Many of you have children who have been out of school for a couple of weeks now. If you’re starting to think that maybe you should have signed them up for more classes or camps, I have a good last-minute option to tell you about.
Hickory Knolls Discovery Center is part of the St. Charles Park District. It’s a nature center that just opened this spring in the same park that houses Otter Cove Aquatic Park, at the intersection of Peck and Campton Hills roads on the city’s west side.
The center is hosting “Native American Ways Camp” every day next week, and it still has spaces available. You can sign your child up for one class, or multiple classes or even every day next week.
The camp is aimed at children ages 7 through 12. The Monday through Thursday sessions will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Friday, July 1, session will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. All will be held in or around Hickory Knolls Discovery Center.
The cost is $15 per session for residents of the St. Charles Park District; $22.50 per session for non-residents. There is no price difference whether you sign up for one class or all five.
You can register online at http://www.stcparks.org. (You’ll need to get a user ID and PIN). For more info, the park district can help you with registration at 630-513-6200. Hickory Knolls can be reached at 630-513-4399.
Here are the descriptions of the theme each day:
* Monday, June 27: Welcome to our Wig Wam (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
This will be the first day in the Native American Ways camp series. Learn how to say hello in the Potawatomi language and visit the center’s village. Get a chance to touch artifacts made by the hands of Native Americans, and feel what it would be like to live in a wig wam. Join in on an archeological dig to unearth arrowheads and other treasures.
* Tuesday, June 28: Prairie Plant Exploration (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
Today people go to a store for the things they need. Native Americans could find the same things in an open field. Come learn how to find food, medicine, clothing and decorations in the natural world around you. You’ll learn how to weave, gather food and grind corn. The day will also be filled with stories, games and song.
* Wednesday, June 29: Creek Day (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
Come walk a watery trail in Otter Creek. Hike through tall cattails and learn how Native American’s used this plant for food, clothing and shelter. See how Otter Creek’s water was, and still is, a bountiful source of life. Wear old shoes that can get wet and muddy.
* Thursday, June 30: Woodland Animals Abound (1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
Follow the signs of animals and go deep into the woods. Play a game to practice your aim, learn how to identify animals by their pelts, then head into the woods to try your skills. The Native Americans respected all animals, so you’ll also learn how they gave thanks. The day will conclude with a drum dance.
* Friday, July 1: Summer Celebration Pow Wow (7 p.m to 9 p.m.)
Sit by our fire and become part of the tribe. Enjoy a special ceremony around the flames of a camp fire. Hear Native American stories about fire and cook some food. Then join in on a night hike to listen to the sounds of the night and see a display of stars.
Obviously this sounds like a very fun camp. If you're looking for more summer camp options, or info on Vacation Bible Schools. don't forget to check out the Go West Summer Camp Guide.