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Cyberspace cadets enjoy computer camp

June 21, 1997

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. For most kids a week at summer camp means games, swimming, hiking and fun.

For 110 youngsters at Greencastle Elementary School summer school it's click and drag, spell checks, the Internet, doing research and creative writing, laying out and printing pages.

The kids are having so much fun at summer computer camp in the school that John Root, their teacher, said he can hardly get them away from their keyboards long enough to take a break.

They sit in front of their Apples for three hours a day for a week. Many said they plan to return next summer.

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All were sporting T-shirts with the emblem of the local Rotary Club emblazoned on the back. The Rotary is one of the local sponsors of the camp, Root said.

It costs students $25 to enroll. Any Greencastle Elementary student in grades 2-6 is eligible, he said.

The older kids, those 11 and 12, seemed to breeze over the keyboard while untrained fingers on the younger ones struggled their way across.

"It's amazing how well they type," Root said.

Even the youngest students knew enough basic computer commands to call up the program they needed to get their work done.

The students learned to research information on the encyclopedias programmed into their computers, write their assignments, illustrate them with images and print their stories out.

They're also learning how to browse the Internet, Root said.

"I like the Internet best," said Joel Davis, 11. "You can learn all about things like basketball, the NBA, Disney, all kinds of things. Michael Jordan has his own page."

For Nathaniel Kapp, 11, getting into the writing center is the most fun. His penchant for macabre fiction could put him in a league with Stephen King someday.

"I wrote a story about killer bees from Asia and one about when Michael Jordan gets poisoned by eating strawberries. He survives though," Kapp said.

Sammy Clement is 9. It's his second year at computer camp and his first exposure to the Internet.

"You can go anywhere you want in the world. you can visit anyplace, like Paris or France and other places you've never been before," he said.

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