top of page
Search

Unlock a World of Enchantment for Your Kids This Summer at Wonderstruck Summer Day Camp: July 22 - August 23, 2024

Wonderstruck’s Summer Day Camp is back for an unforgettable adventure from July 22 to August 23, 2024! Dive into a magical realm filled with enchanting storylines, immersive activities, and captivating encounters with elves, fairies, mermaids, and more. This summer, give your children the gift of imagination and outdoor fun while they explore the enchanted woods of North Vancouver.


Why Wonderstruck Summer Camp is a Great Choice

As the school year draws to a close, many parents face a mix of excitement and apprehension about the long summer break ahead. A study reveals that many parents wish summer vacation would end after just two weeks! Whether you’re eager to provide your kids with a screen-free adventure in nature or simply need a breather, Wonderstruck Camp offers an ideal solution. Here, your children can embark on magical quests, learn about mythical creatures, and enjoy the great outdoors.


A Unique and Magical Camp Experience: What Awaits Your Children

Wonderstruck stands out from the typical summer camp experience by immersing children in a rich fantasy world where every week tells a new story. Set in the lush, enchanted woods of North Vancouver, Wonderstruck’s Summer Day Camp promises a unique blend of fun, learning, and magic.


The Enchanted World of Wonderstruck

At Wonderstruck, the magic never ends. Each week, campers delve into an ongoing fantasy saga filled with whimsical characters like fairies, giants, wizards, and elves. The adventure begins at Professor Lorekeeper’s Lab, the heart of magical discovery and exploration. Campers act as assistants to Professor Lorekeeper, an expert in myth and magic who has dedicated years to studying the world’s magical creatures.


In the Wonderstruck world, campers learn spells, explore mystical realms, and discover secrets of the enchanted forest, guided by the Wise Wizards’ Guide to Magic. Older campers even get the chance to create their own spells, which must be approved by a Wizard First Class. With red hats indicating their status, these wizards symbolize the pinnacle of magical knowledge and practice, leading young adventurers through a journey of wonder and discovery.


A Typical Day at Wonderstruck



Morning Routine: Soft Start to a Magical Day Campers arrive between 8:30 and 9:00 AM for a ‘soft start’ at Professor Lorekeeper’s Lab. A soft start helps ease children into the day, boosting their social and emotional skills and encouraging creative thinking. Activities during this time include coloring, wand repair, puzzles, and exploring a magical library with books like Harry Potter, The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies, and Gnomes.


First Quest of the Day At 9:00 AM, the adventure begins with a recap of the previous day’s plot developments. Campers then embark on their first magical quest of the day. This might involve deciphering mythical languages, solving riddles, or discovering hidden clues left by fairies. The Wise Wizards’ Guide plays a crucial role in these quests, helping campers perform spells to uncover secrets and ensure their safety.



Mid-Morning Break and Activities After completing the morning quest, campers enjoy a snack break before diving into another engaging activity that advances the storyline. Activities might include solving puzzles, planting fairy-attracting plants, or creating tributes for Sage the Wizard. These tasks are designed to be accessible for children of all ages, with additional challenges for older kids and extra support for younger ones.


Lunchtime and Afternoon Adventures Following lunch, the excitement continues with a major plot development. This might involve rescuing stranded mermaids or crafting musical instruments for wizard tributes. One of the most thrilling parts of the day is when campers gather evidence of magical creatures in the forest surrounding the Lab. From finding tiny teacups left by fairies to using instant cameras to capture magical moments, afternoons at Wonderstruck are filled with discovery and creativity.


End of the Day: Reflection and Fun The day concludes with campers writing in their Guidebooks, practicing spells, and engaging in wand games like ‘wizard, mermaid, flying fairy,’ a magical twist on ‘rock, paper, scissors.’ These activities not only reinforce the day’s learning but also provide a fun and memorable end to the magical adventures.




Outdoor Adventures and Magical Exploration

Wonderstruck prioritizes outdoor activities, with children spending a significant portion of their time in nature. The camp’s enchanted setting offers the perfect backdrop for magical quests and exploration. Here’s a glimpse of the outdoor activities campers can expect:

  • Treasure Hunts: Campers search for hidden boxes and clues near fairy houses, fostering a sense of adventure and discovery.

  • Rescuing Mermaids: With hydration wagons and bubble-blowing fun, children transport stranded mermaids back to safety.

  • Magical Music: Crafting instruments and composing songs for wizards teaches creativity and teamwork.

  • Gathering Evidence: From tiny teacups to magical artifacts, campers collect evidence of the enchanted world around them.

  • Games and Free Play: Traditional games like ‘capture the flag’ and ‘freeze tag’ are given a magical twist, ensuring fun for all ages.


Indoor Magical Activities

While outdoor adventures are a highlight, Wonderstruck also offers a range of indoor activities that advance the storyline and immerse campers in the magical world:

  • Crafting and Puzzles: Campers create magical tributes, solve puzzles, and build musical instruments, enhancing their problem-solving and creative skills.

  • Spell Practice: Learning and practicing spells from Professor Lorekeeper’s Guidebook helps campers delve deeper into the world of magic.

  • Potion Play: Experimenting with potions allows children to explore the magical properties of various ingredients in a safe and fun environment.


Engaging Storylines: What’s in Store This Summer?


Wonderstruck’s storylines are designed to captivate and inspire. Here’s a sneak peek at a few of the adventures awaiting your children this summer:


The Elf and Lost Dreams: Eberwin Elf, the guardian of human dreams, has lost some of the dreams in his care. With the help of campers, Eberwin must retrieve these dreams, emphasizing the importance of believing in the power of dreams to shape a better future.


The Garden Fairy’s Quest for Peace: In the WING Alliance, various fairy factions are at odds, each claiming superiority. A young Garden Fairy needs campers’ help to prevent a fairy war and forge peace among the factions. This storyline teaches the value of diplomacy and teamwork.


The Mystery of the GlimmerHorn A highly magical and dangerous artifact, the GlimmerHorn, has gone missing from Professor Lorekeeper’s Lab. The wizards blame the fairies, the fairies blame the elves, and the elves blame the mermaids. Campers must work together, across teams of elves, wizards, mermaids, and fairies, to recover the artifact and restore harmony.


Why Wonderstruck is the Ultimate Summer Camp Choice

Wonderstruck’s Summer Day Camp offers a unique blend of outdoor adventure, creative learning, and magical fun. With a focus on immersive storytelling and hands-on activities, it provides an enriching experience that goes beyond traditional summer camps. Here are a few reasons why Wonderstruck is the perfect choice for your child this summer:

  • Imaginative Storytelling: Each week features a new, captivating storyline that engages children’s imaginations and encourages creative thinking.

  • Outdoor Exploration: The camp’s emphasis on outdoor activities fosters a love of nature and adventure.

  • Hands-On Learning: From crafting magical tributes to practicing spells, Wonderstruck offers a range of hands-on activities that enhance learning and development.

  • Inclusive Fun: Activities are designed to be accessible for all ages, with extra challenges for older campers and support for younger ones. Wonderstruck is a safe place for creative souls to explore and discover their confidence.

  • Social Skills Development: The camp’s emphasis on teamwork, communication, and social interaction helps children build important social skills in a fun and supportive environment.

Register Now for a Magical Summer Experience

Don’t miss out on the enchantment and adventure! Register your child for Wonderstruck’s Summer Day Camp from July 22 to August 23, 2024. Each week offers a new storyline and a fresh set of magical quests. Visit wonderstruck.ca/registration to secure your spot today. Wonderstruck is also looking for enthusiastic counselors and actors—apply at wonderstruck.ca/volunteer to join the magic and make a difference this summer!


Final Thoughts: Create Lasting Memories at Wonderstruck

Wonderstruck’s Summer Day Camp provides a one-of-a-kind experience that combines the magic of fantasy with the joy of outdoor play. Whether your child is crafting spells, rescuing mermaids, or exploring the enchanted forest, they will create lasting memories and friendships. Give your children the gift of a magical summer—register now and let the adventure begin!




What role do our volunteer staff play at Wonderstruck? Why do our volunteer staff love participating?

Are you a high school student (or parent of a student) who knows that you need volunteer hours to graduate? Or maybe you’re in college or university, early in your career, or contemplating a career switch. Maybe you just want to give back and plug into a community or find a creative outlet. Whatever the case, volunteering can be the bridge between where you stand now, and a more successful future. How does volunteering help you attain success? 


quote from Wonderstruck staff

Volunteers build skills, including soft skills and leadership skills. Soft skills are very important for future career and educational success. What are soft skills? Soft skills are what help us interact successfully with other people


85% of job success is related to soft skills, according to Harvard Business Review. Whereas you can go to school to learn technical skills, a lot of soft skills have to be learned practically. They only come from experience. If you really want to develop these, volunteering can be a great way to start. Volunteering offers the opportunity to practice soft skills in a safe and nurturing environment.


On top of all these benefits for your career and skills, there are emotional, social and mental benefits to volunteering. Volunteers get to feel like they are a part of something greater than themselves. There is a sense of community and belonging that comes from putting together a program or fulfilling a goal with a team of people. Volunteering builds hope in the future and increases satisfaction in the present


Keep reading to see what Wonderstruck volunteer staff had to say about our March Break day camp. Volunteer Staff love the immersive story approach at Wonderstruck.


What makes Wonderstruck unique? 


Check out what happens at Wonderstruck for a description of how our activities are woven into the fantasy story of each week. Wonderstruck Camp is a Summer Day Camp in North Vancouver where campers (and staff!) live each week inside of an immersive fantasy story. That means there are actors dressed as fairies, elves, wizards and mermaids that guide campers through various activities, from arts and crafts to wide games to forest exploration hikes. Each session can have a few or many characters, depending on the storyline. Some characters are invisible to the kids. For example, Giants leave the campers notes to interpret and campers hear the sound of Giants’ footsteps via bluetooth speaker. Campers only ‘see’ Giants when they look at the trees, which Giants can transform into. What makes Wonderstruck unique is this story-led approach to summer day camp. Campers are encouraged to use their imaginations and think creatively throughout each day of camp.


Why volunteer at Wonderstruck?

What are some of the benefits of volunteering at Wonderstruck Camp? 


Wonderstruck volunteers get many of the same benefits as Wonderstruck campers. These benefit align with Wonderstruck’s core values. Wonderstruck exists to nurture the power of dreams in the next generation. Community, creativity and play are three values that support this bigger vision. When you volunteer at Wonderstruck, community, creativity and play are also some of the benefits that you will experience. 


Community: How does volunteering at Wonderstruck build community? 

Living inside of a story together is the ultimate way to combat loneliness and social isolation. When we have shared experiences, we experience connections that can last a lifetime. When we share our stories with one another, we are connecting and building empathy. These are crucial building blocks in making community. 


Psychology scholar Joshua Gowin, PhD explains this in Psychology Today: When you listen to stories and understand them, you experience the exact same brain pattern as the person telling the story.” 


Volunteers at Wonderstruck spend time getting to know one another and campers. This builds relationships through shared experiences and storytelling that inevitably happens over lunch breaks or while hanging out in the forest together. The fact that Wonderstruck is all about living inside a shared story gives volunteers a sense of common ground right from the start.


Creativity and imagination: Why is creativity so important and how does this apply to volunteers at Wonderstruck?

Here’s what one of our staff during March Break had to say about volunteering at Wonderstruck: "The joy of imagination carried us on a magical journey through the week... There were Faeries, Giants, Mermaids and Centicorns all in a story of mystery with clues and puzzles for the kids to solve." 


Creativity is core to building a better future for ourselves and our communities. It is also essential for human expression. The ability to look at problems in different ways, find inspiration and innovate is core to being human. Imagining is the first step in making change or in achieving anything. Every great thing that exists in the world started with a dream. Wonderstruck exists to cultivate this dreaming ability. Volunteers experience the ability to let go of some of their inhibitions and have new experiences in a creative context when they help make magic at Wonderstruck. Just as importantly, they help cultivate imagination and creativity in the next generation through interactions with campers. 


Play: Why is play beneficial?


Play is not just something kids do. Adults need to play just like kids do, and we often forget this. Research shows that people who are satisfied in life do things that are just purely enjoyable, without a productive output. According to Stuart Brown, a medical doctor and researcher: “Play -- doing things just because they're fun and not because they'll help achieve a goal -- is vital to human development.” The ability to solve big problems also requires us to take breaks and allow our brains and bodies to recuperate. It is important to include play in your life on purpose - and Wonderstruck offers a great opportunity to do just that. 


What do volunteers do at Wonderstruck?


There are various ways to volunteer at Wonderstruck. Actors dress as fairies, elves, wizards, mermaids and other characters for the campers to interact with. When you volunteer as an actor, you need to understand the Wonderstruck world and the storyline, but you can make up your own dialogues and get creative with exactly how you play your character. You can get a better idea of the various characters at Wonderstruck on our Staff and Volunteers page


There are also volunteer counselling positions. These positions are for people who want to guide the campers through the program and lead activities. Counsellors are responsible for camper safety and thriving throughout the camp. Counsellors can also play acting roles, depending on the session and storyline. You don’t have to dress up to take part in the magic. As one volunteer counsellor put it: "Working with camp wonderstruck was a new and unforgettable experience for me. We went outside as much as possible, kids had all sorts of tasks and games they should do, and it was nice to see how kids liked all the magical characters and were eager to learn more about them and spend time with them, they even started to invent their own spells at one point!"


Wonderstruck also has the opportunity to volunteer in a supporting role. This can mean being a camp photographer, doing administrative tasks, or even meeting with leaders and founders to improve the marketing of Wonderstruck. Supporting roles are open year-round at Wonderstruck, and are a great way to gain experience for a future career, or explore a new area of interest. Wonderstruck supports internships for college and university students. 


Whatever your motivations for volunteering, Wonderstruck has great options for you. You don’t have to dress up and play a character (but you can!) You can gain skills and experience necessary for work or simply engage in the joy of play and creativity. Regardless of how you participate, Wonderstruck offers a chance to feel connected while trying something new and building community. 




Why consider summer day programs when you are choosing childcare options this summer?


What is the first thing you do when you feel that last-day-of-school date looming on your family’s calendar? Hop on a local childcare facebook group to ask for support? Call Grandma and Grandpa? Frantically google 'what to do with my kids for eight weeks?' Finding a good fit for your family’s summer can be stressful! 


Most parents feel summer guilt and stress.


It can also be guilt-inducing when parents’ efforts to keep kids engaged all summer don’t seem to work. Have you ever heard the acronym PSG? It stands for ‘Parental Summer Guilt.’ That’s right: so many parents feel negative emotions when it comes to summer that it has actually sparked significant research. A study of 2000 parents found that 75% are ready for their kids to go back to school at the end of the summer, and over half wish summer break was less than two weeks long! So if you’re feeling guilt or stress, you’re not alone. Most parents feel the same way about summer.


Think about Summer Day Camp


Having a plan for the summer is essential for every family, but here’s something you might not have considered: summer day camp.

Summer day camps operate throughout Metro Vancouver, including North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby and surrounding areas. Many camps are geared towards specific goals, like helping kids improve their basketball, swimming, STEM, biking or baking skills. Musical theater, dance and performing arts camps often lead up to a big performance at the end of a week or two-week-long session. Camps can be half or full day programs, and many have options for before and after care. Your kids get to explore something new or hone a skill they already have through play and practice – instead of sitting around the house on a device or requiring a babysitter during your work day. 


Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? Let’s explore some of the benefits camp can bring your child.




Want to know the primary cause of PSG (Parental Summer Guilt)? It’s letting kids stay in the house rather than getting out. You might have heard that fresh air is good for you – you might even tell your kids this regularly. But did you know that outdoor play boosts emotional well-being, social skills as well as environmental awareness? Are your kids itching to play outside after a school year spent in the classroom? Camp can scratch that itch without you needing to camp out on the same park bench all summer long. Considering how many important things you need to get done this summer, you’ll probably be glad you chose camp for your kids. At Wonderstruck, we spend about half our time outdoors each day, rain or shine. Several Wonderstruck storylines carry a message about sustainability and the importance of preserving nature for future generations. Summer camps are important for instilling these values and getting kids the outdoor time their growing minds and bodies need!


2. Boosting creativity and development: What will help your kid grow?


Did you know play is a universal human right recognized by the United Nations? The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes that for a lot of kids, play takes a back seat because of “hurried lifestyle, changes in family structure, and increased attention to academics and enrichment activities at the expense of recess or free child-centered play.” Do you need any more reasons to make play a priority this summer? Why not choose a space – like a summer day camp – where play is a part of everyday life for your child. 

A good summer day camp isn’t just designed to make sure your kids aren’t bored. From STEM to swimming, day camps are designed to hone skills. But did you know that pretend play is crucial for skill development, too? A creative summer camp, like Wonderstruck Camp, can boost creative problem solving, future planning and social skills. “I’m a big fan of pretend play. It’s where children can express and explore the issues they struggle with, because it’s a safe world within their control,” writes Dr.Becky Kennedy, a leading parenting expert. Play is at the core of creativity and innovation, according to world-renowned researcher Brené Brown. Encouraging as much play as possible in kids means raising happier people who can problem-solve well. 


3. Building Community: How can you surround your child with supportive people to help them navigate life?


Camps are great for getting kids to meet others in their age group from outside their school routines. Did you know a lot of kids form lifelong friendships at camp? Building memories together while running through the woods, playing games and doing artistic activities provides the foundation for long-lasting friendships. Shared experiences are extremely important for building connections. At Wonderstruck, living inside of a story together is what helps kids connect deeply with one another. Experiencing the mysteries, surprises, and delight of a new world sparks a feeling of togetherness. 


“Shared experiences can break down barriers and help us find the beauty in those around us,” writes leadership educator Dr.Kristin Bledsoe. Long after kids forget who won the camp-wide game, they’ll recall the feeling of connection from playing together. Camp provides many, many of these connection opportunities!


“Your best friends from camp know you better than anyone else in the world,” says Sarah Heyderman, a specialist in placing kids with the best camps. “From the moment you realize someone was part of your camp experience, whether you overlapped for one summer or 10, you have an immediate kinship.” Socially and later, professionally, camp networks are valuable for personal and career growth. At many camps, Wonderstruck included, older kids are volunteers or LITs (Leaders in Training), which opens spaces for mentorship – formally and informally. This kind of community sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want this for their child? 


4. Giving you a much-needed break! How can parents practice self-care this summer?


It might be a school break for your kids, but many moms and dads find themselves facing summer holidays with a bit of dread (or maybe a lot!). If this is you, you’re not alone: a study of 2000 parents found parents want summer break to end at just before the two week mark. That’s about six weeks shorter than summer break actually is. Let’s face it: school holidays take a toll. 

Be honest with yourself: how does your own self-care rank in your family’s summer plan? Organizing vacations takes work and effort. So does keeping kids engaged and occupied at home. If you’re like a lot of parents, you feel pressure to handle that extra work for the good of your family, without a thought to your own stress levels. With kids at summer day camp, you might be able to take a vacation day or a few hours off to grab coffee with a friend, get a manicure, or just have an uninterrupted nap! “Remember, we cannot pour energy into our kids if we have no energy to give,” says Dr.Becky. Maybe it’s time to choose a summer camp and get some of your energy back! Goodness knows the beginning of September will be here before you know it, and you’ll have to reorganize closets and buy school supplies. Why not fill up your cup before you have to tackle all of that?


What’s next?


So, you’ve learned the wonderful benefits of summer camp for your kids – and for you! What’s next? 


Registration is open at many Metro Vancouver camps, including Wonderstruck. Register now for one of our six weeks of programming. Each week features a different storyline, so campers experience something new whether they attend one week - or all six! 


How much does Wonderstruck cost?


Four-day session: $275

Five-day session: $300

LIT (Leaders in Training option for older kids): $175/ week

Before and aftercare is available for $60/week 


Check out the FAQs on our home page for more information on Wonderstruck!

11 views0 comments
1
2
bottom of page