Summer Science and Circus Adventures

April 02, 2019

J Camps Plus lets Parents and Campers Mix Things Up!

Are you looking for an incredible summer learning adventure for your camper – a place where you know your child will still get to play, swim and celebrate, but also have a fun time creating, exploring and learning new things? 

J Camps Plus provides busy families with one-week camp experiences in the STEM, Creative Arts, Nature, and Lifestyle categories.  These shorter creative camp options are perfect for coordinating around vacations, sleepaway camp, and end-of-summer plans.   

Our partners – who are experts in the fields of Science, Arts, and more – share their backgrounds and insights on these specialized camps:

The Science Guys of Baltimore (X-treme Science at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC and X-treme Science at the Downtown Baltimore JCC)

Siena Trehy and Matt Simms, a married couple from Northern Baltimore, are the cool and zany Science Guys of Baltimore. 

When Siena was a child, her father Keith launched the Science Guys of Nashville in their native Tennessee, teaching kids science at summer camps, birthday parties, and school workshops and assemblies.

Years later and with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Anthropology from Goucher College, Siena returned to Nashville one summer and met Matt, a native Coloradoan training under Keith.  Alas, the couple married, returned to Baltimore, and opened shop as Baltimore’s Science Guys.

Siena loves working with J Camps. “The J Camps community and the camping atmosphere are amazing,” she says.  “We come in with the science and J Camps is ready to go, full of beautiful nature trails and fields to blast cool rockets.”

“Our goal for this summer is to open the children’s minds to learning, to keep our experiments silly and funny, but to also serve as an introduction to the scientific method.”

This year Siena and Matt will be introducing a new electromagnetic rig launcher (a new technology for their space program); a new digestive system program “which is really gross and awesome;” as well as a new,  20’ x 30’ canvas geo-blast map with real satellite photos of the Earth – to run around on, play games, and learn geography.

“And we’ll still have all the chemistry and formulas and bubbly potions and explosions – all the old favorites you’d expect from the Science Guys,” says Matt.

Club SciKidz (LEGO Max and LEGO Robotics at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC)

Andrea Gibble and Matt Bogusz are the co-owners of Club SciKidz, a company founded and franchised out of Georgia nearly 20 years ago by a husband and wife teacher team that loved science and creating hands-on science activities for children. 

A teacher from Pennsylvania and former JCC member, Andrea taught reading at Woodbridge Elementary School in Baltimore County for 11 years and spent summers leading summer camps with Matt and Club SciKidz’ former owner, Victor Bowman.

The beauty of Club SciKidz is that it provides programs that peak children’s interests. LEGO is amazing for children young and old.  Anytime kids like what they’re doing, they reach a high level of engagement. In our LEGO Max and LEGO Robotics Camps, campers both build and code their creations and robots. It’s hands-on instructional learning all week.  LEGO Max is an all-day camp for campers in grades 3-5, and Lego Robotics is a half day option for grades K-2 and 3-5. The other half of the day they have swim and play outdoors. J counselors travel with the campers so there is consistency throughout the day and contributes to the J Camps running smoothly. It’s a well-run camp and Club SciKidz is happy to partner with the J for these camps.

“We are here to play, but jobs in the future are tied to science and technology,” Andrea explains. When kids get to build and code, this gives them a great foundation for the future,” she says.

Pearlstone Center (Tiyul Adventure Camp at Pearlstone Center)

Detroit, Michigan native Mikole “Miki” Levran, arrived in Baltimore in March 2017, as a Jewish Outdoor Food Farming Environment Education (JOFEE) fellow at Pearlstone Center. This summer, Miki will be serving as Director of Pearlstone’s and J Camps Plus’ Tiyul Adventure Camps.

Miki and Pearlstone’s crew of farmers, wilderness experts, and educators are busily preparing for a week of organic farming, deep forest and creek hiking, swimming in the pool, and ziplining over the lake at Pearlstone.

“I grew up loving camp,” says Miki. “So when the time came to be a counselor, I knew what I would be doing with my summers!”

A JCC and overnight camp counselor who later led teen tours in Appalachia and as far away as Alaska, Miki’s Pearlstone experience has allowed her to merge two passions – practicing Judaism and a love for the outdoors.

“Partnering with J Camps allows us to get more campers outside, so they can walk away from a week of summer having discovered a deeper connection to the Earth and themselves. As a new camp working with a legacy institution such as J Camps, we can create incredible experiences for our campers.”

“I want to our campers to feel empowered and responsible for the way we take care of the world. From planting seeds to picking the fruit and cooking delicious meals – we have so many new recipes to try, trails to explore and projects to create!  We cannot wait for our campers to step foot on our land and start to feel a connection with the Earth!”

Circus Camp Stars with Michael Rosman (Circus Camp at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC)

For over 30 years comedy juggler Michael Rosman has been entertaining audiences around the world. He is a graduate of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus Clown College, has appeared on both Late Night with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; headlined on more than 25 cruise ships and at 100 colleges and universities; and lists Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney World and, and The National Theater in Washington, DC among past clients.

Locally, Michael is well known for his wire walking show “Squire of the Wire” at the Maryland Renaissance Festival and for his comedy juggling and unicycle show at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Michael is a big fan of J Camps.  “J Camps is all about fun and you get all sorts of kids – it’s a great environment to teach kids how to learn and to see their persistence and progress. Circus skills help with everything, including balance. And improved balance makes for better dancers and better lacrosse players,” Michael explains.

At J Camps, Michael also teaches the children physical comedy. “We have an incredible Pie-in-the-Face Day when we teach the kids how to do slapstick.” he says.

“There are an infinite number of things you can learn at camp.”

Quite true.

Learn more about J Camps Plus offerings

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