Around Mason: Summer Camps Takeover


Summer goes by fast—whether you’re a kid, or a kid at heart. The K-12 students who attended camps and youth programs at Mason this year filled those fleeting summer days with memories. With many camp options—including music, arts, recreation, sports, science, and space, just to name a few—these kids got to experience life in the Mason Nation at an early age. And we couldn’t be happier to host them. Here are some snapshots from their summer to remember. 

CONS 100: Introduction to Field Conservation, Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation

Introduction to Field Conservation
Photo by Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation 

The Introduction to Field Conservation Ecology program at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC) offers high schoolers hands-on experience in research field methods, with an emphasis on developing observational skills. Participants also earn college credit. 

Many decades ago, the land that now makes up the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute functioned as a U.S. Army remount—a space used to provide exercise to horses. Racetrack Hill now serves as the site for many SMSC field activities, as well as recreation. During the first night of the program, high school students got to take in fantastic views, knowing that they would be returning many times in the coming days for hands-on conservation activities. See more photos.

Interstellar Dreams Space Center, College of Science 

Interstellar Dreams Space Camp
 Photo provided

At the Interstellar Dreams Space Center at Mason's Fairfax Campus, middle schoolers took on roles as "mission specialists" to plan a lunar space station. The mission specialists made their own websites, learned to program a micro-controller to control electronics hardware and blink morse code with a light, learned about space, physics, astronomy, and more.  

Campers also checked out various telescopes at the Mason Observatory—including the second largest on-campus optical telescope on the East Coast. The week culminated with a "press conference" attended by VIPs and families, where campers presented their lunar space station design.

Conflict Resolution Youth Summit, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution 

Conflict Resolution Youth Summit
Photo by Ayman Rashid/Office of University Branding

The Conflict Resolution Youth Summit, hosted by the Carter School, explores some of today's toughest problems through the lens of peace and conflict resolution. Through simulations, workshops and facilitated discussions, high schoolers delved into important conflicts and practiced the processes of promoting peace. Participants came away with new knowledge about global conflicts, social justice, peacebuilding, and collaborative leadership. 

Mason Summer Band Camp, Mason Community Arts Academy 

Mason Summer Band Camp
Photo provided

This summer, Mason Community Arts Academy (MCAA) kicked off the first-ever Mason Summer Band Camp. More than 100 students participated in the program led by faculty from the Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music and the Green Machine.

Gold Star Volleyball Camp 

Gold Star Volleyball Camp
Photo provided

George Mason Women’s Volleyball Head Coach Megan Shifflett Bachmann and other Mason volleyball staff hosted Gold Star Volleyball Camp on the Fairfax Campus. The camp emphasized the development of players of all levels to become more skilled and competitive athletes.

WGMU Podcasting and Radio Camp, WGMU  

WGMU Podcasting and Radio Camp
Photo provided

WGMU’S Summer Podcast and Radio Camp provided campers with training in a professional radio environment. Students had a chance to produce podcasts and be deejays, playing music over the WGMU radio station. Campers also learned from broadcast professionals how to write, edit, and produce podcasts, live DJ shows, commercials, promos, and public service announcements.

Tony Skinn Basketball Camps 

Tony Skinn Basketball Camp
Photo provided

Mason Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tony Skinn hosted two weeks of basketball camps at the Fairfax Campus. Boys and girls ages 7–14 learned about the game from Skinn, who was a two-time all-conference guard with the Patriots from 2003-06 and competed in the Final Four with the Patriots in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. 

Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program, College of Science 

Photo by ASSIP Intern Team

The nationally known Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program (ASSIP) provides transformative research opportunities for high school and undergraduate students. Selected participants work one-on-one with faculty researchers at George Mason University and collaborating institutions using state-of-the-art technology across many disciplines. This summer’s ASSIP program welcomed a record 266 students, including 195 who participated in person. The program is open to high school students and Mason undergraduates. 

Washington Journalism and Media Conference

Washington Journalism and Media Conference
Photo by Rafael Suanes/Washington Journalism and Media Conference

The Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WJMC) is an interactive, youth leadership program hosted on Fairfax Campus that provides highly engaged, high-performing high school students with a unique experience exploring careers in the areas of journalism, media, and related fields. Students experience an integrated and forward-thinking approach to  journalism and media while acquiring valuable “in-the-trenches” knowledge through hands-on learning with industry leaders, award-winning journalists, international media outlets, and Washington insiders.