Thinking About Projects Year – Round!

Written by former Technology Director Nola E.! If you would like to be a featured blogger, email [email protected]

Living in New Hampshire and watching the snow pile higher and higher has really made me miss the sunny summers at TIC! While shoveling snow for the millionth time, I started thinking about how great it would be to have a robot to do this for me. A quick search online showed me that such a thing does exist and can also clean up leaves in the fall!

This neat little robot reminded me of some of the amazing projects I saw when I entered the robotics room at TIC. While we don’t have to deal with shoveling snow during the summer, there are problems that need innovative solutions, regardless of what season it is! When I searched a little more, I discovered another fascinating robot that does its work during the summer! This robot provides a new and interesting way to make art at the beach by drawing intricate patterns and portraits in the sand.

Seeing a winter themed robot as well as a summer themed robot reminded me of how important it is to be thinking creatively year-round. No matter what tech option you’re in, you’ll be able to express yourself creatively, using the inspiration all around you! So even though camp is several months away, it’s never too early to start brainstorming projects to do with your fellow campers!

Social Benefits of Riding the Bus

These days, kids are spending more and more time interacting on digital devices rather than in person. When they want to have a conversation, it is a quick text away rather than a phone call. Emotions are displayed with emojis, not with smiles. Kids need to be in social settings to develop skills that will help them in college and beyond. Believe it or not, riding a school bus twice a day with the same group of kids can be incredibly beneficial to developing friendships and breaking down social barriers. On a bus, kids are automatically in smaller groups, and have the opportunity to develop real relationships with people they may not otherwise talk to. I had the pleasure of recently attending a keynote speech by Bob Ditter, an adolescent and family therapist from Boston, MA. In his talk, he spoke about the importance of utilizing small groups in order to develop the social relationships of young kids. In his words, when kids interact in small groups, they relax and the social barriers are broken down. They become comfortable quickly, and start to develop connections that last when the group size increases. In other words, kids that develop relationships in small groups are more successful in larger groups where the social dynamic can be trickier to navigate. They are less likely to feel ostracized and left out, even when their interests may not align with the majority of the group.

So how does this relate to summer camp? On the first day of camp, a camper is immediately placed in a group, often times with complete strangers. He of she is then told “these are your new best friends, see you in a couple weeks!” This is extremely overwhelming, but imagine if that same child had ridden the bus to camp that morning, and was sitting next to somebody that was equally as nervous about starting camp. Prior to arriving at camp, both children are connected by a common feeling and situation. Even if those two children don’t say a word to each other all bus ride, all of a sudden a familiar face is added to the sea of strangers upon arrival. Both campers are immediately more relaxed and comfortable in what can be an intimidating environment. Now imagine at the end of a great camp day. Both campers are back on the bus, in their small group environment. They are much more likely to open up, share stories, and make friendships. As an added bonus, these new found friends are part of a small “bus crew” if you will, and are able to form their own social dynamic within the camp environment.

Fair warning, campers may come home singing this:

TIC-VA Gets In Olympic Spirit, Celebrates the OlympTICs!

All week, campers in Athletics have been participating in our very own OlympTICs!  Athletics groups paired up to constitute countries from around the world, then competed in all kinds of different activities.  These ranged from the usual TIC sports to trivia to Minute-to-win-it games to Track and Field events!  We even had our own opening cermonies! The final winner won’t be announced until tomorrow, but be sure to check out some of the photos below and in the TIC Pics tab at the top of the page!

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TIC-VA Celebrates Halloween in August

Only celebrating Halloween once a year is not NEARLY enough.  That’s why we decided to celebrate Halloween in August as part of our third session’s “Monday FUNday”.  Campers and staff came to camp adorned in some adorable, creative, and spooky costumes.  Check out the TIC Pics for some photos of costumes seen around camp.

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Session 3 Water Day…With a Twist!

Today, TIC-VA celebrated it’s third water day of the summer, complete with the standard slip n’ slide, moon bounce, and other water-themed activities.  However, we felt a little guilty letting the Athletics counselors have all the Water Day fun, so we decided to add a Counselor Switch Day to the mix!  Technology ounselors got to enjoy the thrills of water day, as well as various other sports while Athletics counselors got to check out what campers have been learning in their tech rooms.  All counselors had a blast and simultaneously developed a newfound respect for what their counterparts do all day!  Be sure to check the TIC Pics for the photos from today’s action!

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Session 3 Begins at TIC-VA

Today, TIC-VA opened its doors to Session 3 campers (and then quickly closed them to keep the A/C contained within the building)! Campers hit the ground running in both Athletics and Technology as they got acquainted with their counselors and fellow campers.  Though campers stayed inside during Athletics to avoid the scorching temperatures, they were able to participate in a variety of indoor games and activities!  In technology, some campers were introduced to some of the basics of their discipline while others got started with more advanced concepts as they began planning their projects for the session.  Be sure to check out TIC Pics throughout this session by clicking on the tab on the menu bar at the top of the page!

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A New Addition to the Color War Schedule….

As part of their CIT training, I asked a group of rising 10th graders to come with a fresh idea that would contribute positively to the TIC culture.  They came up with….Color War Counselor Karaoke!!!!!  TIC-VA opened Friday with a Karaoke battle between counselors from the white and blue teams (or at least those brave enough to volunteer).  The winner was judged by camper applause and received 100 color war points! In the end, Blue team’s performance of “Hey Ya” bested White team’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”.  Winner’s aside, it was a blast to watch and a great way to start the day!

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96 Degrees?? Good Thing Today was Water Day at TIC-VA!

Campers were able to cool off from the scorching temperatures today by participating in TIC-VA’s second Water Day of the summer!  Again, TIC was equipped with a Slip n’ Slide and a Moon Bounce, as well as some other water-fueled activities, like “Drip Drip Drop”, or everyone’s favorite, “Pour Buckets of Water on Staff Members”…!  Check out the TIC Pics from today’s action!

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