<i> Send announcements to The Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. Call Jean Card at 703-917-6437, with questions.

This free listing is reserved for activities and events that are open to the public at no or minimal cost. </i>

Artists and Scientists camp encourages children ages nine -12 to experience the natural wonders of Huntley Meadows Park from two perspectives. Activities include journal writing, sketching, observation, data collection and detailed investigations of plants and animals in the park. Phone or walk-in registration begins April 13, at 9 a.m. This five-day session costs $85 per child. Camp will be held at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria, from July 11-15, 9 a.m.-noon. Call 703-768-2525. The Friends of Huntley Meadows Park are proud sponsor of the camp. Visit the Web site at

For information about Fairfax County Public School summer programs, visit

* Enrichment Courses and Foreign Language Experience Camps (FLEX). Non-credit enrichment courses are offered at selected sites for students in grades seven-12, and foreign language courses will be offered to students in grades kindergarten-sixth. The courses vary in length and focus on a wide variety of topics. Students may select academic and skill strengthening classes and courses that focus on personal interests, such as foreign language, computers or art. Transportation is not provided.

* Institute for the Arts will be held at McLean High School from July 11-Aug. 4, from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Students in grades six-11 participate in programs in dance, music, theater arts and visual arts. Many courses require audition or portfolio review for proper placement of students. The Institute for the Arts booklet will be mailed to FCPS families, schools and public libraries. The booklet has been posted in a PDF format and contains relevant information and the application form. Registration ends on Friday, April 22.

* Tech Adventure Camp. Students enrolled in grades five-eight during the 2004-2005 school year are eligible for the Tech Adventure Camp program, which runs Monday, July 11-Friday, July 22, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., at Chantilly High School and Edison High School. Registration begins Monday, May 16. Students may arrange for their own transportation or use FCPS bus transportation at no additional cost. To receive FCPS bus transportation, the student must attend their middle school pyramid assigned area. The assigned area locations will be published in Encore 2005, the summer school booklet. Tuition is $300 for county residents and $400 for nonresidents of Fairfax County. Lunch and snacks are not provided. During this camp, students will explore the world of careers and technology as they rotate through the units of artistic expression, technology transfer and life matrix. Consult Encore 2005, the summer school booklet, for additional details. For more information on Tech Adventure Camp, visit or call 703-208-7789.

Fairfax County summer programs are available for students who will complete grades kindergarten-11 during the 2004-2005 school year. Summer programs include opportunities for students to strengthen their skills and knowledge required for the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests and for middle-school promotion benchmarks. Enrichment opportunities in all academic areas are available as well as extended day programs, camps and online courses. The summer school booklet, Encore 2005, will be mailed in March to families whose children attend Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).   The booklet contains information on summer school course offerings, locations, fees and registration. Encore 2005 will also be available at every Fairfax County public school, public library and other FCPS administrative offices. Visit

Three state councils of Trout Unlimited – Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia – and the National Capital Chapter (D.C.) are seeking applications from high school-aged students eager to learn about coldwater conservation and trout fishing at a week-long summer camp to be held at Graves Mountain Lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains from June 26 through July 1. Fee for the camp is $375 and limited scholarships are available. Only 20 campers will be selected. Applications and more information are available on line at

Starshine Theater at The Langley School Summer Studio presents "Hang-Gliding Through the Sky of Mind — The Life of Leonardo da Vinci." In this original stage production written for young actors, ages 9 through 16 years, students will enter the amazing world and mind of history's greatest visionary, Leonardo da Vinci. All participants will receive speaking roles as they become the characters who shaped Leonardo's quests for great inventions and great art. More characters will enter the stage as those who came after, looking back at the works and shrouding them in criticism and mystery. The play is written and directed by Patricia Budwig.

Students will also receive solo/lead opportunities in singing — live and recorded, action/dance choreography, battle sequences and assistant director roles. Combining set and costume design, coaching in stage movement, voice and acting techniques, and a compact disc soundtrack for each participating family, this intensive performance program promises to transport each student — and their audience — to the magical world of live theater.

Rehearsals, recording session and performances will take place at The Langley School in McLean from July 11-23. Contact Patricia Budwig, play director, at, or 703-790-9050 soon, as the cast is filling quickly.

The Rising Stars Summer Theatre Workshop. This fun-filled one week camp is divided into two programs, one for rising third grade-rising fifth grade students and one for rising sixth grade-rising ninth grade students. It offers the chance to learn basic acting, improvisation and production skills, culminating in a performance on the last day of camp. Both programs will be given at Herndon High School July 25-29 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost is $175 for either program. The directors are: John Whapham, Herndon High School theatre director and Scott Pafumi, Westfields High School theatre director. Visit

The Paladin Program at Chesterbrook Academy is now accepting registration for the Paladin Academic Summer Camp. This program is for students in need of educational intervention, enrichment, and/or retention of previously learned concepts. It is a highly structured program with a small student-to-teacher ratio. The camp will run from June 20 through August 12 and students can sign up for two-week increments. Contact Katie McGahan, Paladin program director, at 703-397-0555 or 703-404-0202 or e-mail

Youth ages 12 to 15 can explore the outdoors from Great Falls to the Bull Run River. Navigate a woodland compass course, bicycle along a stream valley trail and canoe the marshes of Lake Accotink. Science and history come alive through hiking, orienteering, wildlife observation and journal writing as we explore watersheds, people and geology. Camp will be conducted by Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale, July 18-22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $125 per person. Fee includes van transportation to excursion locations during four days of camp. Phone or walk in registration begins April 13 at 9 a.m. Call 703-941-1065.

Potomac Adventure Camp offers youngsters ages 12 to 15 the chance to explore the Potomac River. Campers can discover the mysteries of this naturally and historically unique waterway by rafting, hiking and biking at different locations. Discover wildlife through observation and learn outdoor skills to enhance your knowledge of the environment. This year’s camp will feature an overnight camping excursion in Maryland. Potomac Adventure Camp is offered by Riverbend Park in Great Falls, Va., from July 25-29, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Overnight camping will be Thursday, July 28. Costs include fee for outfitters, van transportation and camping fees. Five-day session is $300 per person. Phone in or walk in registration begins April 13 at 9 a.m. Call 703-759-9018.

At the five-day Junior Naturalist camp children, 9 to 11 years of age, can participate in a variety of outdoor activities designed to stimulate their interest in the natural world and breathe life into history. The camp is offered at three locations for $85 per child and one five-day session at Walney Visitor Center with an overnight for $95 per child. Phone or walk-in registration begins on Wednesday, April 13, at 9 a.m. Junior Naturalist camp will take place at

* Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale, July 11-15, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Call 703-941-1065.

* Hidden Pond Nature Center in Springfield, July 11-15, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Call 703-451-9588.

* Riverbend Park in Great Falls, July 18-22, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Call 703-759-9018.

* Walney Visitor Center in Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly, July 18-22, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Call 703-631-0013.

The Park Authority has also scheduled two camps that offer children opportunities for nighttime investigations. Hands-on exploration, hikes and activities will reveal the secrets of the night. At Riverbend Parks’ Night Prowlers campers, 7 to 10 years of age, will explore wildlife of the night such as insects, amphibians, bats and so much more. This five-day session will be held at Riverbend Park in Great Falls, from August 1-5, 5:30-8:30 p.m. for $85 per child. Call 703-759-9018.

During Hidden Pond’s Nocturnal Naturalists Camp children, 8 to 10 years old, will explore the park’s wetlands and forests to observe and identify critters who roam the park after dark. This five-day session will be held at Hidden Pond Nature Center in Springfield, from August 1-5, 7-10 p.m. for $85 per child. Call 703-451-9588. Phone or walk-in registration for both of these camps begins on Wednesday, April 13, at 9 a.m. Visit the Fairfax County Park Authority at

Pohick Ranger camp allows children ages 9-12 to be part of a summer version of Hidden Pond’s popular Pohick Rangers program. Participants explore this Springfield park’s wetlands and forests in search of all that lives there. This will be an active, hands-on program, with the emphasis on outdoor field study. Phone or walk-in registration begins April 13, at 9 a.m. A five-day session is $85 per child. Camp will be held at Hidden Pond Nature Center, from July 25-29, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Call 703-451-9588.