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Saturday 31 August 2019

A Summer of Exploration with Galileo

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Galileo Camps.

Summer Break has come to an end for another year and that means it's time to...

...start planning ahead for next Summer Break! 

What? Already? Yes!

This Summer Break was pretty hectic for us but we made sure to squeeze in a couple of weeks of Summer camp among all of the moving madness and our trip back to Australia. Despite how busy we were, it was important to me that the kids have a little normalcy and something special just for them during all the change. Plus, it got them out of the apartment while I was busy packing. Ha! Everybody wins!

Anyway, one of our very favorite Summer camps is Galileo. Ava has been going for the past three years and has always had a fabulous time. This year Lola joined her big sister for her first ever Summer camp experience. They both had a blast and learned new skills at the same time. 

Galileo camps are structured in a way that maximizes both the fun and the learning opportunities for kids of all ages, from incoming kindergarteners through to eighth grade. The younger kids (Pre-K to 5th grade) take part in Camp Galileo, a traditional Summer camp with science, art and outdoor activities focused on a fun weekly theme. The older kids (5th to 8th grade) take part in Galileo Summer Quest, a specialized camp focusing on a single major based on varying interests including drones, YouTube production, robotics and, Ava's choice this year, cooking. Both camps foster creativity and team work while teaching the kids important skills and boosting their confidence. The camps look so fun I wish I could sign up for myself! Summer camp for adults... wouldn't that be great?

Let's take a look at Ava's week at camp first...

This year, Ava's major for Galileo Summer Quest was Chefology: Decadent Desserts. As you can imagine, she spent her week learning how to make deliciously sweet treats. Seriously, this was the best camp ever as she brought something home to share pretty much every day! She learned how to make sugar cookies with royal icing, sweet crepes, ice cream sundaes (made with home made ice cream and sauces) and delicious fruit pies. She also learned important skills such as how to read and write recipes, how to accurately measure ingredients and how to use various pieces of kitchen equipment. It did wonders for building her confidence in the kitchen. The kids worked in teams as well as on their own throughout the week and came together on the last day to make a delicious presentation for family members. We were treated to sugar cookies, crepes and pies, and I've got to say, they all tasted delicious.   

Lola's week at camp was based on the theme Expedition Everest. This theme was carried across all parts of her day at camp including her art and science classes. In art class Lola worked on creating a Nepalese style puppet from paper mache, fabric and various craft materials. She kept her puppet's identity a secret all week, so it was a nice surprise to meet "Mr Whiskers" her purple cat puppet on the last day of camp. Mr Whisker's arms move about and Lola was pretty excited to show me that he can even dab! A very important skill for any puppet! Along with her creative work during art class, Lola put her imagination to work in science class creating a mountain rescue robot prototype. With popsicle sticks, foam, plastic tubing, lots of hot glue and a syringe she created a walking rescue robot designed to scale the heights of Mount Everest to rescue trapped hikers.

Along with their set curriculum, both Ava and Lola took part in plenty of fun outdoor activities including fun games and plenty of free play time. There were daily spirit days (dress in your team color, Galileo spirit day etc) with the highlight being Water Day in which the kids took part in all sorts of fun activities that left them dripping from head to toe!

As I've already mentioned, the girls had a fantastic time at Galileo again this Summer. Ava's confidence in her cooking skills grew immensely and Lola became much more independent after her first week of Summer camp. Lola had been a little nervous about not knowing anyone in her group at first, but even after the first day I could see that her independence and confidence had grown, which is just what she needed with the move to a new school coming up.

At the end of their week at camp the girls both received certificates from their team leaders and a pin to attach to their name tag lanyard. Lola was pretty excited to come home with the Galileo rubber chicken pin (for first year campers) and Ava added another badge to her collection.

Galileo camps really are a special place for kids. The curriculum is fantastic, from both the parents' and kids' perspective, and the staff really are the best. The staff work hard to make all the kids feel welcome and to create a fun atmosphere while keeping everyone safe at the same time. They do such a great job, and I was happy to recognize plenty of faces among the camp leaders from previous years.

To learn more about Galileo camps and to find a camp near you head on over to https://galileo-camps.com/

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