Let’s move back in time.
It is May. It is finally warm, and we are starting to think about what to do with the children during the summer so that both Phil and I can work. Comet got wind of a program called Camp Invention offered through community ed and this seemed to fit perfectly: it’s a full-day, week long camp; there were programs for both Sparkle and Comet; it was located in Minnetonka so they were likely to run into kids they knew from school. Comet’s ambition is to invent something, anything, so we signed them up, visions of gears, motors and levers dancing in our heads.
The alarm bells should have started going off when we got the letter asking for donations of found or throw-away objects: plastic containers, toilet paper tubes etc. We should have clued in when we realized that the camp assistants were high school students (not to disparage them, they were great kids, but one would expect an invention camp to be run by inventors. At least we did.) Sure enough, by the end of the second day comet was complaining that he hadn’t invented a single thing, and that camp was boring. Phil and I did the forehead slap–doh!–and had to remind ourselves once again that we are parenting kids who are on the far left of the bell curve of intelligence. Comet and Sparkle did have a great time at camp, they learned a lot about working with what you’ve got, channeling creativity, and team-work (a much needed skill, truth be told.) The camp also had some theme days, including crazy hair day, and Comet got as close as he’ll get to having a Mohawk, so it was by no means a total loss. But this camp was ex.pen.sive, considering they create new objects from found objects all the time at home. (see exhibit A below.)
Lesson learned. Next time look for the invention camp for gifted learners.