Summer camp 2015 has finally arrived! Today we kicked off Thalia Book Club Camp with our first group of 9-11 year old campers. We started the day by playing some ice-breaker bingo, where we asked questions to get to know one another. After that, we played a few rounds of Red Light, Green Light and Assassins, before getting started with a camp tradition: our “mini book groups.” On the first day of camp each week, campers get to participate in a speed-conversation about each of this week’s books. After five minutes, a bell rings, and the campers run to the next book. The book groups are a great way to recap each book, and get excited about the authors who we will be meeting over the next few days.
Once we had visited all five book groups, we headed back to the camp room for an activity. Our teaching artist, Matt Cody, had us draw ‘Wanted’ posters for some of the main characters in Masterminds which is about a group of kids living in seemingly perfect town who discover a dark secret– they are part of a scientific experiment and are actually clones of notorious criminals. Using the character descriptions from the book, we imagined what our favorite characters from the book look like.
Soon it was time for lunch in the park! We played board games, showed each other magic tricks, and played a game of Capture the Flag, which is still a camp favorite.
After lunch it was time to meet our first author, Gordon Korman, the author of Masterminds. Gordon told us that he’s written over 85 books and he wrote his first book when he was 12, as an assignment for his English class. He mailed his project to the Scholastic book fair, and a year later, he was a published author! And he’s been writing ever since. He also talked about how he avoids writer’s block by constantly asking himself “What if?” This led to our writing activity! Gordon had us write our own adventure scenes by imagining an everyday situation, and then asking ourselves how we could make that scene more suspenseful by wondering “What if?” or “How can this go wrong?” Then we shared our stories, which including scuba diving with sharks and a castle with looming towers and ominous clouds.
After sharing, Gordon signed our books, and we took a group photo with him.
We said goodbye to Gordon, and ended the day with some free time, where we played board games, read, and continued working on our stories. Before we knew it, the first day of camp was over! Tomorrow we’re excited to meet Sage Blackwood, discuss her book Jinx, and take a field trip to the Morgan Library!