Along with other field trips to Zoo Miami, Pinecrest Gardens and other local spots, campers also do arts and crafts, science projects and even yoga during the weekly sessions.
Amanda Jacobs’ favorite memories at the camp include visiting the mysterious Miami Circle, where she learned about bones, and Miami International Airport’s air traffic control tower.
For her, learning about history and culture is important “because we need to learn these things in order to live.”
The 10-year-old has found learning about the government and its branches to be the most interesting during her three years at HistoryMiami.
But for Phoenix Thrasybule-Pierre, history is inspirational in his writing.
His dreams of being an author are supplemented by his experiences at HistoryMiami, where he has enjoyed learning about Miami by “seeing animals that live in Miami, the monuments and all the historical sites.”
“History gives me better ideas about how to think about a way of life,” said Phoenix, 10. “I can’t exaggerate it. Instead, I can tell the full story.”
In his five years at the camp, Phoenix’s favorite memories include dodgeball and an encounter with a mischievous ibis that ate his sandwich during his first field trip.
HistoryMiami’s summer camp in Downtown Miami runs from June 8 to Aug. 17. It is open to children ages 5 through 12 and is divided into 10 themed one-week sessions. Each week costs $165 for HistoryMiami members, and between $190 and $210 for non-members. Register online at historymiami.org.
Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami
Before he found art, 21-year-old Tim Rush used to “do a lot of stupid things” and got into trouble often. But once he got involved in the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami’s teen art program, he started learning “useful skills.” Now, Rush is experimenting with film and animation as a student at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.
Every summer, MOCA offers a Creative Arts Summer Program for children ages 6 to 12 and three intensive teen programs for those ages 13 through 19.
In the Creative Arts Summer Program, every week has a theme, whether it is multi-dimensional art inspired by the circus or creating artwork from recycled materials. While learning about the basics of color and design, the campers also learn to emulate styles and techniques of renowned artists from Pablo Picasso and Alexander McQueen.
“We like to introduce art history as a concept, then take them into the galleries to evaluate real artwork,” said Valerie Ricordi, a MOCA spokeswoman. “While the students are working and building their artistic skills, they’re also working on socialization and organizing their creative thinking processes."
Also, Ricordi said, every week an artist from the community visits to talk about their work and creative process.
When Kimberly Hagerty was in the Creative Arts Summer Program, she said her painting became her best skill, when it used to be her worst. She also learned to sew, a talent that she still uses today.
Now a counselor for the children’s camp, Hagerty, 16, enjoyed meeting new people, especially professional teachers. She remembers learning origami from a Japanese artist.
“It’s so creative,” said Hagerty, who was in the children’s camp for about six years. “Different people make different things, and you get to see what other people think. Then, it brings ideas to you and you can make things as well.”