DFW Area Summer Camps Offer Coding and More


DeSoto ISD G.R.E.A.T Program

For students in the fifth and sixth grades in the DeSoto School District, a G.R.E.A.T summer awaits.

The DISD, working with the DeSoto and Glenn Heights Police Departments is once again offering the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T) June 1-24. Sessions are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

The program will include:

*Conflict resolution.

*Goal setting.


*Field trips.

*Guest speakers.

The free program is an opportunity for students to explore, practice, and learn about alternatives to gang involvement, to strengthen their relationship with law enforcement, and to participate in structured activities during their summer break.

DHS School Resource Officer Torrance Hopkins said the program gives students an opportunity to interact with police officers and see them in a different light.

“They get to see that police officers are people just like them that smile, laugh and play.” Hopkins said. “Students get to see that police officers care about them, we teach life skills like anger management, conflict resolution, teamwork, communication and more, which gives them an education outside of the normal school teachings.”

All sessions and activities will be led by the DeSoto and Glenn Heights Police Department School Resource Officers.

Guest speakers will include representatives from the fire department, police department tactical team, drone operators and more.

Applications are available at this link.

Students will be responsible for covering costs associated with field trips.

Contact Hopkins with questions such as location, etc. at torrance.hopkins@desotoisd.org or call 972-230-0726, ext. 2976.

Please note, availability in this program and the others listed in this article are limited. Check with each program contact for openings.


Midlothian Junior Police Academy

Also, this summer, the Midlothian Police Department School Resource Officers will be hosting a Junior Police Academy (JPA). The free camp is designed to strengthen the connection between law enforcement and local youth, giving them a chance to see what it’s like to become a cadet police officer over their summer vacation.

The academy, for students ages 8-13, is modeled after the police academies that adults attend to become sworn peace officers. Junior Cadets will be introduced to physical training such as competing in an obstacle course, self-defense tactics, hand-cuffing, and marching. Cadets also get a first-hand look inside equipment such as Patrol and SWAT vehicles, and a fire truck.

At the end of the academy, students will participate in a graduation ceremony that acknowledges their endurance and hard work.

Dates: June 13-16 and July 11-14 for ages 8-10, June 20-23 and July 18-21 for ages 11-13.

Complete the application at this link.


Other notable summer programs

Cedar Hill ISD

CHISD Youth Summit flyer

Youth Summit with Cedar Hill ISD Police and Cedar Hill Police Department.

Youth Summit is a free summertime event for kids ages 11-18. Participants must live in Cedar Hill or attend school in Cedar Hill. Youth Summit is designed to be a positive Youth/Police engagement opportunity. During the three-day event, participants will engage directly with officers and volunteers during a number of interactive sessions including:

  • Self Defense Class
  • Police K9 Demonstration
  • Crime Scene Processing
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • The DWI Experience
  • S.W.A.T. Field Day
  • Interacting with Police
  • “Mock” Trail by our Judge Petty

In addition to these sessions, participants will receive a Youth Summit t-shirt, a bag of goodies, and many positive experiences with those who serve and protect them on a daily basis.

Lunch is provided each day.

DeSoto ISD

NIA (Nurture, inspire and affirm)

Contact: Jareese Johnson at jereese.johnson@desotoisd.org or visit www.niakids.org.

​Kids Theatre

Seven weeks of dance, drama and vocal training that culminates with a professional theatrical performance for students in grades 9-10.

Dates: June 13 – July 29 ( Monday – Friday)

Times: 8:30 am-4:30 pm (Parents must provide transportation and provide a lunch for student daily)

Cost $925 (installment payments available). Scholarships available.


Summer Esports Boot Camp

A one-week summer camp designed to educate and help students discover careers within the esports industry. This summer camp is delivered virtually and live from the district’s state-of-the-art esports facility. For ninth and 10th grades.

Dates: June 13-July 17

Time: 8:30 am-4:30 pm (Parents must provide transportation and provide a lunch for student daily)


Midlothian ISD Summer Camps

Camp Invention (other area districts may also offer Camp Invention)

This camp, for grades K-6, features hands-on activities designed to launch their imagination and get their confidence soaring as they explore STEM fun from the oceans to outer space. Dates and times are June 20-24 from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Activities include:

*Campers create a habitat for their own aquatic animal — complete with a symbiotic friend — and prototype the next great aquatic innovation to lure in and hook investors at the fish market.

*Inspired by real space exploration, children construct a Spacepack, engineer an Astro-Arm device, complete gravity-defying cooking challenges, mine asteroids and observe erupting ice volcanoes.

*Students will make exciting connections between science and art as campers build their own robotic artist to make spin art and discover how inventions have changed the way people create.

*Children will experiment with the fun of physics and engineering when they build and test their own mega marble arcade, then take on collaborative challenges to level up their design thinking.

Register at INVENT.ORG/CAMP or call 800-968-4332. Cost is $245 with a $30 discount for two siblings using code SIBLOVE30, or a $40 discount for three or more siblings with CODE SIBLOVE40.

Camp Directors: Kimberly Moss, kim_moss@misd.gs, and Casey Nelson, casey_nelson@misd.gs.


Red Oak ISD Summer Camps

Red Oak READS combines reading and bingo for students in the district this summer.

The goal is to encourage students to read throughout the summer, set their own goals, participate in scavenger hunts, and qualify for cool prizes.

Students can sign-up online and download their bingo board. Download and color Flat Herkimer (the Hawk Mascot) to take around to photo locations.

“Our students thrive with activities and a little fun competition,” said ROISD Superintendent Brenda Sanford, noting the program can be fun for the whole family. “We encourage our community to get involved and provide reading locations for students at businesses and at home.”

Students can mark off bingo squares for reading while on vacation, under the stars, or near water. They can also read poetry or a comic book, read to their pet, or take a selfie at the library.

For more information and to sign up, visit the ROISD website at https://www.redoakisd.org/roreads.


Grand Prairie ISD Summer Camps

Virtual Swift Coding Camp

This virtual camp will help students learn the Swift coding landing using their GPISD issued iPad. Camps will be open to 4th-12th grade. Campers who are returning from a previous year will breakout into more advanced content. With games, activites, small group lessons and guest coding experts, students will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of a wide variety of coding concepts.

Dates: July 12-14

Apply at this link.

Students must use their district-issued iPad to participate.


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Rick Mauch
Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters