Summer 2020 Youth Programs

All youth programs held at Amherst College are owned and operated by private organizations which contract with Amherst College for the use of its facilities. This includes programs owned and operated by individuals who may work for Amherst Colleges as faculty or coaches during the school year. Amherst College is not a sponsor or partner of these programs and is not responsible for their operations.  

 Amherst Field Hockey Academy

The Amherst Field Hockey Academy (AFHA) offers player the chance to improve their play and prepare for their upcoming fall seasons. Led by the Amherst College Field Hockey coaching staff and athletes, AFHA focuses on skilled instruction, coached game play, and conditioning/injury prevention. For those players eyeing college play, AFHA gives participants the opportunity to be evaluated by the AFH coaching staff while experiencing the culture and dynamic of the Amherst College Field Hockey program.

Date(s): July 1-3
Contact: Carol Knerr
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Field Hockey players entering grades 6 through 12.

Amherst Football Fundamental Skills

At the Amherst Football Fundamental Skills program, high school athletes and their families have the opportunity to meet the Amherst College Football family, explore basic football skills, and learn about Amherst’s recruiting process. During the two practice sessions that comprise the day, each athlete will work with Amherst Football coaches on individual positioning drills and other fundamental techniques. Lunch is provided for all registered athletes. Walk-up participants are welcome.

Date: July 26
Contact:  EJ Mills
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: High school football players.

Amherst Girls Basketball School

Amherst Girls Basketball School provides an introduction to basic basketball fundamentals in a supportive and instructional setting. Participants will be placed in age appropriate teams, and will practice their shooting, ball handling, defense, and rebounding skills. Participants will play in two full court games each day, and will have the chance to compete against the camp counselors as well. During free time, athletes can engage in 1-1 instruction or swim in Amherst College’s newly renovated pool. The program is led by Coach Gromacki and the Amherst Women’s Basketball Coaching Staff, along with current players on the women’s team. As one of the top women’s basketball coaches in the country, Coach Gromacki has built a winning tradition during his 13 years at Amherst. The winningest active coach in DII and DIII, Coach Gromacki coached AWB to an incredibly successful 2018 season. Finishing with an undefeated 33-0 record, the team garnered its eighth NESCAC Title.

Date(s): August 3-6
Contact: G.P. Gromacki
Brochure: Girls Basketball School (link opens up a new tab with the attached PDF)
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Girls ages 7-17.

Amherst Sports Day Clinic

Amherst Sports Day Clinic provides a safe environment in which children can exercise and make new friends while learning the fundamentals of a variety of sports. Outdoor sports and games include tennis, kick-ball, capture the flag, track and field, an obstacle course, and many others. Swimming and indoor games are also offered. Each participant will be placed on an age appropriate team, and will receive daily lunch in Amherst College’s Valentine Dining Hall. Participants will also receive an Amherst Sports Clinic T-Shirt. This camp is directed by the Head Coach of Amherst College Women’s Basketball, G.P. Gromacki. Additional supervision is provided by athletic trainers certified in First Aid and CPR.

Date(s): July 27-30
Contact: G.P. Gromacki
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Boys and girls ages 5-12.

AWS Elite Soccer Academy

AWS Elite Soccer Academy offers girls wishing to play college soccer the opportunity to polish their skills in the company of multiple DI and DIII coaches. Camp instruction includes intense technical and tactical drilling, warm-up / injury prevention tips, and the opportunity to play in small-sided and full-field games. Specialized goalkeeper instruction is also available. In years past, program staff has included coaches from Boston College, Dartmouth College, Colgate University, and Middlebury College. Players will have the opportunity to work and connect with each coach during the course of the three day program.

Date(s): July 2-4
Contact: Jen Hughes
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Girls grades 9 through 12.

Doshisha Elementary School

This program celebrates the centuries-old relationship between Amherst College and Doshisha University in Japan. Founded by Joseph Hardy Neesima (Amherst College Class of 1870), Doshisha University if one of Japan’s most prestigious institutions of higher education. For several days every summer, students from the university’s affiliated Doshisha Elementary School travel to Amherst to experience the wonders and cultural richness of the area. Highlights of this program include trips to local museums, outdoor excursions, and other camp activities. Participation is restricted to students of Doshisha Elementary School in Japan.

Date(s): June 8-12
Contact: Mariko Katayama
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Doshisha Elementary School Students.

Good To Great Boys Lacrosse Showcase

Good to Great Lacrosse Showcase returns to Amherst this summer, offering lacrosse players the opportunity to fine-tune their skills in the presence of a distinguished panel of DI and DIII coaches. Focusing on individual skill development, the program promises to strengthen each player’s offensive and defensive arsenal. Boasting a 1:15 coach to player ratio, Good to Great Lacrosse provides each player the coaching they need to take their game to the next level. In years past, representatives from Boston College, RPI, Dartmouth College, Brown University, Yale University, and a many other prestigious institutions have attended the showcase, giving instructional advice as they scouted players.

Date(s): July 7-9
Contact: Jon Thompson
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: High school men’s lacrosse players.

Great Books Summer Program

Returning to Amherst for its 20th year, Great Books offers students the opportunity to explore the timeless questions at the core of humanity through carefully curated reading selections while residing at one of the nation’s most prestigious liberal arts schools. With students from 49 states and over 45 countries, Great Books at Amherst provides a caring and inclusive community in which students use literature and discussion as the catalyst for honing critical thinking skills. Writer’s Workshop programs are also available for those looking to grow their craft. Amherst College boasts a rich literary and poetic history with Emily Dickinson’s famous homestead only steps away from campus, making it a perfect environment for those who wish to deeply engage with literature. Students may sign up for one or multiple-week sessions, each of which features entirely new curriculum, seminars, and renowned speakers. Outside of the classroom, students engage in art and literature electives as well as fun social events. For those signing up for multiple sessions, Great Books offers weekend excursions to notable places in the surrounding area. In years past, students have traveled to Salem, Boston, and Western Massachusetts.

Date(s): June 28-July 3, July 5-10, July 12-17, July 19-24 and July 26-31
Contact: Katie Lagana
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Students in grades 6-8 attend the Intermediate program. Students in grades 9-12 attend the Senior program.

iD Tech Camps

Returning to Amherst for its 9th year, iD Tech takes the “camp” experience and gives it a 21st century spin. Founded in 1999, iD Tech offers children and teens the opportunity to study (and create!) the technology that they use every day. At iD Tech Camps, children and teens develop key technological skills as they explore coding, game design, app development, film, and more. With an 8:1 student to instructor ratio and access to industry leading technology, iD Tech ensures that all participants have the resources they need to maximize their learning. Participants in iD Tech leave the program with a deeper understanding of our technological world, a competitive edge for acceptance into college STEM programs, and of course, great memories.

Date(s): June 21-26, June 28-July 3, July 5-10, July 12-17, July 19-24 and July 26-31
Spencer Forest
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Children and teenagers ages 7 through 17.

Nicol Champions Academy Squash

Nicol Champions Academy gives junior players and college-bound squash players the opportunity to experience the joy and thrill of improving their squash skills and developing their passion for the game that may include looking toward playing collegiate squash. During these 6 weeks of program, participants will have the opportunity to work with and learn from renowned squash coaches, including World #1 for 5 years Peter Nicol, Amherst Head Squash Coach Peter Robson, as well as Scottish National Coach Stewart Crawford, who is now also Amherst Assistant Coach, and Irish #1 Arthur Gaskin. This all takes place on the Amherst College Campus with its 10 air-conditioned squash courts, beautiful fields, great dining hall and picturesque town within a 5 minute walk. Emphasizing skill development, conditioning, and match play, Nicol Champions Academy promises to take your game to the next level.

Date(s): June 21-July 3, July 6-10, July 12-17, July 19-31 and August 1-8 (dates vary based on age of participant)
Contact: Melissa Wistanley
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Squash players ages 10 to 18 years old.

Nike Girls Softball

Nike Softball Camp creates a supportive, fun environment where softball players can learn new skills and polish old ones. Participants are drilled in hitting, base-running, specific-position fielding, and game situational skills. After a week of training, social events, and recreational activities, participants leave the camp with great memories, new skills, and a desire to return next year. Kacey Schmitt returns this summer for her seventh year as the Director of the Nike Softball Camp. With 25 years of coaching experience at Amherst Regional High School, Coach Schmitt has trained hundreds of athletes, many of whom have gone on to have successful high school and collegiate careers.

Date(s): July 12-16 and July 19-23
Contact: Mike de Surville
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Softball players of all abilities, ages 9 through 18.

Nike Junior Tennis

Nike Junior Tennis is perfect for kids and teens looking to challenge themselves and improve their game in a welcoming and supportive environment. Consisting of various week-long sessions throughout the summer, the program boasts a daily schedule designed to fine-tune your child’s tennis skills. Daily activities include coached match play, “live” drilling, strategy sessions, and weekly team tournaments. Attendees can choose from the overnight, extended day (9 a.m. - 9 p.m.) and day (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) options. Participants will leave the camp with a renewed confidence in their sport, great memories, and a desire to return next year. Returning as camp director this year is Mike Gardner. During his 30+ years of coaching a playing experience, Mike has worked with hundreds of students, preparing them for competitive high school, college, and professional careers. As a USPTA Level 1 Certified Coach, Mike Gardner led his team to back-to-back victories in the 2012 and 2013 Massachusetts Division I State Championships. Coach Gardner’s athletes routinely earn Division I College Scholarships. He currently owns The New England Tennis Center located in Lancaster, MA.

Date(s): June 14-19, June 21-26, June 28-July 3, July 5-10, July 12-17, July 19-24, July 26-31 and August 2-7
Contact: Mike Gardner
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Tennis players age 9 to 18 years old.

Peak Performance Soccer Academy of Amherst

Peak Performance Academy offers high school soccer players the opportunity to polish and improve their skills in the company of some of the best college soccer coaches in the country. Boasting a variety of technical, tactical, and speed training exercises, as well as personalized evaluation and daily seminars, Peak Performance Academy provides a fun and supportive environment for those seeking to play soccer at the college level. With representatives from prestigious DI, DII, and DIII schools located throughout the country, Peak Performance Academy is ideal for all college-bound soccer players.

Date(s): June 27-30, July 11-14, and July 30-August 2
Contact: Justin Serpone
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Boys entering grades 8 through 12.

Putney Pre-College

Putney Pre-College offers adventurous high school students the chance to learn, play, and explore in the beauty of the Pioneer Valley and the surrounding area. A truly international program, Putney Pre-College attracts students from all over the world and from a diverse range of backgrounds. Emphasizing academics, sport, and play, Putney Pre-College has something for everyone. In the academic realm, Putney Pre-College offers students a variety of challenging and interesting seminars, ranging from writing and filmmaking workshops to seminar style courses on Political Science, Diplomacy, and International Relations. Embodying the philosophy of hands-on learning, these courses encourage students to learn through field trips, experiments, and field assignments. Outside of the classroom, Putney Pre-College encourages physical activity and play. Workshops in Zumba and yoga are offered, as are tournaments and pick-up games in soccer and other sports. Off campus, the program sponsors day trips to some of the Pioneer Valley’s pristine hiking trails and lakes, as well as weekend excursions to Montreal, Cape Cod, and the White Mountains. For students preparing for college applications, Putney Pre-College offers trips to nearby colleges and universities. In years past, students have traveled to Dartmouth, Columbia, Yale, Tufts, Harvard, and other top-notch institutions. All in all, this program boasts a variety of academic, athletic, and adventurous activities that are sure to make your child’s summer a memorable one.

Date(s): June 28-July 17
Contact: Bob Danzi
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Students completing grades 9-12.

SCS Noonan Scholars Summer Academy

SCS Noonan Scholars works with high-achieving, underrepresented students starting in their junior year of high school, and continuing through college graduation. The program includes a 6-week residential academic summer program after 11th grade that takes place at Amherst College. All of the programming is free of cost. Eligible 11th graders are invited to apply to the program by January 2020.

Date(s): June 27-August 8
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: High school juniors. For more details on eligibility, including income, GPA, and PSAT score requirements, please visit


Squash + Education Alliance (SEA) returns to Amherst this summer for a weekend of intense squash competition in the serenity of the Pioneer Valley. Founded in 2005, NUSEA aims to develop squash programs in urban areas throughout the nation and abroad. These programs have an academic, athletic, and social focus, and provide middle and high school students the opportunity to learn a sport, be part of a team, and develop personal and interpersonal skills that transcend the boundaries of the squash court.

Date(s): June 18-21
Contact: Becky Silva
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Middle and high school students belonging to SEA.

Sing This Summer

Sing This Summer returns to Amherst this year, offering children and teens a remarkable setting to experience the beauty of music and song through two week-long programs. Throughout the week, singers and string players participate in classes that highlight a variety of styles and genres such as vocal technique, choir, musical theater, and collegiate style a cappella or orchestra, technique, chamber music, and fiddling. Between classes, students interact with their peers through a variety of recreational and social activities. Students can choose to stay overnight or commute daily. At the week's end, participants leave with an excellent foundation of musical confidence, plus a set of memories and friends that will last a lifetime.

Date(s): June 21-26 and July 12-17
Contact: Jonathan Hirsh
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Students entering grades 2 through 12.

Western MA Basketball Clinic

The intention of the WMBC is to provide local youngsters a chance to improve their basketball skills while spending four full days with some of the area's finest coaches. Along with daily instruction, drills, games of one-on-one, hot shot, free throws, horse, and team play, the participants will get the opportunity to see films and talk basketball with the staff.The clinic divides the youngsters into three levels each year, so as to make the five-on-five games most beneficial to all participants.Each participant will be videotaped both in game action and in individual shooting and will have the opportunity to review these tapes with his coach.At the end of the week, each participant receives an individual evaluation indicating his strengths and weaknesses and drills that the coach feels he can do to improve. This year the clinic will again be in the new facility at Amherst College. The facility includes eight full courts, two pools and a state-of-the-art fitness center. We feel that with the addition of this facility, WMBC offers the best and most complete facilities in New England.

Date(s): June 29-July 2 and July 13-16
Contact: David Hixon
Web page:
Participant Age Range/Eligibility: Boys age 8 through 17.