AD: Nerdies, a revolutionary twist to traditional summer camps

What are your kids going to do this summer? Thanks to local start-up Nerdies, you need to look no further.

Nerdies is working to build a combination learning space, gaming center, and coffee shop in Fayetteville soon, offering classes on a variety of subjects. In the mean time, Nerdies recently announced a series of summer camps on some of those subjects, including robotics, videography, songwriting, improv, and more.

“What makes us very different”, states Founder and Head Nerd in Charge Brad Harvey, “is at Nerdies we have created summer sessions which are completely unique and offer opportunities for kids which cannot be found anywhere else in the country.” And boy is he right.

Brad and his team have assembled an amazing line up of mentors in a variety of subject areas. For kids who have a technology bend, Nerdies offers sessions like 2D and 3D Video Game Development which will be mentored by Professor David Fredrick of the University of Arkansas. In this session kids will have the opportunity to build their very own video game in the University’s Video Game Development Lab, work alongside real professionals and learn programming along the way.

While Nerdies provides a multitude of sessions for the technology kids of Northwest Arkansas, Brad has also assembled an incredible line-up of sessions centered around music, arts and performance. For example, the sessions being mentored by Northwest Arkansas Music Awards Hall of Fame Inductee Benjamin del Shreve, will be on songwriting, music for film and music performance. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for your young musician to learn from an actual rock star and local legend!

Nerdies Summer Sessions are week long day camps which begin on June 9th and run throughout the summer. All sessions are limited to 10 kids and they are filling up fast.

To register for sessions or for more information go to

Summer Sessions Include

Robotics | Mods for Minecraft | Videography | Art | Video Game Development | Improv | Creative Writing | Music | Arts | Photography

Mods for Minecraft

Mentor: Justin Kutscherousky

Mentor Bio:
When we first met Justin we were immediately blown away by his passion and desire to give back and at that moment we knew Justin had to be a Mentor at Nerdies. Justin will be mentoring this summer at Nerdies where he will be teaching our Mods For Minecraft Summer Sessions. Not only will kids have a great time creating new worlds in Minecraft, they will also be learning Java, a computer programming language. In the process of building their Mods, they will also learn vital programming skills which they will use for many years to come.

Justin is currently a Senior Computer Science Major at the University of Arkansas and is a self-proclaimed Nerd of Nerds. He’s an avid gamer, ranging from table-top RPGs, console gaming, to competitive PC gaming. Not only can Justin build and game with the best of them he is also a pretty amazing musician as well.

Sign up for Justin’s class


Mentor: Maliah Pinkelton

Mentor Bio:
Maliah is an extremely talented professional photographer and digital editor whose work has been in Southern Living and Citiscapes magazines, to name a few. She was also voted best photographer in Washington County by NWA Moms and Peekaboo magazine. She is a talented musical artist who has been playing venues all over NWA for many years. Maliah’s most recent accomplishment is co-author and photographer of the cookbook Local Flavor of Northwest Arkansas, which is currently for sale in Ozark Natural Foods, Maude Boutique and other locations around town. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book go to benefit Feed Fayetteville, a local non-profit whose goal is feeding kids in Fayetteville healthy food and LifeSource Intl. In Maliah’s Summer Session you will build a portfolio of your interests, loves and what inspires you. You will also build your self confidence in front of and behind the camera. Learning from a truly creative photographer is an opportunity your young photo bug will not want to miss!

Sign up for Maliah’s class

Video Game Development

Mentor: David Fredrick PhD, Associate Professor of Classical Studies and Director of Humanities, University of Arkansas

Mentor Bio:
Professor David Fredrick has taught Classical Studies at the University of Arkansas since 1992. He uses game engine technology to research spatial patterns and artwork in Pompeii and he has taught game design since 2009. He runs the Tesseract Interactive Humanities & Game Design Lab. The Lab is a multidisciplinary collaboration of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students dedicated to enriching education through immersive, student-built games.

Sign up for David’s class

Music – Songwriting

Mentor: Benjamin Del Shreve

Mentor Bio:
Ben has been inducted into the NWA Hall of Fame by NWA Music Awards. Ben and his band have played in countries around the world for the past twenty years and you can currently download his music in iTunes. Ben’s music is fueled by classic rock and blues from the old days but with a modern twist and catchy sing-a-long melodies. Ben is going to give the keys to songwriting to the young budding artists in his class. Ben has a long time dedication to helping kids and does so through the Music Inspiring Children foundation, where he goes to shelters and plays music to brighten the day of a child in need. Come and be inspired and learn from a local legend in this one of a kind opportunity.

Sign up for Benjamin’s class


Mentor: Kaleb Pitchford

Mentor Bio
Kaleb is a Business Information Systems major with a focus on Enterprise Resource Planning. He’s currently pursuing his Business Intelligence certificate for Data Mining. In high school he was dedicated to his robotics team, The Baxter Bomb Squad, Team #16 in the FIRST robotics program and one of the top teams in the world. Yes, we said one of the best in the WORLD! In his years on the Baxter Bomb Squad, Kaleb performed every role on the team, from Driver, to Compliance and Safety officer, to lead programmer. He also mentored several Lego League programs teaching elementary and junior high school children about the fundamentals of Robotics. In his free time Kaleb is an avid gamer and tech Nerd.

Sign up for Kaleb’s class


Mentor: Jessica Beil

Mentor Bio:
After traveling these great United States and parts of the world; Jessica has a wide array of experiences that she has picked up along the way. Studying painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art and continuing with studio art and Art History at the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art. Jessica has settled here in Northwest Arkansas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and is currently seeking an additional Bachelor in Art Education. Along with her trusty sidekicks, a black lab named Miles Davis Jr. and a glorified terrier (aka troublemaker) Buster Boy, she now works with many mediums. From woodworking, welding, painting, or clay; it is the creation and conversation with the work and the audience that inspires her. To be sharing these skills has sent her over the moon!

Sign up for Jessica’s class


Mentor: Jade Howard

Mentor Bio:
Jade is a Professional Assignment Photographer with ten years experience in the still and motion picture industry. He studied Liberal Arts and Photography from San Diego State University where he studied under Walter Cotton, a photography professor whose work had been hung in galleries around the world. Jade has been the videographer and photographer for NWA Fashion Week and has photographed many celebrities during his time in LA while working for Variety. He has taken portraits on A-listers like Elizabeth Banks, Danny Boyle, and Gus Van Zandt and fashion photography for Marc Ecko’s Cut and Sew line. Jade’s incredible talent in videography is second to none and if your child wants to learn from the best, Jade’s Summer Sessions is the place to be.

Sign up for Jade’s class


Mentor: Professor Steven Marzolf

Mentor Bio:
Steven is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of Tulsa. He has professionally acted all over the country, working at some of the top theatres in the US.

He was a part of the original production of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play August: Osage County at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.

He loves collaborating with young artists and to allowing them to “get their wacky on!”

Sign up for Steven’s class


Mentor: Anthony Bagley and New Creature

Mentor Bio:
This class will be led by multiple members of New Creature. Anthony Bagley, President and COO, has selected a few of his best and brightest to Mentor. New Creature is a shopper marketing company focused on bringing innovation and the ability to execute what is envisioned at retail.

New Creature has been in business since 1999 and continues to help other people sell more stuff.

Sign up for Anthony’s class


Mentor:Mike Bewley

Mentor Bio:
Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist

With roots in many styles, Mike’s music produces these “rich, earthy, Americana portraits in sound” says the Northwest Arkansas Musical Showcase. His latest CD, “Somewhere Past Sundown” is a collection of original songs inspired by everyday experiences and lessons. Mike’s songs have been performed by artists such as: Sunkings, Cori Teeple, Acoustic Refugees, Bruce Allen and the Late Jo Jo Thompson. In his singing career, Mike has performed with or shared the same stage as acts including, The Cate Brothers Band, Still on the Hill, Wildwood, Tribe Nunzio, Randy Crouch, Oreo Blue, Crow Johnson, Mudcat, Bill Erickson and Jeff and Vida, Effron White, TJ Scarlett, Darrin Ray, Candy Lee, and Carter Sampson.

Sign up for Mike’s class

Creative Writing / Stand-up Comedy

Mentor: Troy Gittings

Mentor Bio:
Troy is a high school English teacher and stand-up comedian. He has written short films, poetry, short stories, songs, comedy acts and is currently procrastinating on his novel of the working title, APO: A Love Story/ A War Story. He has also acted in several independent films including, most recently, Valley Inn that was directed by Arkansas native Kim Swink. He’s been performing comedy for nearly four years and has worked with such greats as Bobcat Goldthwaite, Carl LaBove, Doug Stanhope and many other touring comedians.

Sign up for Troy’s class

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