Looking for a creative or active summer camp? One that keeps the kids brains or bodies engaged? Well our VM Picks: Top Vancouver Summer Camps for kids list features some of our favourite camps for kids. We connected with Laura Farina, the Program and Marketing Manager at Christianne’s Lyceum of Literature and Art’s about their summer camps, which offer a magical space for joy, creativity, imagination and transformation.
Give us a brief description of your camp.
The Lyceum is a place full of stories – we have the largest private children’s library in the city. Our camps start with great works of literature, which we take great delight in sharing. We use these to inspire the creation of incredible works of art and writing, or the weaving of shared imaginative spaces where really anything can happen. Children are guaranteed to leave our camps with a story of their own!
What makes your summer camp unique?
So many things! Our centre is run by Dr. Christianne Hayward, who is a legend in Vancouver’s education and children’s literature communities. She has created this magical space where there’s a focus on making for the joy it brings, and being part of a creative community. Our camp curriculum is co-constructed with our students, which means that we adapt our plans to account for the interests and needs of participants. At the end of each camp, we send home a brief write up and a few favourite photos so that parents can get in on the magic, too. We’re even offering two literary-themed sleepovers this year!
What are 2 highlights of your camp, something the kids will talk about after camp is over.
We’re running three fairy-themed camps over the course of the summer. The Lyceum has it’s own fairy garden, where sometimes we’re lucky enough to have tiny visitors who leave us notes. These camps are always amazing because they involve a great deal of collaborative storytelling and huge imaginative leaps. Children create tiny items for our garden and their own, and check daily to see if the fairies have appreciated their creations.
We’re also running two camps that pair literature, art and gardening, which promise to be amazing — one for preschoolers which focuses on creating unusual gardens, and one for primary students based on The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. There’s something quintessentially summery about sinking your fingers into soil, and watching something you’ve planted grow. We’re going to create our own Secret Garden somewhere in Kitsilano…so after July 14 keep your eyes peeled for it.
What will kids learn at your camp?
What we hope children will learn is that making things – whether it’s a painting, a story, an ordinary box into something truly extraordinary – is a sustaining and lifelong activity. We also hope that when they leave our camps they have a greater sense of how curiosity transforms into possibility.
Give us one or two quick tip(s) on how to prepare kids for camp?
We always think that parents know their children best, and so we try to create a space where they feel able to share their expertise about their children with us. Parents are always welcome to stay for a bit of camp to ease separation anxiety with younger campers.
Harriet Fancott is the Editor and Social Media Manager for Vancouver Mom. She has over 20 years experience in the arts, tech and mom-based blogging arenas. She lives in East Vancouver with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring all that Vancouver has to offer from festivals and events to playgrounds and beaches to sushi and ice cream (although not together).