’s another way to introduce future warriors to the WSU campus.

“Anytime we can get people to our beautiful city and campus is a great thing. The opportunity to showcase our athletic facilities and personnel shines a great light on our institution,” Kautza said. “We have hundreds of campers and their families visit the Winona community each year for these camps, and they undoubtedly leave here with a great experience and an appreciation for the people of the city and the beauty surrounding Winona.”

For more information on summer camps or to register, visit the summer camps website at http://www.winona.edu/conferencing/summercamps.asp.