This summer, let your kids jump into world of Harry Potter
May 09, 2018 01:59PM
● By Holly Vasic
Learning to care for magical creatures makes this little girl smile when others may scream. (Courtesy of Kim Bouck)
By Holly Vasic | [email protected]
The wizarding world of Harry Potter will be sweeping down upon Holladay and Kaysville this summer with imagination, fun and life lessons not to be forgotten. Kids will be immersed in the magic at a Harry Potter Academy summer camp that all began with a mother trying to teach her children to love reading.
Kim Bouck, the camp creator, had heard of a teacher in Logan that ran a similar summer camp [AC1] for 18 years and thought, “I’ll just do it for my son and his friends,” since her son loved the Harry Potter books so much. They started reading the books together when he was 8. The camp has grown from 80 kids to 250 in three years.
Bouck’s other big motivator is her second son, who has special needs. She knew that by running the camp herself he would be able to attend. Bouck seeks to work with children of any abilities so they can have fun and attend the camp. Depending on the child’s needs they will have their own camp counselor assigned to them, or in the words of Harry Potter, a prefect. According to the Harry Potter Wiki, www.harrypotter.wikia.com, “A prefect at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a student who has been given extra authority and responsibilities by the Head of House and Headmaster.” Bouck hires enough prefects for a 1:10 ratio, except for the special needs children, who each have their own prefect. With their assigned prefect the children are then divided into houses, just like in the books, and Bouck said they become very attached and have a lot of house pride. “It seems that the kids end up where they have these characteristics,” Bouck said about the houses. For example, Harry’s house in the book is Gryffindor, whose characteristic is bravery.
Before starting the camp, Bouck’s only experience with children came from being a mom. “I’m a lawyer believe, it or not,” Bouck said, laughing. She works part time for the state, and never imagined doing something like running a camp for kids. Bouck recalled the first year and how exhausting it was to get everything together before the camp even started, but now she has been able to streamline the process a little more.
“We bring castle walls in,” Bouck said, along with other props. “We try to make it as realistic as possible in a muggle setting.”
Bouck said the camp is very supply intensive with all the crafts they do, costumes, scenery and so on. Jackson Payne, camp attendee, said, “Going to this camp is almost like you’re in the book.” Bouck’s hard work of bringing the pages to life has really paid off, from the wizard robes to witchcraft wands and everything enchanted in between.
Many parts of the fictional world from the books and movies are implemented into the camp. The instructors get into character and play different teachers from the books and movies, such as care of magical creatures, where a handler brings reptiles and the kids get to do things like hold snakes, or divination, in which they learn to read tea leaves and other future telling magic. And of course, it wouldn’t be Harry Potter without a Quidditch match. Cullen VanDenBerghe, another camp attendee, said, “My favorite subjects were Quidditch, care of magical creatures and wand-making. I liked learning how to take care of the creatures. I liked playing on the Quidditch team with the other kids.”
Parents love the camp, too. Mom Kair Sikorski said, “My kids loved this camp so much. I can’t even tell you how proud they were to put on their robes every morning, pick up their wands and go to camp. They told me every activity they did all the way home. This camp inspired my twins — fourth grade — to read Harry Potter for the first time, and they were so excited they read a book every few days. This is by far the best summer camp we have had them in, ever. They will always remember it.”
Every year, thus far, a different book has been the theme. This year will be “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” The summer camp will take place in Holladay Monday through Thursday, June 4 to the 21, at Morningside Elementary School, 4170 S. 3000 East, and Monday through Friday, July 9 to the 20, in Kaysville at Jefferson Academy, 1425 S. Angel St., from 9 a.m. to noon at both locations. For more information and to register, go to harrypotteracademy.com soon. Space is limited.