Salisbury Academy helps students explore with long list of summer camps

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 21, 2022

SALISBURY — Space, food, Spanish, fashion and the natural world are all on the agenda for Salisbury Academy’s summer programs.

The school expanded its summer camp offerings a bit this year and students could sign up for camps to cover whatever their hearts desired. Camp Director Haylie Dixon said student sign up for specialty camps in the morning that rotate each week.

Kelli Starrett, a middle school math teacher at the school, led several camps, including two weeks of learning about making treats. The students filled out recipe cards, learned how to read recipes and made treats, all carefully selected to not use heat.

“We did no-bake oatmeal cookies, energy bites, we made banana pudding, s’mores bars,” Starrett said. “All no-oven-required baking.”

An older student headed two different groups as an assistant and more than learning to read and follow a recipe, Starrett had the kids doing math in secret.

The students had to double, triple and divide recipes to make the right amount of treats, and they were shocked when Starrett pointed out they were working with multiplication and fractions.

For a science camp activity students swabbed and developed petri dishes of bacteria. They were surprised the floors showed significantly less growth than faucet handles. They were also surprised the reason cola and Mentos has an explosive reputation is a physical interaction rather than a chemical reaction.

Johnathan McCullough will be in fourth grade this school year. He was in space camp for a week and the camp was different for him.

“For the past few days we’ve looked at constellations and made our own stories for them,” McCullough said.

He said the stories are his favorite part of the camp. He said he made up a story for the Zodiac constellation Scorpius. He said the constellation reminds him of an arrow and he made up a story involving the Greek god of war and an arrow that makes things it touches disappear.

He said he learned about the expanding universe and how it has infinite possibilities. He said the group looked at photos that have been coming out of the new James Webb Space Telescope.

“It’s pretty cool,” McCullough said.

Dixon said the extended camps stretch through the afternoon with science games and other activities like making edible slime. This is the first year with themed camps students can choose from. Dixon said they are trying to give the kids more variety.

“We wanted camps that would interest every student whether they like science, are artsy or into sports,” Dixon said.

She normally teaches middle school as well and said the camps have given her an opportunity to get closer with elementary students.

“Its definitely been fun building relationships with those students and seeing them outside of the classroom during the summer,” Dixon said. “Camp is completely different than in the classroom.”

Dixon said camp is a more relaxed setting without the curriculum teachers have to focus on hard during the school year.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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