OHS Summer Camp Gets “Back to Fun”

By Jenna Poppell

Last summer, Oak Hall’s summer camp program opened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did the campers and staff follow strict guidelines to stay safe, but certain aspects of the yearly camp were not included like field trips and overnight trips. As the end of this school year approaches, the Oak Hall summer camp program is ready to bring back the fun! The program is open to the Gainesville community since attendance at Oak Hall School is not necessary for participation at summer camp. Registration is open throughout the summer, but early registration is recommended to ensure that there is space, as camps are filling quickly. Registration can be found at: Oak Hall School Summer Program

While certain pandemic precautions will be in place, the limitations as to what the campers can do this summer has decreased. “We were so encouraged during the summer of 2020 that we could successfully operate and fun and safe camp environment for our families while navigating the concerns associated with COVID-19,” said Jeff Malloy, Oak Hall’s Director of Operations and Auxiliary Programs. “For summer 2021, we look forward to getting ‘Back to Fun’ and we are planning for a full summer of programming complete with trips, overnight events, and relaxed COVID restrictions which will be determined through an ongoing evaluation of community behavior and positivity rates,” he continued.

Camps begin June 1 and run through July 30. This summer, a variety of new specialty clubs join the program:

Jedi Academy
This exciting new camp is perfect for the Star Wars enthusiast!  We will explore all things Star Wars any by the end of the camp you will be a Master of the Force complete with your own lightsaber.

Animal Adventures
In this new camp, campers will dive into all things ANIMALS!  From special art projects, to animal games, contests, and activities, to a few visits from our friends in the animal world.  If you love animals, this camp is for you. 

Ninja Warrior Junior
Unleash your inner ninja warrior! In this camp you will be put to the test in obstacle courses, spy training, and puzzles. This camp will exercise your physical and mental ability. The week will culminate in a nerf battle so campers can put their new skills to the test!

Cooking Around the World
This cooking camp will dive into dishes from all over the world! Chefs will learn the art of cooking food from various cultures across the globe. From sushi to pizza, campers will explore the unique aspects of diverse cuisines. The week will culminate with a cooking competition that will put their skills to the test! 

Pottery Wheel and Clay Week I
Students will create a variety of functional and decorative cups and bowls with some hand building as well. Paint and colorful glazes will bring beautiful finishing touches. Beginning and experienced students are welcome. 

Gaming Camp I
In this camp students will have the opportunity to engage in multiplayer online gaming across the more popular platforms of 2021 including Minecraft, Roblox, Among Us, and others. For those interested, we will go over strategies to excel and improve in each game, how to run a server, and the underlying mechanics that make each game what it is. 

Flutter Me Shutters Week I
Week I of the program would FOCUS on using a camera with numerous lenses and taking pictures using the different settings.  We will visit the Butterfly Museum and the Santa Fe Zoo during the week to capture some of our photos.

Flutter Me Shutters Week II
Week II of the program would FOCUS on editing your pictures and creating a photo book with the help of Photoshop and InDesign (based on camper ability).   

Wood Projects I
The skills learned here will last a lifetime. This class is open to both girls and boys. No knowledge is required. We will have fun using various tools and making functional and decorative items like a cutting board, skateboard, carvings, wall decor and more. Give your campers the life-long skill of woodworking! 

Battle of the Bakers: Cupcake Edition
This camp is taking place of Cupcake Wars with added challenge! During this week, campers will learn the basics of baking, decorating and presenting their edible creations. At the end of the week, they will be able to put their new skills to the test by brainstorming their own creations to present to a panel of experts who will judge on taste and presentation and choose the challenge winner. Let the bake off begin!  Don’t miss out!  

Homegoods 101
If you love DIY projects and creating something new, this camp is just for you! This week, campers will be working with a variety of materials to create beautiful pieces of art for their home! This week will dive into various Tik Tok DIY trends for campers to channel their inner Chip and Joanna Gaines!

Gaming Camp II
In this camp students will have the opportunity to engage in multiplayer online gaming across the more popular platforms of 2021 including Minecraft, Roblox, Among Us, and others. For those interested, we will go over strategies to excel and improve in each game, how to run a server, and the underlying mechanics that make each game what it is. 

Computer Construction and Deconstruction
In this camp students will have the opportunity to disassemble several electronic devices including laptops, PCs, monitors, mice, keyboards, speakers, and others to understand how things work. Towards the end of camp, we will build a working machine from scratch and guide interested students on how to start DIY projects of their own in the future.  

eSports Fortnite
In this eSports program, competitors will practice strategies that will prepare them to compete against other gamers in Fortnite. The main goal of the Fortnite eSports competition is to stay active and make it to the endgame and be the last team standing. Competitors will work together as a team to learn cooperative strategies, effective communication, prime routes on the map, and how to keep your cool. 

Battle of the Bakers: Dessert Edition
This camp takes the place of Dessert Wars with similar baking challenges and competitions. During the beginning of the week, bakers will learn the basics of various desserts to create a baseline for the competition on Friday. Towards the end of the week, bakers will team up and plan their sweet dish, and will take a field trip to Publix to acquire the supplies needed. The challenge on Friday will put their creations to the test in front of a panel of expert judges on their sweet creations, teamwork, and presentation.

Kids on Wheels Bike Riding Camp
This camp provides a hands-on, educational way for children to master the art of bicycle riding, even beginners. Increase your skills and confidence by improving steering, braking and stopping. Learn about gears, shifting, pedal cadence, rules of the road and how to stay safe when riding. Daily activities include group and private instruction, riding safety courses, confidence course and a mini tour of the Hawthorne Trail on the closing Friday for campers who are ready.  Required equipment includes a bike without training wheels, a helmet, and bike gloves

Pottery Wheel & Clay Week II
Students will create a variety of functional and decorative cups and bowls with some hand building as well. Paint and colorful glazes will bring beautiful finishing touches. Beginning and experienced students are welcome. 

Ready Set Yoga!
This camp will help campers discover new ways of self-care and bringing the outside in with making our own zen gardens, mala beads for meditation, and decorating our own yoga mats. Campers will do yoga each day and then learn ways to use teamwork and collaborations with some fun activities.

Zoology
This camp dives into nature and the learning all about animals. During this week, students will be able to build a butterfly habitat, learn about endangered animals, and also take a trip to the Santa Fe Zoo where they will get to be up close and personal with some zoo animals!

Robotics
In this camp, students will work with both VEX and Tetrix Robotics technology to build and control their own robots. We will go over how to assemble a basic four-wheeled robot, how different sensors and actuators work, how to program and control robots, and then compete in a series of challenges that will allow for students to modify their robots to perform specific tasks.

Break into Business Entrepreneurship Camp
With your fellow campers the week will be spent developing a business plan for your wildest and best ideas. Come up with a dynamic marketing plan, production and distribution plan, and a financial plan to make your dream a reality.  You’ll end your week proposing your presentations to our expert panel!

3D Creations
We’ve got ideas ready with everything from painting shoes, cement projects, outdoor art projects, kinetic sculptures to other STEAM focused projects.

Battle of the Board Games
Throughout the week, campers’ skills will be put to the test through various popular board games with a twist… Campers will participate in life-size chutes and ladders, hungry, hungry hippos, a nerf battle, and finishing the week with a game of deal or no deal. Are you up for the challenge?

All Things Color
Hydro dipping, pendulum paintings, mosaic projects, splatter paint, fabric dyes, acrylic pour painting… and, of course, with some fun camp competition too. We will even dabble in interior design! 

Tailgate Fever
Campers will be in tournament style play all week playing badminton, corn hole, giant jenga, lawn bowling and more!  Various competitions will be incorporated throughout the week to put your skills to the test! The week will culminate with their own “tailgate fever” that will be planned throughout the week, where campers can enjoy a tailgate meal after their flag football game.

Arcade Stick Building and Customization
In this camp, students will construct a fully functioning arcade controller to work with either PC or Nintendo Switch (additional cost required for PCB). Students will be walked through the electrical components of the printed circuit board, wiring, and the input levers and buttons. 

Wood Projects II
The skills learned here will last a lifetime. This class is open to both girls and boys. No knowledge is required. We will have fun using various tools and making functional and decorative items like a cutting board, skateboard, carvings, wall decor and more. Give your campers the life-long skill of woodworking!

Emulation Station
Build an emulation station video game setup using a RetroPi build. Learn about the history of video games from Atari 2600 through modern gaming. In this camp students will work with a Raspberry Pi 4 board and learn about electronics, configuring controllers, and the art of recreating hardware through a software implementation. 

Brain Games
This week will make you think hard to solve puzzles, be a detective, and think outside of the box! Various brain game challenges will culminate throughout the week including Unlock! Games, mind challenges, and more. Campers will be able to take a trip to complete an Escape Room Challenge in Gainesville to prepare them to split into teams to make their own Escape Room here on campus. 

8/9 Transition Camp: Learning Strategies for 9th Grade
Open to all rising 9th grade Oak Hall students and all rising 9th grade students who are new to Oak Hall, this one-week mini-course is designed to prepare students to successfully begin upper school.  The time will be structured around informational sessions, discussions, activities, and exploration of upper school spaces.  Topics include study skills, methods for getting organized, test-taking strategies, understanding time management, dress code and other rules and procedures, upper school resources (i.e. college counseling, school counseling, Media Center, learning support, clubs and organizations, etc.), daily schedule, course schedule, use of technology, and more. 

Oak Hall’s summer camp program follows certain COVID-19 safety guidelines to ensure the safety of all the children:

  • All registered families will be asked to sign an additional Release of Liability form related to COVID-19
  • Face Coverings in accordance with Alachua County Emergency order 2020-21 will be worn by staff and campers when social distancing cannot be guaranteed.  Should the Emergency order be lifted, our policy on face coverings will be reviewed by our medical adviser with decisions made on local conditions.
  • Staff will be subject to daily self wellness screening prior to coming to campus each day
  • Camper self/parent health screening will be required daily prior to coming to campus
  • Parents and visitors will not be permitted inside camp/school buildings (subject to change based on local conditions).  All check-in and check-out procedures will take place outdoors.
  • Campers will be in groups of no more than 10 per CDC guidance.  Camp groups may stay together throughout the day/week/session dependent on local conditions
  • No large group gathering of more than 50 campers at any one time will occur while properly social distanced per CDC guidelines.
  • Campers may go through a day of programming together with their assigned group with only counselors and activity sites rotating as necessary.  This will be evaluated based on local conditions.
  • Activity sites and activity programming will be sanitized per CDC guidelines and when possible, dedicated common supplies will be provided to individual campers (markers, crayons, pencils, scissors, etc.).  Programming itself will be modified accordingly (for example, kickballs will be sanitized and rotated at each dead ball)
  • The playground will be sanitized per CDC guidelines between uses; provide social distancing through queue lines, capacities on equipment, or assigning groups/individuals to specific equipment or zones
  • Campers may provide their own lunch or purchase lunch from one of the catered options.   We will require no sharing of food between campers.   Designated or disposable utensils and drinking cups will be provided.  Any snacks provided will be prepackaged or served to campers.
  • Oak Hall does not provide bus transportation to bring campers to campus.  Field Trips which require school bus transportation will do so in a well ventilated bus with face coverings worn, and physical distancing provided.  This is subject to change based on local conditions.
  • Overnight activities or trips are being planned but will be evaluated based on local conditions prior to their scheduled time.
  • Campers and staff not passing daily health and wellness check will be required to not come to campus and stay away for 72 hours following symptom resolution or 24 hours with a physician note.  If a staff or camper develops a symptom while at camp they will immediately be quarantined and sent home.  The quarantine area will then be sanitized before future use.  
  • In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case, families will be notified, and subsequent precautionary quarantines resulting from contact tracing in accordance with CDC and local guidance.

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