SESSION 3 IS COMPLETE!
This summer has been nothing but memorable over the past couple sessions, with the amazing memories of Session 3 being added to that list!
“Da Vinci’s Workshop” has been one of our most anticipated sessions at camp, and boy, did it deliver! Pirates, gliders, kaleidoscopes, and superheroes… would you ever think those four things could ever go together? Here at The STEAM Project, they definitely do!
As usual, we reached out to our dedicated Assistant Directors, CIT Program Director and valued campers at ALL camp sites to give us a recap on this unforgettable session! Featuring our end-of-session videos and featured GIFs of our staff and campers in action, you’re in for a treat!
Norbert Nguyen (Assistant Director at RHCC)
Right from the start the campers were introduced to Session 3 and it’s ‘Da Vinci’s Workshop’! Da Vinci’s known for a lot of things– he’s not just an artist! He’s also an inventor and from the Renaissance period so we really wanted to combine all of that in the projects and activities for this session.
There were lots of really fun painting and art-related activities, but also a lot of invention/engineering projects and design projects. Not only are projects getting more complex and detailed, they also really reflect who Da Vinci was and what he represented.
Going with that Renaissance theme, we looked at a lot of stuff from the Renaissance period, but we also went back into the past! So aside from the Renaissance period we’ve also diving into Ancient Rome and Medieval Times, so it was really fun ramping all of that up.
‘Da Vinci’s Workshop’ was very much to allow campers’ creativity to flow throughout this session. One way we took it further this session was by altering a lot of the prompts for the projects and activities, so they weren’t as detailed and step-by-step. The purpose of that was so that the kids would really have to think outside the box and inspire them to be creative on their own — I can say that it definitely worked!
There were a few complex builds, but for the most part the campers understood that they had to design a project/build and work with what you’re given to make the end product your own.
Camper – Asha
“My favourite part of camp are using 3D pens—I made a guitar with them! My instructors and counsellors are also really friendly.”
Camper – Matthew
“My favourite part of camp is definitely sketching during open activity, and just the creativeness and innovation in many of the tasks done here. My instructors and counsellors are very knowledgeable and funny—and they’re friendly and amiable with the rest of the campers!”
We had this huge Medieval Festival/Joust! Each cabin got into their own sort of medieval faction in the form of different Italian city-states (e.g. Venice, Rome, etc.) to fit with the Renaissance theme. Each of the cabins then chose a champion to represent them in a huge tournament and we had every cabin cheering for their city-state! It was really exciting to watch the whole championship go down, especially since we had a lot of stuff planned for it.
I think everyone’s really gotten into the theme this session, which is awesome. There’s just been so much more involvement this session, for example, at flagpole there was a lot of dancing and at lunch there’s singing, so the whole atmosphere was really booming this session and that was great to see.
There have been a lot of cool and ambitious projects this session, but a favourite right off the top of my head is a project for Seniors called ‘Happy Toilet Paper Holder’!
It’s quite literally just something they built completely from scrap pieces of wood, and they got to use a saw and drill to make it and screw stuff in as well, so they really got to use their tools more. They spent a lot of time on it, and it was well worth it because they ended up with a really nice ornament that serves as a toilet paper holder with a smiley face on it!
For Spirit Days, last week we had ‘Jersey Day’, so everyone came in with all sorts of outfits to represent their favourite sports team! We saw all kinds of teams and there were even some really funny outfits—one of our unit heads, Kentaro, dressed up as the country of Jersey itself (which is an island between France and England). We also got to introduce the Medieval theme that day!
‘Disney/Fantasy Day’ was one that I was really excited for. I was so excited to see everyone’s costume and there was a lot of crazy fun stuff that happened that day.
It was amazing seeing all of the amazing costumes– I saw a full Lego Knight costume, Harry Potter and even Mabel from Gravity Falls!
I dressed up a classic ‘Plague Doctor’, so I had the robes and beak and wings I spray painted as well… not to mention disco lights for extra flavour!
Last week we had a really fun magician, Danny Hamill, come in who performed for all the kids! He had so many super interesting tricks and he was very welcoming. He’s performed all around the world, so we were very fortunate to have him here performing for us.
We also had Brian Zhao, an animator come in to talk to the kids about his job and his art! Brian was actually one of our counsellors at The STEAM Project for the past two years, and now he goes to an animation school and works professionally to animate!
He’s animated all sorts of cool stuff so he talked to the kids about that and also on things like stop motion and how animation works. He actually showed the sophomores an application downloadable on the iPads they can use to make their own animation using stop motion!
From the CIT Program
Molly O’Neill (CIT Coordinator)
I’m really excited to see how the CITs bond with the campers and get more involved with camp life and camp spirit. One of the things that we altered about the program this time around is that we’re getting them to work with the kids a bit earlier than before. So because of that I’m already seeing them form some connections with the campers which is very special!
In our first week, we spent a lot of time going through similar workshops like we did in the first session, so lots of learning and hands-on activities. They’re all to get familiar with the different leadership characteristics and traits that we look for in counsellors, as well as now getting some actual hands-on experience and getting to practice those skills!
This week, the CITs got their first cabin placements, so they got to know the counsellors and the structure of camp vs the CIT program more. Its been really good for them to get that experience and do a diverse set of activities, but also getting to immerse themselves way more in camp life!
So far, when it comes to Personal Projects, the CITs have just gotten their ‘materials needed’ list completed, so now it’s just a matter of getting those parts to start! All of the CITs this session are particularly interested in 3D printing, so where we had a lot of coding last session this time around what we’re seeing is very different!
There’s been some light prototyping so far, with them just messing around and learning the technology—which has been really important to them for the past couple of days. Soon they’ll have a prototype that they can go off of, but they’re all definitely making great progress, and I’m very excited to see what those final projects are going to look like!
In terms of skills, the CITs have been learning quite a bit about what it takes to be an inspirational leader. We’ve been going past the basic ‘How to work with kids’ and ‘How to take care of kids’, and instead focused on the ways they can use their strengths to pass on their interests and what they’ve learned at camp.
A specific example of that is how we’ve been talking a lot about ways they can communicate effectively with the campers. Instead of just giving them instructions and leading them through activities, they’re really giving them stuff that’s going to stick with them throughout the session and make it memorable for the both of them. I think it’s really important to not only to just teach the kids, but also impart some other greater knowledge on them that they can take with them in their daily life!
We’ve also been talking a lot about being adaptable, and how to utilize your resources as one big camp family to work through any issues as they come up at camp.
One of my favourite things to see so far has been how all the staff have come together as one big family to create this awesome camp experience.
At the beginning of the summer, we had a lot of new faces and it was kind of challenging at first to let loose and be yourself around everyone. But, as the summer has progressed, and especially now that we’re getting close to our last session, everyone has shown their true colours and we’ve really bonded!
Something I’m looking forward to would have to be seeing what the final CIT projects are going to look like when they come to fruition!
I’m also very excited for the Session Newsletter and Recap Videos! It’s always great to reminisce on all the fun stuff that goes on in the summer, and it always goes by so quickly that it’s nice to just take a few minutes and reflect on that.
SESSION 3 HIGHLIGHTS – RHCC
Darya Sadeghi (Assistant Director at Fletchers Fields)
I’ve really enjoyed seeing the kids express their creativity through projects in a way we haven’t been able to do as much in previous sessions! Usually, projects take up almost the entire one-hour activity block, so we wouldn’t have much time for kids to really do anything to their projects to express their individuality.
For “Da Vinci’s Workshop”, that totally changed, and we had an entire session focused on that, so I was really excited and happy with what I got to see.
Last week we had a lot of fun with our Da Vinci themed projects! We had most of our builds last week, including our Da Vinci Glider, Parachute and Bridge. Those projects were a lot of fun and we were able to introduce the kids to a side of Da Vinci that isn’t talked about enough.
As much as Da Vinci was an artist, he was also a brilliant engineer and inventor, so it was nice to introduce the kids to that part of him. By exploring the STEAM side to Da Vinci, it kind of gave campers a different definition of what it means to be creative, and what it means to produce art— it doesn’t necessarily have to be painting or drawing!
I would say that the #1 favourite project of the session was probably the Ornithopter that the Sprockets made. Ornithopters, or Da Vinci Gliders, whatever you want to call them… our project was directly based off of Da Vinci sketches!
I think that the kids really enjoyed expressing their creativity through putting it together in whatever way they wanted and getting to decorate them! There wasn’t really a set decided way on how to put together the laser-cut pieces, so it was really fun seeing how the Sprockets decided to make their gliders.
For Spirit Days, we first had Jersey Day!
Jersey Day was awesome– we had an amazing participation, and the kids wore all kind of jerseys (e.g. hockey, baseball, basketball etc.) and those of them who weren’t wearing a famous team were wearing jerseys from their own teams outside of camp!
This week’s spirit day was Disney/Fantasy Day, and we saw so many characters and fun costumes! I saw a bunch of princesses, tons of superheroes, even a Mickey and Minnie Mouse! There was also a Captain Jack Sparrow and Black Panther, so lots of really cool costumes and I think the kids really liked doing a sort of Halloween in August.
This session is where we focused more on artistry and creativity, separate to the type of creativity and artistry that we had in previous sessions. At The STEAM Project, we really want to put that emphasis in ‘Arts’, and we really want to show that it’s a viable path and that kids are allowed to express creativity and individuality in whatever way they want!
This session we really give them a lot of freedom and materials and I think that teaches them to not only embrace their creativity, but to let it run free! So, I think that the skills that they learned were to really take advantage of their individuality, and make sure they’re creating something that is unique to them and something that screams them.
I love the Mini-Olympics we have every other Friday!
Every camper is dressed up in their colours and it’s so much fun because they get super into it and we get nice and competitive in a really friendly way.
I think that my favourite game in the Mini-Olympics would be Trivia with the younger kids. It’s definitely my favourite part of camp because I just love seeing how smart campers are, and it’s great because you’ll never expect it how much they really know, especially by the end of camp!
Camper – Jessica (Sports Academy)
“I really like playing soccer, especially the games. My instructors and counsellors are really nice because they participate and don’t just sit out all the time. They understand you, and don’t force you to do things you don’t want to do!”
Camper – Rayan (Sports Academy)
“My favourite activity is the Sink-Thy-Counsellor because it was just really funny to see my counsellor in a baby pool… and she sunk!
My counsellors are nice and they’re just good at doing their jobs. My instructors are really fun and it’s fun to do projects with them.”
I am really looking forward to getting to know campers more we are nearing the end of the summer so I really want to use as much of the free time I have at work to go around and talk to the kids and really get connections with them before the summer is over.
I’m also really excited for our “Mad Science” session because we have so many fun science projects and we haven’t been able to do many until now so there are so many fun things in store for the kids.
SESSION 3 HIGHLIGHTS – Fletchers Fields
Anna Shirkalina (Assistant Director at Richland Academy)
“Da Vinci’s Workshop” is actually my favourite session so far because it allows a couple themes to go on at once. This session lets you do/make cool things that have a lot of science and math behind them, but also come out very pretty and artistic.
Da Vinci was a huge creator and had some very interesting ideas that we played off of for projects. For example, campers got to make a Pantograph, and the technical execution was very cool because it’s a mechanical device that lets you scale up an image!
The camper projects went very well this session, I think the kids really enjoyed themselves! They were doing lots of ‘Da Vinci’-based structures, and they even got to build a ‘Da Vinci Bridge’—which is a bridge that will hold up without any adhesion!
On the more artistic side, when campers got to paint, they learned about different patterns and how to make different patterns. An example of that is when campers learned how to make their own stamps!
They also made their own Toolbox, which was a laser cut assembly! The kids got to put that together, and even make tools to go inside their toolbox. They made a pair of laser-cut scissors, and even a little spinning plywood saw that we used to saw through soap! It was really cool to see them make like ‘Da Vinci Tools’ for their own toolbox to use in workshop.
The Freshkids also got to use a Spirograph, which is one of those toys where there’s an outside and inside gear that spins and you can draw on paper using that. So campers learned that because of the different gear ratios and where your point is, you can get to draw some very cool spirals.
Campers also made a Kaleidoscope that had three mirrors angled like a triangular prism, and the design at one end lets light shine through! They got to see how the light and mirrors made a very pretty reflection pattern and played around with that. So that’s a good example right there of how you get a very cool project that uses science (in terms of reflections) and geometric patterns that combine and show Da Vinci’s creativity.
Camper – Matteo (Sprockets)
“I’ve been going to camp here for a few years and I love the engineering and making things! My favourite project was my Pirate Ship because there’s a circuit. There are three lights that go with the circuit, and my instructors got to use a soldering tool for it too!”
Camper – Jason (FreshKids)
“We made Robot Dinosaurs with batteries, and it worked. It can also move his mouth and legs, and you don’t even need a remote control!
I also like my counsellors because they do good things for me, like they help me all day! Sometimes when I put glue on my hands my instructors have this magic that can get the glue out.”
Last week we focused more on the pirate/nautical theme!
Our Sprockets built ‘Pirate Boats’ with LED cannons, so they learned about parallel circuits and how the canons light up. It was also a technical assembly, so they learnt about boat shapes and stuff like that.
The FreshKids also got to build their own boats with popsicle sticks and launched them in the pool to learn about buoyancy! We had weather simulated by leaf blowers that made the boats move, sink, and flip over, and that was cool to watch the kids be amazed at that.
We had some guest pirates come in, and they were really fun! They had some games and songs prepared and did those with the kids—and even taught them how to be real pirates! The kids definitely really enjoyed it, they were all very happy and engaged, and they all participated.
For Spirit Days, last week we had Jersey Day! It was really fun seeing the kids dress up in their favourite sports teams– we had some cheer offs! We were also looking forward to Disney Day, where the kids got to dress up as their favourite Disney character, from princesses to superheroes!
Water Days were also a lot of fun. We’ve been having some pretty warm days, so it made water days that much better.
My favourite moment has been watching my instructor team learn how to problem solve, grow as instructors, and work well as a team.
The kids are also getting more proficient and accurate in their projects and activities, so it’s great watching those dexterity skills grow.
SESSION 3 HIGHLIGHTS – Richland Academy
*Responses have been edited for length, clarity and/or brevity*
Want to keep up with us in real-time? Make sure to follow us on social media for daily camp photos, reels, and more!
– The STEAM Project Family
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us at 289-819-0178 or firstname.lastname@example.org.