Hooray for girls camp

New day camp focuses on fostering bonds between girls

It’s going to be a summer of paper airplanes, do-it-yourself projects and toy-testing for girls at Wychwood Barns.

The St. Clair and Christie arts facility is playing host to the inaugural season of Designer Girls Camp, the brainchild of Hillcrest PS teacher Andrea Wilson.

The discovery day camp, operating four weeklong sessions in July, is a camp that appeals to the scientist and explorer in girls age 8-12, says Wilson.

The mother of one young girl says when she decided to start a day camp, she wanted it to relate to her own classroom experiences.

“It has to stand out in some way and it has to be something I’m passionate about,” she says. “So I came up with the idea of a science and math-based camp for girls.”

The daily agenda is a mix of scientific inquiry, design and research activities combined with outdoor co-operative play and hands-on arts projects.

“I’ve found that girls learn best when they have some sort of connection to the material,” Wilson says. “They need to have meaning
and it has to fit into the larger context of their lives and the world.”

A larger focus of the full-day camp program is fostering bonds among the campers and giving them an opportunity for self-expression.

“Helping and guiding girls through this time is really what this camp is all about and that’s why it’s just girls,” Wilson says. “Girls at this age are really struggling, I see it every day.”

A portion of afternoon programming is dedicated to activities involving social relationships and team-building, including role-playing and discussions on bullying, cliques and dealing with rumours.

For this, Wilson says she’ll take direction from the campers “because I need to get to know them.”

And she added that she has more than a few tricks up her sleeve, including special guest instructors and field trips. With one staff member and a volunteer, enrolment is capped at 10 girls per adult.

Though she’s bringing her classroom expertise to the day camp, Wilson is adamant about one thing:

“It’s not like school,” she says with a laugh. “It’s more relaxed.”

For more information, visit designergirlscamp.com.

About this article:

By: Karolyn Coorsh
Posted: Jun 9 2010 10:23 am
Filed in: Business
Edition: Toronto