July 2018

Reinvigorate Summer with Cabrillo Youth Camps

By Suki Wessling

It’s the middle of the summer and the realization has hit: your child needs something more to do. If your kids are like mine, they’ll need their brains as well as their bodies engaged. It’s been a while since my child took a Cabrillo Extension Summer Youth Program camp, so I decided to check out their current offerings.

The most important aspect of this camp is that Cabrillo partners with local organizations and teachers to provide a wide variety of offerings. This summer, Cabrillo Extension has partnered with Seafloor Science Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), Mini Mermaid Running Club, Code Naturally, Kuumbwa Jazz, and El Pajaro CDC Kitchen Incubator, among others. The arts camps are largely taught by working artists in our community, which is an exciting experience for kids.

Some of the camps that start this month include:

Creating Comic Books (ages 10-14)

Taught by working illustrator Brian Bowes, kids will spend a week creating their own comic books, learning storytelling and art techniques in the process.

Old School Fun and Games (ages 6-8 & 9-12)

Instructor Annie Barrett not only has a degree in Physical Education & Kinesiology, but she also has a three-year-old, so you know she’s ready to play with your kids. This camp stresses active, cooperative games.

Girls Code! Generative Art and Game Design in JavaScript (ages 8-13)

Research shows that even when teachers are attentive to the girls in their tech classes, girls participate more and learn more deeply through all-female tech outreach like this camp. A week-long camp can set a girl on the path of feeling more confident in her general ed classes.

Printmaking! (ages 13-17)

Artist Dana Peters’ performance art skills could come in handy while working with teens. Again, I love that our local artists are able to share their skills with our teens.

Mentoring, when an adult in a community helps teens find their passions and supports them, is a lost art in our culture, and programs like this are helping to revive it. As one mom said in a camp survey, “My son enjoyed both being around kids his age who had a similarly deep interest in dinosaurs and being around adults who had similar passions.”


Many of the camps are offered in consecutive years and have devoted followings. There are also some new camps that Cabrillo Extension would love parents to know about:

Mini Mermaids Running Club Camp (ages 7-12)

This camp combines physical education with emotional education techniques like mindfulness. It also offers the opportunity for Middle and HIgh School girls to mentor the younger girls.

Aerial Arts and Circus Camp (AGES 9-12 & 13-17)

If you have a Cirque du Soleil wanna-be in your house, this sounds like the camp for them!

Youth Leadership Academy  (grades 6-8 and 9-12)

LeAnn Copriviza, Coordinator for Where Everybody Belongs, a middle school orientation and transition program, leads this program that emphasizes leadership as well as social and emotional skills.

3D Printing Inventors Camp – (ages 8-10)

3D printers are being used for everything from car parts to artificial organs. What will your student do with it? Instructor Steve Seffinger loves teaching coding, LEGO robotics and 3D Printing, so he’ll help them figure it out.

So if you’re in the midst of summer doldrums, check out the rest of the schedule here: http://www.cabrillo.edu/services/extension/youthcalendar.htm

Suki Wessling is a writer and teacher and the mother of two teens. Her most recent book is Homeschool with Confidence, a goal-setting guide for teens. Read more at www. SukiWessling.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *