By Dan Murphy
Kiddie Kamp wrapped up at Hill House on Aug. 19 after offering children ages 3 to 5 another self-described “summer full of games, crafts, stories, songs, age-appropriate athletics and outdoor fun.”
Tori Frappolli, Hill House’s program coordinator, said the 10-week camp was open to up to 36 children each week, and while enrollment was only about half full in the beginning, it increased as the summer went on as campers decided to stay on for additional weeks and as others learned of the program via word of mouth. Its 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. schedule also proved very accommodating for young children and their parents, too.
“The half day is perfect because we can fit in a lot whereas a full day would be too much for little ones,” Frappolli said. “But we still leave them pretty wiped out when they bail.”
Each camp week had a different theme, with offerings this summer including “Ocean Explorers,” a pirate session and “Up, Up and Away,” – which was devoted to super heroes. On Monday and Tuesdays, campers worked on an art project related to that week’s theme, including making treasure maps during the pirate session and crafting and donning their own masks and capes for super-hero week. Thursdays were devoted to on-site adventures at the Mt. Vernon Street Firehouse, such as a visit from New England Aquarium staff for “Ocean Explorers” week. Next summer, the camp will explore similar themes, but Frappolli said Hill House would “tweek them to keep them interesting.”
The camp also emphasizes walking and movement, and on Mondays and Tuesdays, campers visited the Boston Common for “soccer, freeze-tag, baseball and anything to just get them running around,” Frappolli said. Weather permitting, swimming was offered every Wednesday and Friday on the Charles River Esplanade at Teddy Ebersol’s Red Sox Fields and the Alfond Spray Deck supervised by Hill House staff and lifeguards.
“The skill level can be quite different so we try our hardest to accommodate everyone and make sure it’s not too easy or too hard for our campers,” Frappolli said. “We really do our best to modify [the program accordingly].”
Frappolli said Kiddie Kamp is also one of the few summer programs in the city open to children in the age group it serves, and Hill House is the only organization in Downtown Boston accredited by the American Camp Association, in partnership with the American Red Cross and American Academy of Pediatrics, for consistently meeting several hundred standards.
To learn more about Kiddie Kamp, contact Tori Frappolli at [email protected] or visit http://www.hillhouseboston.org/Camps/Summer_Kiddie_Kamp.htm.