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Ask Slashdot: Tech-Related Summer Camps For Teenagers?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the planning-a-head dept.

Technology 177

First time accepted submitter jcreus writes "I am a teenager (aged 14, though turning 15 before summer), and I've recently been looking for summer camps in the USA. My interests include physics, mathematics (to a lesser extent) and computer science (I already know several programming languages). However, I haven't been able to find anything really exciting. The difficulties I've found include the fact that most are general-oriented, whereas I'm seeking something specific. Furthermore, some are USA-student-only (and I'm European), and most computer-science oriented camps seem to be for non-programmers. What are your experiences with such camps?"

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177 comments

Why USA? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624558)

Why would you want to come to this gestapo country? Stay in Europe. What are you going to want to do next summer, go to summer camp in North Korea?

Re:Why USA? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624614)

Forget the camp. Just let them get a summer job programming. That's what I did. But maybe that's harder to do than it was in 1981...

Re:Why USA? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624994)

I'll never forget my first programming job working for Fluent Technologies [fluenttech.com] . Nice people who were amazed how much of VB6 I already knew, and helped me fill out my range with that technology.

Re:Why USA? (4, Insightful)

dakohli (1442929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624638)

Why would you want to come to this gestapo country? Stay in Europe. What are you going to want to do next summer, go to summer camp in North Korea?

I think this kid would like to broaden his horizons. I don't think this would be a negative experience overall, as a youth I attended a summer camp located on the border between Canada and the US, besides North Americans, there were a number of other nationalities. It made for a more interesting experience.

I think this sort of thing should be encouraged, it not only will benefit him, but the other campers will benefit being exposed to his culture.

Re:Why USA? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624666)

Why would you want to come to this gestapo country? Stay in Europe.

Maybe he wants to defect from Communist Europe.

Re:Why USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625528)

Maybe he wants to defect from Communist Europe.

Erm, that doesn't even exist now. You're American, aren't you AC?

Re:Why USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625746)

You have never heard of Belarus, have you?

No more NSF... (2)

klubar (591384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624808)

It's really too bad that it no longer exists, but back when I was in high school (71-74), there was a great National Science Foundation program. The program invited science-oriented HS kids for 2-4 weeks (?) to programs on college campuses. It was like summer camp, but educational.

I went to a chemistry program at University of North Dakota and a electrical engineering one at University of Southern California. The programs were relatively inexpensive and there was scholarship money available to offset tuition and meals.

This was back in the days of the cold war and flush science spending. I'm sure a number of graduates of these programs went onward to great science & engineering achievements.

I'd bet that a number of older /. readers participated in these programs -- don't know when they were discontinued.

Re:Why USA? (4, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624810)

Why would you want to come to this gestapo country? Stay in Europe. What are you going to want to do next summer, go to summer camp in North Korea?

To learn about the USA, and make up his own mind. Then he can return to Europe, and be pleased with what he has, but see what should be improved.

(I visited the USA when I was 14, with my parents. We did a massive 8000km road trip. This is said so often by Europeans that it's a cliché: it was a great place to visit, but I don't want to live there.)

Re:Why USA? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624884)

>To learn about the USA, and make up his own mind. Then he can return to Europe,

I don't think they let people return. They just throw them in Guantanamo nowadays.

Re:Why USA? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625212)

Ask Dmitry Sklyrov about that. He barely made it out of here without going to prison for his programming activities.

Re:Why USA? (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624918)

Why would you want to come to this gestapo country? Stay in Europe.

Fascism is always about to descend upon the US, but somehow always lands in Europe...

Re:Why USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625006)

They do the trial run in Europe to make sure it works before they risk their own homes. In the event that fascism fails, at least they make out with a bundle on the business deals.

Real programmers don't go to camps (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624560)

There are just too many people in those places.

Space Camp! (2, Interesting)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624576)

space camp! run by NASA.

Re:Space Camp! (0)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624672)

Error, invalid ownership statement.

Space Camp is run by an Alabama group... they have a collection of space-related simulators and movie theaters and such... but NASA doesn't provide any help.

Re:Space Camp! (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624736)

Yeah I went to double check and attempted to correct my mistake in a second post.

Re:Space Camp! (4, Funny)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625998)

If you get really lucky Jinx will send you into orbit!

Re:Space Camp! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38626160)

There's the International Astronomical Youth Camp if space is your thing - www.iayc.org, variety of projects ranging from hardcore physics and, of course, programming to not so hardcore stuff. Speaking as a former participant it's a great 3 weeks and full of friendly people - people I will probably know for a very long time. Oh, and you end up knowing someone in just about every country in Europe, probably a few others too - people from the US, Australia, Paraguay, Nepal.

Ask me next year... (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624610)

Our eldest is going to one of the NASA Space camps [spacecamp.com] later this year. It's costing us a bit in airfares and suchlike, but she expects it will be worth it.

Re:Ask me next year... (2)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624876)

See the above post. NASA has nothing to do with Space Camp.

Re:Ask me next year... (2)

pbhj (607776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625446)

Well, the USSRC say "The USSRC, NASA's first visitor center, opened in 1970 and has served over 12 million visitors to date." and that's where Space Camp is held, in "NASA's first visitor center". Also in the film I watched on the Space Camp website attendees had NASA badges on their suits. Lastly the USSRC "houses NASA's Educator Resource Center" ...

So it seems they have something to do with it; but sure as anything they don't run it.

My daughter did a great course last year.. (4, Informative)

eaddict (148006) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624632)

You might want to look into something like [internaldrive.com] this or this [mtu.edu] .
My daughter took one out of this one [umich.edu] , specifically one on Physics [umich.edu] . She loved it and we plan to do another. My other daughter is looking forward to this one.

Re:My daughter did a great course last year.. (1)

goofy183 (451746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625146)

I was just going to point about Michigan Tech's Summar Youth Program: http://youthprograms.mtu.edu/ [mtu.edu]

It is a very well run educational summer camp at one of the better small engineering and sciences schools in the country. I did a summer of intro to CS classes while in high school and got a huge jump start for my college career. Also it is a lot of fun and a beautiful place to visit.

Re:My daughter did a great course last year.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625362)

NO! NO! NO! Summer camps are the perfect time to NOT do academic work.

If you are a parent, then send your child as far away from the city as possible. Let them learn about canoeing, hiking, fishing, and yes (especially for teenagers): let them learn about the birds and the bees.

Leave your laptops and cell phones at home. If you really want to expand your mind (or your children's mind), then make sure they learn how to play (video games excluded).

Your children may not get into Princeton, but they will learn how to NOT take schooling and social status too seriously, and hence they will (hopefully) NOT get into a position where they make 6-figure incomes. One thing I've noticed is that the higher a person's income is, the more out-of-touch with reality they are. So let's think less about math and technology (for summer camp!!) and more about Philosophy, suntan lotion, and condoms. Let kids be kids: not robots.

Re:My daughter did a great course last year.. (2)

eaddict (148006) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625562)

2 weeks didn't kill her. In fact, she made some international friends she plans to visits. And that wasn't the only thing she did. The family also did a HUGE trip around the State and National Parks in Utah. We mix both all the time.

Spend the money on monitors and a nice desk (-1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624658)

Programmers don't get together to work much anymore. Most open source products are done by teams that work from home and communicate online. Camps are about outdoors life that most programmers don't care about or even like. Spend the money on getting your kid a multi-monitor set and a desk big enough to hold it all. If they want to program the Microsoft way, get them MSDN. If they want to program with an open language, get a better Internet connection and let the downloading begin. Provide them some money to spend with local friends, and let them select an open source project that they're interested in.

Programmer training is way overpriced, it's much easier to learn by reading help documentation like php,net for PHP or MSDN for Microsoft tools. Don't waste the money, let them learn how to work from home.

Re:Spend the money on monitors and a nice desk (1)

gregrah (1605707) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624754)

Wow - you didn't even read the first line of TFS. This isn't someone looking for a camp for their kid.

I am a teenager (aged 14, though turning 15 before summer), and I've recently been looking for summer camps in the USA

Also, your advice is completely worthless since this student specifically mentions they are less interested in learning to program than they are in learning about math and physics.

P.S. Do you happen to work in my IT department? Your writing style feels oddly familiar for some reason...

Re:Spend the money on monitors and a nice desk (0)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624852)

I may seem familiar because I've been wring on off and on Slashdot since 2000. More time to post here when I'm unemployed, I'm around here less when I have a job to do.

For Ohio students (1)

awesie (961837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624664)

Not useful for the original poster, but Ohio high school students can apply for a two week camp at the Ohio Supercomputing Center (http://www.osc.edu/education/si/). I went a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Most students don't get an opportunity to do massively parallel programming across thousands of processors.

Re:For Ohio students (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624898)

Yeah, except OSC lost almost all its state funding, had a massive layoff in 2008, and is a hollow shell of its former self.

Nearby ACCAD has a summer camp [osu.edu] , but it's limited to girls only.

Shad Valley (4, Informative)

Fuzion (261632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624668)

If you're open to considering locations in Canada, then Shad Valley [www.shad.ca] is a great program that a lot of my friends have gone to. It's hosted by a university in Canada and is well suited for someone interested in tech. I'd recommend the University of Waterloo location as it probably provides the best exposure to the tech companies in Canada.

Look at the list from John Hopkins University (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624682)

In the mid-1990s, I went to a Civil Engineering "summer camp" as a 8th grader (about 14) at Michigan Technological University. It was mostly geared towards fun applications of things and not the math/calculation part of it. Unfortunately, as you've found out, many programs are going to be pretty lightweight.

However, John Hopkins University has put together a decent list of summer programs for people about your age. http://cty.jhu.edu/imagine/linka4.htm
Many of them don't require US citizenship because they aren't funded by USgovernment money. The Penn Summer Science Academy has a set for Experimental Physics which could be interesting.

My best advice would be to email the contact people and explain what you are looking for, focusing on what your experience is and your desired challenge level. Ask them if they think their program would be a good fit.

Re:Look at the list from John Hopkins University (3, Informative)

goofy183 (451746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625160)

As for the Michigan Technological University program here is more info: http://youthprograms.mtu.edu/ [mtu.edu]

I went there in early high school for some of the CS camps and came away with a lot of interest and a great head start for college.

Re:Look at the list from John Hopkins University (1)

sugarmotor (621907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625782)

Odd, you mean Johns Hopkins ?! http://www.jhu.edu/ [jhu.edu]

Re:Look at the list from John Hopkins University (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625962)

I did the Johns Hopkins CTY program and Franklin and Marshall college in the summers of 85 and 86 when I was 13 and 14 respectively. It was a really great experience. It let me skip over the AP calc sequence at my HS (which was truly dreadful as I learned while tutoring students taking it) and pick up the equivalent of freshman physics. Then as an HS freshman I was able to start at the local college (Hamilton College) at home in linear algebra and diff eq and a basic relativistic mechanics course. The outcome is that I'm a tenured prof of engineering at a top university and pretty happy with my rather privileged position in the world. My points are 1) the JHU CTY program rocks, and 2) the early teens present tipping points in the life of a bright kid. Take advantage and rocket ahead when the opportunity presents.

Band Camp! (-1, Offtopic)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624694)

This one time, at band camp...

University sponsored programs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624740)

A lot of universities either run or sponsor summer programs for high school student. this one http://www.summerscience.org/home/index.php [summerscience.org] sponsored by CalTech and MIT looks good, for instance.

Re:University sponsored programs (1)

jcreus (2547928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624800)

Thanks! I had looked at it before -- and certainly I'd love to join it. It has the added value of Python programming. However, it seems I'm not eligible this year (probably next year or the other).

CTY (3, Informative)

Knile (18599) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624766)

If you want to do just one course for three weeks, find out if you're eligible for CTY [jhu.edu] , which does do an international talent search [jhu.edu] , though you may be too late for Summer 2012

Re:CTY (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624912)

CTY's qualifier is an invite to take the SAT in the 8th grade... a score that is reported to you but hidden from colleges when you send scores later on in high school. It served as an excellent practice and I learned what I needed to learn about before I started high school. The Princeton Review books also serve as good info for that.

CTY(I) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624774)

Center for Talented Youth is a programme that runs camps at various universities in the US.
There is one in Dublin Ireland that might be an option for you.

Prioritize... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624790)

At your age it would be far more healthy, and a far better use of your time, to seek out an opportunity to get laid.

I'm only half joking here. You'll probably continue to enjoy your hobby, and perhaps turn it into a career, regardless of yet another nerd fest. You'll have plenty of opportunities to attend LAN parties, and other socially inept gatherings, later in life. By most definitions I suppose I'm a geek, given my professional and amateur interests; but I've never regretted the stupid, wonderful, awkward, outrageous things I did in my teens. If you insist on a structured Summer, at least choose something that takes you outside your narrow comfort zone. Fuck your interests - they won't bring a smile to your face in twenty years time.

Re:Prioritize... (2)

theNetImp (190602) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624860)

I actually kind of have to agree. You've stated you know a bunch of programming language already, which tells me that you really don't need "camp" to help you learn something that a book will. If you are being forced to choose a camp to go to by the paternal units, do something different.

Re:Prioritize... (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624956)

At your age it would be far more healthy, and a far better use of your time, to seek out an opportunity to get laid.

Going to America should be good then. It'll be "OMG I love your accent!", and he's automatically more interesting as he's from halfway (ok, ¼-way) round the world.

It sounds like a great idea -- the only "summer camps" I ever heard about in my country are religious, so I never went to one, but apart from the religion they sounded like great fun. The best bit will be meeting/socialising/playing/working with other people, so most of the reason for choosing the right kind of event is to meet the right kind of people.

I've no idea how long summer camps last, but presumably there'll be plenty of time for socialising with existing friends in the rest of the summer.

Tiger Woods Foundation? (1)

brendank310 (915634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624822)

As much as he's been marred for his personal mishaps, Tiger Woods has set up Learning Centers in LA, DC, and a couple of other locations that focus on teaching STEM type curriculum, while providing some physical activity to break up any academic tedium (exercise is good for the mind). I have no accounts of the quality, however it is an option to be explored. www.tigerwoodsfoundation.org

Don't look, but my penis... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624848)

is in yo momma's cunt.

Why not something non-tech for summer camp? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624850)

I might be completely off-base here but, at 14, It seems that you already spend more than fair share of your time on these "tech" pursuits (you already know a lot of programming languages and have interests in physics and math). I have been on that path before - pursuing purely tech/geek oriented tasks and activities. My suggestion is to go for something that's completely tangential to your personality, something out of your comfort zone - it'll expand your horizons and challenge you in a way that'll continue to benefit you throughout your life. I would highly recommend ballroom dancing (or salsa for that matter) - it's a highly social activity, you interact a lot with the members of opposite sex and you learn dancing too [trust me, it comes in handy when going out clubbing in college :D]. Other options include painting and learning a new musical instrument.

Re:Why not something non-tech for summer camp? (1)

insignia96 (2548104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625636)

Yes, you're completely off base. Even though I agree it's not good to get too involved in one specific hobby, summer camps are supposed to be something you really want to learn about for weeks. I'd say I can't think of very many things stupider than going to a summer camp on something you're not going to enjoy.

EPGY (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624900)

Stanford has their EPGY program..I did it last year and it was really good. They have a bunch of Math/Physics courses and some CS stuff. http://epgy.stanford.edu/summer/index.html

Re:EPGY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625088)

The one I did was taught by a Stanford prof (topology) and I learned more than I though I would. Other courses are taught by Stanford profs. too

Wolfram summer school (3, Interesting)

Paxinum (1204260) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624904)

I'd suggest Wolfram Summer school, http://www.wolframscience.com/summerschool/2012/ [wolframscience.com] It is math-oriented programming, in Mathematica. I have not gone there myself, but Mathematica is a quite nice language. However, Stephen Wolfram is sort of strange, being obsessed by cellular automatas and all that, but otherwise, my guess is that it is a nice school.

Sports (-1)

tbird81 (946205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624924)

I don't really know too much about summer camps. They're not such a big thing in my country, and I imagine them to be something like Meatballs [imdb.com] .

But at your age, as hard as it is, I wonder if you're better off at a normal camp with sports and activities. Now non-nerds are usually already developed at these things by the time the start highschool, so if you're not sporty it might feel hard. But you're still young enough that no-one will care if you're no good, and it's much easier to learn in your teens than in your 20s or 30s.

We need sports quite often in life. From the impromptu chucking a ball around, to saying "yes" when your company starts a soccer team, to general fitness and attractiveness. You don't need to become a jock, but I'm talking learning rules of sport, getting better at throwing, catching, running. If you're useless, I think you'll be surprised that most other kids (after initially teasing) will usually be quite keen to help you improve.

It's the one thing I wish I did more as a youngster. And, as the above poster implied, you're much less likely to be able to make out with a girl at the maths and physics camp.

I had a good suggestion but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38624980)

I was going to suggest Camp CAEN at University of Michigan, but I just found out they stopped! So sad.....

I used to go to tech camps (4, Informative)

MoronGames (632186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624988)

When I was younger, during the summers between junior high and high school, I used to go to iD tech camps [internaldrive.com] . I went to the one on the Stanford campus specifically. While there, I got to meet other kids interested in the same things as myself, and I got to go through some short, week long programming language crash courses. If I remember correctly, iD taught me Java, C++, and C#. They had other courses besides programming, such as video editting, and web page design. It was a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend it to others!

Re:I used to go to tech camps (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625068)

Wow. What a Summer to remember. Lost your virginity to a cute girl who took an inexplicable liking to your sorry ass. Raised hell with immature pranks that impressed the hell out of everyone else. The first dance you felt the real heat of a young woman smiling at you. The boys you had nothing in common with, but made great friends with anyway, because they were sharing your living space....

Nope. You learnt C++ and Java.

Re:I used to go to tech camps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625158)

"iD taught me Java, C++, and C#."

I thought you said this was a summer course? I've been coding in C++ for 15 years and I still don't know it.

Re:I used to go to tech camps (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625366)

I've been coding in C++ for 15 years and I still don't know it.

I don't think even Stroustrup completely understands C++

Re:I used to go to tech camps (1)

MoronGames (632186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38626184)

I did say crash courses. Obviously, a whole language can't be taught in a week or two, especially to 14 year olds. However, it's enough to get youngsters going and having fun using the languages.

A long time ago... (4, Insightful)

Brian Kendig (1959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625010)

In the summer of '87, just before I graduated high school, I was among a small group of students chosen to spend a week in a computer science summer camp run by Stuart Reges at Stanford. The lectures were all across the board, a smattering of a lot of stuff. We had a lab of Mac 512Ke computers (and a Mac Plus fileserver) on which we learned the basics of Lisp, and there was a networking lecture which posed the Two Generals' Problem, and a lecture on artificial intelligence gave us the Muddy Children Puzzle, and we got to learn Emacs on the school's VAX running VMS, and we got a glimpse of X windows running on a Sun workstation, and I remember a night in an auditorium where we got to see an Amiga use its 4096-color palette to display photorealistic images!

But the most important thing I learned that week - the thing that I've carried with me all the years since then - is that there are *other people like me*. I was a geek in an athletic high school. I was the kid who got beat up and picked on. I was told I had no future because I spent my free time disassembling Apple II games and figuring out how they worked instead of kicking a football. And I believed it - until the day I arrived at that Stanford camp and found other kids who did this sort of stuff, and built robots at home, and memorized pi to a hundred digits, and knew magic tricks, and had a whole bunch of other neat things in their heads which today seem stereotypically nerdy but, back then, the important thing is that none of them involved kicking a football, and these kids were *proud* of who they were and what they could do.

It was only a week. I could say that week changed my life, but it would be more accurate to say that, without it, I might not be here today.

Re:A long time ago... (1, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625238)

So you met kids who, just like the jocks who picked on you, were unreasonably proud of their own more-or-less meaningless skills. Like magic tricks and memorizing pi to 100 digits. Thus was your identification with nerd subculture cemented forever. Yeah; I'm not sure I view that as a positive thing. And I say this as someone who is not athletic, went to nerdy schools and works as a software developer.

Re:A long time ago... (2)

Brian Kendig (1959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625356)

Like a bully, you're apparently the kind of person who feels a need to pick at other people's self-confidence.

Re:A long time ago... (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625498)

Dunno, I thought it was pretty tame. There are folks who have nerdy interests and who pursue them because they enjoy them. Then there are the ones who memorize pi to 100 digits and wear capes. The former type may do quirky things if they happen to enjoy doing them. The latter do quirky things for the sake of being quirky because their identity is built around being the "quirky outsider". It's irritating.

Re:A long time ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625684)

I think he's right. You are the type of person that, as a "mature" adult, puts down the guys that work with their hands doing things like manufacturing... you know, the stuff that builds a strong middle class and made this country great. You are too smart for "those people", right? You are so much better? Sounds like you have as much to be ashamed of as he does, from what I can tell in a few posts.

Me, I did both. Lettered in several sports and frankenstiened a mac from broken school computers in 8th grade. I guess I am better than all of you.

Re:A long time ago... (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625382)

I was told I had no future because I spent my free time disassembling Apple II games and figuring out how they worked instead of kicking a football.

Was that just something the sports coach said, or is it an accurate reflection of what you were told in school in general? If the latter, then that's possibly the most fucked up thing I've ever heard.

I'm not American (never even been there) but I understand a lot of schools over there are very focussed around their (American-) Football teams and similar sports. I've nothing against sports being a part of school life, for those who enjoy that sort of thing. But they should never, *ever* be the primary focus of the institution.

(Then again, I understand that your universities also place heavy emphasis on sports teams. Do they give credit towards the final degree based on performance at sports (for non-sports or physical-related degrees)?)

I've only got your comments above to go by, but if- as you imply- your school placed more importance on this to the point that a geeky but smart academic-oriented kid was told he had "no future" because he wasn't interested in football... then WTF? With the exception of a very, *very* small proportion of the best players, even relative success at school level is unlikely to translate to a future career. (*) At any rate, that's as twisted a perversion of a school's intended purpose as I can imagine, and your school was educationally worthless and should have been burned to the ground.

(*) Hence, I guess, the American cliche of the School Football Team Captain who was popular in High School and scored the winning touchdown in a game that seemed important at the time. Yet twenty years later everyone else has moved on and he's never done anything else, reliving his "glory days" having sadly peaked back then?

HTINK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625062)

There is an organization in NYC called HTINK that offers programs through school districts and homeschool groups. If you contact them, info@htink.org, they can help you find summer programs and they may be organizing one this year.

www.htink.org

NMT (2)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625066)

New Mexico Tech has a set of summer camps. nmt.edu

They're all engineering/science/computer related. I'd chuck my kids off there, if I had them, without any reservations.

consider an internship instead? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625074)

When I was in high school, I was lucky to get a summer job at IBM doing internal Linux support in one of their software divisions. I learned a lot, enjoyed my work, and made some industry contacts. At the time, it was pretty sweet to make some money as well. So if you want something a little more intensive and specific than a general science camp, maybe an internship would be a good fit.

As I said, I got kind of lucky with this -- my high school CS teacher knew someone -- but if you just take some initiative and start emailing people, you might be surprised at the results.

Camp Fitch Computer Camp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625122)

Disclaimer, I learned to program from one of the founders(who was my high school math and programming teacher, and now teaches math at YSU) and I was a teacher there for a couple summers.

This is the country's 2nd oldest computer camp, is on 450+ acres on lake Erie, just outside of Erie PA, Is attached as an add on onto Camp Fitch, the Youngstown, Oh. YMCA's summer camp. (Don't let the YMCA part scare you away if you aren't of a Christ oriented religion, many non-Christians go to the camp,(and don't have issues with the way it is run,etc.)

They teach from age 8 to 16, everything from logo (for the 8 year olds) to HTML, PHP, C++, and it looks like C# now also. (used to teach Pascal, VB, etc, when they were relevant, so they keep up to date)

I honestly can say that even being a teacher, and never a camper, was one of the best things I've ever done. The campers love it. They get hours of outdoor play time, and learn some "cool" things with the computer(generally the older they are the more they get out of it, which makes sense, but ehh), and then get 1hr of time to play computer games(optional, they can also play in the evening sports event.)

The camp is co-ed, about 50/50 overall and the computer camp was about 2/3 boys& 1/3 girls when I was there.
Also repeat campers often become teachers in later years.
To this day, several of the best programmers I know, have come through this program.

They have their own website www.campcomputer.com (which seems to be down right now for maint. or something)
But here is the Facebook page with most of the relevant info.
http://www.facebook.com/CampFitchComputerCamp?sk=info

Re:Camp Fitch Computer Camp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625244)

I'm sorry, I gave the old URL. I found the right one, here it is. http://www.campfitchymca.org/

How about a no-tech camp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625130)

It sounds like your looking for a camp where you can do more of what you spend your time doing anyhow. I'd suggest something completely different. If you are planning to attend a camp here in the US, take advantage of everything this country has in the way of natural resources. Whether that is along one of the coasts or farther inland, hiking, fishing, camping (as in sleeping on the ground under a tree next to a fire that you built) would likely be far more of a challenge for you than anything tech related. You can get that anywhere. Do something different now, while you have the opportunity (and the energy). Just my advice. Good luck with whatever you decide.

2 Words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625194)

Space Camp.

hmm (4, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625206)

Yeah. Go hike around the Alps or something. As the years roll by, you'll look back on that sort of experience more fondly than a summer spent coding.

Summer Science Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625226)

It's not really "tech," but for physics,math, and computer science try the summer science program here [summerscience.org] .

It includes international students, is 50+ years old, affiliated with top colleges, and is alumni supported... So someone must think it's pretty good. It also offers financial aid.

Lots of state schools have programs like this... (1)

jpswensen (986851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625292)

you just have to find the right one (possibly not an easy process). I attended Engineering State at Utah State University and had a lot of fun. It helped me decide between computer engineering and electrical engineering. http://www.engineering.usu.edu/htm/engineering-news/e-state [usu.edu]

Summer Camp for Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists (2)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625308)

It's slightly off-topic, so pardon this, but many of the Slashdot readers are also atheists, freethinkers, etc.

There is an international network of summer camps called Camp Quest (www.CampQuest.org), and they teach about science, peer review, skepticism, evolution... plus all your traditional camp activities like hiking, arts and crafts, campfires, etc.

There's about a dozen locations in the US, including two in California, plus three overseas.

Re:Summer Camp for Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625778)

Beats me, how this is supposed to be better than some sort of "Jesus camp." Leave people to make up their own mind instead of creating an environment where people are basically tought to feel superior because they believe in some things while not believing in other things. Children (and most young adults) should be kept away from any sort of organized philosophy.

Petnica research center (1)

Dr_ZZB (2465120) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625354)

Hi - I can very honestly recommend Petnica research center in Serbia to all high school kids (from anywhere in the world). They specialize and focus on working with talented kids on advanced material. Teachers are typically University profs.postdocs and grad. students. I went there half dozen of times myself, and after that to Caltech. I work in Bay area now.

Math Camp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625380)

http://www.mathcamp.org/

If you are really interested in physics you'll need all the math you can get. It's a good program, my son went for a couple years and worked as a junior counselor for a couple years after that. Kids from all of the world go to it.

You have to take a quiz to get in.

http://www.mathcamp.org/prospectiveapplicants/quiz/index.php#html

Google is your friend...but try non-computer camps (2)

Andrew Lindh (137790) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625440)

I have nothing to do with this site, but it looks like a good place to look. http://www.camppage.com/ [camppage.com]

At that age I remember having a great time at summer computer camp in Vermont (2 weeks sleep away) in the early/mid 80's. I had the best time doing the non-computer things (like sailing on Lake Champlain), but I always did as many computer related activities/classes as I could. We got to use the newest Commodore CBM with Pascal! As an advanced class I also learned Fortran on the big IBM (System/34 I think). I don't use the old programming languages any more, but I'm still happy to take out a sail boat!

If you're going to visit the USA I think you should focus on non-computer activities. Like visiting the great national parks, such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and a hundred others that are unique to America. Spend time programming nearer to home. You can always play with a computer in a windowless closet anywhere!

any idea camp or summer college program (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625468)

Just getting out of your hometown, seeing different part of the world, learning what college is like is a great experience. And you may meet nice people too. I did this a couple of summers and found it very rewarding.

Operation Catapult (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625500)

You might look into 'Operation Catapult' http://www.rose-hulman.edu/catapult/program.htm for a future summer. It is for students between junior and senior year of high school, and they are selective about who attends (the session I was there had 100 students and there were only two sessions in the summer).

I had an absolute blast at it and it is what drove me to major in mechanical engineering.

Summer LAN of 69 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625538)

I got my first real PC,
so we had a LAN and we tried real hard,
we played games to my eyeballs bled
Beebop was a noob and quit,
TJ Wootie got a girlfriend,
those were the best times of my life,
it was the summer LAN of 69

Honest advice (2)

calzakk (1455889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625558)

My honest advice, is to get a fucking life. Seriously, get away from the computer this whole summer and meet new people, socialise, have some fun, do some normal teenage things, drink beer, get laid, go travelling, teach English, whatever. Just stay away from the fucking computer and other geeks and nerds. In twenty years' time, you'll either thank me for this, or regret the day you signed up for summer camp 2012.

Re:Honest advice (1)

insignia96 (2548104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625690)

I'll repeat the same thing I said in the above comment. What most people (clearly you're one of them) regard as "having a life" is socializing and going out with lots of friends. I have friends, don't get me wrong, but that's not why I have a life. I have a life because I'm happy with myself and I like what I do. Also, the best friends I have are almost always the nerdiest. Most nerds are fairly socially akward and they treasure the few good friends they have rather then most people who'd rather hang out with 10,000 d-bags who they barely know and don't really like. There's nothing wrong with exploring an interest in computers. I give the kid credit, he already knows a lot for a 14 yr old. If he's good at coding and likes doing it, nobody should be telling him he needs to get a life.

Wrong type of camp. (3, Funny)

billybob_jcv (967047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625618)

When I was 14, the only kind of camp I was interested in was one with hot girls. That isn't going to be a tech camp...

iD Tech Camps (2)

insignia96 (2548104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625728)

I attended the iD tech camp at the University of Minnesota when I was like 10 or 11. It was one of the funnest camps I've ever been to and really sparked my interest in computers and science. I'd recommend them because the iD program is nationwide and all their camps are really fun.

ProjectFUN (1)

Agent Feyd (2453092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625730)

If you have an interest in game development, ProjectFUN at DigiPen, maybe?

https://projectfun.digipen.edu/

Operation Catapult (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38625852)

For Juniors (about to be Seniors) Rose-Hulman has a wonderful 3 week summer program called Operation Catapult.

http://www.rose-hulman.edu/catapult/

I did this program had a blast and now attend the school.

One neat camp (1)

RedShoeRider (658314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625896)

Camp Watonka.
http://www.watonka.com/cgi-local/wpage [watonka.com]

I am making the assumption that you're male (which I realize may be incorrect); the camp is boys-only. It's a neat place with a very particular subculture. I spent 4 summers there when I was a little younger;. there were the best summers of my teenage life. They are very welcoming of teens from other countries (my last year there we had a guy, Eisa, straight off the plane from Japan. He spoke little English. We spoke zero Japanese. We made it work because that's the kind of kids that are there). It's a family run operation; the Wackers (no jokes; that really is the family name!) are damned nice people. The food is pretty good by camp standards; the instructors and counselors are generally excellent.

Do give it a look. It might be just the mix of things you're looking for.

I enjoyed the Hillsdale Science Camp (1)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625916)

When I was your age I was in a similar boat. I went to the Hillsdale Science Camp [hillsdale.edu] for two or three summers -- I loved it, and can speak very highly for it. Definitely worth checking out!

1980 calling (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38625922)

This is the 21st century. "Computer camp" means getting involved in an open source project from the comfort of your basement.

If you want to come to summer camp in the U.S., by all means do it. You'll have a blast! But if you find aspiring young programmers in camp, it'll be sheer coincidence. Camp isn't where young programmers go to aspire.

Game Development Camp (1)

AoOs (1336153) | more than 2 years ago | (#38626054)

http://game.unf.dk/index-en.php?language=en [game.unf.dk]

This camp is held every year. Did it 5 years ago - not too shabby.

The premise; create a game from scratch in 3 days, in teams of 5. Really fun.

Internship (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38626070)

Seriously. Work for an ISV (Independent Software Vendor) this summer.

Better yet, if you're really adventurous (since you're going to be 15), get an internship at CRS4 - a really neat place in Sardinia (Sardegna) about 25 miles from Cagliari. Sardegna is an incredibly beautiful place (I lived there for a few years, but up north in Sassari.)

http://www.crs4.it/ [crs4.it]

There are probably exchange parents in the area you could stay with.

Rose Hulman has a summer program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38626082)

It's called Operation Catapult. You can choose what to specialize in for your project.
http://www.rose-hulman.edu/catapult/program.htm

College class? (1)

vinn (4370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38626178)

In the US we have a concept called "community colleges". They're often more community oriented than a large university and offer many two-year degree programs. Anyway, community college classes can be easier than university classes. I'm not sure if there's something like that in your country, but how about enrolling in a college class in the summer? Most summer semesters are much shorter. You'll probably find the structure of the classes much more appealing than the school you're in right now. You won't find others your age in the classes, but perhaps that's not important to you. I wouldn't be intimidated by being in a college class - you likely have more experience than a lot of others in there.

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