Friday, October 31, 2014

The Classes of MICRO Camp

The way we do classes at MICRO Camp (the Artist Formerly Known As SET Camp) is a bit different than our standard summer camp classes. First off, campers select just one class and take that class for the entirety of MICRO Camp. (Close to seven hours of total lesson plan time!)  This gives campers more time to dive into their subject matters, and allows them to develop more detailed and complex projects. Another difference in that though our counselors assist with the courses, we bring in specialized instructors to teach each class. With these differences, the campers get an immersive experience  with plenty of time to explore some of the classes' big ideas in depth.

But what ARE those classes?

Boy, I'm happy you asked.

Some are camper-favorite SET Camp classes we're bringing back and/or improving upon.

Some are brand-new to MICRO Camp.

As the summers go on, we'll continue to rotate in popular classes from previous years, as well as consistently introducing new courses.

But enough on the distant future. Let's get back to the not-so-distant future.

Not-so-distant as in Summer 2015, and the MICRO Camp classes we're featuring:

Ranger’s  Creature Hunt*
Stokes Forest is a big, beautiful and mysterious place.  Ranger’s Creature Hunt will explore all the different animals that make Stokes their home, as well as a huge range of mythical creatures that could make Stokes their home! In studying the behaviors, characteristics, and habitats of Stokes’ real animals, our students will unlock the possibilities of the creatures of myth and imagination as well.

Students in our brand new Aliens class get to build an extraterrestrial civilization from the ground up! Through various projects and activities they’ll design the physiology of an alien species, the environmental make-up of their planet, the scope of their technology, and the entire history of their culture. The stars (and our camper’s creativity) are the limits.

Crazy Contraptions
A favorite of our science and technology based classes, Crazy Contraptions tests our campers' inventiveness, knowledge, and patience. Using a random assortment of house hold gadgets, junk, and everyday items they must construct an insanely complex Rube Goldberg-esque machine designed to perform a very simple task. They will learn the basics of planes, wedges, pulleys, wheels, levers and screws and have to utilize them all to build their own unique Crazy Contraption.

Super CSI
We’ve revamped our CSI class to add new levels of excitement and mystery! The class will gather clues and deduce their meanings, as well as learn different finger printing , interviewing, and investigation  techniques.  Campers will detect the evidence, unravel the mystery, and discover their inner sleuth.

Chuck It*
Nobody ever gets tired of objects being hurled through the air! Yes, as the name so clearly explains, this class will be about items being thrown, hurled, launched, catapulted, flung, and chucked. Not only will the students construct different kinds of catapults, sling shots, and air cannons, but they will learn the physics of flight by examining the factors of distance, speed, angle and velocity.

Ocean Robotics
There’s only one thing cooler than robots: underwater robots. Campers will learn how scientists use Remote Operate Vehicles to monitor the ocean and use that knowledge to explore the depths of our very own Lake Shawanni. The program will focus on underwater gliders and Sea Perch ROVs.

*- What are these random asterisksOh. They're not so random. They notate that these classes would be great for younger campers!

So that's the class selection for 2015.  Choose carefully. Choose wisely. And choose quickly, because we only have 20 spots in each class for our first summer of MICRO Camp. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Introducing: MICRO Camp

The new and exciting changes just keep on coming for the 2015 season because SET Camp is now...MICRO Camp.

MICRO Camp keeps everything that's great about SET Camp, but throws in a little bit more creativity, and a little bit more of our classic summer camp fun.

If you just looked at the name MICRO Camp and thought to yourself "Hey! With all those capital letters, that better be an acronym that stands for something!", worry not. You won't be disappointed.

Make, Imagine, Create, Research and Originate are the core virtues in  all the exciting classes we offer at MICRO Camp. Plus, it's MICRO cause it's just like a week at summer camp...only a little smaller. Campers stay for 3 nights and 4 days, residing in the cabins with our counselors, and participating in a bunch of our summer camp activities at the very beginning of the season.

Plus, it's a lot of fun to say. Out loud. MICRO Camp. Try it!

For real. Say it now. MICRO Camp!

Come on, just say it out loud. It'll be fun, I promise.

Wherever you are.

Especially if you're reading this on your phone in a public place where it would be socially unacceptable to just blurt out "MICRO Camp!" If that's where you are, definitely say it out loud.

Did you try it?


Fun, right?

Now say it five times fast.

Now you can stop saying it, you've done your part. (Besides, people are beginning to stare.)

Later this week, on this very blog (what a coincidence) we'll be announcing the classes offered for MICRO Camp 2015.

M.I.C.R.O Camp promises to be a great experience for campers who are into all sorts of crazy science and technology, first time campers who want to give summer camp a try, and campers who already love Lindley G. Cook and just can’t get enough camp.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Final Themes: The First Themes.

This past summer, campers heard whispers of what Session 2, 2015 might have in store for them.

Well whispers isn't quite right.

They didn't here whispers.

They heard roars.

Yes they heard roars echoing through the forest and discovered giant tracks in the mud around Lake Shawanni, because dinosaurs are finally coming to Camp.


July 13th-18th

Giant egg hunts. Fossil excavation hikes. Assembling the bones of brand-new species. Cave-person campfires. Create your own pre-historic creature.

And of course, the emergence of the greatest dinosaur of them all: THE DINO-CAMP-ASAURUS.

Get ready. Jurassic Week is going to be awesome.

No pictures yet exist of Dinosaurs on Camp, so we had to make do.

A Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-DINO Grandchild.

A yet to be discovered ancient Camp creature.

Baby Pterodactyl? Maybe?

Exactly. Roar.

Oh, never-mind. We do have pictures of a dinosaur on camp, I forgot. He's right here. Just think...finally. An entire week devoted to Velcro.


And finally first, we're at first finally...Finally. First. Kicking off the summer, with session one, we have our very first EVER:

Session 1: VIKING WEEK
July 6th-11th

An all-time favorite event of our long-time campers is our weekly Thursday Night Viking Dinner, and now we're doing the entire VIKING week. 

Vikings (in the camp sense, while not strictly historically accurate) are wild, crazy, and inventive. Viking week will showcase all of those traits, especially with our all-new lake activity. It will also feature  different variations of Viking Dinner (each one completely different with separate rules and guidelines) every single evening! Oh, and there will be horned helmets. Lots and lots of horned helmets.

What better way to kick-off Session 1 2015 than by taking the concept of Camp Viking to the extreme?

THIS IS WHAT ALL OF VIKING WEEK WILL LOOK LIKE ALL WEEK LONG. (Only cleaner. We will all be significantly cleaner than this.)

There you have it! The dates and themes of Summer 2015. We can't wait to see your here.

Now that they're all announced, you can finally stop "staying tuned."


Keep staying tuned!

On this very blog we'll be announcing our new twist on SET Camp, new off-season events, and a brand new slew of classes for 2015! So keep staying tuned!

The worst thing you could do is miss something by stopping staying tuned!

So don't. Not stay turned. That is.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Grand Theme Unveiling Continues: Sessions 3 & 4

Dreams of summer in October continue as we reveal our mid-season themes for 2015!

Session 4: Ol' West Week
July 27th-August 1st

We stole the Ol' West! And we're bringing it to Summer Camp.

Who'd we steal the Ol' West from? Why, ourselves naturally. Ol' West Week was a hit here at Camp...way back in Summer 2005 (before the Iphone, before Facebook got popular and before a good portion of our current campers were born), and we're bringing it back!

There were cowboys and cowgirls, lassos and cattle rustling, country fairs and generic ol' west-y accents. And so there shall be again!

Yup. Last time was 2005. 

Last time we had a horse.

Now I want to be clear. I am not promising we'll have a horse for 2015!

But I'm also not promising we won't have a horse for 2015, if you catch my drift.

(But was Kaytee Mckee on staff way back when we had Cowboy Week 2005? How will we ever know?)


But BEFORE the Ol' West there is Session 3! And Session 3 is, in a surprise turn of events and a surprise to no one...

Session 3: CHAOS Week
July 20th-25th

Of course.

Do you know what would be real Chaos? True, pure, unharnessed Chaos?

To NOT do a Chaos Week. Nothing would be more chaotic than no Chaos.

Perhaps one year, we'll get that chaotic. But not this year. This year, we're only chaotic enough to have another CHAOS Week.

CHAOS 2015. Be there.

Stay tuned: Sessions 1 and 2 are next - and as promised, they will be themes never before seen by the eyes of campers...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

So it Begins...THEMES 2015

Want to know something cool about working at camp all year long?

Even in OCTOBER, you get to think about summer camp all day every day.

With all that thinking, we've got some cool stuff planned for 2015. Talking brand-new classes, brand-new activities, and (you guessed it) brand-new themes.

We'll slowly be unveiling all the exciting stuff we've got in store for the 2015 season, and we'll begin this very day by unveiling the themes...slowly.

Stay tuned to this here blog, because we'll be lifting the curtain on the themes two-at-a-time over the next several days, in REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.

(Why reverse chronological order? It's a shout-out to a theme we did not choose, Backwards Week! Why didn't we choose Backwards Week? We couldn't figure out how to manage having the campers picked-up on Monday and dropped of on Saturday is why. Maybe we'll sort that out for the future.)

Drum roll. Please. (Y'know the deal. Starting drumming on your desk or keyboard or phone because if you don't the text below will cease to exist.)

We'll be ending the Summer Season with-

SESSION 6: Camp S’moregasbord

August 10th-15th

That's right, Session Six is...what session six always is! Our traditional end of summer theme sticks with tradition for another year! Camp S'moregasbord is basically just our "Classic Summer Camp" theme. We take bits and pieces of our favorite parts of all the themes all summer long and roll them into one. A lot of our long-time campers love showing up Session 6, to celebrate the end of another season with the staff, and we haul out a bunch of end-of-summer-only activities exclusively for our last session.

AND! We'll be preceding that with (because we're going backward, remember...)


Session 5: SPY WEEK 2015!

August 3rd-8th

Last season's SPY WEEK was one of the most successful new themes we've had in a while, and as soon as Spy Week was underway last summer we knew we'd have to follow it up with another one for the 2015 season. (I mean, c'mon. What happens after any good exciting spy thriller? A sequel is what.) The Dark Agent will once again be trying to seize our beloved Summer Camp, and there will be all new missions to be both foiled and accomplished. Like Spy Week last year, the 1951 Camp Spirit test just might need to be hauled out again to determine who at camp is friend and who is foe. (Disclaimer: we all wind up being friends.)

You may notice that BOTH of these sessions have the same themes as last year. Very perceptive, blog reader! Yes indeed, we loved 'em so much that Session 5 and 6 will be repeating last years themes, but check back here in a day or two for Sessions 3 and 4, which will include a theme we haven't hauled out in a long time, and Sessions 1 and 2, which feature two brand-new-to-camp-never-been-done-before themes.

Monday, October 6, 2014

So...I don't think it's summer anymore.

There's something interesting about staying at Camp after the summer season is over and all the campers and counselors go back to their respective "real worlds."

Through the end of August and beginning of September, it's still warm and it's still green and it still feels like summer. The only way you'd know the summer season is over is that it's suddenly very...quiet.

In fact, during that time you could be tricked into thinking it was still Summer Camp, and it was just a particularly silent rest hour and soon the bell 
would ring sending everyone pouring noisily out of their cabins for third period classes, OR it was a cunning Battle for the Island maneuver where all four groups were hiding in ultra-stealth mode, waiting to come roaring out of hiding in the bushes and behind hills to capture their opponents' flags.  Yes, during that time it feels like it's still summer here, and someone has just hit the pause button on a particularly serene moment.

It is no longer that time.

You could no longer think it might be still summer at Camp.

Because it is definitely fall at Camp.

And fall announces itself loudly and brightly, with crunching piles of leaves and brightly burning trees, and you know it can't be summer cause it is something very different.

And very cool. (In both meanings of the word.)

A slightly different lakeside view.

Just in case the orange leaves make you feel like you've wandered into the wrong spot, worry's still Lake Shawanni.

"Autumnal", if you will. (You will!? Gee, thanks.)

A rug of leaves...

...And a carpet of pine needles.

So not only is it fall at Camp, but fall is going fast.

If you'd like to catch Camp in the fall (that brief moment before winter) in person, I suggest you make a trip this Saturday and join us for  our fall community service weekend. You'll get to see some trees, peep some leaves, and lend a helping hand in preparing some parts of camp to go into winter hibernation mode. Let us know you'll be stopping by and check out the details here!

Catch em while you can, cause the leaves are falling fast.