After having to cancel all its summer camps in 2020, the Ashcroft HUB is back with a full lineup of camps all summer long for kids aged seven to 13.
There is something for everyone in this year’s camps, from dinosaurs and dance to art, science, cooking, and movie-making. The first camp runs from July 6 to 8, and the final one takes place from Aug. 24 to 27.
The HUB has already resumed offering in-person programming, with DodgeBow for children, youth, and adults taking place on Thursdays and basketball camps for boys (Tuesdays) and girls (Thursdays). HUB program coordinator Ali Onstine says that DodgeBow came about because the HUB had the equipment and wanted to see it used.
The basketball sessions came about after Onstine spoke with Desert Sands Community School teacher — and longtime basketball coach — Roger Hannis. “He said that there didn’t seem to be that much interest in basketball, and he was worried that there might not be a girls’ team in a couple of years.” The sessions offer basketball training for children aged 10 to 13.
When it came time to put together a list of summer camps, Onstine says she picked some that have run in previous years, and came up with a few new ones that she thought would appeal to kids. “I worked at the Cache Creek pool for two years, and we did a lot of different things on Twisted Tuesdays, like wizards and Jurassic Park, and the kids had a lot of fun.”
While camps that have more than one instructor and can take place in more than one space — such as dance — have a larger capacity, many have an enrollment limit of 20 students, and Onstine says that some are already half-full. She adds that she tried to be flexible with the lineup and think about what is do-able: “Outside is always better.”
The summer kicks off with Science Camp from July 6 to 8, and Onstine says there will be activities covering biology, chemistry, and physics. “There’ll be a microscope scavenger hunt, and lots of experiments. Kids will build bottle rockets and launch them in the playing field, and there will be an egg drop, where you have to make something to hold your egg so it doesn’t break when it’s dropped off the roof.”
A one-day Tie Dye Camp runs on July 9, with participants designing and creating their own wearable art. There will also be games and swimming, and Onstine says that these will be features of several of the camps.
The Tie Dye Camp sets the stage for an Art Camp from July 13 to 16, which will feature a variety of different mediums, including chalk pastels, clay, acrylics, and sculpture. At the end of the camp, all the projects will be displayed in a community art gallery in the HUB gym so that family and community members can come and admire what the students have created.
July 20 to 23 will feature a Wizard Camp, which will see the HUB turned into HUBwarts school. “I’m really excited about this one,” says Onstine. “It’s based around the Harry Potter books, but if you’re not familiar with Harry Potter that’s fine, you won’t miss out.” Activities will include being sorted into houses, playing quidditch, learning some magic tricks, scavenger hunts, making wands, and potions, herbology, and spells classes. At the end of the camp, participants will officially graduate from HUBwarts.
The popular Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society camp returns from July 27 to 30, and will include art with Jo Petty, singing with Teresa Takacs, and a theatre component, where participants can put on their own show. Older students will have the option of making their own movie under the guidance of Matthias Sampson.
Kelly Mykyte and her Krush Dance company will feature in the Dance Camp from Aug. 3 to 6. In addition to a variety of dance styles, the camp will also feature other activities, including games and swimming. From Aug. 10 to 12, the focus switches from dancing to dinosaurs with Jurassic Park Camp, where participants will learn about different types of dinosaurs, dig for fossils, make their own fossil cookies, and take part in a scavenger hunt.
Budding business people can take part in the Build a Business Camp on Aug. 13 and then from Aug. 16 to 20. It’s another camp that Onstine is really excited about.
“We want the kids to become little entrepreneurs and create a product. They’ll learn about cost and materials and design, make their products, and then we’ll have a Dragon’s Den type of thing where they’ll present their creation. We’ll have them do posters, and set up an attractive-looking table, and then they can sell their product. We’re going to invite members of the community to come by and have the kids pitch their products and maybe make some money.”
The final camp is the return of the ever-popular Crazy Café from Aug. 24 to 27. Participants learn all about running a restaurant, from planning a meal to budgeting, purchasing supplies, and cooking. Students then have a chance to open their café to customers and serve up their creations, although Onstine says it’s hard to know right now exactly what that will look like due to COVID-19 restrictions.
All of the camps run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (the only exception is dance, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). The cost for most camps is $30 per child, with the exception of tie dye ($15) and dance/WRAPS ($50). All materials needed will be supplied and are included in the registration fee.