STEUBENVILLE - Renee Dziewatkoski enjoyed her College Camp for Kids at Eastern Gateway Community College experience so much that she came back as a volunteer this week.
The Catholic Central High School senior attended the camp for nine years in her younger years.
"I know how much fun I had when I was coming to this class. I want these kids to have the same fun I did. This is my way of giving back to the community," explained Dziewatkoski.
DESIGN WORK — Second-graders Jordan Miller, left, of Steubenville and Liam O’Brien of Steubenville used water paint and a candle to make designs Wednesday at the College Camp for Kids at Eastern Gateway Community College. -- Dave Gossett
Part of her volunteers duties this week included teaching second-graders how to use a candle and water paint to make designs on paper.
"I am having so much fun doing this," said youngster Savannah Grey of Brilliant.
According to Liam O'Brien of Steubenville, "you take a candle and draw a design. Then you paint over it and the design comes out. This is my favorite class."
The second-graders are among 65 pupils from grades kindergarten through eighth who are attending the 20th-annual College Camp for Kids all this week.
"That has been a pretty steady number for us the past several years. We offer nine different classes for the kids. They see friends they may not have seen since school let out and they meet new friends. And these classes get them into the mood for school that starts in a few weeks," Camp Director Hallie Barcalow explained.
"Our courses include summer games, karate, origami, reading and writing, all about animals, crazy crafts, sign language, music and drama and using your imagination," noted Barcalow.
In a nearby classroom, instructor Danni Carroll was encouraging her first-graders to try their eye patches, but only Marco Orecchio of Steubenville was willing to play the role of a pirate.
"Remember pirates never say please and they never say thank you," Carroll told her class.
Lea Riggs of Toronto finally agreed to put on her eye patch but said she didn't like pirates.
"But I like to use my imagination," cited Riggs.
"We also learned about animals. I like that class the most," said Riggs.
"I have fun teaching the kids. And this week gets me in the mood for the school year. They teach me as much as I teach them. We also had a tea party Tuesday where we tried different teas and cookies," Carroll related.
"I liked the regular sweet tea the best," said Riggs.
Kindergarten pupil Sam Gilman of Steubenville said he had fun all week, "because I came here because I wanted to. I am already signed up for next year because I like it so much. I also like playing with the toys, especially the Star Wars toys."
"We are making metal fish with fins, a tail and a mouth," said 5-year-old Jordan Crew of Steubenville.
"And I made an animal of a rock," he added.
"The camp is for children entering grades kindergarten through the eighth grade. It is always held the first week of August and is sort of a last hurrah for the kids before they return to school," Barcalow explained.
"The teachers come up with the class ideas. We could not do this class every year without these teachers because they are great. And while they are teaching this week they are already thinking of ideas for next year," said Barcalow.
"This is truly one of my favorite weeks of the year because I love interacting with the kids," said Barcalow.
(Gossett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)