CCDS Summer Camps Break Attendance Record

Ruth Kramer

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By Ruth Kramer ’18, Co-Editor-In-Chief

A record-breaking 821 kids attended Cincinnati Country Day School’s summer camps this year, despite facilities that were closed for construction. These numbers are surprising and will set an impressive precedent for years to come, according to Aaron Kellenberger, director of enrollment management, who oversees the camps.

Those who run the camps were “amazed” because some of the facilities that the camps heavily rely on were under construction, Mr. Kellenberger said. The pool and north gym were being torn down, the amphitheater construction was just finishing, the school was being re-carpeted, and new LED lightbulbs were being put in. Many of the things that usually are open and ready for use were closed and being worked on. That’s why these numbers are so impressive, because they were so unexpected. Director of CCDSummer Camps, Tina Moulin, says that these numbers are “a testament to the quality of the programming, staff, and the attention provided from registration to course completion.” And Mr. Kellenberger predicts that next year, when the school has two gyms and a pool to use again, “the numbers will go up even more.”

Country Day’s summer camps, which offer programs for children 18 months through 6th grade, have always been successful. Mr. Kellenberger and Ms. Moulin attribute the success of the CCDSummer Camps to the blend of academics and fun in these programs. “[CCDS camps] during the summer are a great blend of the summer experience as well as the academic experience. We have a big push to get the kids outside more. It’s not just a class—it’s fun,” said Mr. Kellenberger. “[The kids] need to take nature walks and be in the dirt. Even kids that go to CCDS get to experience more of the outside part of it.” But Ms. Moulin also believes that these camps are important for the growth of each child and that these camps “encourage discovery, and create a community that instills a strong sense of self.”

CCDS partners with certain organizations for the interests of every child. A week when water fun is all the rage is great for some, but a week when Youth Digital teaches them about designing video games or coding is great for others. CCD is “an attractive spot” for partnerships such as the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department (CCM) or Miami University’s summer reading program that brought in several hundred students. Mr. Kellenberger says that these programs really start to get big and bring in more students after a couple of years: “It’s like 9th and 12th graders. They grow during the years and are built up. The summer camps come in for a year or so and they get very big after a few years.”

These camps are definitely a fun summer experience. So much so that almost too many kids want to be a part of it. “[CCDS] and the summer camps are mirroring each other. There were waitlists and participant caps on some of the camps. [Having] a waitlist in some grades becomes an extension of that,” Mr. Kellenberger says. He also added that he believes numbers will go up even more in the future (because many of the facilities CCDS has will be back in operation) and this year set a strong precedent for many years to come.

But what about students on our campus? How does this affect a sophomore in high school or a rising 8th grader? Well, once a student has passed the 6th grade, they can be a junior counselor and according to Ms. Moulin, upper school students can even be paid for being lifeguards or assistant counselors for the summer camps (if this is something you’d be interested in, Ms. Moulin recommends applying for the job in the spring). Or, if money is not quite what you’re after, Ms. Moulin says that upper school students can also get volunteer hours for their work and time. Mr. Kellenberger said that while some high schoolers like to help out to work at the camps, “a large amount of college students come back and [work at the camps] during the summer.”

One thing is for sure: Country Day is always busy. Whether filled with students for classes in November or filled with children for summer camps in July, the CCD campus is always a fun place to be. Mr. Kellenberger says, “Students are here all year long. It’s a lot more exciting when kids are on campus playing and learning.”