By Diane Sutton, Director of Summer Programs, Providence Day
The arrival of spring has been welcomed by singing, dancing, and increasing merriment in my household…and I’m guessing in yours as well. We all feel it: the promise of fresh air, green spaces, and — finally! — daylight after dinner. As we hope for a COVID-free future, planning for summer fun is taking priority. And summer camp is high on the list of activities that benefit quarantine-weary kids AND their parents.
In fact, the benefits of camp, both overnight and day camp, are well documented. A study by the American Camp Association indicates that parents, camp staff, and children reported significant growth in camper self-esteem, independence, leadership, friendship skills, environmental awareness, decision-making skills, and other positive traits after just one session of camp.
In a normal year, the camp choices are huge; during a pandemic, not so much. In 2020, 70 percent of camps didn’t open. Providence Day School faced the challenges head-on last summer and invested heavily in infrastructure to protect the health and well-being of campers, their families, and camp staff. By adhering to national, state, and locally-recommended protocols, we experienced no reported cases of COVID-19 during five weeks of in-person camp last July.
And the level of joy? Through the roof! No mask can hide eyes shining with the happiness that comes from the freedom to play, interact, and learn with friends.
So what’s in store at Providence Day for Summer 2021?
Here are some of our newest offerings:
(rising grades TK-6)
This new camp will launch under the direction of Marcus Smith, Providence Day English teacher and former cabin counselor of Paul Newman’s A Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Camp Spirit is a perfect choice for families looking for that taste of sleep-away camp in a day camp setting. It’s packed with classic activities that kids love — arts & crafts, sports & games, water play, and more, differentiated by age levels. There’s also guided meditation, personal safety, outdoor adventure, and themed activities such as beekeeping demonstrations. As a bonus, Camp Spirit runs a little longer each day than most of our camps which is convenient for working families.
If your children aren’t ready for overnight camp yet, Camp Spirit is one of the best ways to prepare them. Each week-long camp session has been carefully developed to help kids discover the wonders of nature, the value of community, and the absolute fun that can be found in a camp close to home.
Adventure Awaits: Dungeons & Dragons
(rising grades 6-10)
D&D is undergoing a renaissance among millennials and Gen Zers, and this is your teen’s opportunity to get in on the fun. Kids won’t even realize they’re developing creativity, learning cooperative team building, and practicing their math skills in this camp that celebrates good old-fashioned storytelling. Get your kids off their devices and interacting with others in real time. Dungeon Master Katia McCarthy has been playing and leading D&D for more than 13 years.
Providence Day Football Camp
(rising grades K-7)
The return of Coach Chad Grier to Charlotte brings this new football camp for boys and girls. Campers will learn tips and techniques from PD coaching staff and players from the varsity football team. They’ll cover all concepts of the game including stance, starts, blocking, passing, receiving, punting, kicking, and snapping.
(rising grades 3-5)
Here’s a camp that goes to the heart of Providence Day as girls learn to harness their power and energy, both emotionally and physically. Activities each day are a combined exploration of a character trait and a physical activity (such as running or an obstacle course), led by Extended Day character education teacher Christy McDermott. By designing and creating their own goals, girls achieve new levels of awareness of character and physical strength. No problem will be too tough to solve because girls are UNSHAKABLE!
Growth Mindset Math
(rising grades 6-8)
Perceptions of math develop early in life, and negative experiences can profoundly affect future learning. This enrichment camp seeks to debunk myths about learning math and give students tools and strategies to approach math in a new way. Highly visual and hands-on activities build number flexibility and mathematical reasoning skills. Discussion of current brain research will shed light on how our brains learn math and set your student on a new path in their math education.
CK’s Red White and STEAM
(rising grades 2-8)
From CreativeKids, celebrating 26 years as a trusted camp partner of Providence Day School, comes this theater camp. Campers’ minds will be blown as they use science, technology, engineering, arts, and math to solve all kinds of theatrical challenges. Theater is the ultimate collaborative art form, but many students think you must love acting to love theater. Not so! Campers will tell exciting stories while exploring the technical elements of theater including set construction, lighting design, digital storytelling, sound design, and costuming. This STEAM camp will spark everyone’s imagination and intelligence!
(rising grades 5-8)
Ever try brushing your teeth with your OTHER hand? Toothpaste down the chin is the expected outcome. With practice, campers will increase their coordination while they spend the week attempting to throw, catch, trap, kick, paint, shoot baskets, play ping pong and write using the hands and feet that they don’t usually use. Laughing with others is encouraged and valued! Developing a positive attitude in spite of disappointment or outright failure helps kids become resilient and persistent. PD teacher Roy Garrison will share the research on brain development that occurs when we exercise our non-dominant sides. Get comfortable with being awkward — as you do, you just might improve your skill set.
Imagine much, much more; with nearly 150 camps and academic courses, there truly is something for everyone. Camps are filling fast, so visit www.ProvidenceDay.org/Summer and secure your child’s spot today!