STAR Science Camp

There is a fantastic program that is available to many California schools called STAR. As a new mom to the public school system, I was aware of their wonderful after-school offerings at my children’s elementary school. I didn’t participate (that is, my children didn’t participate) because they really wanted me to pick them up every day after school.

Towards the end of the year I got the flyer for camp and noticed a Science Camp at the elementary school near my house (my children are permitted into an elementary school that is midway between their father’s and my homes). My son is a huge science fan over anything else on the planet, so I knew I had to sign him up. The best week for him and our schedule seemed to be the Wizarding week.

He was so excited about his first day of camp. Mondays are his dad’s day so I drove over to his house, picked up my son and parked in my driveway. My son raced to the backyard to get his bike and helmet and off we went. I stopped for a second to get my camera ready to capture the shot of my little guy riding his bike down the sidewalk when he turned to me to shout, “Come on mom!” and that ended up being my best shot.

I was delighted to discover that this program was run by adults, well organized, well staffed and filled with fun and wonderful energy and warmth. My son was super nervous as he didn’t know anyone there, but he soon warmed up when joining in with the STAR cheer. We don’t know Harry Potter (we didn’t at the time of camp, we have since watched the first Harry Potter movie 6 times. No wait, 7 if you count the viewing that is happening right now), and this week was based on the entire Hogwart’s school system. My son was not at all uncomfortable or left out by not knowing what was going on. They put a sorting hat on each child and announced their schools, which were based off of their grade level.

My son was Hufflepuff and ready for me to go home. When I came back to pick him up he was bouncing off the walls with excitement – mystical creatures, potions, wand making, friends, food, snacks, running, EVERYTHING. And when I say everything, I really mean it – they got to dissect owl pellets (barf). I totally geeked out when I saw that. His dad didn’t geek out so much…

“Mamma, did you know that owls deliver all the mail to wizards?” “Mamma, you can’t say say the illuminate spell to another person because their stomach will explode!”

But my favorite:

“Mamma, did you know that the wizarding words come from Aladdin?”
“Aladdin? Really?”
“Yeah mamma, Aladdin!”
(insert image of me racking my brain)
“Oh, you mean LATIN?”
“Yeah, that’s it!”

If you have a STAR program around your area, or in your schools, I highly recommend it. We are already budgeting so that he can go for more weeks next year. I’m hoping for four weeks, because this kid is hooked and so am I.


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Maggie is the brains behind MagGoogle. When she isn't posting stream of consciousness blog posts she is behind her camera shooting the work of Taken By Storm Photography or behind her computer working on the sites at Maggie's Web.

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