The sounds of children giggling, shouting and speaking to their parents filled the cafeteria of Panther Academy Wednesday as several parents and young children participated in the third day of the annual Get Ready! Camp.

The camp, which takes place on weekdays throughout the month of June at various areas in Hardin County, consists of two-hour sessions where newborn to 5-year-old children learn about several topics, such as math and reading. Parents and other family members are welcome to attend.

The camps are sponsored by the Central Kentucky Community Foundation. On Wednes­day at Panther Academy, children learned such things as using color patterns to make bracelets, and mannerisms such as “thank you” and “excuse me.” The young children also tiptoed, ran, walked and galloped around the cafeteria to keep them active.

Jessica Shelby attended the camp with her son, Eli, 3. Shelby said they came to the camp last year and decided to return.

“It’s something to keep him active,” she said. “And he makes lots of friends.”

Last year, Shelby said her son learned about the different seasons of the year.

Another parent, Mi­chelle Kail, came to the camp with her 8-month-old daughter, Lillian. Kail said she decided to attend the camp after hearing about it from her aunt who works at North Park Elementary in Radcliff.

“We’re always looking for fun stuff to do in the summertime,” she said.

Kelsey Birdwhistell, a teacher at West Hardin Middle School, also attended the Wednesday camp with her 2-year-old son, William. Birdwhistell said she came to the camp because it would provide an educational opportunity for her son and it would get him out of the house.

“It’s not just play time, even though they have a lot of fun,” she said.

It was Birdwhistell’s first time at the camp. Birdwhistell said she felt the camp was helpful to older children but was also valuable to her son, as he was able to socialize with others.

“I think he’s benefiting from being here, too,” she said.

Trey Crumbie can be reached at 270-505-1747 or

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