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Createch: Robin Goldman and Tyler West Higgins

June 2, 2010

From time to time, we interview camp directors to get their tips for planning your kids’ summer. This week, I exchanged emails with Robin Goldman and Tyler West Higgins, from Createch, which runs camps in San Anselmo and Larkspur. The camps offer a nice variety of old school activites (such as water balloon fights) and new activities, such as Claymation video making. Createch is also offering a special offer to Sign up For Camp members – $25 off the full day camp. Just use coupon code SIGN UP at registration.

With so many camps to choose from, any tips on how to pick the right camp for your kids?

When choosing camps for our own kids, we look at total size of the camp, the type of staffing, and the projects the camp is providing.  Try to pick a camp that has something your child likes, but then also offers a few new things to try.  Balance is key!

What questions should parents ask a camp?

I would suggest asking how they plan and schedule each day.  What do they do to keep it fresh for returning campers?  What is the camper to instructor ratio is?  How old are the counselors and what kind of training do they go through to prepare for camp?  What skills do campers acquire by attending this particular camp?

How should parents prepare their kids for camp?

Show your child the camp website, and sample projects- let your kid be involved in the selection process.  Prior to the start date, make sure your child has a good nights sleep.  Dress them comfortably and pack a great lunch!

The summer is long, and many kids attend six to 10 sessions of camp.  Any tips on how to prevent camp burnout?

Keep it fresh.  Createch (our camp) is individualized for each camper so although the structure of our camp is consistent, they can create a different project and have a different experience each week.   Talk with the staff if your child is feeling burned out. If you child is attending one camp all summer, make sure there are enough activities to keep your kid’s interest.

Any last tips for parents?

Make sure to ask what benefits your child will gain.  Make sure the camp offers strong role models, fun and engaging activities, and are grouped into age appropriate groups.  Make sure to communicate each day about how camp is going and if they making new friends, having a hard time with anything, etc.

Lastly, please tell us what’s special about Createch?

Createch is unique in that we offer smaller camps – we take no more that 20 kids per week to ensure each child has enough help from staff and can work on their projects in depth.

We are run by adults and mostly parents who have a common goal to further the technology education of our youth through hands on computer activities.  We are also teaching your camper lifelong skills such as project and time management (without them realizing they are learning something) We keep them learning all summer in ways that are fun for them!

We create a fun balance between time on the computer and blend new age fun with old school activities such as water balloon fights, frisbee baseball, and hallway bowling.  We merge art and design into every project and know each kid individually that comes through our programs.  We have had the same kids return to us year after year because they create a new project every time, from programming a video game to filming a claymation movie to building their own custom house.

And Sign Up For Camp members get a special discount – $25 off the full day camp. Just use coupon code SIGN UP at registration.

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