Over the past couple of years, Camp KO has transformed into a vibrant and thriving institute. They have added more and more camps and opened the program up to an even bigger audience. This past year, they had 619 campers over the summer, and even more during the programs that run during the school year.
The camp has done many things to improve itself according to Director of Summer Programs Sheri Shea. “We implemented a bully policy, where we inform parents if there is an incident,” she said. “Campers are required to read our policy and sign off on it when they register. We take our job to create a safe space very seriously. The policy reads ‘The camp will try to resolve a first incident, but a second incident is not tolerated.’” Fortunately Ms. Shea said that there were no serious incidents over this past summer.
In addition to the new bully policy the camp introduced a rule around the use of cell phones. “Campers at Camp KO are allowed to bring their cell phones with them to camp,” Ms. Shea said. “We tell them not to use their cellphones during actual instructional periods. It definitely helped the atmosphere of the camp.”
The camp also implemented a new social media policy, in which campers are instructed to, when taking a picture, ask for permission. “We want campers to make sure taking [the picture] is okay and that the people in the picture feel comfortable,” Ms. Shea said.
Other than all of the new policies, some new programs were added to the camps repertoire. “This past summer we started a fashion design and sewing machine skills camp, a fencing camp, real science, game programing, and creative nonfiction,” Ms. Shea said.
She also said that an an outside group from Philadelphia was hired for the fashion design camp. “At the end of the camp, the kids put on an amazing fashion show of all the stuff they made,” she said.
Jennette Faulkner, winner of the Summer National and North American Circuit Veteran Foil Champion 12 times, ran the sold-out fencing program this summer.
Upper School science teacher Alex Kraus ran the Real Science camp. “He did experiments in all sorts of different subjects,” Ms. Shea said. In the game programming camp, kids were taught how to make video games.
The creative nonfiction camp was another new successful program. “It was geared towards older kids and very well received by the campers,” Ms. Shea said.
Over the school year, some programs will run, and there might even be more new ones. There is an eight week long pre-season basketball program, a Futsal program that is in its fifth year of running, and a theater improv class set to start in the fall. Additionally, In Jan., Camp KO’s culinary class will start.
“I am working with with Hartford Stitch, which is sewing, crocheting, and knitting, to create a program for faculty in the evening,” Ms. Shea said. “I am sure there are probably faculty and staff who would want to do it one night a week.” With all of the hard work of Ms. Shea and the Camp KO staff, the camp has grown fruitfully to where it is today.