It’s almost that time of year! It’s time for a break from the routine—for barbeques, pool parties, and summer camp. If your kids are anything like mine, they love school but also need a break from the norm. But, like many other families, we like to make sure the kids have some structured fun to give us parents a little break from planning those summer days. Going in for our third summer, SSDS Summer Discover Camp has been a real summer saver!
At Summer Discover Camp 2015, students worked together to paint a giant squid.
Summer Discover Camp has been going on for over 20 years to give students an opportunity to see their friends and partake in some structured playtime after the end of school. It has grown from a two week to a six week program due to demand. SSDS offers summer fun for children three to seven years of age for one-week sessions beginning in mid-June and continuing through the end of July. Mini Discovery is also available for our smallest campers who may still be working on potty training. This year, SSDS is also offering an early bird option for campers starting at 8AM.
At SSDS summer camp, there’s lots of time for free play.
Ms. Veronica, camp coordinator, explains: “The program is designed to promote creativity and learning in a relaxed environment.” Each week has a different theme with fun filled activities. The teachers leading the individual weeks of camp pick themes and develop the curriculum and activities. This year’s themes include:
- Zoom! Invent, experiment and play with cars and trucks and things that move;
- Yoga Kids focusing on movement, mindful activities, games stories, kids build their balance, strength, calmness and friendship;
- Pippi’s Summer Adventure exploring wacky adventures of Pippi Longstocking through drama, movement, and art; (STILL SPACE!)
- Fiesta! It’s a Latin American party this week, with music, dance, decorations, tasty treats, and a piñata;
- Camp Out with tents, scavenger hunts, nature crafts, and roasted marshmallows;
- Ni Hao Friends going on an imaginary journey to China to enjoy stories, crafts, music and food. (STILL SPACE!)
While most of the classic camp is full, there is still space in Pippi’s Summer Adventure (July 4-8) and Ni Hao (July 25-29). If your child loves drama with Ms. Tanory, she or he will love Pippi’s Summer Adventure. Pippi Longstocking is the strong, creative and absurd female character, created by celebrated Swedish children’s author, Astrid Lingrin in the 1940’s. Ms. Tanory was inspired to use the stories of Pippi when she saw how much her children were captivated by them on a family trip to Sweden. Ms. Tanory explains “We will sail the seven seas with Pippi’s pirate Papa; we will be ‘thing searchers’ to see what we find; and we will clean Pippi’s huge yellow house with sponges on our feet.”
The theme for Ni Hao was developed by Pre-K teacher Vivian Greene. “I believe exposure to different cultures and languages help make us more open-minded and less fearful of differences, so when an opportunity arose that would allow me to do just that for our students, I jumped at the chance! Just thinking about getting to share a little bit about my home culture got me really excited,” Ms. Vivian explains. In Ni Hao, students will cook, make crafts like Chinese hand drums, and will hold a Chinese New Year Celebration.
The days, running from 9AM-1PM, are jammed packed with inside and outside fun. And, weather permitting, kids spend much of the day in the playground playing with water. Bathing suits and sunscreen are recommended!
At drop off and pick up, parents will also notice several teenagers guiding the campers through the activities. High school students take on the role of volunteer counselors and earn Student Service Learning hours for graduation. Ms. Jenai explains, “It’s a great opportunity for students to work with children, be creative, and even channel a little of the child in them.”
The campers love to have the counselors around and search for them throughout the day. I recall several times last summer when my kids didn’t want to come home because they were having too much fun with the counselors. It really does add something special to the camp for our young kids who get so excited to hang out with “the big kids.”
Come discover this summer at SSDS! For information on camp registration, go here.
By Nicole Barber-Vincent, mom to Olive and Griffin in Ms. Kelley’s pre-K, and Dylan, 10 months