S.T.E.A.M. @ Camp

What does S.T.E.A.M. stand for? Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics, all of which can be found embedded into a typical day at camp. S.T.E.A.M. Education is an incredibly important approach to learning. It is also fun as it gives students and campers the opportunity to engage and explore, rather than just sit and listen. This type of learning helps to enhance critical thinking skills and make connections between all disciplines while providing the opportunity to gather evidence and use that evidence to solve problems. This approach offers collaboration and exposes campers to a creative process and different hands-on learning experiences- ALL WHILE ENJOYING THE BEAUTIES OF CAMP!

Science

What do you think of when you think of Science? Take a piece of paper and have someone draw what they think a “scientist” looks like. From experience of this activity, most people have drawn a person with goggles, in a lab coat , crazy hair, lots of chemicals and formulas, mostly resembling Einstein. However, Science is found EVERYWHERE and there are many different types of scientists out there! In broad terms, science is the study of the nature and behavior of natural things. During Science Week at camp we experienced many areas of science such as Physical Science, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Astronomy and more! Here are some pictures that show the exploration and hands on learning around science at camp!

Above: Maggie, teaching campers about film canister rockets! Mix a little bit of baking soda and vinegar in a film canister, and POP, there it goes! WHY? An acidic and a basic solution react chemically, and EXPLODE!

Above: We had a visitor, Dr. G, from High Touch High Tech of Maine, working with campers to launch their Jump Rockets! This is definitely an activity that you can try at home. For a similar exploration of Rockets visit NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory HERE for more information! Have a BLAST!

Above: It’s a SOLID… It’s a LIQUID… It’s OOBLEK! We studied Earth Science as campers explored the States of Matter! Ooblek is considered a non-newtonian substance that is a solid-like substance when resting, and a liquid-like substance when you pick it up. Easy to make at home, and fun! Click the link above for ingredients and directions.

Above: The study of Biology- a natural science that studies different aspects of life and living organisms. At Camp you can find Species Analysis with Sam at fishing!

Technology

What do you think of when you hear the word “Technology”? Maybe it’s your phone, computer, or television. Technology is actually all around us and things we take for granted today were once the forefront of tech! At Nashoba many activities we do for fun were at one point revolutionary technological innovations.

While you may not think much of the modern day impact of archery, the composite recurve bows we use on camp were once the forefront of technological innovation. Some time in the 13th century, the Mongolian Empire learned that by piecing together bows from different materials, they could create a more efficient piece of equipment that could be used on horseback. This new type of bow helped the Mongolian Empire to grow to be the largest empire the world has ever seen.

Below: Technology can be used to create Art as well! In this photo you can see weaving instructor Andres standing in front of a loom. A loom is a device used to weave traditional pieces like the one he is holding. While smaller at Nashoba, if you sign up for weaving classes you’ll be able to use a loom as well!

There are countless other examples of technology on camp. Things as simple as a shovel and as complex as the Malibu ski boat are both examples of inventions that were at one point (and some still) the forefront of modern technology.

Engineering

When you think of Engineering you may think of things like building bridges, buildings, big trucks and other larger-than-life projects. The reality is that engineering exists on all scales from big to small to even smaller. Engineering is simply the use of one or more of the other tenets of STEAM to solve a problem! On camp engineering exists in almost every activity we do!

A big and complex example of engineering on camp is this past summer’s team build project. Everyone who signed up to work on the trebuchet with Will and Ian knows just how much different work went into the build. There was both simple (measuring the length of the arm) and complex (calculating how long the arm should be) math. There was the use of various different kinds of technology (saws, drills, etc.). There were scientific theories (gravity, lever action) and lastly, woodworking is one of the many art forms found on camp! As you can see, this engineering project truly is the ultimate STEAM build.

Another, smaller scale example of engineering on camp was our egg drop competition during science week. This project had campers design and build a device to allow an egg to safely drop from the porch of the rec hall to the ground below. While it may not have seemed like it at the time, campers needed to use their knowledge of the structure of an egg (science) to design a device (technology) that would safely allow it to drop from a height of 15 feet (math). Voila, Engineering!

There are even simpler examples of engineering in our everyday life! Have you ever climbed a ladder? Step one is figuring out how high you need to reach and step two is finding the right ladder for the job. Right there you have two different aspects of steam working together to solve the problem of how to reach whatever it is you need!

Art

Art provides the opportunity to express and apply your own creativity and imagination to projects that hold both personal and emotional power. There are so many opportunities at camp to experience the arts and the powers of creativity and expression; both in the visual and performing arts.

Math

Did your math teacher ever tell you that you’ll use math in everyday life? Did you believe them? Here’s the thing, they were right!

If you’ve ever made a batch of cookies or a loaf of bread, how much of each ingredient did you add? How did you measure it? Cooking incorporates math to create the best product at the end! If you use the wrong quantities, your cookies might not come out as expected, or your dough might not rise at all. Then what?

There are many different activities at camp that incorporate math: It is embedded in arts and crafts when measuring strings, counting when creating friendship bracelets and even counting stitches when weaving! Math is also used in dancing! These are some of our favorite everyday activities at camp!

S.T.E.A.M. Education

S.T.E.A.M Education is interdisciplinary, connecting all facets of learning in its approach. This type of learning is embedded within a summer camp experience and gives campers the opportunities to explore, engage in learning, develop their skills, apply their knowledge and ideas, challenge themselves and learn how to problem-solve in their own way. Come experience Your Best Summer, Ever!

Fantastic return to Nashoba’s Equestrian program.

We are excited to welcome back Emily Bates Post as Riding Director. Emily was last with us in 2011 and is a career horsewoman. Emily has competed on the hunter jumper circuits up through the open jumpers since she was a child.  She attended Sweet Briar College in Virginia where she received her degree in Biology and an Equine Studies Certificate with a concentration in teaching and schooling. After graduation, she split her summer between working with veteran Grand Prix rider Mark Jungherr and teaching horseback riding at Camp Nashoba North.  In the fall of 2011, Emily began working in Connecticut at Folly Farm as a rider and trainer, working with the IEA team and children through adults. There, she worked closely with David and Maari Wilbur refining her riding, teaching and horsemanship skills for students from the local shows through the “A” circuit.  Emily has entered her fifth year of teaching high school biology and on weekends enjoys working at a local riding stable in Virginia. Emily and her dog Lulu are looking forward to being back in Maine this summer.

 

Archery Aims High!

When he was just six years old, Spencer first went to an archery range. He was hooked. “At first I started small, but then as a camper at Nashoba North, I really fell in love with archery,” he says. Years later, he leads Nashoba North’s program. When teaching archery, Spencer emphasizes skill development, camaraderie, and healthy competition. He describes the program as a learning experience: “My favorite aspect of archery at camp is the progress campers make. Because we have class every day during the session, I start with teaching fundamentals, and then have time to focus on each individual camper’s improvement.” As campers become better archers, they get to set their own goals, and establish independent habits. This develops confidence and ownership.

Spencer says that he wants every camper to have the same opportunity he had to build his archery skills at camp. “As a camper, archery put me in touch with others who share my interests, and that let me continue after camp was done”. Archery became a passion for Spencer. Today, he competes regularly at local tournaments. He has become an excellent archer, and shares his passion for the sport with campers. Last year, he participated at the archery indoor USA nationals, where he scored in the top 25% of all contestants. “Developing my interest and skills at Nashoba North was an important experience for me,” he adds, “it got me started competing in Olympic Archery”. Spencer encourages campers to dream big, pursue lofty goals, and aim high.

According to Spencer, archery helps campers feel more engaged, active, and calm. He affirms, “I like doing it to relax—it is so peaceful.” Campers of all ages participate in archery, allowing for a sense of togetherness; older campers often guide younger campers. Spencer adds that archery is for everyone, saying, “it’s a sport anyone can do well with practice—everyone should try it!”

Beach Tennis—The Best Camp Game Since Tetherball!

By Ryan Kennedy

“Beach tennis is super exciting,” Director Sarah says, “it combines tennis, badminton, and beach volleyball.” This unique sport, which started in Italy during the 1970s, is growing rapidly around the world. At Nashoba North, campers have the chance to explore this new, fast-paced, and accessible game. “It’s the best camp game since tetherball!” Sarah says.

So what’s beach tennis? It is played with soft paddles and a low-compression tennis ball that never touches the ground. You can set up a beach tennis net on a sandy beach, a beach volleyball court, a grass field, or even indoors. “We played it on the camp volleyball courts as well as on Seneca Field, which was absolutely perfect for a game,” Sarah says. Beach tennis nets are portable and easy to construct. “Last year, on a few rainy days, we actually set up beach tennis in the Rec Hall”, Sarah says. It’s also a terrific way for every camper to participate in a game together. As Sarah explains, “What’s great is that girls and boys love it, and the campers are often better than the counselors, which is a fun experience for them. It gives a lot of confidence and has a short learning curve”. This makes it easy for anyone to play.

Outside of camp, beach tennis has become an international phenomenon. Sarah describes the sport as “fast paced, with an international tournament and a community of players around the world.” Played in more than 53 countries and growing quickly; the sport has a strong global following. In the United States, it is most popular in California and Florida. You can even find online videos of players braving a snowstorm in Buffalo, New York for a game. Sarah adds, “it really is unbelievable fun!”

If you would like to experience beach tennis and so much more this summer, we invite you to learn more about all of the incredible activities Camp Nashoba North has to offer.  Come have your best summer ever this year in beautiful Maine.

Sing, Dance, and Act this Summer at Camp Nashoba North!

Each Saturday night, campers at Nashoba North come together for a one-act play, and twice each summer, campers put on a full-length musical production. Jess Smith, whose daughter has attended Camp Nashoba North for several years, enthusiastically leads the theatre program. She says, “every time I dropped my daughter off at camp, I was really yearning to stay. I loved camp growing up, and being theatre director lets me share that passion!” Jess also says that she has many ideas for the productions this summer, but is equally excited for the variety of classes available at Nashoba North. “Throughout the week, we teach campers acting, vocal, makeup, lighting, and other production skills. The camp has both indoor and outdoor lighted stages, so the kids have so many options,” she adds.

As Jess looks forward to the summer, she will build on her background in musical theatre. She says, “I’m truly a camper at heart, and I am so excited to bring my music theater experience to Nashoba North.” Jess graduated from the Boston Conservatory, and has more than 20 years of experience as a vocal coach, director, and teacher. She also owns The Studio For Musical Theater (Studio FMT) in Danbury, CT, where kids and adults alike learn musical theater skills in both private lessons and groups. She resides in western Connecticut, and is fiercely proud of her Massachusetts roots.

Jess’s passion shines through in every conversation. “I am so excited to be back at camp! I’m a little bit of a goofball at heart, and it feels so good when a group reaches our goal together.” Although eager to share her enthusiasm, she wants the campers to find out about the planned musicals at camp. “I don’t want to give anything away, we have some really great shows coming up this summer!”

If you’re looking for an incredible performing arts camp experience for your child, we hope you’ll consider Camp Nashoba North this summer where your child can try new activities, make new friends, gain confidence, and experience their best summer ever.

Weave Your Dreams at Camp Nashoba North!

At the Arts and Crafts building, Camp Counselor Andres Gutierrez shares his passion for weaving with campers. Using traditional techniques he learned weaving in Mexico, Andres encourages each camper to embrace creativity.

First, campers start with the basics of using a loom. “One of my favorite parts about camp is seeing the kids work together—older kids usually learn faster, and help the younger campers master weaving,” says Andres. “The looms we have at camp are perfect for learning, and the kids get really creative,” he adds. By starting small, Andres gives every camper a chance to learn this art form. From there, campers often work together on new projects.

Andres has worked at Camp Nashoba North for five years. While he’s not at Camp, Andres works with his family in Oaxaca, Mexico, weaving mainly in wool. “The looms I work with are quite big, and the materials are heavier. At camp, I get to be really creative with smaller projects.” Campers benefit from Andres’ positivity, enthusiasm, and extensive knowledge.

Camp Nashoba North’s Arts and Crafts building has a dedicated area for weaving, making it accessible to groups large and small. It also features a wide selection of cotton string colors, which allows for independent inspiration.

“Once the kids know how to weave, I like to say, ‘now you can weave your dream!’ They have so many ideas for creative and unique designs. They can use many colors, and it’s totally up to them. Sometimes, they will use six or seven colors in a single piece, which is really difficult.”

Campers enthusiastically weave away, imagining new and different patterns, colors, and shapes. Everyone is encouraged to explore their artistic boundaries, expand their skills, and build up this new ability. Through weaving, campers at Nashoba North develop teamwork, creativity, and artistic skills.

Ready to experience summer as it’s meant to be? We hope you’ll join us this summer to try new activities, make new friends, gain confidence, and experience your best summer ever.

PEAK Program is back

Camp Nashoba North is proud to once again participate in the PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids) program and to bring it’s important message to our campers and staff.    Last summer Nashoba North campers were introduced to the PEAK program through a variety of games, skits in Plummer Hall, and discussions on trips.  After a great start last year we plan on doing even more with the program this summer.

The PEAK  program is the result of a unique partnership between REI and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.  PEAK is based on the seven principles of Leave No Trace and is designed to educate children about the outdoors and responsible use of our shared public lands.

The seven Leave No Trace principles are:

  1. Know before you go
  2. Choose the right path
  3. Pack your trash
  4. Leave what you find
  5. Be careful with fire
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be kind to other visitors

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The goal of the program is to increase awareness of Leave No Trace principles and to promote the stewardship of outdoor recreational resources in today’s youth.  Speak Spanish?  No problem, the program is also available in Spanish.  You can learn more about the PEAK program here.