By Chris Bavender
A unique summer camp designed to teach kids self-esteem, teamwork and goal setting skills is once again coming to Boone County. Camp Invention is a weeklong program for students entering first through sixth grades is supported by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Its goal is to foster innovation and creativity.
“The thing I like best about Camp Invention is that kids are free to try new ideas, make mistakes and explore in ways they aren’t able to during the school year,” said Darren Hale, a director for the camp, and a fifth grade science teacher at Zionsville West Middle School. “Campers have to learn to work with others, even if they don’t share the same problem solving philosophy, which are certainly real-world skills.”
Camp Invention reaches out to qualified educators such as Hale in the local area to act as instructors.
“These talented individuals are selected for their abilities to excite and motivate children and their enthusiasm for creative learning,” said Annie Miller, communications coordinator for Camp Invention.
This year’s Camp Invention curriculum is called Illuminate and will encourage children to explore their inventiveness as they investigate circuits and take on a nature-inspired design challenge.
“They build things, take things apart, explore different types of technology and so much more,” Miller said. “Many times, the students are having so much fun, they don’t even realize they are learning and developing new skills.”
Hale said first timers are usually pretty shy at the beginning of camp.
“It takes some getting used to because the instructors guide but don’t teach,” he said. “As the week goes on most kids become bolder in their thinking and problem solving”
HOW TO REGISTER
This year’s camps will be June 15-19 at the Zionsville Community Schools Freshman Center and July 6-10 at Traders Point Christian Academy. For more information visit www.campinvention.org.