Harker’s Summer Camp+ is in full swing, with K-6 students enjoying a fun-filled afternoon circus theme called “Under the Big Top.” This summer, the increasingly popular program filled up at record speed, attracting 774 campers.
Held on the lower school campus, Camp+ provides morning learning experiences followed by age-appropriate afternoon electives, with the theme rotating annually.
Rising grade 5 Harker student and Camp+ enthusiast Jack Hayashi said his favorite thing about the program this summer has been playing ball hockey and going to the archery range. He also likes that there’s plenty of time for simply “clowning around.”
Meanwhile, first-time Camp+ participant Rhiannon Sikand, a rising grade 3 student at Harker, said she enjoys the camp’s climbing wall (located on the lower school field) and had a lot of fun going on a field trip to the Oakland Zoo. “I liked seeing all the animals … especially the turtles,” she noted.
Camp+ students in grades 1-6 have the option of enrolling in one of two academic morning programs: Core Focus or Learning Opportunities in Literature (LOL). Core Focus is a more traditional learning environment with language arts, math and academic electives for each grade level. LOL features academic courses designed around literary subject matter. This year LOL is focusing on the work of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.
Both Core Focus and LOL feature the same afternoon options, including arts and crafts, dance, water play, wall climbing, archery and array of other field sports – and of course, plenty of circus arts this year!
Campers are grouped together for activities according to their ages: kindergartners attend KinderCamp, first and second graders are called Owls, third and fourth graders are Condors and fifth and sixth graders are Eagles.
The afternoon activity calendar for the first session of Camp+ (June 23-July 18) was broken up by weekly themes: Lions, Tigers & Bears – Oh, My; All-American Acrobat; High Divers & Sideshow; and Clowning Around. The second session (July 21-Aug. 8) features Favorite Animal Parade, Masquerade Party and Great Escape.
The Summer Camp+ program traditionally kicks off and ends with Color Clash, a fun event held in the lower school’s gymnasium. Groups of campers on yellow, red, green and blue teams participate in an array of silly games cheered on by captains (aka camp counselors) wearing color-coordinated outfits that run the gamut from superheroes to hula skirts and fun hats. This year’s Color Clash finals showcased a video highlighting happenings from previous events.
According to Joe Chung, program director of Summer Camp+ and Harker’s elementary computer science teacher, other on-site happenings often include a water carnival, sleepover for older campers, presentation for parents and a birthday celebration for the camp mascot, “Ray.” Campers also enjoy numerous field trips.
“I would recommend Camp+ to anyone!” said Hayashi.
The Harker School has offered extensive summer programs for more than 50 years. The Summer Camp+ program is accredited nationally by the American Camping Association.