CHILDREN can venture into the realm of ghouls and goblins, shake to a hip-hop beat, or create their own movie at Norgate summer camps this July.
Hosted by Norgate community elementary located south of Marine Drive on Sowden Street, the threeweek camps are designed to be both inexpensive and accommodating to parents' schedules.
"People can come just for the morning or just in the afternoon, and then they can pick the weeks that they want to come, too, so it's quite flexible, " says Fran Bourassa, community education facilitator for the North Vancouver school district. "The best part about it is the price: three weeks of summer camp for $400. . . . I don't even think you could get a babysitter for that much money."
The school offers a safe and stimulating environment for the children, according to Bourassa.
"We're not in it to make any money, we're just trying to cover our costs," she says. "I think that it's a safe place for kids and a fun place."
Scheduled to run from July 2 to July 20, Norgate offers a multisensory learning environment for children between four years old and fourth grade with the Fairy Tales, Myths, and Fables camp.
"It's supposedly an enrichment camp, but what we're really doing is we're going to hide all the learning inside our theme this year," says Bourassa. "Basically, they're going to be learning without knowing it."
The campers will be divided along the borders of the fantasy world, with some children dwelling alongside elves and fairies on Mystic Mountain, while other children rub elbows with ghouls and goblins in the Fire Swamp.
When asked about the theme, Bourassa explains that fantasy allows for a rare combination of insight and amusement.
"First of all because it's fun," she says. "And we can learn about ourselves. The fables, they tell us who we are and how to be with other people."
The camp, which takes place from 9 a.m. to noon, also includes scavenger hunts and outdoor games.
"They're going to be practising their reading and writing and math and social skills," says Bourassa. The camp also eases the acclimatization process for future kindergarten students, according to Bourassa. "They get a chance to hang out in the school that they're going to be in," Bourassa says of the four-yearold campers. "It's an introduction for them."
Running simultaneously with the fables camp, the district is hoping to draw moviemakers to Norgate school with the debut of a camp for students between grades five and seven.
"We've never had anything for the older students, so we have a new program," says Bourassa. "We have some new cameras and tripods and they're going to be using them to make movies while writing the script, and doing the costumes and the props, and they're going to be doing theatre games."
Working in genres ranging from action to documentary, the campers will have the chance to make a short movie each week, explained Bourassa. For preschoolers, Grade 7 students and everyone in between, Norgate is offering Hip Gym with Smee.
The afternoon camp gives children a chance to sample a range of physical activities, with gymnastics, musical theatre and hip hop dance.
Each week of camp ends with a social activity.
"All the kids will be getting together on the Fridays to do a sharing circle just to see what they've been up to," says Bourassa. "The biggest thing is the social aspect of it, that the kids get to be with people that they may not normally be with."