#DeerValleySummer Adventure Camp Art Show

08012014 Art Show 024Deer Valley’s Summer Adventure Camp has been entertaining kids for 19 summers. Based out of the Children’s Center at Snow Park Lodge, Deer Valley Summer Adventure Campers experience hiking trails, biking, lots of guest speakers, hillside playgrounds, bouldering, a rock climbing wall and a full supply of craft projects, games, puzzles, videos and books to complement the outdoor activities.

Each summer the campers participate in S.A.V.E. (Summer Adventure Volunteer Effort), which raises money through an art show for a selected organization. Some of the past recipients have been the Carmen B. Pingree School for Children with Autism, Recycle Utah, Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project and the Blind Children’s Learning Center.  In 2013, the kids raised $772 for the Ocearch Organization.

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Before the Art Show this year, I spoke with Deer Valley’s Children’s Programs Manager, Mya Frantti, to see what the Art Show was all about.

Ryan: Where did the idea of an annual Art Show come from?Mya: The idea of the Art Show came from a brainstorm between summer camp employees, while exploring what we could do to recognize local organizations and get the campers tuned into how important volunteerism is, what it adds to the child’s experience as a whole and connecting them to the community.

Ryan: How many years has Deer Valley been hosting the Art Show?

Mya: We have been doing the Art Show for at least 10 years. Our first recipient was Whiskey, Deer Valley’s avalanche dog. He was sick and needed to undergo a very expensive procedure and the kids wanted to help out.

Ryan: How do you determine where to donate the money?

Mya: In years past we have given the campers a choice of a couple of organizations and they voted. This year the format was a bit different. The People’s Health Clinic did an outreach program with us throughout the summer. They first visited and explained what they do for the kids, then the kids made “goodie” bags for the dentist to hand out which included toothbrushes, toothpaste, temporary tattoos and stickers. After that, the campers went to visit the clinic.

Ryan: How much money do you typically raise with the Art Show?

Mya: Typically we raise between $700 and $1,000.

Ryan: What do you think the kids take away from the experience?

Mya: The Art Show is the culmination of the Summer Adventure Campers’ arts and crafts projects throughout the summer and presents an opportunity for their parents and Deer Valley staff to be able to give a donation for the art pieces that they would like to purchase. This year, the money raised went to purchase books for the People’s Health Clinic. They give each child a book who visits the clinic, whether they are there for their own appointment or with someone else who has an appointment. They are also starting a program for expecting moms, in which the mom-to-be receives a book each time she visits the clinic during her pregnancy. This way they have a starter library by the time their child is born.

Ryan: Any idea who you will be donating to next year?

Mya: 
Typically, we do not decide on the organization until early in the summer.08012014 Art Show 033This was my first art show and I was impressed by the range of different art projects the young campers produced. Everything from hanging lanterns, hand print art, origami, flowers, figure paints and everything in between.  Art lined the halls of the Snow Park Lodge, inviting parents, community members and Deer Valley staff to browse the art work and buy their favorite pieces.08012014 Art Show 026I soon found out that the Art Show offered a lot more than just art. Complimentary drinks and chips and salsa were offered for those browsing the Art Show. The campers served these treats with a smile. The kids being involved really added to the overall environment. The show was a lot of fun for the campers, parents and Deer Valley staff.     08012014 Art Show 075The annual Art Show is held the first week of August and allows the campers to proudly display the varied art projects they have worked on so diligently all summer. The pieces are available to purchase for a donation and this year, the kids raised $1,173 for the People’s Health Clinic.08132014 Check 060The People’s Health Clinic offers uninsured people who live in Summit or Wasatch Counties access to professional medical providers. They offer services such as; general medicine, pediatrics, chronic disease care, prenatal care, women’s health care, mental health services along with many other specialties.Other services offered by the People’s Health Clinic include referrals to low-cost diagnostic testing, free mammograms for women over 40, referrals to social services, job services and help with health insurance applications.

08012014 Art Show 065A few weeks after the Art Show, the campers were able to present representatives from the People’s Health Clinic with books that they were able to purchase from the money raised, as well as the really big check pictured above.

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The Executive Director of People’s Health Clinic, Nann Worel, took time to sit down with me and answer a few questions after the presentation.

Ryan: Where did the idea to give every child a book when they come into the clinic originate?

Nann Worel: We believe very strongly that health literacy is an important part of our mission.  It is very difficult to live a healthy life if one is unable to read. Imagine how difficult life would be if you couldn’t read the instructions on a prescription bottle or read a food label in the grocery store. Statistically, low income children have one or NO books in their home so we wanted to encourage parents to read with their children and give them books to do that with.

Ryan: How many books a year does the clinic give out?

Nann Worel: Hundreds!

Ryan: How do you get all of those books to give away?

Nann Worel: Various organizations have children’s book drives for us throughout the year and we are frequently given donations with which to purchase books, like the Deer Valley Summer Adventure Camp did recently.

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Ryan: Are there other ways people can help out the clinic?

Nann Worel: We are always in need of volunteers—whether they have a medical background or not. We also need financial support.

Ryan: Are there other items the clinic needs?

Nann Worel: We currently need new computers and printers, a portable tympanometer and a 3D probe for our Ultrasound machine.

Ryan: How can people get involved?

Nann Worel: They can call me at 435-333-1875, or our Volunteer Coordinator, Barbara Clark at 435-333-1849

Summer Fun, Family Style

It has taken me a little while to get into the swing of summer apparently, it’s taken Mother Nature a bit of time, too. We had a spring snowstorm on Tuesday June 17 but with the Community Concert series set to kick off the following night (yep, it had to be postponed) and lift-served hiking and mountain biking already in full swing, the storm felt like a summertime sucker punch. In our family, we’d already spent a day exploring the activities at YMCA Camp Roger, where Lance will spend a week this summer—his first sleep-away camp experience. I’m happy to report there were cute, cozy cabins each with its own fire pit, plus archery, basketball, mountain biking and horseback riding. What’s not to love? (If it were acceptable, I’d sign up!)

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In my house, summer means a new routine nearly every week—and sometimes every day. It makes me marvel when I get to the end of the day and haven’t messed up, taken people to the wrong locations or missed a start time. Yeah, it happens.

Certainly, we’ve already crammed a ton of summer fun into the two quick weeks since school let out. My boys have enjoyed several days of tennis camp at the Park City MARC. You know it’s a good camp when you sign them up for two days and they come out at the end of the second day and ask, politely, for a third. You can bet that they’ll be doing more of that camp. I’m guessing, too, that part of their love of tennis camp is that it takes place at the MARC, where there’s free access to a rock climbing wall—perfect for killing time before camp starts.

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Some weeks, their camp pursuits are more academic. Seth went back to school for a French Immersion Camp. He’s in a dual language immersion program at school and his teacher runs week-long camps so that the language doesn’t fall out of the kids’ heads over the summer. Of course, it culminated in a hike—this is Park City, after all. Lance, on the other hand, headed to Zaniac, an awesome learning center in Redstone, where he’s been taking math classes (which thankfully, he loves, and which seemed to boost his math grades at school…win, win!). The camp he chose was “Intro to Computer Programming,”and he couldn’t get enough of the half-day program, learning to write code in lots of fun ways. He even created a music video for “Radioactive,” by Imagine Dragons.

Most of the camps we’re enrolling in this summer are partial-day camps, in part because I figured out that while there are many awesome full-day options (including Deer Valley Summer Adventure Camp and options through Park City Recreation and Basin Recreation), I’ve realized that sending my kids to full-day camps often means someone else gets to hang with them while they are having fun and I get the cranky-exhausted kids afterwards. So, we compromise. There will be some full-day camps (they may yet decide to go to the UOP’s awesome FUNdamentals Sports Camp or Deer Valley’s Summer Adventure Camp, because, heck, it’s summer, and who wouldn’t want a full day of fun?) But mostly, we’ll do partial-day camps and then head to the pool.

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Cf course, we’re planning a bunch of RV trips too—Bear Lake in July, so we can get our fill of that area’s crystal-blue waters and famous raspberry milkshakes. I would love to hear what camps you’re sending your kids to in the comments below or Tweet me @BariNanCohen.

OCEARCH at Deer Valley Resort’s Summer Adventure Camp

For the second year in a row, Chris Fischer from OCEARCH enlightened Deer Valley’s Summer Adventure Campers on the importance of preserving our oceans.

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Mr. Fischer and his team allow scientists to study sharks in an environment safe for both the researchers and the sharks. They do this by catching and tagging sharks so scientists all around the world can study them. While most people would say they’re afraid of sharks, Mr. Fischer explained that sharks should actually be scared of humans; nearly 200,000 sharks are killed each day and if this continues, future generations will not be able to enjoy these awesome creatures.

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“I’m thrilled to be part of Deer Valley’s Summer Camp. Park City is home for my family and I, and I’m excited to be able to connect these kids to the OCEARCH mission and bring the ocean into their summer camp. Thanks to Deer Valley for inviting me!” - Chris Fischer, OCEARCH Founder and Expedition Leader

OCEARCH is a non-profit organization with a global reach for unprecedented research on great white sharks and other large apex predators. After having Mr. Fischer speak with the campers last year, the kids decided to donate the proceeds from the annual end-of-season Art Show to OCEARCH; nearly $800! They were also able to SKYPE with Mr. Fischer while he was on an expedition in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

This year Mr. Fischer returned with Dr. Alex Hearn, a world-class scientist who specializes in the study of fish movements with a strong focus on conservation. Mr. Fischer and Dr. Hearn not only spoke about the importance of preserving our oceans but also gave some great life advice to the young campers.

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“An inch is a cinch and a yard is hard.”

Mr. Fischer explained when his team first started out, no one had ever done what they were attempting to do. By working together and taking little steps, they have been able to accomplish a lot, but there is still room for improvement. Mr Fischer shared his message that we have a lot of things we can improve on when it comes to ocean conservation and it starts with an inch.

One way OCEARCH is bringing attention to ocean conservation is with the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker app, available to download for free. The app allows you to see the shark migration patterns, just like the scientists who are studying them; you can even track individual sharks by name and see where they were tagged and where they have been since. I downloaded the app and follow OCEARCH on Facebook. I think it’s so cool to be able to see where the sharks have traveled.

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After OCEARCH was done with their presentation, I spoke with Kurt Hammel, Deer Valley Resort’s Children’s Programs Assistant Manager.

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Ryan: How did Deer Valley Resort get involved with OCEARCH?

Kurt:  We learned of OCEARCH from one of our staff members. We are always looking for people who have ties to the Park City community to get involved with our Summer Adventure Camp.

Ryan:  What is the biggest thing the kids take away from these presentations?

Kurt:  I think the oldest kids realize the impact that killing sharks has and that they need to be the next generation to help. The younger kids seem to be really fascinated with sharks.

Ryan: Do the kids ask you a lot of shark questions in the days after the presentation?

Kurt: Some of the kids could talk about sharks all day, every day! The boys love to make shark pictures. A lot of these pictures will end up in our Art Show at the end of the season.

Ryan: Can you tell me more about the Art Show?

Kurt: The annual Art Show is held the first week of August. It allows the campers to proudly display the many and varied art projects they worked on so diligently all summer. The pieces are available to purchase for a donation to that year’s S.A.V.E. project.

Ryan: What does S.A.V.E stand for?

Kurt: Summer Adventure Volunteer Effort. This effort raises money through an art show for a selected organization. Some of our past recipients have been the Carmen B. Pingree School for Children with Autism, Recycle Utah, Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project and the Blind Children’s Learning Center.  In 2013, the kids raised $800 for The OCEARCH organization.

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Ryan: What other speakers do you have lined up for the Summer Adventure Camp?

Kurt: This summer we have some great speakers lined up, including former Olympians, the “Hired Guns” cowboy entertainers, Hawkwatch and an Origami demonstration during the week of our Art Show.

Ryan: Origami; see if they can make hawks and sharks.

Kurt: I’m sure the kids will ask for those first.

Ryan: What is your favorite part of the Summer Adventure Camp?

Kurt: The great thing about Deer Valley’s Summer Adventure Camp is that we are involved in a broad variety of activities with the goal to be active in our community and at the resort as well. We are not sport/activity specific and kids get to experience a lot of different things in just one week here.

Ryan: Can guests still sign up their little ones for Summer Adventure Camp?

Kurt: Absolutely, Summer Adventure Camp is open until August 20. Parents can sign their children up weekly or even for just a day or two. For more information on the Deer Valley Summer Adventure Camp, please visit the website here.

Have you downloaded the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker app? Tell me what you think in the comments below or on Twitter @RyanMayfield or @Deer_Valley.

Summer Adventure Camp

We have had an incredibly busy schedule—keeping up with our kids’ schedules this summer. Park City is an embarrassment of riches in many areas, and kids’ summer camps are no exception.

Lance attended two separate weeks of camp at the Utah Olympic Park (UOP)—he tried what amounted to about a kajillion sports, including ski jumping into the Splash Pool, and—wait for it—luge. Gulp.

Also on the Menu O’ Fun this summer: skateboard camp, karate camps, and the delightfully injury-risk-free tie-dye camp and art camp. And, of course, they made time in their hectic schedules of fun, fun and more fun, to attend a couple of days at Deer Valley’s Summer Adventure Camp.

This is not to say the summer has been without challenges. At UOP, Lance had to face his fears before jumping into the pool—and we had to do some fleet-footed parenting work to get him to even try. But he did—and whether he ever takes up freestyle skiing in earnest is of no consequence. What he learned from the process of learning was invaluable.

Deer Valley Summer Adventure Camp was a great learning experience, too. For one thing, the kids got to go to the Utah Museum of Natural History on a field trip. It’s a beautifully designed facility, and every exhibit has interactive elements for visitors of all ages. The next day was “Silly Sloppy Science,” which found the kids using recycled material to build boats, making glop, and lots of other silly, science-y things.

And while there were lots of obvious learning experiences to be had in those days, we all learned a few nice life lessons in the balance. For instance, because the first day the kids attended camp was a field-trip day, there was a lot of hustle-and-bustle, and not a lot of get-to-know-you time. It was something I hadn’t considered when I signed them up—and something I’ll take into account in the future. Both boys greeted me with relief when I picked them up, and spent much of the evening telling us why they had not had fun at camp. Both asked if they had to go the next day.

“Yes,” I told them. “You are going to give this camp a second chance. You’ve never had a bad day at Deer Valley, and everyone’s entitled to a bad day.”

When we arrived at camp, the counselors seemed genuinely happy to see my boys, which was reassuring. Still, I took the opportunity to share the kids’ reports from the previous day. My goal was to give constructive feedback, and offer context that might be helpful to the counselors. It appeared to be received that way. Still, I mentioned it to the desk staff on my way out. Impressively, the woman I spoke with asked specific questions about what the kids hadn’t liked, what I’d found disappointing—and took notes. They also told me they appreciated my honest, constructive feedback. This thrilled me. My measure of good service isn’t a trouble-free experience, but how the team handles the situation once it’s been brought to light. By the time I left, I felt confident the kids would have a better day. The proof was in the pudding—we showed up early and had to bribe them away from the fabulous time they were having. Thank goodness for the frozen yogurt at Deer Valley, Etc.