Friday, August 01, 2014

Hanging out with Dino Day Camp!

Today I had a nice sit down with our Dino Day Camp coordinators, Maddy Jamieson and Rebecca Pedneault, to chat about how Dino Day Camp has gone this summer!

For those of you who don't know, Dino Day Camp is a summer program that the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre runs from July to August. Monday through Thursday, the youth program coordinators work hard to provide activities, education and fun to the kids who have signed up, or dropped in. Each week has a different theme, and different activities that go along with it.

Maddy, Rebecca and I all sat down to chat a bit about camp, its highlights and its challenges.

Maddy and Rebecca both agreed that their favourite week (so far) this summer has been Pirate Week! They chose Pirate Week because they felt that they had prepared a variety of activities and crafts that kept everyone engaged and entertained. It also helped that there was a fair number of kids enrolled in the camp that week. "Having more kids allows us to play more games, do more crafts and it's also great for the kids. They get to meet new friends and it keeps them from getting bored."

As I have said, Dino Day Camp staff plan and run multiple activities for the kids. From making crafts, to giving museum tours, they make sure the days are action packed. When asked what their favourite thing to do was, both Maddy and Rebecca agreed that giving museum tours topped the list. Maddy, who is in fact in her second year of Education at Lakehead University says, "I really enjoy the education aspect of it; teaching kids about the different marine reptiles, showing them the different fossils in the collection room, I really enjoy that." Rebecca, who is in her fourth year of biology (focusing on botany) at the University of Winnipeg also agreed that she enjoys the learning and education part of the camp.

Obviously when dealing with children under the age of 10, there will be challenges. Whether it's a behavioral problem, or simply trying to find a craft that will take more than 5 minutes to complete, it is up to our Day Camp leaders to figure out a way to over come these challenges. Both Maddy and Rebecca agree that the biggest challenges they have faced are trying to figure out a way to keep everyone entertained and engaged, while also structuring a functional Day Camp. They appear to be doing something right, as they often get 5 stars on their end of week reviews!

Rebecca returned to Dino Day Camp for a second year this summer, as she help run it last year as well. This is Maddy's first year with Dino Day Camp, but has enjoyed it thoroughly. The pair make a great team!

August is the last month for Dino Day Camp, and the weeks are filling up fast. Coming up this week is Gold Rush, after that is the very popular Shark Week, and to finish off the summer we have Croc Attack! Maddy and Rebecca both want parents to know that while drop ins are welcome, it is best to sign your child up prior to the week to ensure that you get a spot. They would also like to point out that Shark Week is filling up VERY QUICKLY but that Gold Rush and Croc Attack are both great weeks that have lots of space.

Dino Day Camp costs either $20 per day or $60 for the week. Click here to check out our schedule for the rest of the month, but please note that the days for Shark Week and Gold Rush have been switched. Give us a call at the CFDC at (204) 822-3406 to book your spot!

And a special thanks to Maddy Jamieson and Rebecca Pedneault for taking the time to help me out with this blog!

Paige Ready

Museum Assistant

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