How is it possible to entertain a group of 9-14 year olds together for a week, without squabbles, boredom or peer pressure? The answer can be found along the Little Miami River between Cincinnati and Dayton at Camp Kern. There, a dark forest begins to take shape where kids celebrate one of our culture’s most beloved literary series, Harry Potter.
For one week, campers are immersed in a fictional world as they cease to be a “Muggle”, and the lodging is transformed into designated houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Ravenclaw.
“The reason this camp works, with such a diversified age range is because all the campers are united by one common interest,” says Sean Kline, Camp Kern’s Summer Camp Director. “Each of the kids who come here has a unique interest and love for Harry Potter.”
Camp gives kids an opportunity to share experiences grounded in common interests, friendly competition and fun while creating lifelong friendships.
Plenty of “learning” is going on at this camp using the plots, scenes and props from the storyline to create the fun. The open fields are transformed into Quidditch tournaments, and brooms are handed to the zip line “fliers” so that they can master the magical craft of “flying.” There are the Harry Potter Olympics with a Quidditch tournament, so the campers must have plenty of practice to be ready.
“We even have created a new field game, based on rock, paper, scissors, where each person is either a Giant, Wizard or an Elf. There are two teams of 30,” says Kline. This game, unlike the conventional game, involves lots of running around. Details, of course, are top secret.
Classes allow kids to learn Potion Making, Charms, Magic Wand Making, Tea Leaf Fortune Telling and Tarot Card Reading. Some campers bring robes, Harry Potter buttons, “official” wands, Harry Potter scar and glasses, and plenty more.
Away from the screens and electronics, imagined fantasy play has an opportunity to come to life. The camp naturally has evolved into one that includes creative thinking, says Kline. “Every afternoon there is a rest hour after lunch, and we’ve found that most use that time to catch up on reading Harry Potter fan literature, revisiting the novels, or journaling.”
The camp has extended this natural inclination to encourage the campers to write their own plot lines to include dragons, mythological animals and Hagrid’s love of bizarre and unusual creatures.
There are other literary themed camps at Camp Kern as well. Check out the Percy Jackson, The Hobbit, Ranger’s Apprentice and the Starwars themed camps here.
In an age where kids are surrounded by technology and over-scheduled days, camp helps restore the balance and gets kids back to nature.
The Harry Potter Camp is for one full week and registration is going on right now. Please click here for more information about the camp, and to register online.
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