The Renaissance Child Camps are based on the premise that children of the Twenty First Century should be well rounded. Therefore, they need to be exposed to a variety of academic, creative, and physical activities. Though the specific activities have changed from year-to-year (and camp-to-camp) these core activities have remained the same.
The idea for the camps was developed and implemented by Darla Dye, Director of the Office of Professional Development, and Patricia Williams, Coordinator of Enrichment Programs. They realized that there was a need for a quality full-day summer program for elementary-aged children, and with all of the resources at East Tennessee State University this need could be met.
The Renaissance Child Camps held the first sessions in the summer of 2002 and has grown in popularity since that time. The camps are run in five-day sessions from 8:00 in the morning to 5:00 in the afternoon. The home base is on the main campus of East Tennessee State University. The camps have been able to utilize the science and computer labs, Charles Sherrod Library, classrooms at Rogers Stout Hall and the Center for Physical Activity. A string of Renaissance Camp children, led by their counselors, has become a familiar sight at ETSU!
The Renaissance Camp staff is made up of adults with expertise in our emphasis areas. Those who have worked in the camps include ETSU professors and instructors, certified teachers, college students, graduate students, and members of the community with specific interest areas. Our camp population is multi-cultural and has ranged in age from 5-12.The campers’ learning styles and abilities have differed but the staff works with each child to meet their individual needs.
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Campers will become junior geologists as they discover what lies beneath the Earth’s surface. They will make a model of Earth and its three layers. The campers will learn about rocks, minerals, crystals, fossils, and much more. They will take part in a variety of arts and crafts projects and write about their own journeys in the computer lab. Volcanoes will be exploding, the earth will be quaking, quicksand shall be encountered and there will even be some be tasty edible rocks to snack on!
The campers will take part in activities that demonstrate how igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks are formed. They will learn why earthquakes occur and how sink holes and caves are formed. The Explorers will make geodes and a model of a volcano. They will take part in a variety of arts and crafts projects, and be able to do research in the computer lab. Participants will have a rocking good time as they explore Earth and its hidden treasures!
The Adventurers will use the scientific method to develop activities which will demonstrate how rocks change from igneous to metamorphic to sedimentary (rock cycle). They will work in teams to build structures that will withstand an earthquake. Campers will be challenged to develop a plan to reroute lava from a volcano. They will make models of land formations, caves, and sinkholes and much more. The Adventurers will also take part in art projects and do research in the computer lab. It will all be learning in the guise of fun and the campers will dig it!
**Campers will visit Emerald Village Gem Mines in Spruce Pine, NC.
The Discoverers will take part in a variety of hands-on activities as they study living things and their surroundings. They will learn what makes green plants green and how animals adapt to the environment. They will make terrariums and learn how to use a microscope. Discoverers use their imagination to create great works of art from recycled materials and participate in creative writing activities in the computer lab.
Campers will explore the world’s biomes and then select a biome to research and create a display. The Explorers will participate in activities that will demonstrate photosynthesis, chromatography, and other themed topics. They will make models of plant and animal cells and create miniature greenhouses. The campers will also create a variety of art projects utilizing recycled items.
The Eco Warriors will be challenged to develop a water filtration system and use the scientific method of investigation to test their results. They will do creative lab experiments to demonstrate photosynthesis, chromatography, and other topics. The campers will learn how to make slides to study under the microscopes and make models of cells. They will do research for their projects and creative writing activities in the computer lab. In addition, they will create some inventive up cycled art projects.
**All groups will take a field trip to Roan Mountain State Park.
This camp is the place to let your imagination run wild and dream big dreams. The campers will discover creative drama techniques that stretch their imaginations and then take part in a story theater production. The campers will express their artistic side by taking part in a variety of art projects. It takes a big dreamer to become a scientist, so the Discovers will take part in some oozey goozey and crazy chemistry fun. The campers will also write their own stories in the computer lab. The week will culminate with Renaissance Camp’s Imagination Station Extravaganza.
The Super Stars will participate in activities to develop creative drama techniques and stretch their imaginations. They will work together to develop a fractured fairy tale to be presented at the Imagination Station Extravaganza. They will help to design sets and costumes and take part in other art projects. The campers will take part in a variety of fun science experiments, develop formulas for some polymers and might even grow a super-absorbent alligator! The Explorers will also participate in creative writing activities in the computer lab.
The Adventurers will work with the Explorers to develop a fractured fairy tale to be presented at the Imagination Station Extravaganza. They will explore some basic acting techniques, stage direction, and vocal projection. The campers will help to design and make sets and costumes for the plays and employ the scientific method of investigation as they experiment with some super absorbent polymers and develop a formula for a bouncy ball. The campers will also participate in activities in the computer lab.
** All groups will go to Barter Theater to see a play.
Renaissance Camp’s Imagination Station Extravaganza. Friday, 5:00 PM
Welcome to the Renaissance Camp’s Crazy Mad Scientists’ Lab! Campers will develop their own formulas to create some safe chemical reactions. They make circuits from “electrified” play dough, build super density towers, and do many other hands-on science projects. The Discoverers will express their artistic side as they create items from clay, paper Mache’ and other mediums. Campers will write poems and stories to go along with their masterpieces and make a book of their work in the computer lab. This camp is a kaleidoscope of activities, learning in the guise of fun!
Scientists, artists, writers, engineers, and wizards at the computer, that’s who our Explorers are! They will use the scientific method of investigation as they participate in a variety experiments and do research in the computer lab. The Explorers will develop their own formula for magnetic polymers and study density and electric circuits. Participants in this camp will put on their engineers’ hats and design a theme park from recycled materials and express their creative side by taking part in projects using different art mediums and styles. This will be an exciting week of diverse activity!
Campers will use their knowledge and creativity to design a weight bearing table and geodesic dome from newspapers. They use their mathematical skills to determine the angle needed to shoot a straw rocket the furthest. They will use the scientific method of investigation to develop experiments and will work in the computer lab. The Adventurers will express their creative side by taking part in projects using different art mediums and styles. There will be many pieces to this Renaissance Camp mosaic, it will be a unique and exciting experience for all!
** All groups will visit Bays Mountain.
The Discovers’ Camp science wizards will mix up some bubbling potions in the classroom. They will have some “fungus fun,” make super exploding elephant’s toothpaste, and make some yeast dough, too. Our campers will don their chef’s hats and aprons and go to the kitchen. They will discover the different states of matter and practice their math skills when measuring ingredients. Our little kitchen wizards will make their own daily snacks. It is the perfect recipe for a fun week, “kool” experiments in our classroom and tasty treats in the Foods Lab!
Cooking is indeed a science. The Explorers will investigate how temperature, different ingredients, and methods affect the outcome of a recipe. The campers will work together in their kitchen groups to plan and make various dishes. All of our campers will help make the world famous Renaissance Camp pizza from homemade yeast dough! Grab your chef’s hat and apron, the food will be fabulous and all of the activities will be fun!
The Super Chefs will practice their cooking skills, learning how to bake quick breads, yeast bread, and cakes. Campers will work together in their kitchen groups to develop a menu using a mystery basket of ingredients. The week will culminate with the Renaissance Camp bake-off. Our super chefs will bake and decorate their own mini-cakes, which will be judged by a guest panel of experts!
Who, what, when, why, and how? The Super Sleuths will be on the trail to find the answers. They will learn how to lift fingerprints, make impressions of teeth, and identify mystery powders. Our campers will discover the secret behind magic cabbage juice and rainbow milk. They will investigate the science behind some other kooky experiments and participate in some cross-curricular creative arts projects. The week will culminate with a crime being committed. Never fear, the Sleuths will use their expertise to solve it! (Computer Lab will be included.)
A crime has been committed, Investigation Squad to the rescue! The Explorers will learn how to collect evidence, lift footprints, and other skills needed to solve the great Renaissance Camp Caper. Campers will use the scientific method of investigation to decide which makes the best acid-base indicator, red cabbage, beets, or turmeric. They will extract DNA from green peas. They will take part in other kooky science experiments and participate in creative arts projects. The week will culminate with the mock crime scene. Who done it ? The sneaky Renaissance Camp counselors, of course! (Computer time is included.)
Use some forensic science skills to solve some Renaissance Camp mysteries. Campers will learn how to type blood (synthetic), identify fingerprint patterns, and do fiber analysis. They will use the scientific method of investigating while extracting DNA from various organisms. Campers will make edible models of DNA and other cells. They will also participate in some arts and crafts projects. The Adventurers CSI team will be on hand to help investigate the camp’s crime scene on Friday. (Computer Lab included.)
**All campers will go to Warriors Path State Park.
The Campers will discover the wonderful world of the original Renaissance man, Leonardo Da Vinci. They will make marshmallow catapults and rubber band cars, introducing them to the basic concepts of Physics. They will do projects involving simple machines and learn how they help us do work. The Discoverers will make a machine from recycled materials. Be it a flying machine, a dirt digger or a thing-a-ma-bob, the Da Vinci’s Apprentices will be up for the task! (Computer lab time included.)
In homage to the original Renaissance man, Leonardo DaVinci, we will start the week off by making catapults, trebuchets, and frescos. With a variety of hands-on activities, the Explorers will explore basic principles of physics and engineering. They will learn about the six simple machines and then design their own compound machine utilizing at least 2 simple machines. Leonardo’s Invention Convention will be filled with fun and lots of recycled materials too! (Computer lab included.)
Participants in the Innovation Laboratory will be given daily design challenges to meet a specific problem. They will work in teams to build a raft that will carry a 10 pound bag of potatoes, an extreme kicking machine, and much more. The campers will familiarize themselves with some famous and not so famous inventers. The campers will plan, design, and build their own invention, developing budgeting and marketing strategies. The Adventurers will draft an advertising campaign for their product on computers. They will also create a commercial for the invention. It is guaranteed to be an exciting week in the Renaissance Innovation Laboratory.