National Parks Week
I love that Camp Galileo is serious about keeping their week activities to a certain theme, Smarty's first week this year was National Parks to celebrate 100th anniversary of National Park system. Every day of camp is divided into three parts - science, art, and outdoor activities. In science, over 5 days students built backpacks with PVC frames. Nobody was quite fully finished with theirs on Friday, but the kids were allowed to take their backpacks and necessary materials home to finish them later (yeah, right, that famous word, "later"). In art, they were creating a complex multi-layer diorama of Yosemite Half Dome. Smarty enjoyed art more than science that week, because building backpacks was hard, and she was frustrated when she did not follow instructions properly and ended up with an opening towards her back. But I think that she learned a valuable lesson on slowing down and thinking through her work - something that this camp is specifically trying to teach.
Toy Makers' Week
Second week of Camp Galileo was a short Toy Makers' Week offered only once this summer during Independence Day week. Smarty had a blast making a stop-motion animation movie in art and a pretty involved pinball machine (see the lead image) in science. She certainly loved her team counselor Rosa - she had her last year as well, and was delighted to see that this year she could join her Red Giant team - a big team of returning senior campers entering their last year of Camp Galileo. Smarty was selected to give a closing speech, and she was very proud of this honor given to only one camper every week. She did a good job on the speech even though she took her father's advice to speak slowly a little too far. Her pinball machine turned out great, and it's the first project ever she had actually fully completed in science, so it must have been very well thought out by curriculum designers or... her best friend, who is much more handy than Smarty, helped her out.
Is Galileo Camp a Good Fit for Everyone?
Smarty's best friend joined her for one week last year and this year. He is a profoundly gifted child who has excellent spatial skills and can do anything with his hads. You would think that he would enjoy the camp, but... he thinks the program is too structured with not enough choices that can be made by the campers. He has his own favorite camp, Steve & Kate, where kids spend all their day in the activities of their own choice. Smarty will try his camp in August as part of the "camp exchange" deal our kids worked out before summer, so they could spend two weeks in the camp together. However, Smarty enjoyed every minute of Camp Galileo - its rules, its outdoor games, its focus on teamwork and creativity, and its projects. She is sad to be aging out of Camp Galileo, but is already lobbying to take Chefology and Games Design next year with Galileo Summer Quest.
Are your kids attending summer camps this summer? What kind?
2015-2016 After School Link Up Hosts
- The Educators' Spin On It
- Planet Smarty Pants
- Boy Mama Teacher Mama
- Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational
- Creative Family Fun