MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII --
Children lay on large pillows in room 24 of the Kulia Youth Center, dressed in pajamas, resting their heads on their fists, March 17, 2014. In a different room nearby, other children pressed crayon to paper, drawing themselves yawning. Wednesday was a sleep-themed day.
From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., March 17 through 21, 2014, more than 40 children attended Spring Camp at the Kulia Youth Center with various activities and games. Children ages 5 to 12 years old who are members of Children, Youth and Teen Programs were eligible for the weeklong camp, which ran while many schools were observing Spring Break.
“(Spring Camp allows children) to spend time with their peers in a place that is full of wonderful materials and opportunities for them to express themselves,” said Morgan Poppler, the assistant director of the Kulia Youth Center. “Camps in the past have been well attended and children enjoy the time they spend here.”
This year, Poppler said the children spent a portion of Spring Camp reading and discussing books by Dr. Seuss. They also completed Dr. Seuss-inspired art projects such as a turtle tower, colorful birds and postcard writing.
“Socialization is so important for these kids today,” said Kathy Kim, the director of the Kulia Youth Center. “Just being together I think that they learn a lot about one another and there are just so many things for them to do. We try very hard to plan activities that are going to be fun for the kids. I think there’s a huge need out there for kids during camp so I just want to make sure that the parents know that we’re here, we’re available and we’re already planning for summer (camp) and so we just welcome everybody.”
This is the first time Kaela Crespo has enrolled in Spring Camp. The 5-year-old said she liked playing games on the computer during Spring Camp, and her favorite Dr. Seuss book is “1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.”
Poppler said the children also conducted science experiments during camp. The children learned about capillary action, the phenomenon in which water moves in an upward motion, cleaning pennies using a simple mixture of household items, and making sandwich bags explode. The children also spent time indoors and outdoors, playing various games and sports, hiking or picnicking.
“It’s always fun to go to camp,” said Dulce Euclide, 9.
This is Euclide’s third time attending camp with the youth center. She said she liked how one of the program specialists, “Miss Janet,” made “Green Eggs and Ham” fun by making different expressions while reading to the children. She said she also enjoyed listening to “Yertle the Turtle” during storytime, as read on a tablet, which included sound effects.
“Now that Ms. Kathy’s here, we have a lot more planned activities (during camp) but it’s still fun,” Euclide said.
Summer Camp is scheduled for May 30 and ends one week before school begins. Poppler said when the Hawaii state Department of Education releases its next school calendar, Fall Camp dates will be available.
“Families can be reassured that their children are in a safe and dynamic environment,” Poppler said. “They will be participating in a program with a curriculum and have the opportunity to discover and learn even though school is not in session.”
For more information about the various camps or to register for the next camp, call 257-2030.