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Burr Oak in Ladue Is Full of Fun

The summer camp at John Burroughs School focuses on recreational activities for kids.

The Burr Oak Camp at is celebrating its 60th year of providing fun summer outdoor and indoor activities for kids.

The day camp is open to boys and girls from preschool age through sixth grade. The preschool and kindergarten campers are referred to as junior campers, and they also spend part of their day at .

First through fifth grade kids are senior campers, who spend their whole day at Burroughs. Sixth graders serve as counselors-in-training, spending one period of the day with a group of junior campers.

High school and college students fill in the roles of counselors, with a ratio of about four counselors to every 15 campers, according to Burr Oak Director Skippy Keefer. Teachers from across the St. Louis area serve as camp instructors.

For the campers, the day (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) is broken down into well-organized periods that include arts and crafts, music and swimming. One of the unique aspects of Burr Oak is that each camper has two swim periods throughout his or her day.

"No other camp has the kids swim twice," Keefer said.

At the indoor pool, campers are given lessons based on age and ability. At the outdoor pool, they have a free swim where they can play with other kids and counselors. Safety is of the utmost importance to Burr Oak: for every three swimmers, there is one lifeguard.

In the music period, they learn the "Burr Oak Song," which two groups of campers were eager to share (see video).

Fourth, fifth and sixth graders also take three of the electives offered, which include archery, showtime (dance), tennis and woodworking. Dan Barton, who is an industrial technology teacher at Burroughs during the school year, teaches several Burr Oak electives, including woodworking and video editing.

"This is summer camp, not summer school," Barton said while showing off the woodworking projects campers have been creating this summer. "The kids work hard all year long; the idea here is to have fun."

The camp also has extended sessions in the morning and afternoon to align with parents' busy schedules.

If you or your kids are interested in becoming a part of the Burr Oak family, Keefer said there are limited spots available for the third and final session of this year's camp, which runs from July 5 through July 15. For more information, call 314-993-4045, extension 249.

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