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  • Virtual Summer Camp Options for Students

    Posted by Gayle Schmuhl on 7/7/2020

    kiss camp art

    Virtual Summer Camp Offerings for Students 

    Are your students bored at home?  Are you in need of finding some interesting actvities that they can pursue online?  There are many virtual summer camp offering to students that are free.   They offer students a chance to learn and explore without leaving the comfort and safety of their home.   Below are some opportunities for students in all grades.


    Story Online Summer Camp -- Invites K-4th grade kids to hike over to our virtual campsite and read a story or write one of your own to share! Come check it out!

    Camp Wonderopolis -- free STEAM—science, technology, engineering, arts, and math—programs

    MOCA Summer Camps -- Campers will be introduced to mixed media, painting, drawing, and textile arts during these fun workshops held via Zoom, and led by professional art instructors. Final projects will be featured in a virtual exhibition on MOCA’s website.

    Destinations Academy Free Summer Camps for High Schoolers -- Are you interested in computers? Starting your own business? Working in the healthcare field? This summer, rising 9th–11th graders can earn 0.5 high school credit while exploring the wide variety of high-demand careers in one these tuition-free online summer school courses

    Reading Rockets Start with a Book -- Start with a book ... for a summer full of reading and learning!

    Met Opera Summer Camp at Home --  Operatic adventures, including a link to watch the free opera stream (starting on Wednesday), an overview of each day’s activities and how to access them, and a list of all the materials you’ll need to participate in these activities.

    Camp at Home -- ow available, CAMP@HOME with UNICEF Kid Power® features 75+ short videos (sports, crafts, cooking, campfire songs and more) that inspire kids to “press play” on-screen, then “go play” off-screen. As kids have fun and learn new skills, they’ll also make a global and local impact!

    Camp YouTube -- e're bringing the fun of summer camp to families at home with #CampYouTube. Check out our STEM, Arts, Sports, and Adventure themed camps to learn new skills, stay active, and explore the world together. Come back daily for updates! Families can also download #CampYouTube bingo boards and cross off camp activities they complete.

    Commonsense Media Online Camps Fill Kids' Summer with Learning Adventures - Virtual camps and classes offer a wide variety of enrichment to keep kids busy, learning, and having fun while practicing safe social distancing.
    Not interested in a virtual camping experience!  No problem, you can gain the camping experience by reading one of these great books listed below.   

    As the Crow Flies, by Melanie Gillman (Iron Circus, 2017)

    Gr 6 Up–Camp Three Peaks is a religious summer camp whose leader is a determined feminist; the weeklong camp centers on a 50-mile hike to the top of a mountain where, in the 19th century, the local women had a religious revelation. Charlie, who is Black and queer, immediately feels unsafe there, but she is determined to stick it out and mostly keeps her feelings to herself. As she moves through the landscape, she sees the blind spots of the leaders but also makes friends and engages with her own doubts. While this story offers a lot of food for thought, it’s also anticlimactic as the graphic novel ends before the girls reach their goal. The story continues as a webcomic on Gillman’s website.

    Be Prepared, by Vera Brosgol (First Second, 2018)
    Gr 4-9–Vera, a Russian immigrant, is both poorer than and culturally different from her classmates, and she can’t seem to fit in no matter how hard she tries. When she finds out that the Russian Orthodox church runs a sleepaway camp for first-generation Russian children, she persuades her mother to let her and her brother go. Camp gets off to a rough start: Vera doesn’t know the routines, the other kids are aloof, and she’s horrified by the outhouse. Everything she does ends up as a disaster until, thanks to an act of kindness, she finds a friend and a purpose. Brosgol is a gifted artist, and her story, which is part memoir and part fiction, is filled with expressive characters, cute animals, and self-deprecating humor.

    Camp, by Kayla Miller (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2019)
    Gr 3-7Camp is Miller’s follow-up to the hugely popular Click; the third graphic novel in the series, Act, came out in June. Camp manages to be both simple and subtle at the same time. The story is straightforward: Olive, the main character, and her friend Willow go to summer camp together, and friction occurs because Olive is making new friends while Willow only wants to hang out with Olive. This gets resolved with a bit of drama and some empathy and support from the counselors, but what really sets Miller’s storytelling apart—and makes this a true graphic novel—is the nonverbal communication. She often has wordless sequences that last for pages, and whether there is dialogue in the panel or not, Miller skillfully portrays the characters’ feelings through their facial expressions. Camp is also a good introduction to the culture of summer camp for younger readers, as this is one book where everything is explained and the counselors stay on top of things.

    Camp Midnight, vol. 1, by Steven T. Seagle & Jason Adam Katzenstein (Image, 2016)
    Camp Midnight, vol. 2: Camp Midnight vs. Camp Daybright, by Steven T. Seagle & Jason Adam Katzenstein (Image, 2019)
    Gr 3-7–Skye, a strong-willed, sassy, almost-teenage girl, accidentally ends up at a camp full of literal monsters in the first volume of Camp Midnight. She not only has to conceal her lack of monster-ness, she also has to contend with the usual camp stuff, including mean girls, a strangely clingy friend, and a cute guy (who is actually a werewolf). It all works out in the end, and in the second volume, she is looking forward to returning but instead is sent to Camp Daylight, a boringly pleasant human camp. Rather than accept her situation, Skye tries to change it, but ultimately her loyalties are tested when the two camps, Midnight and Daylight, compete against each other in a sort of camp Olympics. Seagle is one of the creators of Ben 10 and other animated cartoons, and these two graphic novels have a cartoony, over-the-top feel to them, mixing sight gags and witty comebacks with serious themes including blended families, unequal friendships, and even death. Katzenstein’s lively art is a perfect match for Seagle’s storytelling. Both books are colorful, fast-paced, and laugh-out-loud funny, ideal for a stay-at-home summer afternoon.

    Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom, by Terry Blas, Molly Muldoon, & Matthew Seely (Oni, 2018)
    Gr 7 Up–This fun take on the mystery genre has a diverse cast, sharp humor, and a lot of heart. Jesse Delacruz is spending the summer at a weight loss camp because her parents are making her; she thinks she looks just fine and is more interested in fashion than fitness. When she sneaks out for a midnight nosh, though, she and another camper witness a murder, and they recruit a few friends to help them solve it. The cast is diverse in every way, including their body types and their motivations for being at the camp, and as a result, Dead Weight offers witty, insightful takes on body image, family life, and stereotypes.

    Lumberjanes: Campfire Songs, by Shannon Watters et al. (BOOM! Box, May 2020)
    Gr 4-7—You can’t write about camping comics without mentioning the Lumberjanes, whose endless summer at Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types has been going on since the first issue came out in 2014. This book is a collection of short stories that originally appeared in the comics: The Lumberjanes meet up with faeries, vegetal kittens, and other supernatural types as they plan events and earn new badges. The stories are by different creators and the art style and character designs vary a bit, but they all have the cartoony energy that has been a hallmark of the series since the beginning.

    Lumberjanes: The Shape of Friendship, by Lilah Sturgis and polterink (BOOM! Box, 2019)
    Gr 4-7–This is the second of three original graphic novels by Sturgis and the singly-named polterink, and like the first, Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass, this book is drawn in a more naturalistic style that uses soft grays and a single color (pink in this case, green for the first book). In this story, the Lumberjanes encounter supernatural creatures, the Pookas, who are super-cute but mischievous shape-shifters. When the Pookas hear about the Lumberjanes’ awesome camp, they take the girls’ shapes, lock them up in their cave, and head off to take their places at camp. Their long-suffering counselor, Jen, is fooled at first but quickly realizes something is amiss when her charges start acting like perfect campers instead of going off on tangents and blowing things up. The final book by Sturgis and polterink, True Colors, will be out in October 2020


    Check out Cuyahoga County Library to locate and borrow these books for your student and/or purchase from Amazon or any online book store. 

    From SLJ by Brigid Alverson, Editor of the “Good Comics for Kids” blog, writes “Stellar Panels” SLJ’s graphic novels column. 


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