“The summer camps allow children to explore the world around them through exciting hands-on experiences.”
Krista Hamel has been working with children most of her life. She started working at AACC in 1999 as a teacher for the Kids in College science and Kindermusik classes. Krista now fills the very interesting and stimulating role of camp manager for the Kids in College summer camps.
“The summer camps allow children to explore the world around them through exciting hands-on experiences,” said Krista. “They encourage children to keep their minds and bodies active throughout the summer. Children develop a sense of independence and confidence. The new environments and new people enable them to blossom and challenge themselves to achieve something, which is a very rewarding experience.”
Last summer, the summer camps hosted over 2500 students. There are camps for people of all ages - newborn to 100 plus - since parents and grandparents can join their children during intergenerational camps.
“There is something for everyone at the summer camps,” said Krista. “One week you will travel back in the prehistoric ages to learn more about dinosaurs. The next week you are engaged in high-tech simulations of crime scene investigations. Or you might be looking at the tiniest cell under a microscope, which is connected to a computer, and the following week you may be constructing bridges, towers and solar cars!”
With so many different camps featuring an array of activities, there is never a dull moment. Numerous campers often return year after year to rekindle old friendships and develop new ones. There is also a high rate of returning instructors, which enriches the experience and helps to create student/teacher bonds.
“Every day is a memorable experience whether it’s making your first homemade Chinese stir-fry, constructing your own robot or helping a toddler tie his or her shoe,” said Krista. “Or maybe it’s the goose bumps you get when you watch the action-packed musical theater and dance camp performances on the Pascal Center Stage. Magical moments abound here at KIC!”
Camping has also always been a part of Krista’s life. She was a camper for 11 years, became a counselor in training, a junior counselor, and then a senior counselor. She has seen this growth in her campers as well, including 16-year-old Matthew Mickler.
“One of the most unique aspects of our summer program is the staff which is largely made up of former campers,” said Krista. “Their experience comes full circle as they go from being a camper to a Counselor in Training to a Junior Counselor and finally to a Senior Counselor. We have the wonderful opportunity to see some of our campers mature into talented and skillful young adults.”
Interested in learning more about the Kids in College Summer Camps or Krista’s AACC experience? Send her an e-mail!