Mini camps offered on school holiday
BY SARA PLUMMER World Staff Writer
Sunday, January 20, 2013
1/20/13 at 2:42 AM
When students are out of school Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, parents have options other than a baby sitter or television set to keep their children busy.
Several organizations in Tulsa offer one-day camps for children, including the YMCA of Greater Tulsa, for 5-to-12-year-olds, and the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium, for kids in first through 12th grade.
The Westside YMCA branch has offered summer camps and day camps during long school breaks for years. But this year, it started offering the one-day camps for all the school holidays, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day and two in February.
"I really see a need with our parents," said Nicole Thompson, day camp director at the Westside YMCA. "A lot of parents are working ... They (children) come here rather than a baby sitter."
The Tulsa Air and Space Museum's day camps also originated from its summer camp program.
"We saw a need whenever schools were out," said director of academic development Judy Moody.
"Give parents an option (for their children) to not staying at home and playing on the computer all day."
TASM's day camp on Monday, divided by age group, will focus on electricity. The day camp in February is themed around weather.
Moody said they've also covered topics such as magnets, aviation, air pressure and robotics during the mini camps.
"We try to keep it air and space related," she said. "It's all hands on. It's not like school."
Through these hands-on activities, the children are learning, though - like when they make slime. They don't realize they're learning about fractions and chemical changes, Moody said.
"It's inquiry based. They go 'ah-ha,' " she said. "It's always an advantage to have it be a learning experience than just staying at someone's home."
At the Westside YMCA day camp, the children hike, use the playground, do arts and crafts and play games indoors and outdoors, depending on the weather, Thompson said.
"We do so much more outdoor activities. We send them home happy, dirty and tired," she said. And because the day camps are relatively small, the children have more input in what activities they want to do.
"For a lot of new parents, this is a great time (for their children) to come. In the summer, we have 300 kids and it can be overwhelming. It's nice to come now," Thompson said.
Both camps will still be accepting children on Monday when they open.
Day camps Monday
Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
What: Monday's mini camps are focused on electricity; Feb. 18 is weather
Where: 3624 N. 74th East Ave.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with before and after care from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for $5 each
Ages: First through 12th grade, divided into three age groups
Cost: $40 for members, $45 for non-members
For more: Call 918-834-9900 ext 116 or go to tulsaworld.com/tasm
Westside branch of the YMCA of Greater Tulsa
What: Games, sports, hiking, arts and crafts and more
Where: 5400 S. Olympia Ave.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., before and after care from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Ages: 5 to 12 years
Cost: $27 for members, $33 for non-members
For more: Call 918-446-1424 or go to tulsaworld.com/ymca
Original Print Headline: Mini camps offered for holiday
Sara Plummer 918-581-8465
Dakota Agee, 9, works on an activity using We Do Legos during an after-school class on Monday at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World