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Kids Fill Days At Summer Camp
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During the Beam Me Up theme week of Oakdales Super Summer Camp, Emily Thomas, left, and Jacob Keys checked out the magnets station at the Challenger Learning Center in Atwater. - photo by Photo Contributed

Sending kids off to camp for the summer without them ever leaving town is easier than it sounds. Oakdale’s Super Summer Camp keeps children in kindergarten through sixth grades engaged in fun activities, field trips, and learning opportunities five days a week.

The camp, run by Oakdale Joint Unified School District and held at Magnolia Elementary School, is in its fifth week of summer fun and ends Aug. 3 – before the kids have to be back in school in Oakdale on Aug. 14.

Program Supervisor Matt Dillon explained that the children participate in organized and free time activities. There are also clubs to participate in that the kids can choose that include Chess Club, Reading Club, and Computer/Math Club where the students can play math games at levels that are age and grade specific.

Dillon reported that the children are typically grouped by age for the clubs and activities so that they interact with other kids their own age. Kindergarteners through second graders are together, third and fourth graders are together, and fifth and sixth graders make up another group.

Fellow Program Supervisor Carla Moore said students also do sports in the morning on certain days where they learn the rules of each sport and the object of the game. Each week is a different sport such as soccer, ultimate Frisbee, baseball, basketball, or football.

Mondays and Tuesdays are the club days and also include arts and crafts activities usually related to the fun theme for the week. Wednesdays are field trip days and then on Thursdays and Fridays, the students play their morning sports and then take a walking trip to The Plunge where they play and swim for a couple of hours before returning for movies in the afternoon.

Moore said that a couple of the big differences in what the school district offers in the program to youngsters that weren’t offered when the city operated it are that there are now field trips and also specific learning pursuits such as the Math Club or Reading Club.

“We’ve added a lot more learning activities for them for the summer,” Moore said of the difference.

“It’s a great place to meet new friends from other schools,” she added.

Moore noted that they have, on average, about 70 to 80 kids daily at camp, but there’s plenty of room for more. There are six leaders at the camp at all times, she said, and when there are more children, more on-call leaders are brought in to help. She pointed out that all of the leaders are part of the school district’s after school program, and therefore meet the OJUSD’s requirements for working with children.

This week, which is themed “BBQ Bonanza,” the children took their field trip to Hilmar Cheese Factory on Tuesday due to the Wednesday, July 4 holiday. They ate homemade ice cream while there and a barbecue is planned for the children this week as well. Next week, July 9-13, the theme is “Mad Scientists” and the field trip will be to the San Jose Tech Museum. The following week includes a field trip to the Stanislaus County Fair.

For more information or to enroll a child in Oakdale’s Super Summer Camp, contact the school district office at (209) 848-4884, extension 128 or go to the website and click on “Super Summer Camp 2012,” which is listed under “Quick Links.”