by Carolyn Fox
If your child was ever envious of the subjects Harry Potter studied at Hogwarts — Care of Magical Creatures, Transfiguration, Defense Against the Dark Arts — he or she will likely find the course descriptions in the Talent Development Institute’s brochure equally compelling. Last year’s sessions included such riveting topics as computer-game design, rocketry and Dr. Seuss.
Sponsored by the Green Mountain Center for Gifted Education, this weeklong program — held on the Johnson State College campus — sits at the meeting point of academia and summer camp. The best of both worlds, the coursework challenges and inspires gifted children while also nurturing their love of learning. Hour-and-a-half-long classes, called “strands,” range in subject from dance to digital photography, and beyond.
“The children are honored for wanting to learn,” explains founder Carol Story. “They find other children that are like themselves ... For many of them, it’s the first time they’ve had a true peer or a true friend.”
When class lets out, kids can enjoy more traditional camp activities, including outdoor exploration and swimming in the campus pool. They have the option of staying overnight in the college dorms or commuting to the programs daily.
Now in its 16th year, the Talent Development Institute is open to students entering grades 4 through 9. It takes place from June 23-29. Visit tdivermont.com for more information on how to apply.