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St. Timothy Lutheran Church CCC to offer green thumb classes at first summer camp

Sat, Jun 17th 2017 07:00 am
By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
New garden boxes at St. Timothy Lutheran Child Care Center are signs of a new program growing at the school.
Laura Chiddy, the director of the center, said the school, located at the corner of Staley and Stony Point roads, is now enrolling students in its first-ever summer camp program that features gardening, water play and on-site field trips.
The school built new garden boxes with some manpower and 30 bags of dirt last Friday. Campers will plant cucumbers, zucchini, beans, as well as blueberry bushes, with space for more.
"We'll be out in the garden every day in a group, so they'll practice planting, they'll do weeding, they'll do harvesting, and they'll actually cook some of their harvest," Chiddy said.
Every week of summer camp will have a theme and conclude with a big event, like a "camp-in" rather than a camp out, or a visit from the Niagara University Repertory Theater, Chiddy said.
The summer camp, open to infants from 18 months to 8 years old, will help kids get back to a slower-paced lifestyle, Chiddy explained.
"Today, a lot of the kids are really overstimulated with technology. They do that all the time now, in front of the TV or on the iPad," Chiddy said. "And this is kind of bringing them back to simple activities. This teaches them patience, teaches them self-control, how to be careful with a fragile plant, and really how to just care for living things, which is important."
The camp is in keeping with St. Timothy Lutheran's mission, as well.
"We're a Christian-based center, so we believe in caring for God's creation and teaching the kids from a young age to respect their environment," Chiddy said.
Another bonus of the summer camp is its scheduling, Chiddy said. Whereas most centers charge for a whole week, whether students can attend every day, "Our summer camp is super-flexible," she said. "They can sign up for one week, they can sign up for a couple weeks, or they can sign up for the whole summer. You could even sign up for days."
Flexibility in scheduling is designed "to fit what their family's needs are."
Center hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the summer, with breakfast, lunch and a snack.

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