Speciality camps such as Hogwarts Camp, Esports Gaming, Theatre and more were offered at the JCC of Youngstown this summer.
The JCC of Youngstown offered a number of specialty camps this summer to engage youth in new and creative ways. Hunter Thomas, the early childhood and youth co-director at the JCC of Youngstown, said the J is very lucky in its ability to host schools of dance, visual arts and theatre, as well as a state-of-the-art Multimedia Center/Esports Arena.
“We transitioned from mainly offering specialty camps that were contracted out to being able to offer them utilizing our own staff and materials,” said Thomas. “I recommend camps and community centers looking into specialty options think about what resources they already have available to use.”
This summer, with the exception of one camp, all specialty camps were offered through existing JCC programs. They included:
- Esports Competitive Video Gaming Camp
- JCC School of Theatre Presents: The Jungle Book Kids
- Hogwarts Camp (produced utilizing staff and resources from JCC’s schools of theatre and art)
- JCC School of Theatre YSU Playmakers Beginner’s Theatre Camp (produced in conjunction with local public university, Youngstown State)
- Monster’s Ink with the Paul and Yetta Gluck School of Visual Arts
- Brush to Canvas with the Paul and Yetta Gluck School of Visual Arts
During the Esports Competitive Video Gaming Camp, campers learned about and competed in the world of competitive, organized video gaming. Campers and their teams faced off in various games and also participated in afternoon activities, including swimming.
In the JCC School of Theatre Presents: The Jungle Book Kids, campers got the opportunity to stage a full musical, from auditions to showtime, in a workshop environment. Campers also took part in afternoon swimming.
During Hogwarts Camp, each camper was sorted into one of four Hogwarts houses for a week of unique activities. In addition to pulling fun themes from the Harry Potter books and films, Thomas shared the specialty camp is STEM-influenced. “Children made slime and potions by mixing different materials, and also participated in wizard-themed arts and crafts such as making their own wands,” described Thomas. “Campers also participated in quidditch matches, which was a highlight of the week.”