Eight-year-old Alexandra Lajo of Weedsport eagerly describes the activities she has been participating in this week at Cayuga Community College’s Kids at Cayuga summer camp.
“Zumba is fun, and Scratch It—my class that uses computers, and well, all the classes are my favorite!” she said. “I wish that the camp were two-weeks long, instead of only one.”
Lajo, a native of Peru who moved to the region two years ago, said that she didn’t know anyone when she came to this, her first summer camp, but that she made many friends and doesn’t want it to end.
Timothy Hall, a 10 year old from Waterloo, rattled off all the “really awesome” activities he did in his Science in the Kitchen class: “We made peanut butter balls, playdough, ice cream, and we made rubber eggs that we soaked in vinegar and then they bounced like balls when you throw them. It was really, really awesome!”
The College’s Community Education and Workforce Development unit launched the camp to increase and diversify its programming for the younger members of the community and to expose them to the facilities and resources of the campus.
“In our evaluations, I asked the campers what surprised them the most,” said Stephanie Schuster, coordinator of community education programs. “Almost all of them said how much fun they had! It’s always great to exceed expectations.”
Based on feedback, Schuster expects to expand the camp from one week to several weeks, spreading out the courses and offering more than the 20 courses included this year. She also hopes to work collaboratively with other local community organizations so campers can spend half days on campus and half days out in the community making art, learning about history, and enjoying the outdoors.
Schuster said she also expects to add a camp showcase on Friday so parents can meet the instructors and see all the fun things their children did all week.
The College would like to develop scholarships to help low-income children and their families experience the summer camp.
Several of the campers said they liked having something fun to do, as they typically spend their summers hanging out at home, watching TV, or playing outside.
“I’d be wishing I were here,” said 9-year-old Jenna Nila of Auburn. “This is so much fun!”
For more information on upcoming Community Education programming, visit http://www.cayuga-cc.edu/communityed.