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SUMMER 2017: Affordable Summer Camp (a Possible Event)

posted Jun 4, 2017, 9:29 PM by Admin Activiteca   [ updated Jun 4, 2017, 9:35 PM ]
You can make it happen!

Many parents would like to enroll their children in some summer activity that would make a significant difference in the youngsters' growth, but especially with camps there are sometimes obstacles: the desired camps are too expensive, or too far away, or scheduled in ways that conflict with the family's own schedule, or are already full because the family didn't know about them in time.

The Affordable Camp is a pilot program to set up a camp that not only is low-cost, but is designed to meet the needs of busy families. This camp would be not only different from school (as every camp should be), but different from most other camps.

DIFFERENT PLANNING PROCESS

The location, the schedule, the staff, and the rules would be worked out by a group of interested members of the community or neighborhood where the camp is desired; this “core committee” would represent the interests of the people in that area, and help find the best venue, decide if the camp would be half or full days (or both), and agree on the best ways to manage the campers' behavior, relations with parents, issues of health and safety, and other concerns.

DIFFERENT WAY OF PAYING

The cost for the parents will be significantly under $100 per week. This is far less than paying baby sitters, who now are typically charging $10 per hour. The final fee will depend on other sources of funding, the costs of the venue, if any, and other ways to reduce expenses. For example, the campers' parents will pay only for the amount of time the student is attending (in units of half-day); thus new campers can enroll at any point, and others can be absent when needed. A child may want to attend for only one day, and that's okay.

DIFFERENT STRUCTURE OF THE LEARNING PROCESS

This camp will not consist of a curriculum that spreads out over a week or two weeks to complete a project or develop a complex skill. The learning sessions are made up of experiences that fit together in a “package” to help learners discover some major scientific or mathematics concept through manipulation and discussion. Some sessions are simply to challenge the campers to observe, analyze, compare, etc. to strengthen their thinking skills. If missed, or requested again, any of these lessons can be repeated for those who want them.

DIFFERENT TYPE OF “COUNSELORS”

The guides for the camp will be volunteers from the community where the campers live, not from somewhere else. This makes it possible for the volunteers to be recruited and screened by the Core Committee so that the campers have instructors who are familiar and trustworthy. These guides must be 16 or over, above average in intelligence, quick to learn new material, and comfortable when working with people. They will be trained in Activiteca materials and methods, so that the campers get maximum chances to be actively learning, instead of passively listening or watching. Other volunteers will be recruited to help with camp security, communications, and other services. Again, they must be 16 or older, and approved by the Core Committee.

DIFFERENT WAY OF LEARNING

The contents of the camp program will be science, math, and thinking skills. Some of the science and math will seem very basic, things that are taught in early years in school. However, sometimes these things are “taught” without the student really remembering or understanding them. Even adults may “know” these things but not see their significance. The experiments and games make the learners grasp what is going on, at the level they are ready for. For example, in doing a set of experiments with magnets, young children will focus on the “tricks” they can do, and not understand explanations well. But they will remember those amusing experiences later when they encounter the subject in their schoolbooks, and will more easily understand the text. Meanwhile, doing the same experiments, older children and adults will be able to ask questions about magnetism's “how” and “why” and become more proficient in the theory as well as the real-life applications of magnetism.

Other scientific concepts are rather sophisticated, but in the camp they will be introduced in a way that the students can deal with them and see their connections to other areas. For example, inertia is rather abstract to read about, but with ridiculously simple objects, learners can see clearly what it does, and at a higher level, proceed to quantify it.

Besides these sessions guided by the trained volunteers, there will be some periods when individuals or groups can use the special room with mind-stimulating games and puzzles, plus books and magazines, for their self-chosen enjoyment. Also, the camp will invite guest presenters, who will explain their profession to campers—not just with talk, but with an activity and a question-and answer session. The career options introduced would be in STEM, investigation, or service.

DEADLINE

This summer camp will happen only if a group of people from the same area, willing to serve as a planning committee for the camp, will contact us by June 8. If there are more than one group applying, the first group that made contact, or the one that can hold the initial meeting with Activiteca International first, will get to have the camp. (This initial meeting of the Core Committee and Activiteca International would come after June 8, hopefully within a week.) At the initial meeting, all 8 members should attend, as well as any additional interested persons, and they should be able to present several viable locations they have investigated for the venue of the camp. They would address the most important aspects of the camp, including the target dates for the camp's beginning and ending, and schedule any other meetings.

If there is no response to Activiteca International by June 8, this offer will not be repeated.

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