Parenting Blog

Preparing for Camp Invention

Camp Invention Drawing

The Mouse is getting ready for Camp Invention by imagining herself and her buddies out at sea…in the boat they invented at camp!

A few weeks ago, I chaperoned the 1st grade field trip, marking the first time I’d done anything even remotely like that with children not my own, in a vehicle I was not in control over. It was a long, hot day in a school bus without a/c for nearly 3 hours in all, in 90 degree heat. I was toast on the way back to school but perked up when I heard a gaggle of kids talking about Camp Invention.

Sometimes, because of the virtual bubble I live in, I think I’m the only one who knows about rad things like indie rock bands, small budget movies, and the coolest STEM based summer camp on offer in the U.S. That’s silly, of course, if only because I’ve already written publicly about Camp Invention twice and have been tweeting sporadically about it too. People know. And people are excited. And even though I was dripping wet with sweat in the back of the bus, I was smiling wide.

Camp Invention Summer Day STEM Camp

My girls don’t go to their week of Camp Invention until the very last week of July, a week that will be filled with buddies from school, it turns out, but because we have a wicked awesome 13-day Pacific NW vacation plus a mini-kid’s music fest in Philly I’ve been tasked with curating between then and now, we have already begun to get prepared for camp.

First order of biz, their Take-Apart items! Each Camp Invention camper needs to bring with them on the first day an electronic device like a VCR, radio, or clock that, presumably, no longer functions and is collecting dust in your attic or garage because 1) you are oddly sentimental or 2) you are in the running to be on the next season of Hoarders or 3) you are still convinced an in-house Smithsonian-style American History Museum would be welcome addition to your neighborhood. We’re still not sure what our girls will take into camp to take apart and with which they will invent something new. Our toaster seems close to biting the dust, but it still functions properly most of the time. And then there’s that clock radio that plays CDs…occasionally.

Whatever they eventually decide upon might be transformed into something utterly brilliant, maybe even a Camp Invention boat like my little girl imagined (photo above), especially after my girls and the rest of the campers are done listening to what Garrett Brown, inventor of the steadicam and skycam, has to say. He will be visiting our particular camp on July 31 from Noon to 3 p.m. to give a presentation to the Camp kids about innovation and creativity. Stay tuned for photos from this talk! Mr. Brown’s presence is just one more reason Camp Invention is amazing, with truly bright innovators on-hand to inspire throngs of future inventors.

We don’t have camp clothes picked out yet, I mean really, we are nowhere near THAT organized, but I imagine the Bear will wear the green plaid “golf shorts” I bought her for $4 at the Just Between Friends consignment mega sale this past Spring. And because I am a laundry doing madman, she’ll probably have them clean every single day. Mouse though, she’ll be more difficult, as her natural inclination is for a dress or frilly skirt, but I reckon her new Recess Monkey necktie t-shirt will play a prominent role in her camp attire! She does have a thing for ties and tie-tees.

Recess Monkey Wired Necktie Pink T-Shirts Kindie Rock

It is not too late to get your kiddo signed up for a week of Camp Invention and the sibling discounts still apply. We heard from a teacher friend that Camp Invention is indeed an amazing experience, that the campers freak out and have so much fun during the week. So don’t just take my word for it! Teachers love it too!

*I am proud to be an official ambassador for Camp Invention this summer. I am being compensated for my time and my girls will be attending a week of camp this summer. All opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, as always.

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