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Eight weeks of summer camp to be offered at Mound House

By Staff | Apr 24, 2019

Registration is open for the Mound House’s second year of summer camps with Super Science Florida, geared towards 6-to-12 year olds.

Director of Cultural Resources and Parks and Recreation interim Director Alison Giesen said she has been familiar with Super Science Florida for many years now.

“When I was the chief curator at The Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Glen Beitmen, president of Super Science, was the original Wild Wizard, children’s entertainer and science performer,” she said. “He ran all of their camps there and built it into an amazing program that is still running and successful today. So, it was a clear choice to include them in developing our summer camp programs at the Mound House.”

Last year the Mound House offered summer camp for the first time and it was a huge success.

This year the week-long camps will be offered from June 3 to July 29 with the 4th of July week off.

“Each themed week is a full immersion into the subject matter that our campers love,” Giesen said. “Depending on the week, campers can build and compete with robots in our Robotics Camp, kayak with their friends in the Estero Bay in the Calusa Kids Camp, and experiment with different slime recipes in Kitchen Chemistry. One of the greatest things about camp at the Mound House is that we are right between the Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. So, we can spend time at the beach and then explore the bay kayaking. It truly is what summer camp is all about!”

In addition, the camps also offer plenty of outside time, team building activities and a lot of fun.

“We do not take ourselves too seriously, but we also understand the importance of play in learning. After many years of doing this, the staff has learned how to really enjoy the summer,” she said.

The topics for this year’s summer camp was chosen by the campers and students the Mound House sees throughout the year. Also intertwined into the topics are important skills to learn.

The week of June 3 and July 22 will delve into the topic “Movie Making Magic.” Youngsters will have the opportunity to act, direct, experience lighting, sound, storyboarding and costume design. The campers will edit their work to add music and special effects. At the end of the camp the red carpet will roll out for friends and loved ones to enjoy the movie.

“‘Movie Making’ is based on kids’ love for being in front of the camera, acting silly, and being the star,” she said.

“Engineering” will be tackled during the week of June 10 and July 29. Campers will learn about chemical, electrical, mechanical, aerospace and civil engineering in a weeks time. At the end of the week, during the 2019 World’s Fair, campers will share their design ideas with family and friends.

“Camps like ‘Engineering’ gives our campers the chance to build, break stuff and explore. One of the things that is counter intuitive with kids, is that they enjoy hard work,” Giesen said. “Campers want the opportunity to figure things out on their own and have a great time working through problems. Once they’ve completed a project they gain a sense of accomplishment. All of our camp topics give campers a chance to do real work and solve real problems each week with a slightly different theme.”

The week of June 17, campers will partake in “Calusa Kids.” The youngsters will kayak in local rivers, research plants and animals and grow their knowledge of Florida’s history. Campers will compete in safe survival challenges, make tools, as well as things to share with shells and palm fronds.

“Kitchen Chemistry” is the topic of the June 24 week camp. Campers will make slime, as well as such snacks such as no apple pie and no bake cookies. At the end of the week everyone is invited to taste homemade ice cream and drink root beer made while watching The Chemistry show.

“‘Kitchen Chemistry’ is by far our most popular camp; who doesn’t love slime and making a mess. One of the things we know kids love most in camps, no matter how amazing the activities are, is snack time. Built into the fabric of ‘Kitchen Chemistry’ is teaching kids how to make their own delicious snacks,” Giesen said.

Campers will have the opportunity to build a robot during the week of July 8, during the “Robotics” camp. The camp will focus on electronics, programming and machine mechanics. A Robo Expo will end the week.

“Best of Super Science and Amazing Art” is the topic for the July 15 week long camp. Campers will have the opportunity to see and play with the best experiments, science gadgets and goo available.

“The Mound House grounds, museum, and full access to Newton Beach Park makes it one of the best locations for camps and kids,” Giesen said. “Every Friday in each camp we invite friends, family and the community to enjoy camp with us for an hour. This gives our campers a chance to show what they know and everyone else a chance to be a camper. Last year, there was a huge turnout, great coverage and support from the community, the Town of Fort Myers Beach and the Friends of the Mound House. We were honored by all the people who showed up at the reception and the campers felt like super stars with all the media and attention.”

Although there is still room available for the summer camps, Giesen said the camps fill up quickly due to the number of campers being limited to 15.

“The deadline is to apply before the camp fills up. However, staff will take enrollment up until the weekend before camp, but normally we have a waiting list. We enroll campers on a first-come first-served basis,” she said.

It is $250 per camper for a full week of camp from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. There are full and partial scholarships available.

“Our YTA program, short for Youth Teaching Assistants, allows kids going into seventh grade or higher to enjoy a free week of camp, earn volunteer hours, and gain some great experience in a leadership role. We only take two YTAs per camp,” she said.

Registration, and scholarship applicants can be found at www.SuperScienceFL.com.

“We are looking forward to offering eight weeks of camp this summer and having the opportunity to serve more children this year. A special thank you to the Friends of the Mound House and the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation for their contributions to our summer camp scholarship fund. We appreciate all the support from our local community and volunteers,” Giesen said.