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Camps with Class

by Suburban Family-- Editorial Staff

Local summer camps share their unique, modern and educational programs that are bringing camp classes into the 21st century. “New to camp is a beekeeping elective. We trained one of our staff members to be a beekeeper, bought thousands of bees and supplies and ended up making 50 pounds of honey at the end of the summer. For kids to see that progress is so exciting.”
Andy Pritikin, Owner and Director of Liberty Lake Day Camp

"[At our Wild West Scrapbooking Class] each child will create a themed scrapbook to take home using photos from camp, fabric, ribbon, buttons and bric-a-brac."
Linda Moser, Happy Hooves Summer Horse Camp via

“We use nature as our inspiration for a weeklong class. We focus in on various artists that use nature in their work. We learn about nature art like mandalas and stone stacking as inspiration. And we always teach them about the art, bring their attention to nature and bring it into the classroom. We go outside as often as possible and bring the materials we find into the studio.”
Jennifer Buerkli, Director of Education, Markeim Art Center Summer Art and Ceramics Camp

“We offer a free sports clinic through our camp. We look at where the athlete is—be it beginner, medium or expert—and take those skills and fine tune them. We offer basketball, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey. We provide the equipment so kids can learn and see how they respond to it.”
Donna Egan, Camp Director, ISC & DSC Summer Day Camp

“The video film production camp runs all summer and the participants go through the entire process of creating a film, from developing an idea, pitching an idea to their director. They screen write and storyboard it and we have professional equipment where they shoot the film on site at Camden County College and edit using editing equipment afterwards. Then, at the end of all their hard work they do a film premiere night.”
Stacy Napolitano, Business Development Manager, Mainstage Center for the Arts Summer Stage

“Passport to the World takes kids to a different country each day. Every day is a different place to visit, with lessons and games tied to that country. They go to countries like Japan and Germany, do an arts and craft project related to the country, learn a dance or lesson about the country and at the end of the day the kids get their passports stamped.”
Sharon Damiano, Director, Chartwell’s Happy Day Camp

“Every Friday we have a concert and the kids get to perform in front of 6-700 kids. So you create a culture of doing these nice things for each other and it gets momentum. The kids want to start doing it, the counselors want to start doing it. The counselors want to turn the kids into good people, that’s what they are here for, and that’s the kind of staff we have.”
Andy Pritikin

“[During Pony Painting Class campers] fingerpaint, stencil, and spray paint our ponies and horses. [They also] paint horses on canvas, apparel and stones.”
Linda Moser, via

“Kids who like the aspect of putting on a show but don’t want to be on stage can go to Technical Theater Camp. They learn behind the scenes skills, get to help build the scenery, paint a lot of the sets and gain experience working with lighting and learning how to work with sound. Then they assist our professionals with the final productions.”
Stacy Napolitano

“The population of monarch butterflies have dwindled over the years so we wanted to teach the kids about a save the monarch program. Campers planted milkweed seeds in the beginning of the summer and by the last week of the summer we had butterflies flying around. There is education involved with the gardening as well.”
Heather Masso, Chartwell’s Happy Day Camp

“We bring in a nutritionist and strive to teach kids how to make healthy, alternative snacks that also taste good. Every Wednesday our second through eighth graders can take a nutrition class. They get a recipe to take home and use tools that they’ll be allowed to use at home. They learn what food is doing to their bodies.”
Donna Egan

“Fabulous fibers focuses just on fibers, from felt fabrics, textures, string and even working into paper and paper pulp. The education focuses on folk art traditions like quilting and weaving, while bringing it into a modern focus and incorporating string art and other techniques.”
Jennifer Buerkli

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 2 (March, 2016).
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