It’s “the summer of wow!” over at the lower school’s Summer Camp+ program, just as the colorful sign hanging near the entrance to the Bucknall campus proclaims.
The wow factor ran high during a recent visit by Harker News Online to Camp+, where children could be seen joyfully climbing up a rock structure, hula hooping and cooling off in the pool or with a water mat and hose out on the field.
Indeed, campers are able to choose from a wide array of appropriate age-related summertime activities, creating the perfect environment for youngsters in K-6 to let loose and have some fun outdoors following earlier morning indoor academics.
Students have the choice of enrolling in either CoreFocus or LOL (Learning Opportunities in Literature) for the academic portion of the day. CoreFocus is a three- or four-week math- and language arts-focused program. LOL is a two-week integrated curriculum centered around a literary theme. Both programs leave room for the optional added afternoon activity program.
Each year, a spirited four-way game of “color clash” kicks off the beginning of the fun Camp+ activities. The traditional gathering, held in the Bucknall gymnasium, groups students in yellow, red, green and blue teams competing in an array of silly games cheered on by captains (aka camp counselors) wearing color-coordinated outfits running the gamut from superheroes to hula skirts and silly hats. Kindergartners stay for the beginning of color clash before heading outside to the lawn where they have their own special activities, including art projects.
Enthusiasm ran high at this year’s event, held in June. In a nice gesture of team spirit, campers got bonus points for loudly cheering for not only their own group but for everyone else as well. (Check out all the action in this video taken at the program: http://youtu.be/r_LDnLG7U7c.)
“Go, team yellow!” shouted camper and second grader Enzo Lucketti, also a regular student at the lower school. His favorite things about camp so far have been climbing on the rock structure outside and getting his study skills up in the academic portion of his day.
According to Joe Chung, program director of Camp+ and an elementary computer science teacher at the lower school, there is something for everyone in the program. On-site highlights include a patriotic games bash, water carnival, sleepover for older campers, presentation for parents and birthday celebration for camp mascot “Ray.” Campers also partake in numerous off-site field trips – from local outings for bowling and miniature golf to farther trips out to the Oakland Zoo and Coyote Point.
Afternoon activities are grouped by ages and weeks, with kindergartners attending kindercamp. First and second graders are in the owls group, third and fourth graders are called condors, and fifth and sixth graders are referred to as eagles. This year, the first session of camp included such themes as wow, whamo, wipe out and work out. The second session will feature weeks called wisdom of wizards, waiting on winter and wonders of wildlife.
“This is my third time at Camp+, and I really recommend it!” enthused grade 3 student Alexis Nishimura. To her, the best part about camp is “hanging out with friends,” followed by “all the fun activities and outings.”