Contributed by Shelley Palmer (WB MUD)
Wells Branch has a long history of great things for kids to do and have fun like the upcoming spring camps including art camp, basketball and volleyball sports camps, and new to Wells Branch is robotics camp! Summer Day Camp is offered in weekly sessions for children in K through 5th (determined by the grade they completed for this current year.) Our camp counselors engage your child(ren) with creative activities indoors and outdoors based on our themed-weeks throughout the summer. Our long standing tradition has been to create a safe, interactive, and physically active day camp where children can meet new friends and participate in traditional and non-traditional games and activities.
Find current camp information at http://wellsbranchmud.com/parks-a-recreation/youth-programs
Spring break art camp this year is Mad about Mosaics. Campers, age 7-12, will spend 3 days creating designs from broken tiles, cut paper, bottle caps, and fabric. Kids will learn the history of mosaics and how various patterns are made. This is always fun and sometimes pretty messy. Tue - Thur March 14, 15, 16 12-3pm. You can see videos and the results of the children’s efforts at Wooden it be Wonderful Art Camps.
Dianne Kohler, artist, educator and longtime Wells Branch resident did some reminiscing over past art camps by going through her art blog. What I notice in Dianne’s stories is that part of the fun is running into issues and finding solutions together – that is a great way to learn.
Kids with paints! New location and everyone found us. Better ideas on how to make something. We are in full swing at art camp creating a galaxy of projects. Our clay didn't want to make but we worked it out with a lot more cornstarch and kneading and have space rocks to finish today, the bags are under way in many designs, we did the scratch out boxes entirely with crayons with great results and from what I saw of the space ships. Wow.
Wands and Dragon Eggs
We started off making wands; rolling paper into a wand shape is a lot harder than you expect it to be. Once they got the wand rolled the decorative part was easy peasy. Our dragon eggs took a little logistical planning but turned out really great. Then we drew a scene from "Lord of the rings" type room complete with a dragon and painted both. Book covers will have to wait until tomorrow.
Gnarled Trees and Witch’s Brew
For our Last day, Sean created the demo card solider for their last project, while we started off with our traveling gnomes! The kids had a blast being super creative with it, going from a runaway Gnomio and Juliet, to a wedding couple, a ninja, Michael Jackson in the forest, and many others!! After that they made ancient gnarled trees, and then we did our witch's brew! Lastly we did more calligraphy and created our own card soldiers and the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland!!
Swords and Heraldic Shields
What an incredible day. Can hardly wait for the pictures. I think the high point was the magic potion the beginner made or maybe it was drawing the unicorn or the swords and heraldic shields or the fantastic castles with working drawbridges. Only 1 more day of camp and our summer is over.
Campers were CRAZY about weaving today!! Between corn grinding and weaving, they were some of the happiest kids on Earth!
A Little Bit of Everything
Today we made weaving looms, and wove headbands/friendship bracelets, and then we made our own quilt squares. Some kids sewed theirs together, while others chose to glue theirs. After that they were back to weaving, until we showed them how to make spinning tops and ball-in-a-cup pioneer toys!
We made a fountain of suds and fiz with vinegar, baking soda, and powder paints, placed inside film canisters! Our rolling waterfall of color. Quoting MUD recreation Manager Matt Fuller when he saw the results: "You blew up skittles!"
Read more art camp stories: http://wonderfulartsncrafts.blogspot.com/
Wells Branch summer camps have many memorable moments also. Here is one of the stories that has been repeated many times:
Kevin Williams, the lead counselor with the Juniors for our Stuff-2-Do Camp recounts a memorable incident a few years back: Back in the days when Stuff - 2 - Do was only located at the Community Center our weekly theme had something to do with drama or the campers showing their talents. We planned an afternoon where we invited the parents to see the campers show off their talents. We had the campers sign up in advance. We had the audio and mics set-up. We had planned a nice production. On the day of the show, a little camper about the age of 6 came up to me asking to be put in the show. I told her that if we have time at the end, I would get her in.
The show started and it was going pretty good. I felt a tug at my shirt. It was that little camper again. She wanted to make sure that I would try to get her in to perform at the end like I said. I told her again that I would do my best. We had about 3 acts left and I hear my name being called, "Mr. Kevin! Mr. Kevin! Please make sure I get to sing. I really want to sing okay." This little camper reminded me.
"Yes, I will try. Pinkie swear!" I told her back. By this point we were behind schedule and some of the parents were becoming restless. The last act finished and I was beginning to send some campers to change into their swimsuits when that little camper showed up at my feet. "Now can I sing?" she asked with the puppy dog eyes and cute face.
"Oh yeah" I said. I announced that we had one more act. I announced her name and handed her the mic. To be honest, I was not expecting a polished delivery. I thought that she would sing a few lines from a Lion King song and be done with it. But she stops me, and hands me a CD, saying "play #3". Hesitantly, I place the CD in and selected song #3. The music starts, then she starts singing. I froze and this camper sang the best song of the show. She sang "Wide Open Spaces" by the Dixie Chicks. I believe everyone else thought that she did a fabulous job also based on the loud applause.
This little camper later became one of the councilors who runs the camp during the summers. Her name is Molly Weaver. To this day, when I see her, I still ask her to sing "Wide Open Spaces."