Friday, July 12, 2013

Camp Invention

Each summer, since we both work full time, Wonder Boy spends the bulk of his days at a day camp run by the local school district. It's a camp that is filled with lots of fun things to do, plenty of outside time, and even the occasional field trip.

But the older Wonder Boy has gotten, the more we have felt a need to break up his summer, to introduce other activities.

Of course, he spends a week at soccer camp each year. But we really wanted to find a few other things to interest him this year.

So I did a hard target search for summer fun and one activity I found was a day camp called "Camp Invention."

Not long after we registered for camp this spring, we got a nice fat introduction packet in the mail. I knew we had hit on something fun when I read a list of items to send with our camper on their first day.

Sure, they had the usual stuff - lunch, snack, sun block, comfy shoes, etc. But what caught our eyes was the call for "take apart items." They were looking for things like broken down old tape players, VCRs, RC cars, and the like that the kids would cannibalize and use to make NEW THINGS during the course of the week.

Our friends and co-workers found out about the need for these kinds of things and apparently cleaned out their closets to make sure that Wonder Boy and his camp-mates had plenty of material! Wonder Boy walked in on day 1 with an old walkman, a VCR-DVD player, a VCR player, several remote controls, and a coffee maker.

We learned that the take apart items were used for all kinds of challenges over the course of the week. But the most formidable assignment of the week was to build a "duck chucker." That is, they worked in small teams to build a device that would toss a rubber ducky (no actual ducks were harmed in the making or implementation of the "duck chuckers") as far and as accurately as possible. When the Boy learned of this particular mission, he couldn't wait for camp to start!

I can't blame him ... sounds like a fun way to spend the week, if you ask me - just trying anything that came to mind to overcome the various challenges presented by the camp directors is an exercise I can wrap my head around!

And to think of the things he learned without feeling like he was learning - it just blows me away. He learned that HE can overcome obstacles. He learned that you can use what's around you in ways you might never have imagined. He learned about working in a team to reach a goal. He learned about mechanics and physics.

And he learned it all while having a great time!

That's two thumbs up for Camp Invention in my book!


  1. This sounds like an amazing camp! I know Ruthie would love something like that. Love the photos!

    1. You should check out their website Sadie ( to see if you can bring it to your area. I wish we had found it sooner, this is the last year my Boy is able to attend, so I'm going to have to find something else for next summer. :+\