Written by SYEP intern Alaa Elasmar
It was a beautiful day at Wagner College, the sun engulfed the campus making the birds chirp with happiness. The summer camp children were gathered together at the Coffee House (the summer camp hang out) celebrating this week’s theme: “Under the Sea." Since I am a big Disney fan, the first thing that came to my mind was the iconic song from “The Little Mermaid”. When I arrived at the Coffee House that day, the children were preparing to paint wooden treasure chests. I was immediately excited to see what each camper would come up with. One of the girls there, named Cora, used green and purple paints to color her treasure chest. Cora’s treasure chest was the first to grab my attention because the colors were familiar to me. Later, Cora confirmed that these colors were based off of the popular Disney movie “The Little Mermaid.”
The Little Mermaid wasn't the only movie that the children decided to use to inspire their art work, they were also inspired by “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Last Unicorn”. Even though the latter has nothing to do with the sea, camper Reagan’s “The Last Unicorn”-inspired artwork reminded me of mermaids (unicorns and mermaids are technically both mythical creatures, falling under the same category, after all.) While some chests were movie-inspired, there were others that were completely innovative including Kit’s “Sunset by the Sea,” and a chest styled with Microsoft Windows colors only.
Each camper had a unique idea and put their grand imagination on display. From what the camp counselors told me about these children before I met them, I could tell that they are self sufficient and don’t require help from anyone. After spending some time with them, I can tell that this is completely true as they showed themselves to be completely independent.
Assistant Camp Director Erica planned a new theme for each week to encourage the children’s creativity and innovation in different ways. Themed weeks are also helpful in fostering new conversations and friendships as new children join the group each week. This week, the theme proves to our campers that life at Wagner College Summer Camp is sweet under and over the sea...jokes on you, Sebastian.