CSM summer campers explore crime scenes, chocolatedipped Spam and more
Kids’ and Teens College runs until August 12
With activities ranging from tasting chocolate-covered Spam to exploring a Smurf crime scene, the College of Southern Maryland’s Kids’ and Teens College is not the typical summer camp program.
The College of Southern Maryland
is offering more than 100 programs this summer at its three campuses, in general fields such as foreign languages, history, maps and geocaching and athletics, for children ages 5 to 14.
The programs began June 20 and run through the week of Aug. 8.
“There are more course offerings this year, more sections,” said Sarah Massie, La Plata campus coordinator. “We recycle the programs every few years, so many of the programs offered this year haven’t been offered in four or five years.”
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the summer camp program, Massie said.
Massie said that enrollment as of Tuesday was already at 2,800 for all three CSM campuses and is ongoing.
Just this week, CSM held 13 activities in the morning and afternoon. One of the activities, MythBusters, is based on the popular television program that tests the validity of rumors, myths, adages and movie scenes, said instructor Monica Sherrill.
“Basically, you take the concept that you see on the TV show and apply it to children, and make it classroom-friendly,” Sherrill said.
Participants took part in an egg drop, tested the five-second rule for dropped food and made slime, she said.
In Lego Films and Animation, participants created their own short stop-motion movies using Lego building blocks, with stories and scenes they created themselves.
“Some of them have very elaborate ideas,” instructor Stacy Bevill said. “We’re going to shoot each movement frameby-frame; they’ll add music, sound effects, dialog, and they will have a very short Lego movie.”
The popular afternoon program, For the Love of Chocolate, allowed teens to explore chocolate in a variety of forms, and on Tuesday featured chocolate fondues of common items, such as strawberries, animal cookies and marshmallows, as well as some unusual items, such as croutons, pickles and Spam.
“The texture and everything about it is so good covered in chocolate,” participant Stephen Bard said after trying the canned meat dipped in chocolate. “It’s a chocolate delight. It’s way better than regular Spam.”
Asked why she enrolled, Sarah Marie Caparrota replied, “Chocolate. Just chocolate.”
Participant Zoi Whitsett said the chocolate-dipped sweet pickles were too sweet for her, but Camryn Beaver described them as “Sweet, but sour. It was very good. I would definitely eat more.”
“I love chocolate, and I love making stuff with chocolate, so I thought this would be a good way to learn more about it,” Camryn said of the program.
Instructor Simone Alger said part of the goal was go beyond just eating chocolate, and to explore what can, and perhaps what shouldn’t, be done with chocolate.
“Otherwise, we’re just going to be sitting here getting diabetes,” Alger said. “So we broke it up with exploring how chocolate is made, and we’ve been watching YouTube videos about strange things dipped in chocolate.”
Little Detectives, for 5 to 6 year olds, explored the world of crime scene investigation, featuring a crime scene involving Smurfette, the female Smurf from the cartoon.
“We’re looking at what detectives do in the process of solving cases,” instructor Jennifer Donald said. “They’re learning about important things that help police officers and detectives do their jobs.”
Donald is a retired Metro transit police officer with 24 years of experience, who also teaches criminal justice at the University of Mar yland.
“I loved being a police officer, so I thought, ‘Why not teach a Little Detectives class?’” Donald said.
One of the participants, Ryder Carrignan, said he wants to grow up to become a police K9 handler.
“I really like police dogs,” Ryder said, adding that his favorite part of Little Detectives was the fingerprinting.
Massie said the programs are intended to be educational as well as fun.
“It’s very much aligned with Common Core and meeting the needs of the community,” Massie said. “It’s very much the meld of education and fun, which is kind of our trademark. You’re going to have fun, but you’re going to learn.”
Top, Instructor Simone Alger, left, waits to find out Camryn Beaver’s opinion after eating a bite of chocolate fondue-dipped sweet pickle in “For the Love of Chocolate,” part of the College of Southern Maryland’s Kids’ and Teens College program. Above left, Geneva Williams blows up a balloon as part of an air pressure experiment in “Sid the Science Kid,” Right, Stephen Bard gives a thumbs-up after trying chocolate-dipped Spam in “For the Love of Chocolate,” part of the College of Southern Maryland’s Kids’ and Teens College summer program.
Instructor Monica Sherrill, left, watches as Aniya Jones drops an egg to test the absorption capabilities of the container she made in “MythBusters”, part of the College of Southern Maryland’s Kids’ and Teens College summer program.
Instructor Jennifer Donald assists Ava Graves in taking her fingerprints in “Little Detectives”, part of the College of Southern Maryland’s Kids’ and Teens College summer program.
Instructor Randy Tusing leads a discussion of painting in “Painting Picasso”, part of the College of Southern Maryland’s Kids’ and Teens College summer program.
Sarah-Marie Caparrotta and Ariana Marrero sit beneath a tree drawing a nearby building in “Drawing for Teens”, part of the College of Southern Maryland’s Kids’ and Teens College summer program.