Mary Ann Kohl once said, “Art is as natural as sunshine and is vital as nourishment.” What a true statement. St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church located at 5301 Free Pike, Trotwood, Ohio, hosted its 18th Annual Summer Arts Camp July 18-22, 2022. Over 31 campers in grades 4-8 were thrilled to be around their peers albeit continuing health and safety compliance measures secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The week-long camp featured the usual academic and arts curriculum and lots of fun in the mix. This year’s theme, “The Art of Climate Change” not only focused on why and how our climate on earth changes but also focused on the following: Community, Learning, Innovation, Music, Arts, Technology, and Education. Campers were inspired by their acquired knowledge of artistic applications throughout the week. They experienced great success through their personal creative interactive learning sessions.
Artists and workshop leaders included: Arts & Crafts, Mrs. Brenda Wise; Dance, Ms. Genea’ Yeldell; Drawing, Mr. Simeon Oyeyemi; My Music Ed, Mr. Der-on Bell; Peace Work-shop, Mr. Marlon Shackelford; Tie-Dye, Mrs. Lauren Gruber-Orlow; Videography, Mr. Gregory Tucker; and Watercolors, Mrs. Katie Nugent. Fr. Benjamin Speare-Hardy provided a word of the day to coincide with the theme. The campers enjoyed a field trip to Dayton’s own International Peace Muse-um, and fun in the park enjoying video gaming on the Game Truck Day-ton.
Campers prepared for the culminating Friday evening event where they showcased their artwork and other skills and talents. The program consisted of a warm welcome and history by Fr. Benjamin Speare-Hardy. Highlights from group performances included the Peace Workshop, My Music Ed, Dance, and a video presentation of the week’s activities. Tie-Dye instructor, Mrs. Lauren Guber-Orlow and director, Carol Prewitt, presented certificates, ribbons and but-tons to select campers for their outstanding behavior, personality traits and positive influence during the camp week. Director Prewitt recognized the artists, mentors, and volunteers with Certificates of Appreciation. Each camper received two books, My Year of Writing and My Year of Art. They were a generous donation of Us-borne Books provided by Ms. Carol Dokes and family. A reception followed the program where family members, community leaders, campers, artists, and workshop leaders en-joyed fellowship and food.
Fr. Benjamin Speare-Hardy and director Prewitt would like to thank the following individuals/or- ganizations for their sup-port: Christ Church Cathedral (Cinn.), Huntington Bank, Prewitt Consulting LLC, Sisters of the Precious Blood, Ms. Carol Dokes and family, Men-tors; Julian Blair, Jackson Deininger, Trent Free-man, Chandler Mathews, Kadence Nichols, Janelle White, Jordan Young; Mrs. Pamela Berry, Food Prep Coordinator, and Mrs. Kim Stovall, staff. Art has the power to transform, to illuminate, to educate, to inspire, and motivate… just what our children need to grow. Students in grades 4-8 are invited to attend summer arts camp July 17-21, 2023. The open on-line registration will begin May 1, 2023.
Additionally, St. Margaret’s hosted its 4th S4R STEM Camp July 25-29, 2022. Steph Curry, three- time MBA champion once said, “If you want to create and be a visionary, you’re probably going to be working with technology in some way.” Mr. Virgil Oatts, S4R STEM Camp director, is not nebulous in investing his knowledge and skills with young people when it comes to STEM exposure. STEM camps are designed to teach campers STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), while giving them the opportunity to explore different concepts and enhance their education outside the traditional classroom. St. Margaret’s STEM summer camp makes summer learning fun and exciting.
There are incredible benefits of STEM camps. Those benefits include but are not limited to nurturing problem-solving skills, al-lowing campers the opportunity to apply acquired knowledge, foster creativity and innovation, help campers develop a love for learning, engage in teamwork activities, and improve life skills.
According to Mr. Oatts, this year’s STEM camp was designed to give 12 academic minded students hands-on experience using basic scientific and engineering concepts to complete a variety of projects. The main focus areas evolved around understanding artificial intelligence and how coding/robotics play a big role in this technology. They also incorporated
team building games to promote problem solving and critical thinking skills needed in developing practical skills for effective collaboration.
Mr. Oatts encouraged the campers to learn new skills by introducing them to core disciplines pertaining to flight systems using drone technology. The aim was to show how STEM provides an integrated approach to cohesive learning paradigms based on real-world applications. The campers were very inspired by the knowledge gained and application of skills learned during the week. In the words of Mr. Oatts, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Acquired STEM knowledge will help children make a positive impact in our society.
Special thanks are ex-tended to the following individuals for helping to make the STEM camp a success: Mentors Ms. Rasha Audeh, Mr. Ken and Mrs. Schug, Mrs. Gloria Johnson-Oatts (Food Prep Coordinator), and Ms. Beatrice Ramsey (Administrative Assistant).