School is almost out and parents are looking for summer camps. Saint Leo is offering many experiential and unique camps this year for several age groups.

For the second time, Saint Leo will offer the CSI Summer Camp, an overnight camp, June 16 - 22. Rising high-school juniors and seniors have the opportunity to delve into the world of CSI—crime scene investigation and to get a hands-on and behind-the-scenes experience of evidence collection, documentation and preservation as they work a variety of mock crime scenes.

Tampa Bay area-TV station WTSP (Channel 10) recently featured Saint Leo's CSI Summer Camp Reporter Jenny Dean visited University Campus and the Crime Scene House, and she interviewed one of the faculty members who teaches at the summer camp. Dr. Robert Sullivan, assistant professor of criminal justice, explained the purpose of the camp and the benefits to those who attend. [photo of Bobby in the classroom]

"Students start their day in the classroom, but then Sullivan says they take those techniques and put them into practice on a simulated crime scene, both outside and inside," Dean said in the TV broadcast.

"Sullivan says if a student is interested in majoring in criminal justice, this camp will give them a huge head start. And it's worth the investment," Dean continued.  "I think it's a resume builder, not only for your college acceptance, but on down the line when you're applying for a job," Sullivan said.

But crime scene investigation is not the only unique camp Saint Leo is offering this summer. New camps this year include Saint Leo Environmental Science and Sustainability Camp; Saint Leo Game Design Academy; Saint Leo Hogwarts Academy; and Saint Leo Social Justice Camp. The popular robotics camps has added a fourth program this year. Here's a look at some of the camps.  Go to to register.

Game Design Academy

This camp is for youngsters who love board games, and who are creative, as well as those who want to dip their toe into computer-based game design without learning coding. It is a co-ed camp for ages 9 to 12 and will be held June 3 – 7. Students will learn about the elements of a game, how board games are created, create their own games, and learn a little bit about PC-based game design. And, if the weather cooperates, the campers will get time in the Saint Leo swimming pool.

"We are hosting this camp to foster creativity and curiosity in the next generation of scholars and thinkers," said Dr. Doris Van Kampen-Breit, interim director of the Daniel A. Cannon Memorial Library. "Why think inside the box?"


The university began offering the popular Girls Can! Robotics Camp in 2015, under the direction of Dr. Monika Kiss, professor of mathematics. Last year, a camp for boys was added to Saint Leo's offerings. In 2019, the university will have four camp programs, which emphasize STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math):

  • Girls' robotics camp – Monday, June 3, through Friday, June 7, for ages 10 to 14;
  • Boys' robotic camp – Monday, June 10, through Friday, June 14, for ages 10 to 14;
  • Co-ed robotics camp – Monday, June 24, through Friday, June 28, for youths 10 to 14; and,
  • Girls' overnight robotics camp – Sunday, June 30, through Wednesday, July 3, for ages 10 to 15.

The campers build and program Lego EV3 Mindstorm robots in their daily sessions along with fun camp activities. As a part of programing, they will use their mathematical skills to design algorithms, their science skills to figure out what their robot can and can't do, and their problem-solving skills to come up with excellent programs.

Social Justice

Saint Leo University's Social Justice Summer Camp offers a fun and stimulating experience for rising juniors and seniors to get hands on working with the community partners on projects related to freedom, justice, equality, sustainability, peace, and fairness. For ages 16 to 18, the camp will be held June 23 – 29.

The overnight camp is designed for students who wish to begin:

  • Thinking deeply about society, history, economy, politics, philosophy, religion, and the world;
  • Undertaking creative inquiries supplemented by photography, video, music, art, poetry and spoken word, theater, and movement; and,
  • Developing skills for leadership, research, movement building and organizational development.

"In the animated spirit of Jesus Christ, Saint Leo University values people and recognizes diversity and unity of people as the strength of the community, said camp facilitator, Ebony Perez. She is an instructor of social work and the associate chair of undergraduate social work. "We seek to foster a spirit of interdependence and respect to develop socially responsible spaces that challenge us all to grow. This camp is a service to the campers who attend, the agencies we will partner with, and the faculty who are involved in a fun and engaging manner."

Environmental Science and Sustainability

Planned for June 24 -- June 28, this co-ed camp for ages 14 to 18, will give students field and laboratory experiences in both aquatic and terrestrial environments and include instruction in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting samples in addition to organism identification. It also will give students an opportunity to understand and come to appreciate the environment and the living things upon which society depends.

"This camp aligns with Saint Leo University's core value of responsible stewardship and our responsibility to foster this value within both our university and community," said Cheryl Berry, instructor of biology and life sciences. Berry and Dr. Chris Miller, professor of biology and environmental science, are the facilitators for this camp, which is for those considering science as a college major or are just interested in learning more about science.

Campers should expect to be outdoors most of the time performing hands-on activities in the field environment as they work collaboratively with other campers and the Saint Leo professors. Activities include field and laboratory experiences in both aquatic and terrestrial environments and include instruction in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting samples in addition to organism identification.

Hogwarts Academy

Any Muggle (nonmagical person) between the ages of 9 and 13 who loves the magical world of Harry Potter—or who wants to find out what Harry Potter is all about—should attend this camp to make new friends, conjure up some wacky creations, and engage in fun activities such as Quidditch based on the international bestseller Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

This co-ed camp will be held June 17 – 21. The Daniel A. Cannon Memorial Library is offering this camp to inspire a love of reading and learning in young people by showing them that literature is a gateway to new worlds, new ideas, and new friendships.

"Campers can expect to get magically sorted and design their wands before delving into wonderfully wacky activities such as Caring for Magical Creatures and Potion Making, said camp facilitator John David Harding, assistant professor of writing and research. "They will also dive into recreational activities such as swimming in the camp's enchanted swimming pool."

Athletics and Recreation

Saint Leo's Athletics and Recreation departments also are offering summer camps this year.

Little Lions Camp, a co-ed youth recreation camp for ages 5 to 12, will be held Monday, June 10, through Friday, June 14, and again from Monday, July 15, through Friday, July 19.

Saint Leo men's basketball will host co-ed camps for ages 6 to 16 from Monday, June 17, through Friday, June 21, and again Monday, July 29, through Friday, August 2.

Saint Leo Baseball Camp will be held Monday, June 24, through Thursday, June 27. The co-ed camp is for ages 6 to 13.

Saint Leo University is at 33701 State Road 52, St. Leo, FL 33574, in Pasco County, north of Tampa.

For information, go to or call (352) 588-7327.