Westmont Magazine The Thinking Child's Camp
Westmont offered six intriguing options for Santa Barbara parents seeking educational camps for their children this summer. From science to art, computers to theater and Spanish to writing, Think Camps provided learning experiences and old-fashioned fun.
While the college has long hosted summer sports camps, Think Camps began in 2006. The educational focus meshes well with Westmont’s mission and serves a broader segment of the local community.
A $10,000 grant from Hutton Foundation and a $5,000 gift from an anonymous donor provided scholarships for low-income campers.
Bravissimo campers spent two weeks rehearsing a fully staged theatrical production of “H.M.S. Pinafore” by Gilbert and Sullivan, and they presented two accomplished and well-received performances. Alumna Laura Brinton McGough ’01 served as musical director.
During three one-week sessions, children participating in Computer Quest studied with technologically savvy Westmont students. The youngest focused on fundamentals, exploring subjects such as digital photography. Campers ages 10-14 created their own computer games, a popular session that quickly filled up, or learned how to design Web pages.
ThinkCamps joined with Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation and The Endowment for Youth Committee to offer Discovery Camp, an adventure into the world of science. Children toured UC Santa Barbara’s marine biology lab and Raytheon, worked on experiments with liquid nitrogen, made speakers, assembled water rockets, dropped eggs from a six-story building without cracking them and constructed a boat from cardboard and tape. On their final day, they visited Carroll Observatory and saw images from the college’s new telescope.
KidzArt Santa Barbara came to campus to reach aspiring artists with exciting activities such as drawing, sculpture, painting and multimedia projects. Years ago, the popular Arts Ascent camps attracted hundreds of children to campus, and KidzArt revives that tradition.
Children enrolled in Living Like Writers joined a community of writers, giving each other feedback, brainstorming, and discussing how to edit their work. As they shared stories and played games, they gained confidence as writers.
Somos Amigos immerses children in Spanish, which is the best way to learn a foreign language. Teachers interact only in Spanish, and campers spend time with fluent Spanish speakers from César Chávez, a bilingual charter school in Santa Barbara.