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Help with a camp activity



 
 
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  #23  
Old May 19th 04, 01:31 AM
Kevin Karplus
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Posts: n/a
Default Help with a camp activity

In article
, Luna
wrote:
In article ,
ospam (Splanche) wrote:

As for it being a brief game, well, that's possible, but I know when I
played a version of this at a 3rd grade birthday party it was a lot of fun.
Since 3rd grade is kind of the midpoint in the age range of the kids I'll
be working with, I figured aiming for that age would snare the most kids.


I think you're being a little too optimistic about reading skills.
Most 3rd graders would be ok, but it sounds like you have entering
Kindergarten
and up-- which means a number of kids will have VERY limited reading skills,
and then the older kids (5th, 6th grade) will have no interest. My 4th
grader
can't stand the "getting to know people" game like this.


I'm sure we'll have many kids who won't like to play this game, just as
we'll have many that won't want to play the other games either. Some of
the kids don't want to be at camp at all, they want to be at home, watching
tv or playing video games, and they're ticked off that their parents made
them go to camp. However, not participating is not an option, in any of
the activities we do. This goes for us, the counselors, as well. If one
of the counselors starts a sing-along, the rest of us have sing too,
whether we want to or not.


I'm sure glad I'm not sending my 8-year-old son to your summer camp! Being
forced to play a lame game like that one would result in even more
stubborn fits than school does. He might CHOOSE to play such a game,
but being given no options is almost certain to result in massive
disobedience. Getting him to go back the second day would probably be
nearly impossible.

We ARE sending him to one day-camp this summer: the Pisces Moon
Theater is having kids put on a production of Wizard of Oz, which he
(and one of his best friends) will be going to for a week. This was
his choice---he turned down the option of working on a production of
Harry Potter instead or in addition. He likes acting and stagecraft
(at least thinking about set design and props---he hasn't had much
experience with them yet).

Since we're in Seattle until the end of June, our choices for summer
activities for him in Santa Cruz is a bit restricted---many of the
things we had considered started in June, or conflicted with the
Wizard of Oz week in July. The Seattle summer activities start a bit
later, so we don't have many options for them either. He'll probably
end up spending the summer with his nose in a book. (He regards most
activities other than drawing or computer games as simply
interruptions to his reading time.)

--
Kevin Karplus
http://www.soe.ucsc.edu/~karplus
life member (LAB, Adventure Cycling, American Youth Hostels)
Effective Cycling Instructor #218-ck (lapsed)
Professor of Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz
Undergraduate and Graduate Director, Bioinformatics
Affiliations for identification only.

  #24  
Old May 19th 04, 04:46 AM
Cathy Kearns
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Help with a camp activity


"Kevin Karplus" wrote in message
...
In article
, Luna
wrote:
In article ,
ospam (Splanche) wrote:

As for it being a brief game, well, that's possible, but I know when I
played a version of this at a 3rd grade birthday party it was a lot of

fun.
Since 3rd grade is kind of the midpoint in the age range of the kids

I'll
be working with, I figured aiming for that age would snare the most

kids.

I think you're being a little too optimistic about reading skills.
Most 3rd graders would be ok, but it sounds like you have entering
Kindergarten
and up-- which means a number of kids will have VERY limited reading

skills,
and then the older kids (5th, 6th grade) will have no interest. My 4th
grader
can't stand the "getting to know people" game like this.


I'm sure we'll have many kids who won't like to play this game, just as
we'll have many that won't want to play the other games either. Some of
the kids don't want to be at camp at all, they want to be at home,

watching
tv or playing video games, and they're ticked off that their parents

made
them go to camp. However, not participating is not an option, in any of
the activities we do. This goes for us, the counselors, as well. If

one
of the counselors starts a sing-along, the rest of us have sing too,
whether we want to or not.


I'm sure glad I'm not sending my 8-year-old son to your summer camp!

Being
forced to play a lame game like that one would result in even more
stubborn fits than school does. He might CHOOSE to play such a game,
but being given no options is almost certain to result in massive
disobedience. Getting him to go back the second day would probably be
nearly impossible.


Sounds like this type of general interest full day camp is not something
you and your child are looking for. I do know that when I send my
child to sleep away or all day camp I do expect the camp to keep them
occupied the entire time. If they can opt out of things they can get into
trouble
or get homesick. If the counselors have a million games, and your child
likes
some more than others, but knows they will play all of them, they are more
likely to fit in and find they have fun. If they are allowed to sit out of
an
activity it is more likely they will develop into loners, and that is when
you
get the call that they are not fitting in and having fun, and you need to
bring
them home. Experienced camps that cater to working parents know how
to keep the kids involved.

  #25  
Old May 19th 04, 06:13 PM
Elizabeth King
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Help with a camp activity


"Luna" wrote in message
...
I'm sure we'll have many kids who won't like to play this game, just as
we'll have many that won't want to play the other games either. Some of
the kids don't want to be at camp at all, they want to be at home,

watching
tv or playing video games, and they're ticked off that their parents made
them go to camp. However, not participating is not an option, in any of
the activities we do. This goes for us, the counselors, as well. If one
of the counselors starts a sing-along, the rest of us have sing too,
whether we want to or not.


So what are you going to do with 6 year olds like mine who can't play
because they don't know the characters? The ones that can't read well
enough to play well (that would cover most although not all of the 6 year
olds I know)? What will you do when a 6 year old can't understand a
question a 10 year old asks?

My daughter will be going to two camps with similar age ranges (a gymnastics
camp and a skating camp, both indoors so this shouldn't come up) and one
with a more restricted age range (an outdoor science camp).

I'd be VERY upset if my daughter was forced to participate in something she
couldn't succeed at, where her failure impacted others ability to succeed.

Liz


  #26  
Old May 19th 04, 06:14 PM
Luna
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Help with a camp activity

In article ,
Kevin Karplus wrote:

In article
, Luna
wrote:
In article ,
ospam (Splanche) wrote:

As for it being a brief game, well, that's possible, but I know when I
played a version of this at a 3rd grade birthday party it was a lot of
fun.
Since 3rd grade is kind of the midpoint in the age range of the kids I'll
be working with, I figured aiming for that age would snare the most kids.

I think you're being a little too optimistic about reading skills.
Most 3rd graders would be ok, but it sounds like you have entering
Kindergarten
and up-- which means a number of kids will have VERY limited reading
skills,
and then the older kids (5th, 6th grade) will have no interest. My 4th
grader
can't stand the "getting to know people" game like this.


I'm sure we'll have many kids who won't like to play this game, just as
we'll have many that won't want to play the other games either. Some of
the kids don't want to be at camp at all, they want to be at home, watching
tv or playing video games, and they're ticked off that their parents made
them go to camp. However, not participating is not an option, in any of
the activities we do. This goes for us, the counselors, as well. If one
of the counselors starts a sing-along, the rest of us have sing too,
whether we want to or not.


I'm sure glad I'm not sending my 8-year-old son to your summer camp! Being
forced to play a lame game like that one would result in even more
stubborn fits than school does. He might CHOOSE to play such a game,
but being given no options is almost certain to result in massive
disobedience. Getting him to go back the second day would probably be
nearly impossible.


This is just one game that we will maybe play once in a 5 week camp. The
whole day, every day, is made of structured activities. My sister went to
a summer overnight camp when she was a kid, for 2 months, and when it was
time to get up, everyone got up. No sleeping in. When it was time to go
on a hike, you went on the hike. Same thing with swimming, horseback
riding, etc. If you didn't like the food, fine, you went hungry. Not every
kid likes every activity in every summer camp, and not every camp can be
customized to each individual child's taste. Maybe some of the kids will
think some of the games are lame. I can sympathize, I think our work
shirts are lame, but I still have to wear mine. I had to play numerous
"getting to know you" games at our training sessions, and I hated every one
of them, but I want to work at summer camp so I did them with a smile on my
face. We want the kids to have fun, and some kids will have fun with Game
A, some with Game B, and some with Game C. Hopefully we will have enough
variety that everyone will have fun at some point, but there is no way to
be 100% sure that 100% of the kids enjoy 100% of the activities. And
having "everyone just do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do
it" simply would not work, unless we had enough money for each kid to have
his or her own individual counsellor to follow them around to the pool, the
soccer field, the arts and crafts area, etc. Actually it would have to be
two counsellors per kid since regulations forbid any counsellor to be alone
with a kid.

Oh, and as for your child having fits when told to do something by an
authority figure, how does he handle having to do homework? Or take a
test? Or be quiet in class during lessons? If his reaction to being told
what to do by an authority figure is to have a fit, then I'm glad he's not
coming to our camp either.

--
Michelle Levin
http://www.mindspring.com/~lunachick

I have only 3 flaws. My first flaw is thinking that I only have 3 flaws.

  #27  
Old May 19th 04, 06:15 PM
Splanche
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Help with a camp activity

I'm sure we'll have many kids who won't like to play this game, just as
we'll have many that won't want to play the other games either. Some of
the kids don't want to be at camp at all, they want to be at home, watching
tv or playing video games, and they're ticked off that their parents made
them go to camp. However, not participating is not an option, in any of
the activities we do. This goes for us, the counselors, as well. If one
of the counselors starts a sing-along, the rest of us have sing too,
whether we want to or not.

--
Michelle Levin


yes-- but isn't the point trying to find activities that will make as many as
possible happy? And what do you do with the kids who can't read? Or the ones
who get upset because they don't know the characters?
It's sounds like you're very geared to do this game, whether or not it's
appropriate, and whether or not the kids will actually like it.
Maybe you just didn't like my comment that my kid hates these types of games.
Let me assure you, from personal experience, that if you take more time finding
out what the KIDS actually like, your own summer will be easier.
I worked at summer camps myself for years, and as a parent, we have done Summer
camps for 5 years now, and the biggest complaints I hear are about "getting to
know everyone and work together" games.
The kids tend to prefer art projects, simple tournaments (jacks, pingpong,
board games, jenga, othello, silly races like pushing pingpong balls with your
nose, etc) and things that allow them to jump around. There are tons of web
sites you can look at.
My "entering kindergarten" son is also going to camp this summer-- and as a
parent, I would be kind of upset if he came home sad because everyone was
playing a game that he couldn't participate in because he couldn't read.

  #28  
Old May 19th 04, 06:39 PM
Beth Kevles
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Help with a camp activity


Hi -

With regards to being *required* to participate ... some activities
(such as lunch) require participation. But I would hope that at most
times there is a choice of at least two different activites, maybe more,
for the kids.

For example, on a rainy day you could have a group game going in one
area and several different board games in other areas. You could also
have a craft activity going if you had table space available. This
would require ... 3-4 counselors, I think, for a group of about 25-30
kids.

Even at swimming time, kids have the choice of sitting on the deck/beach
rather than actually going in the water, don't they?

When it's not a school situation, where kids are supposed to be trying
to learn something, why force everyone in lockstep? Camp is supposed to
be more fun than school; we choose camps for our kids where they'll be
encouraged to branch out and experiment, but wouldn't dream of sending
them to a place where they'd be required to participate in every single
activity. Choice is a key part of growing up; coping with authority is
best reserved for the times when it's truly needed.

My opinion,
--Beth Kevles

http://web.mit.edu/kevles/www/nomilk.html -- a page for the milk-allergic
Disclaimer: Nothing in this message should be construed as medical
advice. Please consult with your own medical practicioner.

NOTE: No email is read at my MIT address. Use the AOL one if you would
like me to reply.

  #29  
Old May 19th 04, 07:10 PM
Luna
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Help with a camp activity

In article ,
ospam (Splanche) wrote:

I'm sure we'll have many kids who won't like to play this game, just as
we'll have many that won't want to play the other games either. Some of
the kids don't want to be at camp at all, they want to be at home, watching
tv or playing video games, and they're ticked off that their parents made
them go to camp. However, not participating is not an option, in any of
the activities we do. This goes for us, the counselors, as well. If one
of the counselors starts a sing-along, the rest of us have sing too,
whether we want to or not.

--
Michelle Levin


yes-- but isn't the point trying to find activities that will make as many as
possible happy? And what do you do with the kids who can't read? Or the ones
who get upset because they don't know the characters?
It's sounds like you're very geared to do this game, whether or not it's
appropriate, and whether or not the kids will actually like it.
Maybe you just didn't like my comment that my kid hates these types of games.

Let me assure you, from personal experience, that if you take more time
finding
out what the KIDS actually like, your own summer will be easier.
I worked at summer camps myself for years, and as a parent, we have done
Summer
camps for 5 years now, and the biggest complaints I hear are about "getting
to
know everyone and work together" games.
The kids tend to prefer art projects, simple tournaments (jacks, pingpong,
board games, jenga, othello, silly races like pushing pingpong balls with
your
nose, etc) and things that allow them to jump around. There are tons of web
sites you can look at.
My "entering kindergarten" son is also going to camp this summer-- and as a
parent, I would be kind of upset if he came home sad because everyone was
playing a game that he couldn't participate in because he couldn't read.


And we will have games like that too. As for kids who can't read, if they
can't read the name we can whisper it to them, if they don't know the
character then they tell the person they don't know it, and move on. Or we
can play this game with a group of the older kids and the younger kids can
do something else. By your logic we shouldn't play baseball either,
because some kids don't know how to throw or hit. Some can't run as fast
as others. We shouldn't play any games at all because some of the kids
won't be as good as the others?

--
Michelle Levin
http://www.mindspring.com/~lunachick

I have only 3 flaws. My first flaw is thinking that I only have 3 flaws.

  #30  
Old May 19th 04, 07:30 PM
Robyn Kozierok
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Help with a camp activity

In article ,
Luna wrote:

By your logic we shouldn't play baseball either,
because some kids don't know how to throw or hit. Some can't run as fast
as others. We shouldn't play any games at all because some of the kids
won't be as good as the others?


Well, no, I wouldn't think of playing baseball with a mixed group of
6 to 12 year olds! The variation of skills levels would be unworkable,
IMO.

Perhaps I am misreading, but it sounds like there is no age-based
grouping planned for this camp at all. This is very unlike any camp I
have ever attended, worked in, or sent my children to! And every camp
I know of has also offered choices of activities, at least some of the
time. (Even most schools for elementary-aged kids offer some choices,
especially at the lower end of your age-range!)

I've been a camp counsellor and I agree that sometimes you have to just
plan an activity and expect everyone to participate. But I also think
you have to make sure that such activities are age- and skill-appropriate,
and that's *very* hard to do with such a mixed age group!

Good luck!

--Robyn

 




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