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Best Summer Program for Middle School Students

March 7

Families are often faced with a new challenge of summer care when their children reach middle school. Summer day camps and child care centers are no longer an option due to age and a waning interest in many of the activities offered by those programs. This is where Middle School U program comes in to help. Middle School U — or MSU as it’s often called — provides a variety of courses from sports to cooking to adventure, designed specifically for youth going into grades 6 to 9.

Amy Olejniczak is a Madison-area parent who faced this challenge during Summer 2022. She was looking for fun, engaging, yet challenging courses for her daughter to attend. “As a parent, I loved the inclusivity of the camp! The staff were incredible, kind, and welcoming,” Olejniczak says. “They made the campers feel respected and celebrated by offering challenging courses paired with plenty of support and guidance.”

Amy’s daughter Beatrix took two MSU cooking courses last summer: Intro to Cooking and Chef’s Challenge. “I went with my friend Layla. We did Intro to Cooking in the morning and Chef’s Challenge in the afternoon,” Beatrix says. “We both could cook, but Middle School U has a way of challenging you. It is still easy enough for anyone who is a beginner or just wants to have fun.”

There are more than 75 MSU courses offered this upcoming summer — split between Madison and Verona. Courses in Madison are offered June 19 through July 28. Courses in Verona are offered July 31 through August 18. Families can choose from half-day (morning or afternoon) or full-day courses.

“You get to know people and make new friends; it’s a kind space for everyone. The staff felt like a part of the community and helped everyone,” Beatrix adds. “There is something for anyone and everyone. Middle School U was the best week of my summer.”

Amy says she plans to register both her children for MSU this summer. “It was a wonderful middle school experience and I absolutely plan to send both of my middle schoolers next summer!”

View the complete list of MSU courses. Registration for MSU opens March 8, 2023 at 12 p.m.