Spring Break Fun

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Although the weather for Spring Break in Naperville this year was mostly chilly and rainy, participants in the Park District's Spring Break Camps enjoyed hours of indoor fun each day, and were proud to show their families what they learned and accomplished.

I visited three camps on Friday, April 1: Art Camp, Robothink Robotics Camp, and Musical Theatre Camp, each designed for students from elementary school to middle school levels.

Art Camp

Meeting at the Naperville Fine Art Center and Gallery, this new camp for students ages 8-12 inspired kids to try different art media and crafts under the guidance of art teacher Manon Crowley. When I visited the camp on Friday afternoon, the kids were absorbed in watercolor painting, trying both wet paint on dry paper and wet paint on wet paint, experimenting with mixing colors. The brightly lit room provided plenty of space for their individual projects, with a gallery of colorful paintings on the walls.

Camp instructor Ms. Crowley looks on as students complete their watercolor paintings

Camp participants working on their watercolor paintings

Examples of the watercolor paintings

One of the students showed me the seal that she drew, which she said was a picture of the stuffed seal she had at home.

When I asked the students about what else they did during their week at camp, they told me that some of their favorite activities were making puppets, making costumes from aluminum foil for a fashion show, playing games and painting realistic-looking trees. Ms. Crowley explained that for the costume-making, each group of three students was given a roll of foil for their costume and worked together to design and model the costumes. The creative costumes that the kids came up with included a baseball player, Miss Tin Foil 2022, a woodland warrior princess, an angel and a hi-tech mermaid with an explosive scrunchie in her hair and a flame thrower. Some of the other activities included playing Pictionary and painting bird houses.

The camp met in the Naperville Fine Art Center and Gallery

Musical Theatre Camp: Wicked

Friday was an exciting day for the Musical Theatre campers, as they were able to perform for their families an original script that they worked on all week. They presented songs and scenes based on the popular musical, Wicked, along with some improvisations, including playing characters who were shopping at "The Everything Store."

Parents gather for the show

The show begins

The children enjoy performing

Improvising with the clerk at "The Everything Store"

Closing number

RoboThink Robotics Camp

When I walked into the room where this camp was held, the children were eager to show me what they had constructed during the week. Each camper began the week with a large kit containing the wires, tools, gears, sensors, motors, batteries and materials needed to make remote-controlled vehicles and robotic devices with a variety of functions. They worked with guidance from the instructor and sometimes with friends to create their robots.

Remote controlled vehicles were popular.

One of the campers built what he called a "crash test dummy" with floppy arms and legs.

Another built large and small versions of a computer-like board that controlled lights and turned drills.

This propeller turned perfectly and could reverse direction with the push of a button.

The instructor helped children troubleshoot when needed.

Spring Break Camps challenged children and sparked their imaginations in a fun, friendly setting where they also could enjoy the company of peers and make new friends.

Naperville Park District offers camps each year during Spring Break, Summer Break and Winter Break. Check the current Program Guide for the next registration date and the variety of special interest camps and day camps available.