This article was originally published in the Fall 2011 Harker Quarterly.
The Harker Summer Camp, open to students from any school in grades 1-6, was both academically stimulating and tons of fun! In the mornings, students were grouped by age to study language arts, math and an elective of their choice.
Classes did not have assigned homework and the second half of the day was pure fun. Students participated in group activities including arts and crafts, circus arts, slip and slide and relay races. In addition, students had the chance to spend time in the swimming pool both during group time and during Special Interest time, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., if desired. Students also played with friends outside their groups and participated in crafts, games and more.
Christopher Smith, who started grade 6 at Harker this fall, had the usual morning regimen including math and language arts. For an elective, he chose Go Green, an exploration of the science of living green.
For him, the best thing about coming to Harker was, “just the environment and the teachers, all the nice people you meet. My favorite part of the day is when we get together with the other classes and play games – it’s a rivalry – and swimming is fun because they teach you how to play water polo.”
Ilana Josephson, age 10 and in grade 5, does not attend Harker during the school year, but said she liked Harker camps because, “It is kind of fun meeting new people and not being bored at home,” and loved the swimming component because “it’s really hot!”
Brooklyn Cicero, now in grade 2 at Harker, also liked the swimming. “I like friendship recess,” where kids of different age groups mixed to play games, she added.
Field trips provided nice diversions for campers and included a variety of outings. Harker’s own transportation director organized the buses, while group leaders, counselors and camp directors led and supervised. One outing saw the kids visiting Laser Quest. “That was so much fun,” Smith said.
Camper Sebastian Casellas, grade 6 at St. Francis Cabrini, also enjoyed the laser tag trip and the other outings during his session, which included an overnight party and a trip to an ice rink.
This year was Casellas’ fifth at Harker Summer Camp. “I like hanging out with all my friends that I meet every day, I like going to the game room, I like swimming, I like playing on the playground,” he said. And he clearly enjoyed the overall experience! “The counselors are the nicest people on earth – they are really nice to me, they are really inviting and all the kids here are super-nice and they just speak to me really well – they are really nice to me,” he concluded.