Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 10, 2014

Young campers get back to nature

Northeastern State University event provides activities for youth

TAHLEQUAH — Despite the soggy outdoor conditions, youngsters in Northeastern State University’s Organized Play Camp stayed busy Monday with a variety of activities.

Right after lunch, the youth gathered in Leoser Center with sleeping bags spread across the floor, waiting for a movie to watch during quiet time.

The camp, designed for children ages 3-7, is incorporating an outdoor, nature theme. Christy Young, organizer of the section, taught preschool for six years and has been the children’s director at her church for eight years.

“We have 15 children signed up, and this is our first day,” said Young. “They’ve had a busy morning, even though it’s been raining.”

Young said the camp incorporates the “center” method.

“In the mornings, we have centers,” said Young. “Each center - arts, sensory and dramatic play - incorporates the nature theme of the camp.”

Children take a nature walk each day, bringing back found items to use during the art portion of the day.

“After lunch, we’ll have quiet time and the kids will rest for a bit and watch a movie,” said Young.

“Today they’re watching ‘Lilo and Stitch.’ Later, we’ll have other activities like table games, bingo and playing with a parachute.”

Before the movie started, three campers – Mason Walkingstick, Macy Davis and Kaili Tillison – were dancing.

“What do you think, am I a good dancer?” asked Mason.

Macy and Kaili agreed, happy to have an extra person with who to cut a rug.

This is the fifth year NSU has offered camps for area youth, and Young said she believes it’s a boon for parents.

“Camps like this help parents out, and gives them someplace for their little ones to go,” she said. “I’m amazed at how well the 3-year-olds do, but I guess most of them are used to being in either preschool or daycare.”

Young also has a number of helpers who spend time with the youth.

“The university has provided three helpers, plus my daughter is helping me,” said Young.

“She’s great, because we’ve worked together so long, she knows exactly what I need when I need it!”

Camps run one week each, and different topics continue through July 18. The general cost for the camps is $150, and kayak camps are $200. Cost of the camps include drinks, lunch, afternoon snacks and Friday activities.

Subjects for upcoming camps for younger children include Junior Science, instructed by Kendrea James and LaTasha Atcity; Kids’ Craft, instructed by Marissa Patrick; and Junior Martial Arts, by James and Atcity.

Other camps are available for youth ages 7 and up. To find out more about NSU camps or to register, visit www.nsunews.com/summer-camps, or call continuing education at 918-444-4610.

tsnell@tahlequahdailypress.com

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