Sunday, January 30, 2011

Little Engineers LEGO Camp


2011 already, no wait, it is almost February...  It is amazing how fast things seem to move.  I have a few things over the holiday season that I wanted to comment on my full time job, and the MOUNDS of snow have kept me busy.

Lets start this years posts with details from LEGO Camp.  I was in Central One before Christmas and noticed a display for LEGO Camp at the Boroughs JCC.  Having a kindergartner, LEGOs already fill my house.  There are in the couch cushions, under the table, and of course in storage bins in the playroom.  I was a LEGO man myself in younger days and really enjoyed building and creating so the opportunity for a LEGO camp sounded great.

The camp was run through a partnership with Play-well TEKnologies.  They are based out of CA but have locations all over the US.  The program run this winter at the Boroughs JCC was targeted for grades K - 3 and run at the same facility the Boroughs JCC Preschool occupies. 

Overall, I was amazed at the program, the Boroughs JCC involvement, and the absolute delight my kindergartner experienced.  But let me give you all some specific examples.  First lets start with the the Blizzard of 2010.  Unfortunately the first day of the program was interrupted by the snowstorm on 12/26 and 12/27.  But the Boroughs JCC staff contacted all parents, posted credit policies on both their website and Facebook, and insured the rest of the week was more then enough to make up for it.  The week started out with the kids learning about the different types of pieces and key building techniques.  The way the camp works, children would build two projects a day but as we all know LEGOs are expensive so at the end of the day they broke down the projects as part of the cleanups.  The Boroughs JCC had a solution for this, they took photos each day with each project and sent them home with the kids so they could show their family and friends.  For kids that signed up for the full week of camp, the Boroughs JCC created a photo book individualized for each child.  It was a great cap on the camp week.  Below is a video from the vacation week, I took off the Boroughs JCC site.  This way you can see for yourself some of the excitement.

During the winter break from 9AM to 2PM my son was in delight.  It  is now almost 4 weeks later and he still talks about the program regularly, and his interest in LEGO is never been higher.  He even took the photo book to school when it was his turn to share.  I know the Boroughs JCC is planning on running more LEGO programs this summer and I am excited to sign him up again.  For February they are partnering with FasTracKids to run an astronomy program.  Based on the last success I am excited to see what they have planned next.

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