Camp Have A Lot Of Fun

Camp Have Alot Of Fun a camp for kids.

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Every Staff Member of CHALOF in 2016. At the yearly camp banquette.

Ross Gowan, Mirada Staff

What is Camp Have A Lot of Fun, CHALOF, all about? The name says it all. Not only do the kids at the camp gain the most fun memories of their young lives, so do the leaders, staff members, and volunteers alike.

This Mission Oaks Parks and Recreation program is geared toward kids 3-11 years old.  Participants learn to sing songs, play games and let their imaginations decide where they want to go; or what they want to do that day.

The possibilities are endless when you can choose your own adventure. This is what makes this summer camp unlike any other.

The typical camp day starts off with check-in where the junior leaders play with the campers then hike out where the kids hop on their “space ships”, “motorcycles”, or even junior leaders’ backs to get to the other side of the park.

A junior leader’s day consists of a creatively crafted introduction in line with the week’s theme.  The morning progresses into circle time, teaching the kids games, songs, art, how to share, get along with others and so much more.  

“Camp is a place I can just go to be myself, not care what people think and just have fun,” said Samantha Klein, a Junior Leader at CHALOF and a freshman.

During the eight weeks of camp, each week has a different theme with all sorts of wacky characters. A character is a junior leader or leader that dresses up and makes the themed story more real-life for the kids and also helps out the other groups with activities.

Making sure all of the kids are accounted for and safe is of the highest priority at camp. Junior Leaders and Leaders take their job very seriously. The demands of having campers with different backgrounds, special needs and a wide range of ages makes for multiple challenges.

An iconic character was Wild Willy. He was a lumberjack for the “Wild Wilderness” week. He would have kids pretend to chop down trees, lead wild adventures and have them chant dozens of songs. Watching a senior in high school do all those silly things makes the staff have fun and laugh just as much as the kids.

The fun begins for the kids on June 13 and runs until Aug. 5 at the Mission North Park.  Camp leaders attend in-service training the week before camp starts.

The coordinators hold an interview a few weeks before for the prospective junior leaders and leaders which is called a “practical”. This interview is not like any usual job interview. They want to test your ability to think quickly on your feet and stretch your imagination to hold the attention of young minds.  

From skits and songs to pretend situations with campers; being serious and dull is not what the coordinators are looking for.  High energy and having fun is what is needed at CHALOF. It just so happens that if you are having fun, so will the kids.

The camp transforms kids who may be shy, not very confident nor well rounded into well rounded young adults who are ready to take on their next upcoming challenge simply by the demands of camp and the experiences with young children.

“It is exhausting chasing after all the kids who try to run away from you,” said Davis Westover, a Junior Leader at CHALOF and freshman.

As the weeks go by the Junior Leaders and Leaders become very good friends due to their dependence on each other.  Weekly, Leader host Junior Leaders at their homes and set up activities to bond with each other to Have a Lot of Fun.  

 

 

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