Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon shortly after Armstrong did, attributes his success in life to three things, “The opportunity to fly, the competition of summer camp, and the inspiration and discipline of West Point.” He believes all of these helped his dedication and inspired him to achieve. Now, your four to 12-year-old may not have his/her sights set on West Point or the moon, but do not let the influences of summer camp pass you by. It is that time of the year at ASF once again and enrollment has begun!
Now in its 6th year of its current format, ASF’s summer camp is a three-week excursion into exploration, creativity, competition and fun. Parents can sign their student up for one week or all three, depending on the need and demand of the parents schedule and patience with summer breaks. Students aged four to 12 can enroll in the program. Students ages four to six are enrolled into Cub Camp, while students from seven to 12 are enrolled in Bear Camp. Each week has a cost of $4,100.00 pesos per child. To clarify, this is not an overnight camping experience but rather a day filled with intellectual stimulation and physical activity. The camps run from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. This year, Week 1 begins on June 10. Week 2 begins on June 17. Week 3 beings on June 24. Transportation is provided but tentative as enrollment dictates routes and availability. Once on campus, the students are provided with a daily lunch. Both transportation and lunch are included in the enrollment fee. A fact many of you may not know about is that in previous years, former Executive Director, Mr. Paul Williams, ran the summer camp as a teacher.
In addition to keeping parents’ sanity, the benefits of summer camp for children are proven. Children who attend summer camp tend to show an increase in emotional resilience. This is the ability to overcome emotional problems in a way that is constructive. Leaving home for summer camp helps children develop a sense of indepence, emotional strength and builds character. Moreover, summer camps are intellectually stimulating and encourage physical activity. Is your child dedicating too many hours to video games or television programs? Are you running out of ways of keeping them entertained? Do you work long hours all summer? Then the benefits of summer camp are for you and them. Some periphery benefits also avail themselves. Children who attend summer camp make new friends that often become lifelong friends. They learn new skills and explore new topics that lead to new pathways of thinking and doing. Lastly, the summer camp experience can help boost your child’s self-esteem. Taking risks, learning to comproming, sharing, and achieving all develop a child's confidence.
The ASF summer camps is well-planned, highly organized, and promotes intellectual curiosity and physical activity. Swimming, gymnastics, soccer, dance, music and yo-yo keep the students fit while promoting healthy skill development and competition. The intellectual side explores reading and writing, math, magic, and coding. These classes engage students, develop skills and confidence, and promote a passion for learning. The camps are well-attended with approximately 200 students a week.
The organization and development of the camps is overseen by Paloma Fuentes, Extended Learning Coordinator. She explains, “The Athletics and Extended Learning Office and particularly myself with the help of two coordinators organize the summer camp. Both coordinators are ASF employees who have worked summer camp for many years as instructors as well.” This year’s coordinators are Alex Ortiz, ECC Teacher Assistant. He is working with the Cub camp, and Luis León, LS HoC Teacher, is coordinator for the Bear Camp. The camp counselors are current ASF students or graduates from the past five years. Counselors apply through the Athletics and Extended Learning website and for most applicants this is their first job. Claudio Álvarez (‘19), a counselor from last year speaks to the experience, “I really enjoyed working with the younger students. It was fun. As a first job, it was cool.”
Those who attended summer camp in the past speak highly of the experience. Javier Hećtor Salas Bengochea (‘19), an “old-timer” graduating this year, shares his thoughts, “It was definitely transformative. It allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people. I learned a lot about myself and took some risks - it was worth it.” Javier attended the full camp when he was seven. Sabrina González Aja (‘19), another old-timer reflects on her time in camp. “I was eight. What I really liked about camp was that I got to meet people outside my grade-level. They were older and some were younger. I am still friends with all of them today.”
From building confidence and creating lifelong friends, ASF summer camp is well worth the investment and time. Do not miss this opportunity for your child and for yourself. If to warn you of the importance of preventing idle hands, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, WWE entertainer and actor, shares his experience, “I won a horseshoe competition and was wiffle ball champion at summer camp. I was 10.” Based on the success of Buzz Aldrin, and “The Rock”, and the hard work from the Extended Learning and Athletics Office enroll your students today. Give yourself a break and give your child a learning and growth experience they will never forget.