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The annual “Stand Up for Autism” fundraiser for Arts ‘N Autism is set for this Thursday, April 16, at the Bama Theatre. Arts ‘N Autism is a Tuscaloosa after-school program and summer camp for children with autism spectrum disorder, and “Stand Up” is one of the group’s largest yearly fundraisers.

As a local organization, Arts 'n Autism provides a support system for children, adolescents and young adults in the Tuscaloosa community with autism spectrum disorder, and their families. Program director Voni Wyatt says fundraisers like this one allow the organization to provide financial support as well.

“We have never turned away a child, who qualifies for our program, due to inability to pay. Thursday's event will be filled with fun and laughter but most importantly will provide an opportunity for Arts 'n Autism to share about what we do, why it is so important and how you can help.”

Comedians Tim Statum and Deno Posey will perform at “Stand Up for Autism,” along with local comedian Brad Fisher and Max Karrh, who will emcee. Statum has a southern style humor and incorporates real life stories of growing up in the country with classic stand-up comedy. Posey brings his own unique brand of humor that is hilariously relevant and reverent. He points out the funny side of everyday life that we all experience, but seldom talk about. Fisher and Karrh are members of the Tuscaloosa Comedy Group and have been entertaining Tuscaloosa audiences for years.

The doors open at 6:00 p.m. with food and a cash bar. There will be a silent auction and raffle along with entertainment by the band Sweet Kick. The Comedy Show will start at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are available online at www.artsnautism.org and at Tuscaloosa Flower Shoppe, Hudson Poole Fine Jewelers, Downtown Gallery and Confetti Interiors. For more information call (205) 247-4990.

This is National Library Week, and as part of the ongoing celebration, the Tuscaloosa Public Library is sponsoring a unique, free event on Wednesday at Southern Ale House. The “Watermelon Wine and the Poetry of Southern Music” program, which starts at 6 p.m. on April 15, features a mix of music, poetry and stories – three things that all Southerners no doubt appreciate.

Vince Bellofatto with the Tuscaloosa Public Library says this particular event is a great way to highlight libraries in the community.

“One of the goals of National Library Week is for exposure to get people to understand that libraries aren’t just books. That’s one of the reasons why we put this program together.”

What can attendees expect? Watermelon Wine and the Poetry of Southern Music is a concert reading featuring Alabama poet/author Jennifer Horne, Award-winning Nashville songwriter Anne E. DeChant and Award-winning Alabama author Frye Gaillard. The performance will explore the history of southern music and its influence on literature. Gaillard and Horne will present readings of their works, while Anne E. will perform her original songs reflecting the insight of the writings.

This free event is also sponsored by the Friends of the Library as part of the Kate Webb Ragsdale Author Series.

Summer camp: the memories! Every child should experience summer camp. We all remember the uncertainty that initially hit us as our parents drove away, leaving us for what they assumed would be a rite of passage, a part of growing up. Those moments of anxiety melted away quickly, as we immersed ourselves fully into the summer camps environment. At pickup, we didn’t want to leave what would perhaps become one of the most incredible experiences of our lives! These days, summer camps are as varied as the children who attend them. There really is something for everyone.

Listed are a number of great options, from local Tuscaloosa camps to regional camps and even some summer camps out of state that Tuscaloosa-area kids regularly attend.


Local Specialty Day Camps:


Academy of Ballet and Jazz: Open all summer. Instructor Susu Hale Prout. Ages 18 month to adult, Mommy and Me, Preschool, and intensives. For more information, call (205) 752-5124 or visitwww.danceabj.com.

The Dance Centre: One-week workshops beginning June 2. Little Princess Camp, ages 3 to 5. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., June 15-19; Camp Radio Disney, ages 6-9. Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., June 22-26; Frozen, ages 3-5. Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., July 13-17; Summer Intensive Workshop, ages 6 and up. Saturday - Wednesday, June 6-10. For more information, call (205) 752-5354 or visit www.thedancecentre.net.

MJ’s Academy of Dance: Mary Jo Thompson, Summer Session: June 2-July 25. All styles and levels of dancing at affordable prices. Weekly classes (all ages) $60 for six-week session for one weekly class, $50 for each additional weekly class per session. There are sibling discounts. Summer regular session dates are: June 9-July 17 (six weeks). Tights and Tiaras Camp (3 years-K): June 2-6, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.; Popldol (1-6 grade) Camp: June 2-6, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; Tights and Tiaras Camp (3 years-K) July 21-25, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; Popldol (1-6 grade) Camp: July 21-25, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.. For more information or to pre-register, call (205) 343-7757, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visitwww.mjsacademy.com.


The ACT Summer Production Camp: July 20-25 at Covenant Presbyterian Church and the Bama Theatre. This camp, for ages 8-18, runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The week is spent putting together a musical (Disney’s Aladdin Jr.) and culminates in three performances complete with lights, sets, costumes and special effects. For more information, call (205) 393-2800, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visitwww.theactonline.com.

Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre and Theatre Tuscaloosa’s Theatre Camp 2015: June 15-26 in the fine arts center on Shelton State’s Martin Campus. In this day camp, classes are offered from 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for children who have completed kindergarten through 11th grade. Session topics will include acting, dance, singing, improvisation, audition, stage makeup, and technical theatre. Registration is limited to 18 students per age group and is conducted on a first-come-first-serve basis. Visit www.theatretusc.com to download the registration form. Class descriptions, instructor bios, and class schedules are also available. Or call the ticket office at (205) 391-2277 for more information.


Northridge Fitness Kid’s Strength Camp: Three days per week. Ages 11-15. Principles of proper body mechanics, developing core strength, and weight lifting safety. For more information, call (205) 752-1201 or visit www.northridgefitness.net.

Martial Arts

Tiger Rock Martial Arts: Six days per week for Martial Arts classes and four locations. Limited number of spots for a “Train All Summer” program. For more information, call (205) 759-4711 (Tuscaloosa), (205) 339-7071 (Northport) or (205) 343-6449 (Hillcrest).


Bama Bounders Gymnastic Camps and Classes: Gold Star Camp, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., ages 5 and up; Silver Star Camp, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., ages 5 and up; Bronze Star Camp, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., ages potty trained to 4 years. Early Bird Special - sign up and pay deposit by May 15th for June Camps and June 19th for July Camps. For more information, including specific camp dates and activities, call (205) 722-2436 or visit www.thebamabounders.com.

Druid City Soccer Camp: June 22-25, ages 4-12 (all levels of experience). This camp will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon each day at Sokol Park North. This camp strives to help children learn and develop their skills on the soccer field. Coach: Carter Hill. Cost: $85 (includes a t-shirt and a soccer ball). For more information, call (205) 799-6342 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NorthRiver Tennis Summer Camps: May 26-29, June 22-26, July 6-10, July 20-24 and July 27-31. 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. This camp is open to children ages 5-14. For more information, call (205) 343-4558.

Tuscaloosa Tennis Center Summer Camps: June 1-5, June 8-12, July 6-10. 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m (M-F). These camps will teach all students the basic strokes and footwork for tennis success in a fun filled learning environment. The student/teacher ratio will be 5/1 to ensure that each student gets individual instruction. Ten and under balls (red, orange and green dot) will be used for younger campers in order to have early success. Snacks will be served to all students. Cost: $150/week for members, $165 for non-members. To register or for more information, please call (205) 331-0211.

University of Alabama Sports Camps: UA offers a number of different camps and clinics for sports enthusiasts. Baseball camps Crimson Tide Experience Elite 40: June 28-30 Cost $850. For more information visit www.collegebaseballcamps.com/bama. Other sports camps include Cheer/Dance Camp, Nick Saban Football Camp, Gymnastics Camp, Soccer Camp, Softball Camp, Swimming and Diving camps, Volleyball Camp and more. For more information on UA’s many summer sports camps for kids, visit www.rolltide.com/camps/alab-camps.html.


All Fired Up Summer Camp: Sessions are May 26-29, June 9-12, June 23-26, July 7-10, July 21-24 and August 4-7. For kids who love crafts, this camp offers a week of fun morning sessions (Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m. to noon) that allow them to create many different and interesting projects. Cost: $150 for the week; $40 per day. For more information, call (205) 343-0015.

Brushstrokes Summer Art Camp: Monday-Thursday for two weeks (2 hrs daily). For more information, call (205) 657-0199 or visit annsbrushstrokes.com/summer-camps.

All-Around Camp Fun

Arts ‘N Autism Summer Camp: Offers four week-long sessions (June and July) for pre-K to young adults with autism. Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Activities include field trips, art, music, swimming and more. Cost: $400 per session. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.artsnautism.org.

Summer Explorations 2015: Six two-week sessions beginning on May 26 through August 15. Ages 2.5 to 18 years. Morning classes: 8 a.m. to noon and afternoon sessions 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Tuition: $200 for 40 hours. For more information, including specific activities and session dates and schedules, call (205) 758-2828 or enroll online at www.thecapitolschool.com.

Crazy Daze of Summer: Children’s Hands-On Museum (C.H.O.M.), downtown Tuscaloosa, Nine weeks of fun, including: kids karaoke, dueling basketballs, skee ball, air hockey and more. For more information on activities and schedules, call (205) 349-4235 or visit www.chomonline.org.

Forest Lake United Methodist Church Weekday Kids Program Summer Camp: May 26-August 4. Grades 1-7. Camp features arts and crafts, daily devotions, bowling and movie field trips, swimming, water days at Shelby Park, sports, skating, and more. Open 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during summer school vacation. Cost: $50 registration, $25 daily attendance fee and $95 weekly attendance fee. Includes two snacks per day, supplies. Wee Camp for pre-K-4 also available. For more information, call (205) 758-6623, visit www.forestlakeumc.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

PARA Kids Summer Day Camp: a healthy and safe environment, physical development, discovering new activities, encouraging social skills, long lasting friendships and self-esteem development. Activities include: exercise programs, swimming, archery, skating, bowling, softball, kickball, inflatables, and arts and crafts. For more information on day camp, please email: Melinda Wiggins atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call (205) 562-3230 or visit the site at:www.tcpara.org/page/35/day_camp_youth_events.html.

Tuscaloosa Academy Summer Knights Program: Programs (offered over eight weeks) are available for children ages 3 to rising 6th graders, and ages 3 to Kindergarten. Taught by certified staff, with special activities to help a child’s development. Half days and full days are available. For more information, call (205) 758-4462 ext. 513, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visitwww.tuscaloosaacademy.org.

Tuscaloosa Barnyard Summer Day Camp: All ages. Learn about life on the farm away from TV and video games. Activities include: taking care of animals, boat rides, fishing, games, farm movies, hayrides, pony rides, horse training, arts and crafts, games, and learning about nature. Slow paced environment. For more information, call (205) 248-0773 or visit www.tuscloosabarnyard.com.

YMCA Summer Day Camp: Ages 4-14. Daily from June 1-Aug. 5, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Field trips, swimming, sports camps, arts and crafts, and more. Cost: $65 per week per child; part time is $35 per week (any three days). For more information, call (205) 759-4284 and ask for Children’s Director Lachanda Wallace or Curtis Pickard.


The Community Music School (CMS): The University of Alabama School of Music. All ages and all levels of musical ability. Classes taught by faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, as well as community professionals. Private and group instruction available for a wide variety of instruments. Kindermusic program for children ages birth - 7 years. For more information, including rates and dates, call (205) 348-6741.

Crimson Music Camps: Jazz Improvisation and Marching Percussion Camp: June 11-14.

For more information, call (205) 348-6068, visit bands.ua.edu/programs/crimson-camp.

Alabama Blues Project 2015 Summer Blues Camp: The weeklong camp, from July 20-24, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children will participate in art activities and learn about blues history from 9 a.m. to noon, break for lunch, and then receive blues music instruction from 1 to 5 p.m. Lunch is not provided, and campers can choose between morning, afternoon or all-day sessions. For more information or to register, please contact Paula Demonbreun at (205) 752-6263 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Moundville Archaeological Park-Indian Day Camp: Indian Summer Day Camp is a week long program teaching kids, ages 9 through 13, Native American arts and ways of life. Located at Moundville Archaeological Park, activities include museum and park tours, videos, storytelling, nature hikes, sampling Native American foods, and playing Native American games. Children create several crafts including pottery and baskets or gourd masks. Session 1 – June 1-5; Session 2 – July 20-24. For more information, call (205) 371-8732, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit moundville.ua.edu.

Sylvan Learning Center: Writing, mathematics, study skills, and specialty classes for state exams available. For more information, call (205) 345-7676.

Tuscaloosa Library Summer Reading Programs: All ages. All activities are free. Activities include: juggling, summer safety programs, magic, storytelling, animal programs, movies, and more. For specific dates and times, visit www.tuscaloosa-library.org or call (205) 345-5820.

Alabama Museum of Natural History, History Expedition 37: Middle School Week (grades 6-8), June 8-13; High School Week (grades 9-12), June 15-20; Public Camp Week (all ages), June 22-27. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Alabama Summer Computer Camps: UA Department of Computer Science. Middle School Week 1: Game Programming with Scratch; Robotics; High School Week 1: Introduction to Programming with Java; High School Week 2: Smartphone Programming (Android App Inventor) and Robotics. For more information and for dates, visit outreach.cs.ua.edu/camps, email Dr. Jeff Gray at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (205) 348-2847.

Camp Cash: June 8-12. UA College of Environmental Sciences, ages 11-14. Management skills, experiencing college life, enhancing confidence and self-esteem, investing, insurance, wealth accumulation, and credit. For more information, visit ches.ua.edu, email Lauren Creel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (205) 348-6178.


Camp Horne, Boy Scouts of America (Black Warrior Council): Cottondale. Three one-week sessions of Boy Scout resident camps are offered in June, followed by two Cub Scout resident camp sessions. For more information, visit www.bwc-bsa.org or call (205) 861-4496. 

Camp Cottaquilla (near Anniston) and the Kanawahala Program Center (Chelsea), Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama:Resident camp and day camp programs available. Resident camps begin in late May. Prices vary, depending on the type of camp. For more information, call (800) 734-4541 or visit www.girlscoutsnca.org/camps.

State and Regional Camps

Lake Forest Ranch Interdenominational Christian Co-Ed Camp: Shadow Lake, East Central Mississippi (less than two hours from Tuscaloosa). All ages. Activities include horseback riding, wild ride water rube, low and high ropes course, basketball, gym games, tennis, beach volleyball, swimming, fishing, canoeing, boating, archery, frisbee golf, game room/arcade, paint ball course for teens, and Bible studies. For more information call Rick Malone at (662) 726-5052 or visitwww.lakeforestranch.com.

McWane Center Summer Camps: McWane Science Center, Birmingham. All ages. Weekly camps run from June 1st through August 7th. Full-day and half-day camp sessions are available. For more information, call (205) 714-8414 or visit www.mcwane.org/learn/kids-family/camps/2015-summer-camps/. Registration begins in May.

Camp McDowell: Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, Nauvoo. Camps for primary, elementary, junior high and high school-aged students. Sessions run from May 22-August 2. In addition to nurturing spiritual, social, and creative growth, Camp McDowell offers hiking, canoeing, arts & crafts, swimming, a ropes and group action course, soccer, softball, soccer, capture the flag, and many other group games and creative activities. For more information, visit www.campmcdowell.dioala.org, contact Stratt Byars, Summer Camp Coordinator, at (205) 281-1903 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Riverview Camp for Girls: Mentone (located on the former Saddle Rock Camp for Girls campus). Ages 6-16. Sessions run from June 7-July 31. This Christian camp features cabins with bathrooms and showers. Photos are downloaded each day of campers. Mother-daughter weekend in August. For more information, including session dates, call (800) 882-0722, visit www.riverviewcamp.com.

Camp Laney: Mentone. Boys, ages 7-14. Sessions run from June 7-July 31. One- and two-week sessions available. Cost $1,600 (one week); $3,000 (two weeks). Tuition includes: Chartered bus trips, cabin photos, arts and crafts, canteen snack store, golf trips, rock climbing trips and more. For more information, including session dates, call (256) 634-4066, visit www.camplaney.com.

Camp Skyline Ranch for Girls: Mentone. Ages 6-16. Sessions run from June 7-July 31. Costs range from $1,828-$3,398. Camp includes: arts and crafts, horseback riding, swimming, archery, dance, and other activities. For more information, including session dates, call (800) 448-9279 or visit www.campskyline.com.

Photos: Boy Scouts of America Black Warrior Council, UA Museums - Moundville Archaeological Park, Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority and Porfirio Solorzano.


Lake Tuscaloosa Living (LTL) is the premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.


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