The KASPER summer camp has come to a close; this year, campers learned to fish, fine-tuned their art skills and mastered their gardening skills.
“It was fantastic, we had a really great year,” KASPER director Molly Moncrief said. “A lot of great kids came out, a lot of good support from the community. I feel that overall we had a good program for the fifth year. I was proud to be a director.”
KASPER is the Kids’ After School Program of Education and Recreation. It is a nonprofit organization that provides a summer day camp for Brookings-Harbor students in grades one through six, according to a handout on the organization.
“It provides these children a safe place to be during the summer, and during the times when their parents would maybe be at work, and it gives them a chance to explore things that they wouldn’t be able to during the busy life of a school year,” Moncrief said. “It’s enriching, and it’s a positive place for these kids to be.”
The camp ran from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday for six weeks. Between 25 and 30 children attended each week.
This year, KASPER kids learned quite a bit about gardening and sustainability. Flora Pacifica taught the children about different types of plants and how to grow things, Moncrief said. The Master Gardeners attended once a week, as well.
“I think things like that really excited kids because it’s something different, something new,” she said.
They also learned how to make crafts out of recycled materials – gardening, paint, paper, clay and building.
It taught children “every day household items can be used to make really cool crafts, and you don’t have to necessarily go buy something,” Moncrief said.
During camp, KASPER kids played sports, participated in enriching art activities, which is something they don’t always get during the school year, and enjoyed a pirate carnival in anticipation of the Pirate of the Pacific Festival, Moncrief said.
Local agencies – the Brookings Police Department, the Brookings Fire Department, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and South Coast Fishermen – provided demonstrations, as well.
To help run the camp, Moncrief enlisted the help of middle and high school students; she wanted more youth involved in the program.
“I think everyone did a great job who was a part of KASPER this year, and I hope that other people will see that, too,” she said. “It’s looking good for next year.”