Summer Camp Weeks for Children Ages 10-14

To the moon and beyond! We take students beyond the moon, to all our planets and even outside the solar system.  We’ll learn about galaxies, nebulas, “dead stars” and black holes.  We explore two of the great questions in life:  Where did we come from? And where are we going?  Planetarium trip included where locales and timing and legalities permit.

Ballet & Tap (beginning):
Looking to stimulate your child’s interest, focus, natural energy and expressiveness? Our Classical Ballet and Modern Tap program may be the way.  For parents searching for ways to interest, engage, stimulate and focus their child’s natural energy and expressiveness, the answer might be, “Modern Tap” or “Classical Ballet”.   These sessions introduce children to both. Ballet is a unique synthesis of artistry and technique, of self-expression and discipline. It’s challenging and great fun.  Here children will learn:

  • That focused effort leads to results.
  • That  stories can be told by moving to music.
  • That stretching, bending, reaching and jumping to the beat is exhilarating.
  • That the body can create beautiful shapes and lines.

Introducing a child to classical ballet can be a gateway to the performing arts and artistic communication.  It can also lead to proud accomplishments and success in the studio and on stage.    This is for beginners, ages 10-12.  Shoes are needed, and not included in the price.  Rentals are available in most sizes.

Chess: (beginning)
Welcome to the wonderful game of chess. This class is for beginners.  On our first day we introduce all moves and give students basic offensive strategy.  On day two we include counter-moves, defense and thinking three and four steps ahead.   By the end of our second day all children will be playing their first games!  On day three we give each student a series of “what if” situations, introduce playing with a clock and playing new people via computer chess. Days 4 and 5 consist of almost all game-playing, with a handicapped tournament at the end of each day.  Stronger students will have to work within tighter time limits, so the games can be competitive.

Chinese (beginning):
Learn a new and PRACTICAL language! This course introduces the basics of pronunciation, grammar, and everyday vocabulary of Mandarin, official language of China . This course helps students develop basic skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing colloquial Chinese.   Our goal this week is to understand and hold basic low level conversations.  All writing will be in Pinyin, a phonetic transcription system. We will not teach Chinese characters (or Hanzi), but we will show students a computer translation from Pinyin to Hanzi.   We leave students with a progression of home-study to take them to the next level.

Digital Art / Cartooning:
Does the idea of “morphing” inspire you? Do you like to transform one thing into another? Then sign up for this fun and experimental digital art workshop module in which students will learn to use  computer graphics software to create art. They will learn to capture images from different sources – the digital camera, scanner, the Internet, etc,. Integrate them, and transform them into unique personal expressions through the application of the basic tools and functions of Adobe Photoshop.  Students can expect to put two to four pieces into their online galleries for display to all.

Flip-Cam Film-Making:
You-Tube started it.  Now flip-cam films have become sophisticated and remunerative.  Whether to impress family, impress friends, or to build a little business helping neighbors with parties, instructional videos, sales, or video resumes, this class will launch all students.  Two modules will discuss the do’s don’ts and ethics of film-making, and students will learn how to use releases.  Students can expect to come home with two or three crafted films.

Fun Science:
This is a survey of what makes science interesting. It emphasizes the practical – how science can affect every child’s life. Each day we have a brief survey of at least two of the following areas: asteroids, chemical reactions, dinosaurs, earthquakes, oceans, physics, pollution, rivers, solar eclipses and volcanoes.  Each day your child will have some collaborative project to work on.  The final day will include a take-home creation.

Golf Skills (beginning):
This is the game of kings – requiring thinking, dexterity, and special coordination – but giving a lifetime of recreational pleasure.  (More immediately, proficient golf happens to be a very good college admissions “lift” for girls.)  Our instruction is for beginners, and will cover irons, “woods”, chipping, putting, and sand play.   We teach Golf etiquette in the final 30 minutes of the first three days, and we culminate with full rounds on Thursday and Friday, with parents welcome to play on either or both days.

Grammar Group:
This is for students who have fallen behind.  In five days, we review the grammar that is supposed to be taught in five years, but often isn’t taught well or isn’t mastered in elementary grades.  Students will appreciate sentence structure, will be able to identify errors on standardized tests, and will be able to better edit their own essays.   Students ultimately test their new knowledge in the most rigorous of grammar-identification and grammar-improvements challenges: the SAT.  (For composing, see our other offering called “Write On!”).

Jewelry Making:
Our instructors love teaching the art of jewelry making to children and teens in an engaging and age-appropriate way. We begin with basic beading crafts on day one. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and ornamental pins will follow. Our classes focus on using your creative talents to create beautiful handmade pieces of jewelry that will impress your friends and family. All levels welcome.   An array of beads and stones to work with are included in the course price. Parents who’d like to see their children create pieces with more expensive gems may bring them separately, or have us procure them in advance.   We look forward helping your child create beautiful handmade crafts and jewelry.

Latin (beginning):
Latin provides many building blocks for English proficiency.  Students who take full-year courses in Latin have correspondingly higher SAT scores.  This course is meant to give students an introduction that’s practical, directing students to modern-day vocabulary based on Latin that impresses teachers and fosters SAT success.

Making Music on the Mac: (limited venues – Mac classroom required)
Have you always wanted to write your own songs, but don’t know how to play an instrument? Do you have a Mac and really want to know how Garage Band works?  Then this is the class for you!   Garage Band puts on complete recording studio in your Mac, making it easy to create music.  Each class gives participants two jam-packed hours working with Garage Band, learning how to combine loops, add drums and rhythm sections and use special effects to bring out that song you hear in your head. Come away with a CD of your own compositions. Basic computer skills are required for this class.  Students will have their own computers to work at their own speed.

Outdoor Explorations:
This course will help stimulate the curiosities of children who have yet to show an appreciation for nature.  Our experience will take your child away from the concrete and to the flora & fauna that abound even in the city. Excitement here begins indoors, with a discussion and slide shows of what to look for in the nature around us. On each of the remaining days, we will be in a different place, assessing the earth, the rocks, the trees, and the animal life around us.  Students keep a photo collage of the natural world they have experienced.  They also keep a continued relationship to the Instructor team, who will be emailing remarkable natural phenomena by email each week.

This introduces the gadgetry that powers our household devices. In our time together we will be making devices, at first collaboratively, then individually. Every participant will build a robot that will clean anyone’s bedroom on command. We use the LEGO Mindstorms RCX Robotics Invention System. Learn mechanical design, construction, programming & teamwork skills, using LEGO building elements, motors & sensors.   Students build different robots & program them with a computer to move, react & make sounds to solve challenges.

Speed Reading:
Get through your reading faster, with equal or BETTER comprehension!   We help students develop good habits so they are not bogged down with work. We make use of the “Breakthrough!” curriculum, using age-appropriate novels and non-fiction. Students should EXPECT to double their reading speed, and know that emerging three times faster, with equal or even BETTER understanding is a realistic result.  Most students will read a full (short) book in their final 3-hour session.

Ultimate Frisbee:
Frisbee has made a revival on college campuses for good reason – teamwork without coaches; competitiveness with few rules, and athletic achievement without the need to be tall or strong.  Our week is for the non-athlete who just wants to have fun.  We include basic skills, then move up to base-running Frisbee,  Frisbee Golf, and Ultimate Frisbee competition.  Parents are welcome in the final hour each day.