By ROB W. ANDERSON
Children attending the Northeastern State University Continuing Education and College of Liberal Arts Second Century Summer Camps for Kids aren’t just getting adult supervision. The kids are enjoying their summer vacations, and experiencing fun and informative educational programs in a college setting.
The Time Travelers camp is for children ages 4-7, and Keisha Murray, a Tahlequah Middle School English teacher, is leading the program. It introduces and explores time periods through craft-making and other activities related to the era of focus.
On Monday, camp participants learned about the dinosaur age.
“We made dinosaur masks. We watched ‘The Land Before Time’ and read a book. We played dinosaur tag,” said Murray. “We were plant eaters and meat eaters. We took turns playing tag, trying to get to the trees to get food. We talked about the meat eaters and the plant eaters, and how they all depended on the leaves to live. Because the plant eaters ate the leaves, and the meat eaters ate the plant eaters. We talked about when they didn’t have rain how they needed to find food.”
Tuesday’s time period activities focused on learning about ancient Egypt.
“Today, we talked about new words that maybe they haven’t seen or heard before. So we looked at pictures of those things and then later we’re going to watch ‘The Prince of Egypt’,” Murray said. “We’re also making pharaoh hats and belts, and later we’re going to paint pyramids. [It’s a sort of history class] on a very simple level because of the age level.”
The other historical segments the children will learn about during the week-long camp include ancient Greece and the Wild West. Murray said the time periods she chose for the camp present unmistakable visual prompts for learning activities.
“I chose those because they have very distinct costumes, and that’s what we’re doing, making the costumes for the time period. On Thursday, when we do the Wild West, so we’ll make cowboy hats and bandanas,” she said. “I am an elementary teacher and I’ve taught history. I’m teaching the little ones to kind of change of up for the summer for fun.”
Murray, who previously taught in Westville, just finished her first year of teaching in the Tahlequah Public Schools system, and said the NSU camp is a great way for students enjoying time off from the classroom to maintain learning interests.
“The kids really think it’s cool to come to college for the summer, and they learn and have fun, as well,” she said. “I think it’s different than just daycare because they are learning, but they feel like big kids because they get to college. Yesterday, we went on little a tour of the campus, and they thought that was really cool. We showed them where the college kids learn, and we ate in the same cafeteria as the college kids.”
The other program for kids this week, the Summer Fun Camp, offers swimming and indoor sports for kids ages 8 and older.
Next week, Murray will be leading the Bring It To Life Camp for ages 4-7, and the camp focus is telling stories through drawing, clay, props and acting, while the other camps are Impulse Images Photo Camp and Kids’ Kayak Camp II.
For more information, call NSU Continuing Education at (918) 444-4610, Dr. Dana Eversole at (918) 616-1166 or (918) 444-2891, or visit www.nsu news.com/summercamps.