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With Summer at the Academy in full swing, campers and counselors alike are ecstatic to have the Norfolk Academy community look lively once again and (mostly) back to normal. 

Since Summer at the Academy began July 5, campus has been busy with a multitude of different activities - bike camp, art camp, and tennis and basketball camp are just a few.

Teacher-coach Rich Peccie, the director of bike camp, shared that this camp was part of Summer at the Academy long before he took the helm. Mr. Peccie joined the Norfolk Academy community 29 years ago and was asked to take over bike camp during the summer not long afterward. 

The camp is for rising first through rising fifth graders, and Mr. Peccie remarked that he likes being outside and biking throughout Virginia Wesleyan University and the NA campus with students who share his passion for biking. Mr. Peccie also teaches the campers about safety and how to make small repairs to their bikes. 

“So far the best part of bike camp has been the lack of serious accidents,” he said. 

Art camp, led by Kristen Turrietta, has created many fun projects, campers said. After earning a degree in economics, Mrs. Turrietta went back to college to study art and worked as an art teacher for 15 years before coming to NA in 2019 as a second grade teacher. This fall will be her first year teaching art in the Lower School, and camp has been a great way for her to explore fun activities. The camp spans all four weeks of Summer at the Academy, with different age groups partaking in different weeks.

Because of the worldwide pandemic, NA did not hold summer camps last year. They usually last six weeks and are open to the outside community; this year they are open only to NA students.

During the first week of art, campers learned how to make slime. They have also created decorative name tags for their work areas and various clay pieces. Mrs. Turrietta said she has gotten ideas from Pinterest, books, friends, and colleagues.

She also shared that her favorite part of the camp is spending time with the campers and being able to “see them find their voice by making discoveries and exploring their creativity.”

Tennis and basketball camp was another popular activity during the first two weeks of Summer at the Academy. Among the highlights, young campers heard from guest speaker Kirstyn Norris. A Lower School teaching associate and assistant coach for girls lacrosse and girls basketball, Mrs. Norris shared her love and appreciation for sports, while encouraging them to continue their athletic journey.

Londyn '31 and Grace '31 both enjoyed tennis and basketball camp. Grace's favorite part was when they got to swim in NA's indoor pool - an aspect of all full-day camps. 

Tennis and basketball camp also hosted a popular arts and crafts table, which allowed campers to explore their creative side when they got tired from running around.

Grace loved the arts and crafts table. She was also looking forward to participating in cheerleading and theater during the final few weeks of camps. 

Her favorite part of NA was certainly on display during Summer at the Academy, which runs through July 30.

“All the different resources they share with us,” Grace said.

- Written by Devin Murchake '21, an intern in the Communications and Development offices this summer. Devin will attend the University of South Carolina.  

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