One of the best parts of summer is camp! It's fun for kids and parents alike, not to mention the camp counselors who get to be kids themselves for a couple of days. On July 18th 2011 Grow Food, Grow Hope began the first day of our five-day Junior Master Gardener Day Camp for kids aged six to twelve. This was the second year for Junior Master Gardener (JMG) Day Camp, and we had 73 registered campers. This was more than triple the amount of campers from last year!
Activities at camp were both fun and educational and focused on science, crafts, nutrition and outdoor activities (the giant parachute and the water slide were favorites). Campers were divided into one of five vegetable-themed groups: Awesome Asparagus, Brave Beets, Creative Cucumbers, Outrageous Okra and Zany Zucchini.
Campers learned about such topics as metamorphosis, photosynthesis, recycling, identifying different fruits and vegetables, soil composition, bugs and how they eat, and making new friends. They were taught fun dances, encouraged to try new foods, and each day they went home with a new craft to show their parents.
Temperatures last week were in the upper 90's so on Thursday, the water slides and sprinklers came out. There was a giant blow up water slide, a pool, and a slip 'n' slide. There were also some water sports for campers to take part in. Camp counselors even got caught up in the fun as campers took turns dumping water buckets on them and smearing whipped cream pies on their faces during the end of week awards presentation. Camp ended on Friday with a graduation ceremony for campers that included each group singing their favorite songs for the parents and demonstrating their group’s original chant followed by a photo slide show depicting what the children did at camp.
Camp was free for all participants, however parents were encouraged to make donations if they were able to. All monies raised went to fund camp supplies. Camp counselors and organizers were Grow Food Grow Hope VISTA Volunteers and VISTA Summer Associates.