College utilizes facility for kids’ camps

POULSBO — Alexis Springer’s summer vacation has begun a little differently this year.

The 12 year old is enrolled in Olympic College’s “Edventure” camp, a 10-day trek exploring the arts, science and drama, topics she’d never heard of before. And it sure beats the alternative, she explained.

“It’s just all fun,” Springer said. “If I wasn’t here, I’d probably be at home doing nothing.”

That’s the goal of Edventure camps — provide kids a learning experience, but one that’s also fun.

“The big key in this program is we want them to learn, but we also want them to have fun,” said OC Poulsbo Director Kelly Woodward.

The first two sessions of the Edventures camps — one focused on Digital Arts and Illustration and one a general enrichment camp — have been combined and include 22 students at the OC Poulsbo campus. In the mornings, the two camps work together with OC art faculty member Anna Hoey, using the Poulsbo campus’ upstairs’ science lab facilities.

“What we’re mostly doing is expanding their media skills,” said art instructor Anna Hoey, adding the campers are getting to use a great range of art tools, including acrylics, charcoal and pastels.

Summer school enrollment at the newly-opened campus is small — only 258 students. That leaves space for youth camps and a faculty with which to teach them.

Quality was important in developing the camp, Woodward said, and each session is headed by a certified teacher, with a student-teacher ratio of 6:1 or better. The camp runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. — and there’s not much room to stop.

“It’s a jam-packed day,” said teacher Jaclyn Van Warrebey, who is with the group all day. “You get to see each of their personalities and how each (camper) brings something valuable to the group.”

After lunch, the Digital Arts Camp goes downstairs and takes advantage of an empty high tech computer lab, using software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

“Most of the kids have never opened these programs up,” camp teacher Kisha Baggs said.

The general camp has science and drama in the afternoon. The science portion is taught by Scott Sweet, an OC biology professor. Some of the camp’s current projects include using microscopes to examine algae and crustaceans and placing salmon in the wild to attract wildlife to see what lives around the campus. For Sweet, the experience is very different than at the collegiate level.

“You see a lot more appreciation at this age,” Sweet said. “You have a great opportunity to shape their young minds.”

The camp finishes in the afternoon with theater arts, taught by OC faculty member Kate Wilson. The group is currently studying Greek mythology and will present a play to parents on the final day of the camp.

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