Intelligent fun at summer camp in the Okanagan

Summer camps don’t have the best of reputations. Poison Ivy, camp food, homesickness, you name it. But the summer camps on now at Okanagan College don’t have any of that. Instead, according to Patricia Tribe, program director for Camp OC, they’ve got kids that don’t want to go home at the end of the day.

Summer camps don’t have the best of reputations. Poison Ivy, camp food, homesickness, you name it.

But the summer camps on now at Okanagan College don’t have any of that. Instead, according to Patricia Tribe, program director for Camp OC, they’ve got kids that don’t want to go home at the end of the day.

Perhaps it’s the subject matter. How often do you get to spend a week on robotics, animation, criminal science or attending something called Mad Scientist Camp?

“They are going to be doing things like volcanoes, general science experiments and activities,” said Tribe, who was formerly employed at Space Centre Houston as director of education. “This is the first year that we have run them here, so we put together four weeks of camps, and each week, we have three camps going,” said Tribe, adding that there are still two weeks to go with camps in robotics, 3D art and space exploration, which she admits is her favourite.

That one, the kids will be looking at lots of things to do with living in space like food and space suits — a topic a day, Tribe said. And the instructors are having no problems keeping the campers’ attention, especially for the robotics camps.

“It is really pretty cool. They come in and they are just engrossed in building their contraptions for the entire day; and they come for five days. It’s really awesome to see,” said Tribe. “We find kids get very into it. We’ve had no problem with kids asking ‘Can I go home now?’”

The camps are being offered for a range of ages as well, from Grades 2 through 9. There was even a girl’s only camp.

“We had an instructor who came to us and asked if they could put this camp on. It kind of surprised me too, because I don’t usually do something that is gender specific,” said Tribe. “It’s for young girls, aged 11 to 13, so they are just at that age where self esteem can be an issue and it was very successful, the girls loved it. But every other camp, the space camp, the robotics, they are for both boys and girls.”

There are still spaces available in some of the remaining camps, said Tribe. Registration is available online at www.campoc.ca or call the college at 250-492-4305.

“We’re calling this Camp OC: Intelligent Fun. While everything seems to have a science twist, there’s more to it. There is also art and history,” said Tribe. “Learning doesn’t have to be boring. Bring your kids in here, they are going to get something out of it that will benefit them for the future and they are going to have fun doing it.”