School’s Nearly Out, Summer Camp Nearly Open


School is just about out for the year, which means it’s time to figure out ways to keep Junior and Missy busy for the summer. You know, idle hands … .

Might I suggest the Shasta County Office of Education’s vast array of summer camps at Whiskeytown Environmental School, Schreder Planetarium, Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Lassen Volcanic National Park? These camps give hundreds of kids an alternative to endless video games and pestering mom for a ride to the mall.

The Whiskeytown Environmental School (WES, also known as the NEED Camp) marked its 40th anniversary in April, so teachers working at that glorious location along Clear Creek in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area must be doing something right.

The 2011 summer camp menu at WES has four different offerings with six sessions.

• The Outdoor Adventures camp is scheduled for June 6 through 10, and June 27 through July 1. This is usually the most popular camp (the session starting June 27 already has a waiting list) and features summer camp mainstays such as swimming, hiking, arts and crafts, and fishing.

• Earth Skills camp is scheduled June 20 through 24. This is similar to the Outdoor Adventures camp, but with the addition of wilderness skills and native art. Kids learn how to build a shelter, for example.

• Theater Arts/Outdoor Adventure camp is set for July 18 through 22. New instructor Stephen Kline, who has acted and directed in Redding and Southern California for years, will teach basic theater skills, improvisation, mask making and more, all in an outdoor setting. This camp will also include geocaching and a hike to Whiskeytown Falls, both for the first time.

• Lassen Volcanic National Park backpacking trips are set for July 11 through 15, and July 25 through 29. Now in their third year, these five-day/four-night treks are for 14- through 18-year-olds. Loaner equipment is available. Although the trips are limited to eight campers at a time, space is available on both outings, according to Phyllis Rollins, an assistant at WES.

Schreder Planetarium and Turtle Bay will once again host science camps this summer. The two-part iSEE (innovations in science, engineering and environments) camp for third- through fifth-graders runs June 6 through 10, and 13 through 17. The iSEE camp for sixth- through eighth-graders is scheduled for June 20 through 24, and June 27 through July 1. These day camps are based at Turtle Bay but include daily trips to Shasta College labs and elsewhere.

An avatar adventures camp is set for July 6 through 8. A five-day sci-tech camp follows on the week of July 11. These camps are for sixth- through 10th-graders and are based at the Planetarium, at Magnolia Avenue and Placer Street.

Scholarships are available to defray some of the cost of the science camps, but scholarship applications require a teacher’s recommendation and are due by June 3.

You may learn more about the Whiskeytown summer camps and register at the WES website.  Details and online registration for the science camps are available here.

Today’s A La Carte menu:

• Dip your chipChevys on Hilltop Road in Redding is donating 25 percent of proceeds from dinner sales on Thursday, June 2, to the Children Too program of the Shasta Women’s Refuge. You’ll need to show a coupon to ensure part of your tab goes to the domestic violence organization. Coupons should be available at the restaurant, or you may print one from the Shasta Women’s Refuge website.

• Taking charge of retirement … Former Redding School District superintendent, principal and teacher Bill Kipp recently ran unopposed for the position of president-elect of the California Retired Teachers Association. He is scheduled to begin a two-year term on January 1. In addition, former Redding area teacher Ken Hewitt was elected treasurer of the statewide organization. He has served as chair of the association’s legislative committee.

• Celebrate at a work party … You can mark National Trails Day on Saturday, June 4, by volunteering  to help realign a section of the Clear Creek Canal Trail. The workday aims to minimize erosion and protect Orofino Creek and runs from 8 a.m. to noon. To sign up and get more information on the Whiskeytown National Recreation Project, call Wayne Pero at (530) 242-3423.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and could sure use a summer vacation. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.