Adalyn Corbell, 5, is a veteran camp-goer. She has attended spring break and summer camps at the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Golden Crescent since she was 3.
So far, her favorite activities have been teaming up with her friend to learn to code and build a robot, and competing against the other children in the camps.
From March 15 to 19, Spring Break Camp CRAFT Jr. for ages 3 to 5, Camp CRAFT for ages 6 to 8 and Boat Camp for ages 9 to 13 will take place at the museum. Both CRAFT camps will meet from 9 a.m. to noon, and Boat Camp will meet from 2 to 4 p.m. each day.
Adalyn’s mother, Tiffany Corbell, said the camps have sparked her daughter’s excitement for learning at a young age. Corbell has been so pleased with her daughter’s camp experiences that she is sending her again this year. She also is sending Adalyn’s little sister, Brooklyn, who is 3, for the first time.
“She’s (Adalyn) always excited to go (to camp) and come home to share her new findings, and tell us about the fun day she had,” Corbell said. “The camps open her up to learning new things. She’s almost proud of herself when she has learned something new, and as a parent, it’s exciting and we want to help her take advantage of that.”
The Corbells often go to the children’s museum as a family for the “amazing opportunities’’ to learn together. Corbell said the museum provokes imagination and creativity in her children.
“What’s special about the camp is that she gets to go by herself to a place she is familiar with,” Corbell said. “I think the staff does a great job of planning these camps. They do a great job of making sure the kids are learning in a hands-on environment and getting to have the opportunity for creativity, imagination and teamwork.”
CRAFT stands for colorful clay, recycled robots, awesome architecture, fun fabrics and terrific tie-dye. Each day of the week-long camp will be devoted to one of these activities.
Children will learn basic pinch pot and coil pot techniques and finish off their air-dry clay creations by painting them. They will learn to reuse materials rather than contribute them to the landfill by taking recycled robot parts and making new robot creations. Also, they will play with the museum’s robots to learn about basic coding and interacting with technology.
The children will learn the basics of building and structure by building pieces of architecture from found materials. They will choose, coordinate and assemble fabric for their masterpieces while discovering the tactile nature of fabrics. And, finally, they will get their hands messy making tie-dye T-shirts that they get to take home.
Both CRAFT camps will have graduation ceremonies on the last day of camp when parents come to the museum to see what their children have learned.
The Boat Camp is based on the principles of designing, building and testing. Children will design their own boats and transfer their designs onto 4-by-8-foot sheets of corrugated plastic donated by Inteplast. Through a series of cutting, folding, drilling and attaching, they will make the plastic sheets into full-sized boats in which they can paddle around a swimming pool on the final day of camp.
Each of the three camps costs $150 for the week. Camp CRAFT Jr. and Camp Craft are available by the day for $40. Parents who sign up their children for any of the camps before March 1 save $10, and museum members get a 10% discount. The museum will comply with local, state and CDC guidelines by conducting health screenings for campers and staff. The museum will ensure social distancing, and masks will be encouraged for all and required for all adults and children over the age of 10. To register for the camps, parents can go to cdmgoldencrescent.com and follow the links to the camps page to fill out the registration form.
Doug Donaldson, the museum’s education director, said that the camps start children down the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) road early in their lives.
“A lot of kids have never experienced hands-on science, so a lot of the stuff we do is science-based,” Donaldson said. “Even though it’s Camp CRAFT, we use a lot of engineering, science and technology — and math when we can sneak it in. We use STEM to promote learning through fun, hands-on activities.”