Saturday, June 30, 2012

Camp Broadstone

Counseling Staff
Two summers ago, I had the fabulous opportunity to teach at a summer camp for academically gifted children. I got to develop my own lesson plans, and the camp provided me with my materials and a salary (also, camp food three meals a day!). There was one catch, well, two. The camp is up in Banner Elk, North Carolina, up in the Appalachian Mountains, and two, they didn't provide housing for the daytime teaching staff. I was at Cal State Northridge at the time, right in the middle of my degree. What resulted was an awesome cross-country road trip and a summer shared in a single-wide trailer up in Boone, with my friend Brittney. My mom and I drove the van out to North Carolina, and she flew back to California so I could drive to and from work. I have really awesome parents. 

While at camp, which lasted from June 6th (we had a training week the week before) through July 30th, I taught over 300 campers, ranging from 4th-9th grade. I also got to participate in campfires (which I adore), "Memoirs" (the yearbook for the 2-week resident campers), and Staff-run activities (like Mystery Night, and Formal Dinner). These campers were remarkable; all of them were academically gifted, many of them had OCD, ADD/ADHD, Asperger's, or other learning conditions. I loved working with these kids, because my style in the classroom is about breaking the normal ways of learning, through art, and attacking the problem from a different perspective. 


Sadly, Camp Broadstone has been cut due to budget restraints at Appalachian State University, which ran the camp. 

The Cup of Gold, my Teaching Cabin

The class I designed and taught was called "Makin' Monsters!"

Campers will learn how to sew (or expand on their sewing skills) while creating a one-of-a-kind stuffed toy.  Campers will discuss real animal adaptations to provide inspiration for the design of their creation, which they then, will be able to bring to “life.” 

These are a few of the kid's monsters, at the end of class 1. I got each set of campers for two 90-minute class sets.  The first class we discussed animal adaptations, designed our monster on paper, cut out our pattern, and did the decorating. The second class was all about sewing technique and finishing the monsters. It was the perfect two-session class. Everyone finished their monsters, and because we had done all the glue and such on the first day, by the time they finished the last stitch, the monsters were ready to play. 

The Staff Yearbook Cover I designed


Pi, on my Teaching Desk. He was the Class Mascot

A Better Look at Pi
Pi, in addition to being the class mascot, became my date to many a "Formal Dinner" at camp. He donned a monocle, a suit and a bow-tie. The campers LOVED him, and really got a kick out of him being my "date." 

I found a picture from when I got home from camp! Dathomir, my green iguana, is covering up the monocle.

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