Window Into the Classroom: Summer Camps
John, this is your second year programming and managing the summer camps here at MIS, what is your favorite camp and why?
I have a particular affinity for the Bike Growers camps. My plans during the spring and summer are to be on my own 12 speed Raleigh bike as much as I can, and so with Bike Growers, I love to see young students learn skills I didn’t have until much later in life. Skills like fixing a gear shifter, taking apart a bike, or even fixing a flat tire were not known to me as a kid. I also love supporting Free Cycles, an organization that has always helped me out.
I’m also excited about a new camp we have this summer called ‘Full STEAM Ahead’ developed by Mishel Vatoussis. The camp will be about experiencing each part of STEAM learning. This means that students will get the opportunity to try projects in each field: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. The kids will get to learn how these fields work together and how they are different. Campers will also visit the SpectrUM organization and hopefully have time for a field trip to the local planetarium.
You have planned a very diverse list of camps, from geology themed Mandarin camp to Lego Robotics and Mindful Movement camps. When you think of how all of these fit into the IB Profile, what profile word stands out to you?
There are many profile words that capture my camp schedule, but I think Risk-Takers has to be the most appropriate. Our camps are very unique, and so it requires the campers that come in to really branch out into new areas they may not have any experience in. Whether campers are hearing Mandarin Chinese or Spanish for the first time or maybe have never considered visiting the local insectarium, Missoula Art Museum or SpectrUM; to be open to these kinds of risks really speaks a lot about both our camps and campers.
What is something we don’t know about you?
A lot of people don’t seem to know that I am from Montana! I come from down the Bitterroot in Hamilton. My family owns Ford’s Department store (shameless plug) and we have been there for over 70 years now. Also, I don’t think many people know that I studied philosophy for my undergrad. It was an incredible degree to be a part of and lit a passion I didn’t know I had for that field.