Category Archives: Just for Fun

Technology

Technology vs. Technology!

Technology is practically inescapable in today’s day and age. Everyone has a smart phone, computer, tablet, gaming system, or some combination. It is used every single day for communication, entertainment, or as a tool.

Here at camp we highly encourage all of our students to put away their electronics and focus on the experience at hand. However that is not to say that we don’t love using technology. In fact, we try to focus on technology that is mindful rather than mindless.  But how can you tell the difference between mindless technology and mindful technology?

Mindless technology can be the use of cell phones, video games, surfing the internet, etc. It is a way to simply pass the time with minimal interactions of thought processes or other people. It is the scrolling through a news feed or flicking through images. This is the technology that we are ditching at AstroCamp.

Instead, we have a few classes focused on mindful technology, the use of electronics to expand your brain. A few example are building robots in our robotics class, using special programs to design something to be 3D printed, making a windmill, creating extreme videos of awesome adventures such as mountain biking or scuba diving. Mindful technology is using computers, cameras, and other electronics as a resource and tool. This is the type of technology that we want our campers to get experience with and their hands on.

So the next time you are on your computer or smart phone ask yourself, is this for mindless or mindful reasons? If it is for mindless, is there a way that you can turn it into mindful? Your time is valuable and important. Don’t cheat yourself by wasting it away. Rather, create something or learn about something every chance you get.

 

Cooking Up Life Skills

No matter your age, knowing how to cook for yourself is an invaluable skill, and the earlier you start, the easier it is in adulthood. Whenever campers show up on arrival day, they can grab some lemonade or a snack at AstroCantina, but many will return for a cooking class later in the week. This class isn’t just about learning to cook delicious food, however; it also builds a sense of responsibility in what you eat.

Cooking 1

Preparing food yourself is one of the easiest ways to start eating healthy because you are choosing everything you’re ingesting. There are no secret ingredients, no set menu, just what you specifically choose to prepare. Even then, you might want to eat something, but not know how to properly prepare it to your taste; that’s where classes like the ones campers take at AstroCantina come in.

Cooking

For instance, all campers can make a vegetarian quesadilla during their first class, but are given some freedom to choose how much of their ingredients they use or adding spices they want. This helps them learn how to make a delicious, nutritious meal. Once that opportunity is put out there, it forms a framework they can apply for the rest of their life. The more experience they gain, the less intimidating cooking becomes in the future as well, allowing it to be a more normal part of their daily life for years to come. It doesn’t hurt that they learn the satisfaction of eating something they just worked hard to create either.

Cooking yum

 

Art and Creativity at Camp

Art is subjective, it is different and unique to each and every person and comes in different forms and mediums! We believe there is no right or wrong way to pursue art and we strive to foster our campers imaginations and creative abilities in a positive direction. That is why AstroCamp offers many outlets for expression of creativity, as well as provides a space for creative development.

art and creativity

There are many different mediums of art around camp. We are excited about expanding our repertoire this summer with the introduction of a few new classes. Art is all about exploring a medium that is interesting or fun to you.

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Arts and Crafts is a general exploration of creativity. It is a project based class, where an instructor will lead the group through an activity like tie-dying or screen printing, but the freedom of design is up to the camper.

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We also offer more specified classes. Whether it’s ceramics, painting, blacksmithing, cooking, film or photography, animation, acting, or music, AstroCamp has it all. So put those creative hats on and get to making something!

Building Character at Camp

Summer at AstroCamp means throwing out preexisting ideas of what people think of you and finding yourself instead. It is a place to build upon you as a person, while being surrounded by a network of positive and inspiring individuals.

AstroCamp prides itself in being a safe space for campers to be the people they want to be. It is a community based off of openness, respect, understanding, and acceptance. This summer is a great time to branch out, try new things, and ultimately take steps toward discovering your own voice, who you are, and who you want to be. Don’t hold yourself to a standard that is impossible to reach, or confine yourself in a box that society has tried to label. Create your own label…or don’t!

Don’t be afraid to be silly and goofy, or color your hair and paint your nails. Just because some people consider it “normal” doesn’t mean that you have to too. What is normal anyway? And why does someone else get to tell you what that means?! While at AstroCamp, learn about yourself by fueling your imagination, asking questions, and accepting those that are different from yourself.

Facing Your Fears

Going to camp for the first time can be nerve wracking for some kids; they’re in a new place, away from their family, and facing all new challenges. Luckily, there are ways to face these fears and come out of camp stronger and more confident than you went in.

The easiest way to become comfortable with a new place is familiarity; the more you get to know it, the less intimidating it becomes. The first step in that familiarity is the tour every camper takes, but it also just comes from spending time here at camp. A spot on camp may seem scary at first, but any fun activity taking place there begins to replace the fear associated with that location with a fond memory.

Homesickness is one of the most common issues students face on camp, and with good reason. For many campers, AstroCamp is their first overnight camp at all, and feeling separated from your normal support system can be really isolating and frightening. That’s where the counselors and other campers come into play, however. The counseling staff are there to help campers through the struggles of camp, and the cabin groups quickly form friendships that can last for years to come. They may start out feeling isolated, but it’s hard to stay isolated for long at camp.

The other big place campers deal with fear is on our ropes course, even those not normally afraid of heights. Our motto here is “Challenge by Choice,” meaning a camper only has to do what they feel comfortable with during a ropes course element. Often, instructors will have them set a goal before starting to climb, and then once they reach it will ask them if they’d like to push forward.

Often, taking that first step past what they thought they were able to do will embolden them to keep moving and complete the element, achieving something they thought was impossible for them. This experience teaches them how to face their fears and push themselves in a healthy way, an experience they will take from camp and be able to apply for the rest of their lives.

Don’t Miss This Summer Fun

Don’t miss all this fun Early Bird Incentive ENDS SOON!

Register your camper on or before December 24th, 2016 and save money with our Early Bird Incentive Program!
Incentive pricing indicated in RED!

AstroCamp Summer • One-Week Sessions

Coed Ages 8 – 13

One-Week Session 1:  June 10 – June 16        $1,300 (Before December 24th – $1,200)
One-Week Session 2:  June 17 – June 23        $1,400 (Before December 24th – $1,300)
One-Week Session 3:  June 24 – June 30        $1,400 (Before December 24th – $1,300)

Please Note: AstroCamp One-Week Sessions Run From Saturday To Friday!

NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $200 is required to register. Register HERE.

AstroCamp Summer • Two-Week Sessions

Coed Ages 12 – 17

Two-Week Session 1:  July 2 – July 14        $2,400 (Before December 24th – $2,300)
Two-Week Session 2:  July 16 – July 28      $2,400 (Before December 24th – $2,300)

Please Note: AstroCamp Two-Week Sessions Run From Sunday To Friday!

A NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $200 is required to register. Register HERE.

Applying and Registration 

All of our camp sessions fill up very quickly, so APPLY EARLY!

Click HERE to register now!

For additional information or questions, please contact us.
Phone: 800.645.1423 or 909.625.6194
Fax: 909.625.9977 or 909.625.7305
AstroCamp • 27282 Calle Arroyo • San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Email: AstroCamp Registrar
Office Hours M-F: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Lunch 12:30-1:00)

Dance or Shake into Registration

Dance, move, harlem shake or do whatever you have to, to get to AstroCamp Today!

Registration NOW Open with Early Bird Incentive Program

Register your camper on or before December 24th, 2016 and save money with our Early Bird Incentive Program!
Incentive pricing indicated in RED!

AstroCamp Summer • One-Week Sessions

Coed Ages 8 – 13

One-Week Session 1:  June 10 – June 16        $1,300 (Before December 24th – $1,200)
One-Week Session 2:  June 17 – June 23        $1,400 (Before December 24th – $1,300)
One-Week Session 3:  June 24 – June 30        $1,400 (Before December 24th – $1,300)

Please Note: AstroCamp One-Week Sessions Run From Saturday To Friday!

NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $200 is required to register. Register HERE.

AstroCamp Summer • Two-Week Sessions

Coed Ages 12 – 17

Two-Week Session 1:  July 2 – July 14        $2,400 (Before December 24th – $2,300)
Two-Week Session 2:  July 16 – July 28      $2,400 (Before December 24th – $2,300)

Please Note: AstroCamp Two-Week Sessions Run From Sunday To Friday!

A NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $200 is required to register. Register HERE.

Applying and Registration 

All of our camp sessions fill up very quickly, so APPLY EARLY!

Click HERE to register now!

For additional information or questions, please contact us.
Phone: 800.645.1423 or 909.625.6194
Fax: 909.625.9977 or 909.625.7305
AstroCamp • 27282 Calle Arroyo • San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Email: AstroCamp Registrar
Office Hours M-F: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Lunch 12:30-1:00)

Colored Fire for a Happy Halloween!

Note: This involves combining fire which can always be dangerous with chemicals that can irritate skin or badly hurt eyes! Only do this with proper supervision and safety equipment including goggles, gloves, and a fire extinguisher!

The classic Jack-o-lantern has been around for hundreds of years. The tradition was brought to America by the Irish, who had originally started carving the spooky faces into turnips based on a folk tale. Moving to pumpkins was undoubtedly an upgrade, and we think it’s about time for another one!

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The lighting of a jack-o-lantern is classically done by candles. Candles burn with a yellowish flame giving off a special glow, but there are ways to make flame in different colors! To do this, the fuel simply needs to have different kinds of salts added. When you think of salt, it probably conjures images of a table seasoning known as sodium chloride, but this is not the only possibility.

Salt actually a scientific term referring to the category of molecule that is left over from pouring acidic and basic solutions together. Fortunately, to acquire these salts, you don’t need to risk working with potentially dangerous acids that could leave you with a costume you couldn’t take off!

Most of these are the result of mixing something with hydrochloric acid, which means that they are often chlorine combined with another molecule, just like sodium chloride! Adding energy in the form of fire causes these molecules to give off unique energy in the form of differently colored light!

salt-colors

Caption: Different salts give off different colors of light. This can come in many forms including from red strontium chloride and green from cupric chloride.

jackolantern-colorOur fire source was rubbing alcohol, with the chosen salt stirred in. To keep it from going everywhere, we used a small glass jar instead of the dishes above. To make sure the liquid burned easily and evenly, we used a cotton ball as a wick like a candle, and put it in the jack-o-lantern!.

Innovative Arts & Crafts

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Arts & crafts instructor Rayah prepares dyes for a camper project.

There’s no place like summer camp for letting your creative side shine! From Doodle Daze to Face Painting, arts and crafts programs offer valuable opportunities for self-expression.

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Face Painting elective, summer 2016.

In addition to providing a safe creative space, art classes are a great place for campers to practice social skills and develop as individuals. Instructors in these sessions facilitate activities, moderate discussions, and offer advice.

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Ceramics class, summer 2016.

For those who enjoy sculpture or prefer to create more permanent projects, ceramics class is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Students in this program build whimsically shaped pinch pots as well as experimenting on the pottery wheel.

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Instructor Mimi models her yarn beard.

This year’s breakout craft elective? Beard-making! We can’t wait to see what next year’s campers inspire.
Written by: Caela Barry

Adventure Lessons

To most natives of Southern California, AstroCamp’s hometown of Idyllwild is a quaint tourist destination. Some are drawn to this mile-high haven’s local businesses, secluded vacation homes, and panoramic vistas. Then there are those for whom the mountains aren’t a background, but a playground.

Adventure7

Idyllwild holds a storied place in the development of rock climbing. Lilly Rock, an imposing buttress on the side of nearby Tahquitz Peak, is the birthplace of the Yosemite Decimal System, and the the greater Tahquitz area is known as Little Yosemite in the traditional climbing community. World-class hiking trails, including a stretch of the PCT, criss-cross the majestic San Jacinto range. An extensive network of fire roads doubles as a resource for mountain bikers.

AstroCamp clients experience this natural playground under the guidance of adventure instructors as passionate as they are capable. They learn to climb, for instance, from teachers who have explored historic granite from Tahquitz to Joshua Tree and beyond. Day hikes to the top of the mountain are led by instructors whose idea of a great weekend involves backpacking or peak-bagging.

Adventure3

Our many outdoor programs are united by a common philosophy: challenge by choice. We know that everyone comes to camp with unique life experiences and attitudes. We’re here to give campers opportunities to meaningfully expand their horizons in a fun, safe space.

No matter your comfort level or skill level, AstroCamp has just the adventure for you!

Written By: Caela Barry

WELCOME TO ASTRO BLOG

We would like to thank you for visiting our blog. AstroCamp is a hands-on physical science program with an emphasis on astronomy and space exploration. Our classes and activities are designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal pursuits. This blog is intended to provide you with up-to-date news and information about our camp programs, as well as current science and astronomical happenings. This blog has been created by our staff who have at least a Bachelors Degree in Physics or Astronomy, however it is not uncommon for them to have a Masters Degree or PhD. We encourage you to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Vine to see even more of our interesting science, space and astronomy information. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or share our blog with others. Please visit www.astrocampsummer.org for additional information. Happy Reading!

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