Mason’s Second Invention Camp inspires students to create

Anushka Mukherjee | Staff Writer

Young campers battled their way through Camp Invention armed with one weapon: Their imagination.

Jill Arminio and Chrissy Hufnagel held their second annual Camp Invention from Monday, June 10 to Friday, June 16 at the Mason Early Childhood Center (MECC). Open to children in grades 1-6, Camp Invention aims to helps students learn valuable skills through a multitude of hands on experiences.

Over the course of the week, participants engaged in numerous activities that allowed them to explore the realm of “invention” through robotics, science, technology, and crafts. One of the coordinators, Chrissy Hufnagel, said that the camp is quite new, but she believes that the program has a lot to offer.

“This is our second year in Mason,” Hufnagel said. “We brought it around for the first time last year and it was really fun.”

After the first year, Hufnagel and her co-coordinator Jill Arminio were quite satisfied with the results of the camp, and decided to continue it so that more kids could take advantage of the benefits of the program.

“It’s all lead by the volunteers,” said Arminio. “We’re just here to help, but they are the ones the kids go to for help. The volunteers are great with the kids and they blend in surprisingly well.”

The campers are divided into color-coded groups, each with 4-5 volunteers from Mason Middle School and William Mason High School. Simran Tickoo, one of the volunteers, said that she looked forward to seeing the kids every day.

“I think it’s really fun,” Tickoo said. “I like playing with the kids. The activities are interesting and engaging which gets them thinking. Keeping them entertained while also learning is the main goal of this camp.”

Aside from the young campers, these young adults also benefit from the program. They are in charge of the various activities set up throughout MECC, so they have the opportunity to acquire new leadership skills.

Along with  the teachers and leaders, coordinator Chrissy Hufnagel also helped run a few activities. Her favorite part was watching campers grow out of their shells and embrace the challenges they faced.

“The kids just love it,” Hufnagel said. “It’s a great way to help them learn and have fun. Plus it’s great hands on experience.”

Photos by Lily Geiser.

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