Summer camp fair proves popular in the winter

(Revised to correct a name and title)

The snowy winter didn’t stop parents from thinking about summer time. This past Saturday the Chestnut Hill Academy held its 20th annual Summer Camp Fair.

Mairi Luce, head of CHA’s Parents Association’s Camp Fair Committee said that this year’s camp fair was one of the best she has seen since she began running it three years ago. “Our attendance is better this year than I think it’s ever been,” she said.

Leuce’s son is a fifth-grader at CHA, and has enrolled in several summer camps.

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Open to the public, camps covering a myriad of interests from computer technology to wilderness education and from horseback riding to anthropology had something to offer for every child.

Traditional day camps competed with overnight camps, some trekking from as far as Wyoming, the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and the Virgin Islands for the interest of would-be campers who ranged from pre-k to high school.

Still other camps focusing exclusively on boys or girls did their best to convince kids that what they had to offer would lead to a superior summer experience. With a total of 84 camps represented at the fair, they had their work cut out for them.

If numbers alone are an indicator, the camp fair could be judged as a success. However, the camp fair is not judged a success merely by the number of attendees, but also by the funds raised. According to Leuce, money collected from food and beverage sales goes to important professional development classes for CHA’s faculty.

Leuce views the fair as not just important for the school, but as a “service to the community” as well. “It gives parents a real opportunity to see the wealth of possibilities for their kids,” she said.

Parents seemed to agree. Kerri Newton, the mother of a first-grader at Wyncote Elementary who loves to build, was looking for a camp that would help her son to develop those skills. “I like it how they bring all of the camps together,” she said. “I think it was a great idea.”

“It’s nice to have something so varied,” said Lori Flynn, mother of a 4th grader at Germantown Friends School. “You can collect a lot of information in a half hour, and peruse it at your leisure at home.”

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