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March 2018

Spanish immersion Page 48

Special needs Page 40

Animal Humane Society Page 32

Private school camps for all Page 56


Chickpea snacks

Page 52


Page 30

Page 44

My good-enough marriage

Theater Page 36

Page 22

K is for Kegels! Page 14 Madelyn of Fairmont

INSIDE: 100+ Camp Listings! Page 64

At Broders’ Pasta Bar, we’re about much more than great pasta …


hat’s why we’ve partnered with two very special organizations doing amazing things for people with Down syndrome and their families—Jack’s Basket and the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota.

Broders’ Pasta Bar donates 10% of all proceeds from our children’s menu—“Kit’s Menu”—to these incredible organizations. Kit’s Menu features pared-down versions of some of our most delicious and kid-friendly pasta dishes.

Kathleen ‘Kit’ Broder, first grandchild of the Broder family, is an avid pasta eater and Italian food enthusiast! Kit was also born with Down syndrome. It’s our goal to celebrate Kit and all children in the Down syndrome community.

612.925.9202 | 5000 Penn Ave S / Minneapolis, MN 55419




















It is the mission of the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota to empower individuals and families, to create community and celebrate the abilities of people with Down syndrome.

2 0 1 4


E S T .









Jack’s Basket has a mission to celebrate babies born with Down syndrome. They strive to ensure that every new and expectant parent is provided resources and avenues of support within the community, while aiming to educate medical providers on how to discuss the diagnosis in an unbiased way.






Set it up

Care for animals

Bethel Volleyball coaches and players share their expertise at summer camps.

Camps with the Animal Humane Society give kids a look into the adoption process, veterinary life and the science behind seemingly mysterious animal behaviors.




Fly high

Build with bricks

Bask in summer

Kids with special needs learn confidence and social skills at Camp of Champs near Park Rapids, Minnesota.

Snapology of Minneapolis helps kids learn science, technology, engineering and math skills while making their own creations.

Did you know many local private schools, such as The Blake School, open their summer programming to the public?


March 2018 •




Dance and sing

Speak Spanish

Kids build confidence — and community — while learning theater skills at Youth Performance Company in Minneapolis.

The local Spanish-immersion preschool Casa de CorazÓn also offers summer camps for school-age kids.

60 Packing for camp Letting your kid fill his own suitcase for overnight camp — with parent supervision — is the best policy. This method ensures your child will know where to find his underwear.

About our cover kid Name: Madelyn Age: 7 City: Fairmont Parents: Zach and Jamie Campbell Siblings: Grayson, 4, and Weston, 18 months Personality: Silly, sweet and bubbly Favorite toys: American Girl everything Favorite book: Billie B. Brown Favorite activities: Dancing! Favorite food: Nachos

Photos by Sheryl Olson Photography / Want to see your kid on the cover? Find out how at

MCAD MNP 0318 V3.indd 1 • March 2018


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I can’t imagine sending my kid to overnight camp. But it’s probably time to give it a shot!

Life moves fast: Help your kids keep up with this essential skill.


Fresh stories

Letting go

Gifts for teens A new subscription box is helping parents connect with their girls. 14 BUMP, BIRTH AND BABY

Kegels explained Do you really need to add these exercises to your daily routine? 16 THE UNCENSORED TODDLER

Getting real

Moms share their preferred ways to practice self-care. 18 SCHOOL DAYS

Mindfulness in blogging See how one mama found gratitude in sharing her life online. 20 TEENS AND TWEENS


How are your teens expanding their horizons this year? 22 #ADULTING

Happily married? Decide what really matters. And stop talking about the kids, money and your in-laws. 24 ASK THE OBGYN

More than wine Don’t let your physical and emotional needs go unnoticed. Follow any one of these 10 tips to keep on top of your own health.


March 2018 •

Executive function 28 BOOKSHELF

Break out of your bedtime rut with these sweet tales for children. 30 IN THE KITCHEN

Boom. Chickpeas! Spice it up with a snack that’s packed with protein power. 82 FROM OUR READERS

Bright stars

Strong, smart and fearless, your girls know how to rock!

17 PLUS! Dolls for all We love these guy dolls — designed to feel like action figures and stuffed animals — and their matching outfits for kids!


64 Camp L ISTIN G S

& About 74 Out CA LEN DA R

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PUBLISHER Janis Hall SALES MANAGER AND CO-PUBLISHER Terry Gahan GENERAL MANAGER Zoe Gahan EDITOR Sarah Jackson CONTRIBUTORS Megan Devine, Ed Dykhuizen Victoria Hein, Shannon Keough, Sue LeBreton Tina Mortimer, Sheryl Olson, Ethan Schwehr Dr. Erin Stevens, Jodie Tweed, Kaitlin Ungs Olivia Volkman-Johnson, Jen Wittes Jennifer Wizbowski CREATIVE DIRECTOR Valerie Moe SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Micah Edel GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kaitlin Ungs CLIENT SERVICES Delaney Patterson 612-436-5070 • CIRCULATION Marlo Johnson 612-436-4388 • ADVERTISING 612-436-4360 • 45,000 copies of Minnesota Parent are printed monthly, available at news stands statewide. Get Minnesota Parent mailed to your home for just $18 a year. Call 612-825-9205 for more information.

Minnesota Parent (ISSN 0740 3437) is published monthly by Minnesota Premier Publications. POSTMASTER send address changes to: MINNESOTA PARENT, 1115 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403. Minnesota Parent is copyright 2018 by Minnesota Premier Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Address all material to address above.

Letting go I

’m a big fan of the phenomenon of “camp.” Camp, as I’ve known it so far with my son, doesn’t look anything like the camps I knew as a kid — involving two weeks spent away in the woods in rustic cabins with counselors, swim buddies and campfire songs. To me, modern-day camp is day camp — a glorious (if somewhat costly) invention created to help parents work full-time during June, July and August while still having their children close to home, occupied and maybe even “enriched.” Day camp is like daycare on steroids with awesome themes (think everything from LEGO Star Wars to Cupcake Wars), amazing activities (Adventures in Photo by Tracy Walsh / Cardboard comes to mind) and even overnight-esque day camps that are actually held in the wilderness and include traditional camp activities like singalongs, canoeing and horseback riding (Camp Christmas Tree by the YMCA). All these camps, many of which my son has attended during the past four years, have the distinct advantage of allowing your kid to come home at night. Here’s the thing about this year, though. My son is now 9, soon to be 10. And, during the past few years, I’ve talked to fellow parents who have sent their kids away for not one week away at camp, but two or three or FOUR. And guess what? They loved it! But I can’t imagine sending my kid away for that long! Away from his mom AND dad! Sure, the parents I talked to said their kids struggled at first, but then they fell in love and grew as humans. In this magazine — our annual Camp Issue! — there’s a story about packing for camp in which one mom talks about her son’s week at camp. It turns out he wore the same underwear and socks ALL WEEK because he didn’t see the zippered pocket his mom had filled with these items. Did reading this help me feel more confident? Not really. But the writer mom dives into the issue of parental control, too: Let go, she says. “If your child calls crying for you to come and get him, steel yourself and repeat that you’re confident in his ability to manage. Then speak to the head counselor to assess the situation. This happened to us the first year our son attended camp. But he worked through it (so did Mom and Dad) and he felt quite proud and independent when he completed his first week at camp.” Independence. That’s what overnight camp is all about, right? I know she’s right. Now I just need to find the right camp. Thank goodness I have this issue. I hope you find it useful, too, as you navigate your summer planning — no matter what path you choose. Sarah Jackson, Editor


MARCH 2018 •

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Positivity for teens

Communicating with tween and teen girls isn’t always easy — even if you’re their parents! That’s partly why we love the Strong Self(ie) box, brought to you by two Chicago moms on a mission to counteract the tricky culture teens face today, including negative comments on social media and even bullying. Their new quarterly subscription service features positive, purposeful items that are truly on trend with the interests of today’s teens. Boxes — in addition to super-cool gifts and accessories focused on fashion, health, beauty, smarts and inner strength — include Kindness Cards for girls to give to friends. Best of all, they also include little Instagram-style square cards (in a separate envelope) that give parents cooler ways to say: I’m so proud of you! I love you. You got this! Bloom boxes cater to 8- to 12-year-olds; Burst boxes are geared toward ages 13 and up. Mailed in March, June, September and December, each box includes at least $100 worth of merchandise, but costs only $59.95 (


March 2018 •

A new CD for families Looking to spice things up in the music department with your kids? Go global with Siama Matuzungidi, an acclaimed Minneapolis-based musician originally from Democratic Republic of the Congo, along with his musical and life partner Dallas M. Johnson. On March 23, the couple — “Papa Siama” and “Auntie Dallas” (below) — will release of The Land of Yangalele, featuring gentle, happy rumba songs with traditional African instruments and harmonies in English, Swahili, Lingala and Kikongo. This spring, you can even check out their world music in person with a series of public family concerts all around the state, including a performance April 12 at Midtown Global Market and an April 15 CD release party at The Hook and Ladder, both in Minneapolis. Find a full concert list at

Jen Wittes


K is for Kegels! Y

ou might live your whole life without hearing about, thinking about or reading about Kegel exercises; and then — you get pregnant. Suddenly they’re a part of your doctor’s recommendations, woven into your yoga class, insisted upon with grave intensity and warnings of reproductive organs spilling out onto the floor from a severely weakened pelvic floor. For those new to this very personal, yet popular, pregnancy and postpartum discussion topic, let’s start with the basics: What is a Kegel exercise? And what’s all the fuss about?

What are they? Kegels are named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, the 1950s gynecologist responsible for developing a tool for measuring the strength of the pelvic floor muscles (the perineometer). He was also the guy who came up with specific exercises to strengthen this group of muscles. Though there are different ways to do Kegels — which the good doctor also

Many women are doing Kegels wrong. To contract the muscles, you must squeeze and pull them up and inward — like one of those token games where a claw grabs a toy and pulls it up. 14

March 2018 •

associated with more frequent and intense orgasms for women — they’re often described as the muscle contraction needed to stop the flow of urine. This is a good starting point in figuring out what the heck you’re supposed to do while working your pelvic floor. Variations include 1) a slow pulling in of this muscle, holding it for a certain amount of time and slowly releasing it and 2) the elevator method, in which the woman contracts the vaginal canal in a series of stops or pauses as if on an up-going elevator. (A comprehensive list of exercises can be found at the Dr. Sears website at

Wait: Weights? There are even weights for doing Kegels! You heard me! I spoke with Amanda Olson, the pelvic physical therapist at

Intimate Rose, one of the leading Kegel weights companies. “Kegel weights are beneficial for several reasons,” she said. “First and foremost, many women are doing Kegels wrong. To contract the muscles, you must squeeze and pull them up and inward — like one of those token games where a claw grabs a toy and pulls it up. Many women are pushing down on the muscles instead of pulling up.” Olson went on to say that not only are the weights educational, in that they teach a woman which muscles to use, they’re also progressive. Intimate Rose weights come in increasingly heavier weights. You work up to a certain weight-lifting capability, just as you would with any exercise program. (There’s even a private Facebook group for users.) Many birth professionals (myself

included) appreciate the benefits of Kegels, but usually recommend a more varied path to pelvic floor health that includes other exercises, adequate sleep and good nutrition and hydration.

Don’t overdo it Kate Andrew, a Northfield-based certified professional midwife and founder of Southern Minnesota Midwifery, said Kegels are just one small aspect of good pelvic floor health and can actually be overdone. “If they are the only thing you are doing for your pelvic floor or you are doing them in excess, you will be working your muscles in one specific way, over and over again, which actually results in a weakening of the pelvic floor,” she said. “We need variety — such as also adding squats and stretching.” Indeed, biomechanics expert Katy Bowman argues that alignment and adjacent muscle strength — not Kegels

— are what make a strong pelvic floor. Her video, Down There: For Women, offers an “easy-to-follow protocol for stretching and strengthening the muscles that keep the pelvis aligned, allowing the pelvic floor to operate less like a hammock and more like a trampoline.” (Read a fascinating anti-Kegel interview with Bowman at

Where does this leave us? I think it’s important to have an awareness of Kegels, especially if you’re actually experiencing issues with leakage. I also agree with Andrew, however, that a great many things can help with our pelvic health — yoga, Pilates, breathing, water, warm tea, salt baths and a healthy sexual relationship, too. Jen Wittes is a certified postpartum doula and writer who now works in marketing and communications. She lives in St. Paul with her husband, two kids and two cats. Send questions or comments to jwittes@



The University of Minnesota is seeking women who are currently less than 20 weeks pregnant to participate in a research study examining the effect of exercise and wellness on mood following childbirth.

We Specialize in Them


Teething jewelry

Move over, Chewbeads! (Wait. Don’t. We still love you, too.) But check out the new bakery-treat baby-chew bling from Loulou Lollipop, including teething necklaces and clippable teether pendants made with silicone and wood elements in soft, gorgeous pastel colors. $25 •

ESTUDIO SOBRE EL EJERCICIO DURANTE EL EMBARAZO La Universidad de Minnesota está buscando mujeres con menos de 20 semanas de embarazo para participar en el estudio de investigación que examina los efectos del ejercicio y la salud del estado de ánimo posterior al parto

• Program delivered to you via the mail and phone

• Programa ejecutado vía correo o teléfono

• Must be 18 years of age or older

• Debe ser mayor o igual a 18 años de edad

• Must not currently exercise regularly

• No debe hacer ejercicio regularmente

• Must not take antidepressants

• No debe tomar antidepresivos

Moms Emotional Coping Skills Group

• You will receive $100 & a FitBit for your time (you will be allowed to keep the FitBit after the study is over)

• Usted recibirá $100 y un FitBit por su tiempo (será permitido quedarse con el FitBit después de la culminación del estudio)

Miscarriage Support Group

• Program can be delivered in English or Spanish

• Debe considerarse de bajos ingresos, lo cual se define como:

Helping Parents Create a Healthy Foundation for a Healthy Family

• Must be considered low-income, defined as:

Couples Counseling & Parenting

- Enrollment in any government assisted program (e.g., WIC, SNAP)

Work-Life Balance

AND/OR Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

- Annual income that is considered low (less than $45,510 for a family of four, less than $30,044 for a family of two, and less than $22,311 if single). English: Call or TEXT to 612-345-0325 or to see if you qualify for this research study.

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- Inscripta en cualquier programa asistencial del gobierno (por ejemplo, WIC, SNAP) Y/O - Ingresos anuales considerados como bajos (menos de $ 45,510 para una familia de cuatro, menos de $ 30,044 para una familia de dos y menos de $ 22,311 si es soltera). Español: Llamada o TEXTO 612-237-1004 o para ver si califica para éste estudio.


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2/14/18 11:13 AM • March 2018


Shannon Keough


Real survival strategies to constantly being touched — you may enjoy it at first, but eventually it becomes suffocating.” — Tianna

Claiming (or stealing) time Parenting can be all-encompassing. Getting time for yourself probably won’t happen by accident — you might need to work for it. ⊲⊲“I keep my sanity because my husband and I trade off mornings to sleep in on the weekends, and he forces me to go out at least one weeknight every week. If I didn’t have that time to be ‘just Stace,’ I would’ve lost the entire spark of who I am.” — Stace


n my January column, I wrote about the topic of self-care — in particular, how self-care is not enough. With no guaranteed maternity leave, childcare payments as big as second mortgages and a rising maternal death rate, it’s tough to be a parent in the U.S. I think we need policy and cultural change — not tai chi and coffee dates. That said, I realize change takes time. Meanwhile, we need to live our lives. I wanted to learn how parents these days are coping (like, really coping). So I checked in with friends, acquaintances and my favorite no-bull$hit Facebook mom group, and asked about their survival strategies for dealing with the daily difficulties of parenting. Here’s how some of your peers are getting through their toddler-filled days:


March 2018 •

Just say no Too many commitments? Too much pressure? It might be time to set some boundaries. ⊲⊲“I don’t agree to volunteer for things that I truly don’t like doing. Having more time for the things I love to do is a great stress reliever. I have learned to say no.” — Colleen ⊲⊲“Stay off Pinterest, Facebook and Google where it seems like everyone is parenting ‘better’ than you. No, they aren’t. Everyone is running their own $h!tshow. They’re just not being honest about it.” — Catherine ⊲⊲“Having designated adult space in my home, where the kids can’t leave their toys, is one of the things that keeps me going. For me, this creates mental clarity and visual peace. Having kid clutter overtake everything is akin

⊲⊲“I take PTO when I’m completely healthy and my daughter is in school. I put my feet up and binge-watch Netflix.” — Stacy

Dismissing screen guilt In parenting circles, there tends to be quite a bit of hand-wringing about screen time. But in a world gone mad, sometimes the only thing standing between a mother and a nervous breakdown is five consecutive episodes of Octonauts. ⊲⊲“All the PBS Kids and nature programming on Netflix. I don’t feel a whit of guilt about it if it means I’m not screaming at my kids while burning dinner and forgetting about laundry in the washer.” — Anna ⊲⊲“Technology is my friend and co-parent.” — Kara

Gym childcare ⊲⊲“The two hours of childcare at the Y has been a lifesaver for me as a SAHM.


Boy dolls

All genders should be able, allowed and encouraged to play with all kinds of dolls, of course! But we couldn’t help but love this entry into the boy-doll market: Wonder Crew kids — billed as actionfigure-meets-stuffed-animal sidekicks — were designed by a therapist to promote social-emotional learning. Bonus: They include matching outfits for kids, too! $29.99 •

It motivates me to exercise and gives my son a chance to socialize with other kids and adults. And on those days when I need some time to myself, I just sit in the lobby with my coffee, a good book and zero guilt.” — Michele ⊲ “My one concrete piece of advice — GYM MEMBERSHIP. I’d go nuts without the two hours of childcare and the stress relief of exercise. They’ll have to pry my membership out of my cold, dead, broke single-mom hands.” — Kelly

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Low-key socializing Don’t underestimate the power of getting by with a little help from your friends. ⊲ “A girlfriend and I do ‘basement wine’ once a week after the kids go to bed. It’s lovely to have low-pressure, low-cost time with a friend to remember who I was before all this.” — Anna Shannon Keough lives in St. Paul with her husband and two children. Send questions or comments to • March 2018


A blog of gratitude E

arly on in my parenting journey, between diaper changes and feedings, I found my way to the mama-blog sector of the world wide web. After reading a magazine article that highlighted a crafty, hobby-farming mama (Amanda Blake Soule) and her blog, I took to the Internet and found that — from behind a screen in my own little corner of the world in Northeastern Minnesota — I could peek into the life of a like-minded chicken-tending, crafty mama in Maine. I was immediately encouraged and validated by what she shared on her blog — her writing, her photography and, in particular, her focus on family, joy and gratitude.

A memory log Inspired by Amanda, and a few other mama bloggers I’d come across, I started my own, private, password-protected family blog using the TypePad platform in 2008, when my oldest child was 3 years old. Since then I’ve made it a habit to preserve almost a decade of memories — of my experiences parenting my four children — with photographs and notes in the form of blog posts. When I need a positive boost or reminder of the happiest moments in my

life, I look at the images. I smile, I laugh and yes, sometimes, I cry, reflecting on all the good in my life. These posts, essentially highlight reels of my day-to-day experiences, serve as reminders of all of the beauty in my life, especially on difficult days. Blogging, for me, has been a gratitude practice, in which I’ve made it a habit to share and reflect upon simple, yet extraordinary blessings. Looking back on my posts fills me with gratitude and evokes feelings of joy and love.

Going public Over the past few years, I’ve also created a more public blog — — where I share snapshots and ramblings about my life from my perspective as a mom, educator, outdoor enthusiast and hobby farmer in the Northwoods. I hope readers find some sort inspiration and maybe family enrichment from my experiences. So far, it’s been an amazing avenue of connection for me with people all over the world.


Story-building inspiration

If you’ve got a kid who likes creative writing — or if you’re a teacher of storytelling at any level — The Creativity Project: No Rules. Anything Goes. Awesometastic Storybuilding is for you. A whopping 44 authors and children’s book creators were asked to respond to two different writing “prompts” (challenges) and were then required to submit two prompts of their own for others to try. Geared toward ages 8 to 12, this grand experiment of a book is the inspiring, 250-page result. $16.99 •


March 2018 •

However, a word of caution: When you visit blogs or other social-media sites (especially Facebook and Instagram), be mindful of your thought processes. In a recent study, Seeing Everyone Else’s Highlight Reels: How Facebook Usage is Linked to Depressive Symptoms, published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, researcher Mai-Ly Steers from the University of Houston remarked: “If we’re comparing ourselves to our friends’ ‘highlight reels,’ this may lead us to think their lives are better than they actually are and conversely, make us feel worse about our own lives.”

Focusing on the positive Approaching what and how you post, or how you receive the posts of others with a focus on gratitude, however, can actually be good for you. According to experts at Harvard University, gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships. And making a practice of gratitude a habit is even better: In fact, a one-time act of thoughtful gratitude can produce an immediate 10 percent increase in happiness and a 35 percent reduction in depressive symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health. Such happy effects can disappear within three to six months, however, showing that practicing gratitude must be repeated again and again. I know that blogging as a habit of gratitude has been a great practice for me. I encourage you to approach posting and viewing others’ posts with intention and with focus on the goodness that you see. It could be a prescription for happiness! Megan Devine is an elementary school teacher who lives with her husband and four school-age children in Northeastern Minnesota. • March 2018


Summer with teens


t’s the beginning of the year — and can you believe it? — I have my sleeves rolled up, ready to weave together the doings that quickly fill the 2½-month window of sun (and no formal school) that we know as summer. It seems like just yesterday that my goal for summer planning was to fill their time with scheduled activities to combat boredom monsters, but not so many activities that they wouldn’t have time for unscheduled relaxation and creativity. But with two kids at different ages and stages now on the teen spectrum, I have a few new things to consider. Their sports and extracurricular activities now run year round. Admittedly, this sort of threw me the past couple years. I was left


March 2018 •

feeling like their activity calendars infringed on my right to really plan what I wanted for our family. This year, I’ve decided I’m not letting those desires of mine as their mom get squished out. I can count the number of summers I have left with them both at home on one hand. I plan to consider all of the opportunities and schedules — and not feel guilty about making family time a priority. If it means they miss a game or a practice, so be it. I encourage every parent to do what they feel in their gut is best for their families.

What are your family goals? One of my to-do’s for summer is carving out a family vacation. Those times we’ve

travelled together around the country or across the globe are among my most precious memories. I guess that’s partly because I feel free from day-to-day mothering and I get the opportunity to enjoy them, and experience and discover with them. But I know as they’re growing older they may have their own things they want to experience and discover. What is it that makes summer awesome for them? Is it days of sleeping in and meeting friends spontaneously? What is it they envision doing on our family trip? And what about camp? Does your child look forward to going to a beloved camp every year?

(I did a search on for my daughter and it came up with 487 options!)

Expanding horizons, income My kids have commitments they need to honor — and that I want them to! But summer also provides an opportunity for them to try out an extra sports camp or music lesson to hone their skills. Perhaps there’s something they’ve always wanted to try, but they don’t want to worry about being competitive or graded. Look through your local community education catalog. Every time I do, there always seems to be something there I didn’t notice the last time. For interests like cooking or art, there are cookware shops and museums that offer special programming. Making money may also be a shortterm goal. My 17-year-old son worked bussing tables the past two summers. And although his dad and I said he didn’t have to work during the school year, he liked having his own money so much that he decided to keep his job with reduced hours during the school year.

Resume boosters With college planning around the corner, it may be a perfect time to seek out a volunteer opportunity or an internship. You can find a variety of things in the Twin Cities at Local churches and hospitals are

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perfect if your teen is seeking a serviceminded opportunity. Youth groups and nonprofit organizations tend to have special summer programs or trips planned with teens in mind. Leadership training can come with those opportunities. But programs like Outward Bound ( and National Outdoor Leadership School ( take it a step further to encourage personal growth with a leadership focus. Bonus: The latter structures its trips to be used later for college credit. Summer programs with iD Tech (idtech. com) include STEM camps (coding, game development, robotics or design) for ages 7 to 19 at 150 prestigious campuses — from Macalester in St. Paul to the University of Hong Kong. All of the above options are also ideal for college resumes. After talking it through, we’ve narrowed our family’s to-do list to include summer rugby, the tail end of the soccer season, teaching our daughter to drive, part-time jobs (maybe for both kids), a service trip, a trip to Wales/Scotland, high-school sports tryouts, family visiting for a week and jumping on the backyard trampoline. It’s going to be one terrific summer. Please note: This is my final Teens & Tweens column. It has been a privilege to share my parenting journey with you for the past 3½ years. Thank you, Minnesota Parent, for giving me this opportunity. But as my teens grow and move on, so must I.


Investing advice

Kids: Would you rather have a million dollars now or a penny that doubles every day for 30 days? If you answered a million dollars, then you need to meet Maya Peterson of St. Paul. The 15-year-old’s blog (compoundingsnowballs.blogspot. com) and new book — Early Bird: The Power of Investing Young — explains why the penny is the better option (it will net you $5 million by Day 30 and $10 million by Day 31) among other lessons for moneysavvy teens. $13.99 •

2/7/18 1:15 PM • March 2018


Tina Mortimer


A good-enough marriage


n a few weeks, it will be 12 years since my husband and I stood in front of a Bahamian minister — in what was generously described by our travel agent as a “garden,” next to the swim-up bar at an all-inclusive resort — and said our “I do’s.” It’s hard to believe it’s been 12 years since either of us made out with a stranger in a club, wondered how we got home the night before or worried we were pregnant without wanting to be. But here we are! Two kids, three dogs and hundreds of loads of laundry later, and we’re still married. I thought I’d share some tips on how we’ve managed to stay that way.*

Diversify your chats Keep a running list of conversation topics that don’t involve kids, money or your in-laws.


March 2018 •

My husband and I avoid these subjects at all costs when we go out. The reason? They’re too depressing. Also, our daily conversations typically revolve around family, bills or who’s going to pick up the kids from the bus stop. There’s no need to continue these conversations when we’re out to dinner. Having an actual list of stuff to talk about that in no way relates these areas of life prevents arguments — and forces us to be more interesting. More important, it helps us remember who we were before our lives changed so drastically, and why we fell in love in the first place. This isn’t always easy, though. My husband and I ran out of things to talk about roughly a year into our relationship. For real. So whenever we go out, I literally bring a list of conversation starters. This list includes words or simple

phrases to jog my memory about events or news stories worthy of discussion. I keep it in the notes app on my phone, and as soon as the conversation well runs dry, I sneak a peek. I know, it sounds ridiculous. But it beats talking about his plantar fasciitis for the hundredth time.

Air your grievances Keeping a journal is a great way to purge any personal grievances that come up during the day. I like to carry a little reporter’s notebook with me wherever I go, David Sedaris-style. Whenever I notice something that annoys or angers me — crusty, foodcovered dishes left in the sink, for example — and I want to lash out, I channel all that rage onto the blank page. This always seems to make me feel better. More importantly, it prevents me

I learned pretty early that I needed to change my mindset if I wanted to be happy. from sending a knee-jerk reaction text message the moment I see someone forgot to refill the water in the Keurig. Of course, if there’s an ongoing issue, we’ll address it. But most of our bickering doesn’t revolve around a major issue. It’s more about the little things, like whose turn it was to empty the dishwasher.

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Lower your expectations When I was young and single, I had all these ideas in my head about what a marriage should look like. There would be roses and romance and picnics in the park with well-behaved children. (Thanks a lot, Every Romantic Comedy Ever.) But as anyone who’s been married for more than a minute knows, life is messy and imperfect. So I learned pretty early that I needed to change my mindset if I wanted to be happy. And that involved lowering my expectations. After all, it’s unfair to expect my husband to organize the pantry or load the dishwasher the right way my way every time. I had to adjust my expectations. And so I learned not to expect that my marriage would fit the made-up ideals in my mind. I’d be happy if my marriage were just good enough. And so far, it’s exceeded my expectations. *Disclaimer: What works for one couple, might not work for all. For real marriage advice, please see a professional. Tina Mortimer lives in White Bear Lake and is an essayist and a contributing writer for many local publications. Follow her work at • March 2018


Dr. Erin Stevens


Beyond wine and chocolate C

hances are, you’re distracted while reading this. You’re running on a constant underlying level of anxiety while scanning through the never-ending to-do list in your head. I see women of all ages with a variety of life responsibilities every day in the office, and I’ve noted a common theme — we’re all stretched thin and stressed out. Often we’re so busy focusing on the needs of others that we tend to put our own health on the backburner and forget to take care of ourselves. My grandmother overlooked symptoms of uterine cancer because she was so busy caring for others and didn’t want to be a burden to anyone else. She ultimately passed away less than a year after her diagnosis, and her unnecessary death was a huge factor in my decision to become an OBGYN and help women be healthy in all aspects of life, including self-care. But self-care — which has become an overused expression as of late — isn’t about eating chocolate, drinking wine or visiting a spa. While it certainly can include indulging in favorite treats and activities geared toward being pampered, self-care should embody small daily — if not hourly — acts of mindfulness and paying close attention to your body’s needs. Here are a few simple steps for better self-care.

Move: Perhaps you can’t fit in your full desired workout every day, but you can get moving. Walk during your lunch break. Dance while you brush your teeth. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stretch while you sit at your desk. Your body will thank you for these little additions to your activity level. Stop: Take 5 to 10 minutes when you first wake up or before you go to bed to do absolutely nothing. Sit or lie down, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Clear your worries from your mind as best you can. This can make for a refreshing start to the day or “reset” at the end of it. Eat: Make one small change to your routine diet. If a frozen pizza seems like the only meal you can possibly prepare, that’s fine. But try to eliminate one frozen pizza night (or whatever your biggest “bad food habit” equivalent is) each month. Add breakfast if it’s a meal you’ve always avoided — it’s easy to eat a banana on the go. Replace chips at lunch with fruit or veggies. Skip dessert. Most important: Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t try to starve yourself, and don’t eat for other reasons.

Self-care should embody small daily — if not hourly — acts of mindfulness and paying close attention to your body’s needs. 24

March 2018 •

Hydrate: Give your body the water it craves! Keep a bottle of water with you as much as possible, and refill whenever you can. If you need more flavor, there are lots of sparkling-water and water-flavoring options. Vent: Certainly don’t complain all the time, but make sure not to bottle up your thoughts and emotions. Call your mom or your best friend. Talk to your partner. Some people benefit significantly from seeing a therapist; even if there’s not one specific issue or event to discuss, sorting things out with an unbiased person can do wonders. Compliment: Say three positive things about yourself every morning. Keep track of compliments others give you, rather than brushing them off or being self-deprecating in response, and say them to yourself (ideally while looking the mirror). Smile: Do one thing every day for the sole purpose of your happiness. Run, cook, read, look at animal pictures on the Internet, play an instrument, watch your favorite show. Do whatever it is that helps make you uniquely you, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Modify: Life can lose its luster when we become stuck on autopilot in a strict routine. Wear a bold outfit. Take an alternative route on your daily commute. Try a new recipe. Listen to a different radio station. Mix it up! Conquer: I’m sure you still remember that never-ending to-do list. Take a good look at it. Each month, complete one task — either a big need or a big want — that’s been on there for far too long. You’ll gain a sense of control and minimize that helpless feeling that can come from being overwhelmed. Do it! Rest: Please get your shuteye. Studies continue to reveal the detrimental effects of insufficient sleep. Although it may seem laughably impossible to ever achieve the recommended amount of sleep (7 to 8 hours nightly), ease toward that goal. Identify the little time-wasters in your day that you can eliminate so you can fit in a power nap, go to bed earlier or sleep in a little longer.

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You can’t do everything. That’s okay. No matter what your social media feeds may suggest, no one gets to have a perfect, balanced life all the time. Do what you can when you can. That’s all you (or anyone else) can ask of yourself. Dr. Erin Stevens sees patients at the Edina location of Clinic Sofia, a local OBGYN clinic known for its personalized approach to women’s health care. She’s a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Learn more at

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Ethan Schwehr


Getting from point A to B I

t seems like the pace of life is increasing every day. While some of us may greet life in the fast lane with open arms, others are left struggling to acclimate quickly. Children with executive functioning problems (or other disorders, such as anxiety or ADHD) can face special challenges, particularly at school. Here’s a look at what might be going on behind the scenes — and what to do about it — with children who struggle with executive functioning.

Struggling to keep up Executive functioning disorders involve the challenge of getting from point A to point B. Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, anxiety and depression are all possible causes of problems with executive functioning. A child’s age is also a factor because as the brain develops, executive functioning skills generally improve. While some executive functioning challenges are first identified during the middle school years, they can be a part of a child’s life throughout elementary school. In middle school, the shift from a nurturing, stable classroom environment with a single supportive elementary teacher to a multi-classroom learning experience can mean a child has to put organizational and independent study skills to work for the first time. It can become more difficult for some

kids to stay organized and on top of their new class and homework schedules. Children depend on their executive functioning abilities for some of the most basic parts of their daily schedules — and for some of the most complicated. It involves memory, focusing, prioritizing, planning, organizing, self-monitoring and self-control. What many adults take for granted — creating a plan, initiating action and following through — takes a level of focus that challenges many kids, even those who are developing well.

STUDY UP Attend a workshop titled ADHD and Executive Functioning with Holly West Jones, an ADHD coach and educator, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 17 at Groves Academy in St. Louis Park. Cost is $15 per person for the public. Find more workshops at


March 2018 •

But if a child has an executive functioning disorder, seemingly everyday routines can feel impossible to complete.

The anxiety piece Executive functioning can be affected by a child’s emotional state, too. Symptoms of anxiety and depression can have a large impact on a child’s ability to regulate behaviors, emotions and attention. Anxiety can lead to academic or social challenges that are difficult to recover from — and when coupled with an executive functioning disorder, daily functioning can be even more impaired. Anxiety commonly co-occurs with other conditions or factors. For instance, constant worry about reading aloud could actually stem from a learning disorder;

fretting about a test might be traced back to an inability to focus in class and feel properly prepared. So even if anxiety seems to be specific to a situation, it’s important to dig deeper and identify any possible associations with learning and/or attention issues.

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Finding help Anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders. However, there are immediate, shortterm strategies that can help an anxious child even before any diagnostic tests are applied, such as a healthy diet, regular exercise and sleep, meditation, an improved routine and limiting screen time to no more than two hours a day. These strategies are healthy approaches that can work for any child, including those with anxiety. Seeking out a therapist also offers an opportunity to assess the causes of anxiety and can help identify situations that might be triggers for a child. Indeed, a competent and qualified therapist will be able to provide strategies and resources for children and their families that can lead to improvement with overall daily functioning. Groves Academy in St. Louis Park, Minnesota’s only established independent school for children with learning disabilities and attention disorders, also offers a wide variety of diagnostic assessments for students of all ages in the Twin Cities as well as a workshop series. When families gain access to a variety of coping strategies and support, anxiety and executive functioning disorders can be diagnosed and handled quickly. In this ever-changing society, let’s make sure our children are getting from point A to point B.

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Ethan Schwehr is a licensed psychologist at The Learning Center at Groves Academy in St. Louis Park, which offers expertise in literacy, dyslexia, study skills and more. Groves serves the Twin Cities through its school as well as outreach and teachertraining programs. • March 2018


Kaitlin Ungs


Grab-bag books

Just when we think we’ve seen it all in the world of children’s lit, we’re surprised yet again by fresh new story lines — and incredible illustrations — that we just can’t resist! Check out these enchanting tales for some entirely new ways to look at the world.

The Word Collector

A Chip Off the Old Block

Lots of people like to gather things — for Jerome, it’s words, big and small, simple and complex. He loves how they look on paper, how they sound and how they describe things, too. So he sings, writes poems and shares all the words he finds with friends (and then the world).

Rocky takes a journey around the world to see his impressive rock-star relatives until he finds his place in the world — in a crack in Lincoln’s nose at Mount Rushmore. This is a true find if you are looking for a silly story about rocks and can appreciate a good pun. In the back, you’ll find Rocky’s family tree with a geologic explanation of each — Mount Etna in Italy, The Wave in Arizona and Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, among others.

Ages 4–8 • $17.99

Ages 5–8 • $17.99

Rabbit Moon When you make your bedtime wishes, they fly up to Rabbit who lives on the moon. Rabbit grinds the wishes into stardust, which fills the sky with stars. One night, Rabbit happens to find his way down to Earth and makes new friends. When he has to go back to the moon, his new friends send him a telescope so they can stay in touch! Ages 4–8 • $17.99


March 2018 •

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Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night

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This is everything we’re looking for in a bedtime story: Dark, dreamy colors? Check. Gentle rhyming? You betcha. Moonlit sleepy animals? Yes! It’s as sweet and soothing as it is sleepy, making it an ideal nighttime book, complete with tenderly illustrated evening scenes. Ages 3 and up • $16.95

Neither Are you a This or a That? When Neither comes along, the community doesn’t know what to do. Neither sets off for Somewhere Else and ends up finding The Land of All, where everyone fits in, even Whatnot. This charming and colorful hardcover left us smiling. Ages 2–5 • $16.99 • March 2018


s P O fl av or



f o 30

March 2018 •

CRISPY ROASTED CHICKPEAS 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas 2 tablespoons olive oil 3/4 teaspoon salt 2 to 4 teaspoons spices or finely chopped fresh herbs, such as chili powder, curry powder, garam masala, cumin, smoked paprika, rosemary, thyme — or other favorite spices and herbs (see seasoning ideas below)

INSTRUCTIONS Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Pat the chickpeas dry (as dry as possible) with a clean dish towel or paper towels. They should look matte and feel dry to the touch; if you have time, let them air-dry for a few minutes. Remove any chickpea skins that come off while drying, but otherwise don’t worry about them. Toss the chickpeas with olive oil and salt, coating evenly. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring (or shaking the pan) every 10 minutes. A few chickpeas may pop. They’re done when golden brown and slightly darkened, dry and crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Sprinkle the spices over the chickpeas and stir to coat evenly. Serve while the chickpeas are still warm and crispy. They will gradually lose their crispiness as they cool, becoming addictively chewy.

SEASONINGS CINNAMON SUGAR 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon COOL RANCH 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill and dried parsley, plus 1/4 teaspoon dried basil (or other herbs of your choice) SWEET CURRY 2 teaspoons each curry powder and sugar  BARBECUE 1 teaspoon each garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and sugar, plus 1/2 teaspoon each cumin and chili powder Source: Adapted from the Kitchn and Super Healthy Kids blogs.

Photo courtesy of the Animal Humane Society


March 2018 •

Animal camp! Kids at the Animal Humane Society’s summer day camps learn about animal adoption, behavior and more BY OLIVIA VOLKMAN-JOHNSON


he Animal Humane Society has opened its doors to animals in need since 2007, when three Minnesota shelters merged to create the nonprofit, independent organization. In 2017, the Animal Humane Society’s five locations — Coon Rapids, Golden Valley, St. Paul, Woodbury and Buffalo (which closed in November) — successfully placed 96 percent of the animals received within its five locations. They went to new homes, other animal organizations or were reunited with their original owners. Every summer, the Animal Humane Society also opens its doors to campers in grades 3 to 10. They get to learn about animals and their behaviors, check out a typical day in the life of a veterinarian and even see, firsthand, how animal shelters work.

The in and outs of adoption Campers start by taking a look at the beginning of the adoption process. “What the kids are able to do is really see what goes on behind the scenes and understand what it’s like for an animal — from the moment they get into our shelter until the moment they leave,” said Amanda Hatling, the society’s community

outreach and humane education manager. Veterinary technicians first look to see if animals are micro-chipped so they can be returned to their owners, if necessary. Then they perform preliminary examinations to see if the animals need vaccinations or have any medical conditions. Finally, they take photos of the animal for the adoption website and find them comfortable quarters for their stay. Animals — mostly cats and dogs — come and go from the society’s shelter surprisingly quickly thanks to the option of no-hassle same-day adoption, said Humane Education Supervisor Holly Wetzel. The average shelter stay is just 12 days for cats and 8 to 9 days for dogs. Sam, a 13-year-old who attended the day camp at the Woodbury location in 2017, was surprised by how quickly animals were adopted. “It’s really cool to watch how fast they go,” Sam said. “Like when there are kittens in, they are gone by the end of the day.”

Veterinary life During camp, kids learn about the tasks that veterinarians and veterinary technicians carry out in order to keep animals in the society’s shelters happy and healthy. Campers do question-and-answer

sessions with veterinarians and then work with animal care staff. “They get to really see what it looks like to take care of that many animals all at once,” Hatling said. During the shadowing portion of the camp, campers observe surgeries and exams while veterinary technicians walk them through the different procedures. “They look under microscopes; they get their stethoscopes and listen to heartbeats and learn about heartbeat rhythms,” Wetzel said. “We do surgery every day, so they can come in here and watch while the vet techs narrate all the prep.” Campers also get the opportunity to assist the animal care staff at society shelters with service-oriented projects such as filling KONG toys with dog food, making tie blankets for the cat sanctuaries or unfolding newspaper for the kennels. The Animal Humane Society also offers Shelter Vet camps throughout the year for fifth- and sixth-graders who want hands-on veterinarian experience with the animals. “The crafts and projects that they work on are specifically related to vet care,” Hatling said. “They use oranges to practice administering vaccines.” • March 2018


Animal camp!

They also practice doing their own exams with stuffed dogs. Then vet techs bring in animals so the kids can — with close supervision — perform medical exams on actual animals. Sam, who’s been to the camp three times already, said she’s interested in working or volunteering at the shelter — but definitely in a way that doesn’t involve surgeries. “My dream was always to be a vet,” Sam said. “But when I figured out what things look like when you are a vet, I decided that’s probably not the place I want to go.”

Decoding behavior Counselors also dedicate time to teach campers about the Animal Humane Society as well as facts about different animals. They use games, arts and crafts projects and other activities to keep things engaging and interesting, including walks around the shelter and outside time. During animal time, which occurs three

Having that compassion, respect and empathy for animals I think will expand into so many different aspects of their life. — Amanda Hatling, Animal Humane Society


March 2018 •

times a day, veterinary technicians bring animals into the classroom for campers to observe and interpret animal movements. “We’ll talk about what an owner should consider when they’re adopting a specific animal,” Wetzel said. “We spend a ton of time talking about body language — and just watching animals to see what they do.” Twelve-year-old Kaelyn, who has three dogs at home, said animal time was a great way to learn how dogs express their moods. “If they tongue flick, they’re scared,” she said. “Like the dog we just saw, he was tongue-flicking and his tail was down and tucked between his back legs. They’ll back away if they’re scared. If they’re starting to wag their tail, they’re warming up to you.” Campers also learn about breed biases in dogs and the benefits — and disadvantages of — euthanasia. “The kids a lot of times ask questions that provoke really good dialogue,” Hatling said. Sam said she enjoyed learning about both the good and bad. “There are some really sad things you learn, but it’s still super cool to know about it,” she said. “You can have a lot of fun if you truly love animals.”

Summer reading buddies Campers also get time to read quietly to animals for 30-minute intervals to help socialize the animals, especially the most fearful animals. They can even bring in their own summer reading books. “It’s amazing to see an animal that’s shy in the back [of its cage] that has moved to the [front] of the cage by the end of 20–30 minutes,” Wetzel said. “Reading to them was probably one of my favorite parts, especially the shy ones, the ones that hide under their bed,” Kaelyn said. “It helps them trust.” Camp counselor Terry Arthur said activities like reading to the animals instills an important value in campers: “It’s a compassion for animals, but not only animals, it’s a compassion for each other,” Arthur said. “What can we do as a community to help support the animals that are in need, that are homeless, that come to our shelters? And how can we support our community that has pets?”

Helping others At the end of the week, the society invites the campers’ parents to the shelter for a presentation on what campers learned during their week at camp. ←←During animal time, campers must stay calm and quiet when interacting with animals, including cats, dogs and rabbits. Photo courtesy of the Animal Humane Society

Animal Humane Society Learn all about domestic animals in immersive weeklong camps that cover veterinarian duties, animal adoption and animal behavior using crafts, games, animal observation, guest speakers and frequent animal interactions. Ages: Kids entering grades 3–10 with separate groups for various ages Dates: June 11–Aug. 17 Hours: Two-day or five-day camp options with typical hours from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Locations: Coon Rapids (1411 Main St. NW), Golden Valley (845 Meadow Lane N.), St. Paul (1115 Beulah Lane), Woodbury (9785 Hudson Road) Cost: $130 for two-day camps, $315 for five-day camps Info: 952-435-7738,

Pam Rickers, Sam’s mother and a school social worker in Woodbury and Cottage Grove, said the opportunity to learn about and help the animals in the shelter is mutually beneficial for the campers and animals. “I think animals just bring out the best in people,” she said. “They feel like they’ve accomplished something and assisted in making that animal feel better — and there’s no words for your kids feeling that about themselves.” Hatling said she hopes campers leave with an understanding of animal welfare. “Having that compassion, respect and empathy for animals I think will expand into so many different aspects of their life,” Hatling said. “It’s just a really beautiful thing to see the kids come from Day 1 to Day 5 and see them grow in that way.” Olivia Volkman-Johnson is a local freelance writer and a graduate of Winona State University.

↑↑At Youth Performance Company camps, students sing, dance, dress up and learn many other theater skills. Photos by Marisa B. Tejeda


March 2018 •

Stage right

At Youth Performance Company camps, children learn theatrical skills by staging their favorite films and musicals BY OLIVIA VOLKMAN-JOHNSON


jaunty piano accompaniment played as a group of student performers emphatically sang Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Kids’ voices flooded the room and infectious laughter spilled out of their classmates, who wiggled in their seats with anticipation. Choreographer Johanna Gorman-Baer guided the kids around a black box rehearsal stage with explosive, high-knee skipping until the song ended and the group scattered, catching their breath. “You were singing at the same time as we were dancing. And both were happening loud, right?” Gorman-Baer exclaimed. “You were singing! Were we worrying about how pretty we are?” “No!” the kids shouted. “Were we worrying about how pretty we sounded?” “No!” As a part of morning warm-ups, the third- through sixth-graders were working on taking deep, long breaths to project their voices throughout a theater, even while dancing. Or in this case, skipping. The workshop — in which students learn and perform a collection of popular songs and scenes from the Tony awardwinning musical Wicked — was one of

several five-day workshops offered last summer by Youth Performance Company (YPC) for K–12 kids. Upstairs, inside YPC’s office and rehearsal space in Minneapolis’ Prospect Park neighborhood, instructor Kayla Feld led a Frozen workshop in a different kind of warm-up for a group of kindergarteners through second-graders. “Simon says: ‘Turn to the audience.’ Simon says: ‘Go to center.’ Simon says: ‘Go to stage left,’” Feld directed. Some kids giggled and bumped into one another, while others stood still and furrowed their brows, trying to remember which direction to move in the brightly illustrated rehearsal space. “Simon says: ‘Dance.’ Simon says: ‘Dance to stage left.’ Go upstage. … I didn’t say Simon says!” Feld laughed as her students dropped to the floor in amusement and mock frustration. By playing this classic camp game, the K–2 kids learned how to closely follow directions as well as terminology for blocking — where to go on stage during a scene — when rehearsing lines for their take on the acclaimed Disney musical. Why are they rehearsing? Show-driven workshops at YPC end with final workshop presentations — for

friends and family — to give kids real performance experiences. Sound like fun? This summer, YPC is back at it with a rich schedule of full-day, weeklong workshops including, to name a few, Moana Junior, Trolls and Annie for grades K–2; Hogwarts Express, Wicked and Descendants for grades 3–6; and Hamilton, Newsies and Legally Blonde for grades 7–12. Other workshops focus on special subjects such as improv, dance, set-building, playwriting, singing, auditioning and more.

Let’s take it from the top Artistic director Jacie Knight founded YPC in 1989, with a mission to serve the community and empower young artists. During the school year, YPC holds auditions for plays and musicals that show at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center in Minneapolis. In summer, in addition to offering day-camp-style workshops, YPC hosts a one-week overnight camp at Bay Lake Camp in Deerwood for grades 7–12. Professional actors, directors and choreographers, including YPC alumni, are among the instructors for the theater company’s summer workshops. • March 2018


The perfect blend of “serious and silly” for kids and teens (age 6-18) whose parent or caregiver has, or has had, cancer.

Stage right

Maya Washington — who directed the aforementioned Wicked workshop — is a multidisciplinary artist with experience as a writer/director, filmmaker, actress, For more information, choreographer, poet and arts educator. visit: Washington discovered her love for performing in a dance class when she was Angel Foundation MNP 0318 12.indd 1 2/8/18 9:58 AM8 years old, and later got her theatrical start at YPC as a teenager. “Teaching and directing are a way for me to give back to YPC for all they’ve done to support my creative development,” Washington said. “I draw on my own experiences as a young artist and think about the teachers who were really impactful in my journey.”

Stage fright

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March 2018 •

One of the biggest obstacles facing young students interested in theater is the fear 2/14/18 3:39 PM of performing in front of others — especially peers. Though most of the kids who enroll in YPC workshops have some experience or interest in participating in theater, performing can still be a scary endeavor for young artists. “Our classes are incredibly inclusive and the instructors are really skilled about making sure that the activities and materials are approachable for a student who maybe doesn’t have much theater 2/8/18 10:39 AMexperience,” said Julie Heaton, YPC’s director of education. Workshop leaders also add in some elements to make it challenging for students who have already spent some time on stage. “A lot of the week is spent focused on building confidence and having fun in the process of taking on new challenges,” Washington said. That might mean singing a solo or singing

in a small group, learning new dance steps or taking on a speaking role. Washington said the week-long intensive workshops are an “extremely ambitious” undertaking. “[We’re] putting on a show with kids who’ve never met, with varying experience in performance, in only five days!” she said. Washington stressed the importance of supporting others in her opening remarks to the Wicked workshop. “If you see someone who’s struggling — those of you who are in a really great space — see if you can notice that and be a support system for them, OK?” Washington told her student performers. Washington then asked her students to think of (and share) one goal for the day. Some wanted to try to remember all their lines, while others aimed to hit their choreography with more power and excitement. “If something happens, whether your voice shakes a little bit or a crack happens or you forget a line, consider being proud of yourself for surviving it,” Washington said. “Can we all agree we will not beat ourselves up today?”

There’s no place like home YPC strives to create a strong sense of community within the company, too. “One of the things we value at YPC is that we’re not just teaching theater,” Heaton said. “They’re learning community building, leadership, empathy.” Workshops help teach theater basics, including terminology, performance and etiquette, but also self-confidence, teamwork, responsibility and professionalism, Washington said. “If I do my job well, they have fun while they’re learning,” she added.   Heaton and Washington believe YPC can become a place for kids to feel comfortable while challenging themselves to learn something new. “A lot of our students have really found a home at YPC where maybe they haven’t found that same kind of community at

Youth Performance Company Students learn acting, singing and dancing skills — as well as community building and leadership skills — through workshops built around popular films and musicals. Ages: Grades K–2, 3–6, 7–12 Dates: June 11–Aug. 24 Hours: Half-day workshops run from 9 a.m.–noon or 1–4 p.m. Full-day workshops go from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Workshops for grades K–2 are all half-days. Location: Youth Performance Company office and rehearsal location, 3338 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis Cost: $130 for weeklong half-day workshops (Monday through Friday); $250 for weeklong full-day workshops (Monday through Friday) Overnight camp: Bay Lake Camp (16257 Brighton Point Road, Deerwood) Aug. 13–17 for kids going into grades 7–12 ($550) Info: 612-623-9180;

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Lunch & snacks provided full-day summer locations

Experienced, professional adult coaches Scrimmage games end every class

PLA-IT.COM | | (612)234-7782 their school or elsewhere,” Heaton said. “We sort of have the philosophy that saying ‘yes’ makes you ‘good enough,’” Washington said. Before the Wicked performers took their places for their final rehearsal, Washington had them take deep breaths and channel their excitement into confidence. “Repeat after me: ‘No matter what happens, I am awesome. In fact, I’m actually the king or queen of awesome. At 4 o’clock today, or 4:30 or 7 p.m., I am going to be SO profoundly PROUD of myself that I will give myself permission to BURST!” Olivia Volkman-Johnson is a local freelance writer, a recent graduate of Winona State University and a former theater fanatic from Richfield High School.

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Summer Art Camps

for ages 5 and up 651-699-1573 Ryan Sarafolean, Age 14

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Kids are encouraged to try the ropes course at Camp of Champs, a getaway near Park Rapids for kids with special needs. Photo courtesy of Camp of Champs


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Camp of Champs helps kids with special needs build trust and self-confidence — on the ground and up in the air BY JODIE TWEED

t Camp of Champs — seven miles north of Park Rapids, Minn. — campers are challenged to break out of their comfort zones. And for many kids here, there’s nothing more uncomfortable than standing on a platform 35 feet off the ground. Indeed, trying out the camp’s challenge course (an impressive high and low ropes course and zip line) is an integral part of the camp curriculum. Campers learn to rely on each other for physical and emotional support on the ropes course as well as while preparing meals, doing chores and joining in many other camp activities. It’s all pretty impressive, especially when you consider that the camp caters to children who face a surprising array of special needs. Roughly 50 percent of campers here — ages 9 to 17 — were adopted or are in foster care. Others may have problems with behavioral and/or social issues or suffer from post-traumatic stress. Other special needs may include (but are not limited to) learning disabilities, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, anxiety and depression, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, Down syndrome and/or attachment disorders.

No matter why they’re at camp, however, kids here are included in activities designed to help them with communication, trust, boundaries/ self-control, transition skills, teamwork, self-advocacy, confidence and respect. “It’s not like any camp you’ve ever been to,” said Cece, a 14-year-old longtime camper from Roseville who attended a 2017 session. “It’s OK to talk about personal and deep things. It’s a safe place to be. You get a lot of support here.” Caliyah, 12, of Bemidji, who was adopted at age 8, has been attending the camp for three years. “It’s just a really good camp,” she said. “I love coming every year.” Last summer Caliyah came close to completing the Leap of Faith, a solo goal-setting challenge on the ropes course. During the leap, campers climb to the top of a utility pole 25 feet off the ground, stand up and regain their balance and then jump out to grasp a trapeze bar 5 feet away. Before they make the leap, they must set a personal goal. Despite the security of safety harnesses and ropes, it isn’t easy. “I touched the bar and almost got it,” Caliyah said with a smile. “And I almost didn’t do it.”

How it all began Camp of Champs was founded in 2006 by camp directors Travis Guida and Sarah Coumbe-Guida of Bemidji, both special education teachers. The couple adopted four of their seven children out of the foster care system and found themselves struggling with their children’s anger and attachment issues. They met other adoptive families dealing with similar issues and saw a need for a summer camp environment in which children could meet other children going through similar circumstances and develop important life skills, such as self-regulation, conflict resolution, service learning and growing positive relationships. The Guidas also separately offer team-building activities for groups, organizations and businesses through their Character Challenge Adventure Park ( Coumbe-Guida spent 14 years as a special education teacher at Cass LakeBena Elementary School, located on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. In 2011, she was nominated for Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Travis Guida formerly taught at Bemidji High School. Every year, the camp’s curriculum is • March 2018


GREAT HEIGHTS modified to meet each youth’s special needs and age. One parent testimonial about the 2017 camp reads: “I cannot adequately tell you in words how thankful I am for the Camp of Champs. Each year we see such tremendous growth in our daughter. Without this camp, she would not be where she is today.”

A day in the life Each month about 100 campers attend Camp of Champs, which boasts a 4-to-1 camper-to-staff ratio, thanks to nearly 40

staff members, plus a full-time nurse. Staff, who have backgrounds in education, social work, psychology and nursing, are qualified to work with special needs campers. Camp is held for one- and two-week sessions June through August at Eagle Beach Resort on Eagle Lake. Coumbe-Guida and Guida also help manage the adjacent small family resort, owned by Sarah Coumbe-Guida’s mother, Jan Coumbe. Cell phones are prohibited at camp. Every minute of the day is scheduled with programming, and safety is the top priority. Some campers suffer from anxiety and depression, along with other underlying behavioral challenges, so there can be disruption and conflicts throughout the day. Activities include sandlot volleyball, basketball, tennis, shuffleboard, tetherball,

We don’t pretend we have all the answers. Our goal is to support families. — Travis Guida, Camp of Champs, Park Rapids

↑↑Ages 9 to 17 engage in traditional camp activities, such as fishing, swimming, sports and more, at Camp of Champs at Eagle Beach Resort near Park Rapids. Photo courtesy of Camp of Champs


March 2018 •

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Camp of Champs Kids with special needs learn social skills and life lessons with traditional hands-on camp activities, plus a ropes course and zip line and daily lessons facilitated by specially trained staff with a 4-to-1 camper-counselor ratio. Ages: 9–17 Dates: One- and two-week overnight sessions are held June 9–Aug. 17, including boys-only, girls-only and co-ed sessions. The camp’s Leaders in Training Experience (LITE) sessions for ages 12–17 focus on leadership, advocacy and transition skills. Location: Eagle Beach Resort on Eagle Lake near Park Rapids, about 3.5 hours northwest of the Twin Cities Cost: Six-day sessions are $1,025; 13-day sessions cost $1,975. Info:

horseshoes, ping pong, Frisbee golf, crafts, kayaking/canoeing and fishing. Kids have access to multiple sand playground areas, 1,000 feet of sandy beach and a heated pool and wading pool. Special events include contests and team challenges as well as weekend movie nights and campfires. Camp is a place where kids can work together to find the coping skills they need before returning to home and school, Guida said. When the one- or two-week camp experience is over, that doesn’t mean the support ends. Coumbe-Guida said camp families are provided with follow-up information and unlimited email support throughout the year to help with behavioral strategies, IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) and other resources. “We don’t pretend we have all the answers,” Travis Guida said. “Our goal is to support families.” Jodie Tweed is a freelance writer living in Pequot Lakes. • March 2018


Bump, set, spike! Bethel University’s volleyball program shows campers what it’s like to be a college volleyball player through skills training, friendship and faith BY OLIVIA VOLKMAN-JOHNSON


he expansive volleyball gym at Bethel University in St. Paul has four courts, track space around the perimeter for warming up and plenty of trolleys overflowing with gold and blue volleyballs — the perfect place to play volleyball and strengthen a relationship with God, according to Bethel volleyball camp counselor and former assistant coach Carissa Carroll.


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“I think that it’s an opportunity to see how God can use the vehicle of volleyball and share through our faith — just the gift of our talents, the way our bodies can perform,” Carroll said.

A college experience Every summer, Bethel welcomes about 250 campers to practice basic volleyball skills and learn non-denominational

Christian teachings during day camps for grades 5–8, plus overnight camps for grades 8 and higher. Head volleyball coach and camp director Gretchen Hunt and assistant volleyball coach Megan Kirchoff lead the camps for two weeks every summer, along with current Bethel volleyball players who gain leadership experience by coaching young athletes. “I laugh because some of these girls are

← Campers take a break from setting and spiking to pair up with a friend and play a game. Photo by Gretchen Hunt

like, ‘That’s what I want to do when I’m done with college. I want to be a coach. I’m going to stay involved in volleyball.’ And it was never, ever a thought of mine,” Kirchoff said. “It was kind of an opportunity that popped up and here I am, 8 years later and still doing it.” Karin Canakes, a junior at Bethel, said working with younger volleyball players can be rewarding. “It’s a fun age to work with because at our level, you’re not seeing a drastic change,” Canakes said. “With these girls, you get to watch them become a better player. But you also get to watch them fall in love with the game.” Hunt said Bethel’s athletics program attracts many high school students looking at prospective colleges. “We have some campers here who really want to go to Bethel and they know that 20 of our current players are here and they’re going to train the way we train,” Hunt said, adding that campers might come from as far away as Colorado to see what it’s like to be on Bethel’s campus and among some of the players. Bethel volleyball camps also attract campers who’ve never been to an overnight camp before and want to have a safe, fun camp experience, Hunt said. “In general, we train really hard. We try to take care of them really well — with good food and doing fun things,” she said. “We really just want to give them access to our players and let them be with them and just soak up what it’s like to be a college volleyball player.”

Year Round Riding Lessons Available for All Ages Horse Camp · Birthday Parties

651-226-2027 •

Rosemount, MN

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The perfect summer quest Pre-k Camps

Grade School Camps

Back to the basics Volleyball camp allows girls to develop individual skills — serving, passing, setting and more — as well as teamwork. “We actually go through the same teaching progression we do with our

Monday–Wednesday 1p–4p Wednesday + Friday 9:30a–12:30p

Thursday 1:00p–4:00p

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Bump, set, spike! college players,” Hunt said, “just taking it down to the basics and building it back up.” On the first day, campers are separated into groups based on experience and skill level. Hunt said the camps usually get a wide variety of players, ranging from some who have played volleyball only in gym class and girls who have played competitively for years. “We want them to have had some kind of experience with volleyball before,

whether it was P.E. or parks and recreation or another camp because we go from 9 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon,” Hunt said. “If they have never done volleyball, that might be a really long time.” During dedicated practice time at the camps, campers rotate within their groups through stations that focus on volleyball basics. One popular aspect of the camps is the videotaping station in which players run through drills while being taped, then run over to analyze their form on screen. Eleven-year-old Sophia said the station was one of her favorite parts of camp. “You can visually see what you’re doing so you can correct it,” she said. Eleven-year-old Maddie said she enjoyed ←←Partners take turns throwing and setting to each other to practice getting the ball high enough to spike over the net. Photos by Gretchen Hunt

With these girls, you get to watch them become a better player. But you also get to watch them fall in love with the game. — Karin Canakes, a volleyball player and camp counselor at Bethel University


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the attentive teaching style. “I like how the coaches are right there when something does go wrong so they can correct it straight away,” Maddie said. “They’ll bring everyone in a huddle.” In the overnight camps for older girls, campers focus on player’s roles. Older girls work on blocking and also break things down by position, Hunt said, adding: “If you’re a setter, our setters get four more hours of just setter training.”

Connecting to God Campers also get time for Christian teachings. “The faith piece is the most important for us in that if nothing else, these kids see a little bit of Christ in us and what that looks like — loving people, caring for people, caring for them more than just as athletes, but caring for them as human beings,” Kirchoff said. Last summer’s theme was “authentic friendships,” which discussed what qualities to look for in a friend that will last a long time, including kindness, support, accountability and more. Hunt said: “We look at David and three people who were important in his life and how they were authentic friends to him and then challenge each of them to think: ‘Who are these people in your life for you? Who could you do this for in your life?’” As a Christian university, Bethel encourages students — including Bethel Volleyball athletes — to use values from the Bible as a way to guide their actions and contribute positively to those around them. “It’s important to us, so it’s something we want to talk about,” Canakes said. “It’s not like ‘This is what you should believe.’”

Making new friends Brooke Olstad, a junior at Bethel, said the camps are a great way to make friends. “It’s those friendships where all that matters is you’re in the same class,”

Bethel Volleyball This university-based camp gives girls the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a college volleyball player through training, friendship-building activities and faith. Bethel also offers tennis, soccer, cross-country and basketball camps. Ages: Grades 5–12 Dates and cost: July 30–31 or Aug. 1–2 (day camp for grades 5–8, $140); July 20–21 (overnight for grades 8–9, $215); July 22–25 (overnight for grades 9–12, $375)

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Location: Bethel University, 3900 Bethel Drive, St. Paul Info: 651-638-6790,

Olstad said. “The last night of the high school camp, there’s a talent show, which is really fun. Everyone comes out in their pajamas and we eat pizza and the girls just do ridiculous things.” Some campers make friendships that they can come back to every summer. “We have two campers here this year who are rooming together — one lives in Orono, one lives in Woodbury,” Hunt said. “They stay in touch through social media and through their phones when they’re not here. Then they come back every summer and room together.” Overnight campers get the opportunity to build connections during the volleyball tournament held on the last day of the camp, yet another bonding experience. Hunt said she hopes campers walk away from camp with confidence in their abilities, especially those who plan to try out. She said: “We want them to go into their high school seasons feeling like they did everything they could to have their best shot and to make whatever team they want to make at their high school.” Olivia Volkman-Johnson is a local freelance writer and a graduate of Winona State University. • March 2018


Immersed in Spanish Campers learn cultural competency, healthy choices and environmental stewardship at Casa de Corazón, a language-immersion camp in Maple Grove BY OLIVIA VOLKMAN-JOHNSON


panish is the second-most-spoken language in the United States, and educators are taking note. Studies have shown that learning a second language is easier for children ages 5 and younger, and Spanish-immersion primary schools — as well as preschools — have been sprouting up all over the country, including in Minnesota. But what about grade-school kids who want an immersion experience just for the summer? Meet Casa de Corazón. This Spanish-immersion preschool offers early childhood education all year long at its locations in Minneapolis, Edina and Maple Grove, catering to infants, toddlers and preschoolers. But it also offers summer programming — exclusively at its Maple Grove location — for about 30 school-age kids (in grades 1–6 grade), who learn about different cultures, nutrition, health and environmental stewardship, all while learning Spanish.

“It was basically to create what I was looking for as a first-time mom, wanting to raise my own kids bilingual and in a healthy way,” Standridge said. Campers usually come to camp with varying levels of Spanish and Latin culture knowledge, including kids with no experience to children who have been in immersion programs since birth. Casa de Corazón’s summer camp

curriculum is adapted from the school’s early childhood immersion curriculum to fit elementary-aged children and combined with the AMAZE curriculum, which encourages discussion about diversity and acceptance across races, genders, sexual orientations and more. Camp instructors, who are required to be fluent in Spanish, often come from existing Casa de Corazón faculty (including many

Filling a need Natalie Standridge, a mother of two, founded Casa de Corazón in 2002 to provide Twin Cities families the opportunity for their children to learn Spanish as well as valuable lessons in cultural competency and health.


March 2018 •

↑ Campers enjoy a day on the colorful playground at Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove, one of several field trips offered each week at Casa de Corazón. Photo courtesy of Casa de Corazón

from various countries in Latin America) as well as other bilingual educators from around the metro area. For example, Amparo Sabogal, who is native to Colombia and teaches at Casa de Corazón throughout the school year, co-led a 2017 camp with Stacey Kinsella, a middle-school teacher from Robbinsdale.

¡En Español por favor! To create a true immersion experience, all staff members speak only Spanish and encourage the campers to speak only Spanish as well. The expansive classroom that hosts the grade-school campers each summer is splattered with Spanish-language posters that highlight key vocabulary terms for campers to review, such as weather and days of the week. Children can also find lyrics for popular Spanish nursery rhymes, such as La Lechuza (The Owl) and ¿Estrellita Dónde Estás? (Little Star, Where Are You?), which the campers sing every day, Kinsella said. “I really like music because it is a great way to incorporate language learning,” Kinsella said. “We practice them each week.” Campers also learn about different Latin countries with Country of the Month activities. Guest speakers, who were native of Peru, came to a Casa de Corazón camp in 2017 to teach the campers about Peru and its independence day on July 28. Students celebrated by creating framed photos of the country. “We’re making a picture of Peru!” an 8-year-old camper named Fritz proclaimed excitedly. Fritz, who had been picking up his Spanish-speaking skills rather quickly, often helped guide other campers. “Even the ones who don’t understand most of Spanish are going to be following what the other ones are doing,” said Casa de Corazón’s 2017 camp director Alex Letran. “And the ones who do understand help the other ones.”

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Immersed in Spanish Healthy habits

Casa de Corazón strives not only to improve campers’ proficiency in Spanish, but also their understanding of what it means to live a healthy life. Each nutritionally balanced breakfast, lunch and snack served is made fresh daily using organic or locally sourced foods including modifications for campers with dietary restrictions. Letran said the meals that come together in the modest, yet fully stocked kitchen reflect the wide array of cultures at the camp. “Over here is where the magic happens with the food. You can smell it,” Letran said with a smile. “The cuisine that we have is going to be varied. Today, we have picadillo, which is Mexican, and we have spaghetti and other things. Everything is going to include vegetables and protein.” Campers visit the Maple Grove farmer’s market every week to purchase fresh produce to take home or bring back to the center to be used in meals as part of the Power of Produce, a local program that gives tokens to kids to buy produce and learn about healthy eating from local farmers. One of the daily activities for campers is tending to the garden outside the building by

planting and watering seedlings bought at the farmer’s market. “It’s pretty cool that they can sign up for that program and go out and pick whatever they want,” Letran said. “It was really cool to see the kids there, especially the first day when they get their shopping bags. They feel pretty proud when they come back with their fresh produce to share with their mom and dad at the end of the day.” A focus on healthy diet goes hand in hand with Casa de Corazón’s commitment to providing ample exercise and sports time for the campers. When not playing on one of the three outdoor playgrounds (separated by fences for individualized playtime between the different age groups) or in the indoor gym on rainy days, campers take field trips to local fields and parks for different athletic activities. “Basically every day of the week is going to be a field trip or an activity,” Letran said. “Two times a week, the kids will go up to a field near our school and they will participate in structured physical activities.” Campers also learn soccer skills, sportsmanship and fitness from local professional soccer coaches while enjoying playtime outside at local parks. An 11-year-old camper named Sheyla said she liked the chance to go on many field trips each week and loved the brand new play structures at Central Park on Maple Grove. The park was her favorite place — only “for now, because in August, we’re going to the Maple Maze and that’s going to be my favorite.”

Cultural competence

↑↑A group of campers listens to a Spanish language story told by instructor Amparo Sabogal. Photo courtesy of Casa de Corazón


March 2018 •

Having fun is an important prerequisite for any summer camp, of course. But Standridge said students walk away from Casa de Corazón camps with important skills as well. “I love to see them all having fun and going on all those field trips. But for me the most awesome part is always hearing them speak Spanish,” she said. “I think it’s just amazing to see these kids come back

Casa de Corazón This summer-long Spanishimmersion camp helps school-age kids in grades 1–6 practice Spanishspeaking skills while learning important values about nutrition, exercise, environmental stewardship and cultural competence. Ages: Kids entering grades 1–6 in fall 2018 Dates: June 11–Aug. 31 Hours: 7 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday–Friday Location: Casa de Corazón, 8351 Elm Creek Blvd. N., Maple Grove Cost: $145 for 3 days a week; $170 for 4 days a week; $198 for 5 days a week Info: 763-416-3992; programs/school-age

and remember their Spanish, use it with these teachers and use it with each other.” Using the Spanish language as a stepping-stone, Kinsella said students come together in the camps and learn more about each other and themselves. “We also work on social and emotional health,” Kinsella said. “We do a lot of community building and games together to build our own community within the classroom.” By combining Spanish immersion, health education and sustainable living lessons, Standridge said she hopes the camp can help the next generation become more culturally competent and aware of their environment. “I would hope that they would gain a healthy attitude towards life in general,” Standridge said. “Our program is all encompassing of health and environmentalism, friendship, understanding other cultures and interacting with people from other cultures. All of that understanding — I would hope — would help them become more well-rounded human beings.” Olivia Volkman-Johnson is a local freelance writer and a recent graduate of Winona State University.

Clutch power

Campers at Snapology of Minneapolis learn science, technology, engineering, arts and math skills by using LEGO bricks BY OLIVIA VOLKMAN-JOHNSON


n an unusually cool August morning at Northeast Middle School, Room B114 was buzzing with excitement as Snapology campers prepared for another day of LEGO stop-motion filming.


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Fourteen-year-old Anya and 9-year-old Presley pulled out a large jungle-scene backdrop filled with vibrant trees and fluffy, white clouds for Darn Apples, a short film in their Indiana John series. “They built all these sets and they have

a backdrop, so it’s like an actual movie set,” said instructor Rob Dorsey. In the film, a brave adventurer named Indiana John searches for buried treasure, only to get continually hit in the head with apples. Once he reaches the treasure, he

←←A Snapology camper shows off his LEGO creation in one of Snapology’s STEAM camps. Photo by Snapology of Minneapolis

finds out — much to his chagrin — the chest is completely filled with apples. After Indiana John defeats the main villain, who has a pineapple for a head, The Flash dashes through the scene with a wheelbarrow to help save the day. “We have a Flash wheelbarrow thing at the end of every single thing that we do,” Anya said with a laugh. After the brief premiere of Darn Apples, Anya and Presley quickly returned to work on their next stop-motion installment. This is the life at Snapology’s Animation Studio, a half-day summer camp offered for ages 7–14.

Building blocks Snapology — a science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) education organization — was founded in 2010 by sisters Lisa and Laura Coe who wanted to create classes and camps to share their children’s love of educational materials that snap together. Snapology, built on the Coes’ backgrounds in math and science, boasts more than 40 locations across the country, including Snapology of Minneapolis. Aaron Hagebak opened his Snapology of Minneapolis franchise after leaving the music industry as a way to give back to the community — and make a lasting impact in the lives of children. “I knew that I wanted to work with kids,” he said. “I wanted to give back to the community a little bit and try to make as much of a living doing that as I could.” Snapology of Minneapolis — in addition to its year-round programming — offers half- and full-day STEAM camps, including basic LEGO building camps for ages 4 and up as well as robotics and video-game design camps for kids up to 14 years old. At Snapology camps, children come


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Clutch power with a wide range of skills and often end up working together. “We definitely try to have them learn teamwork,” Hagebak said. “A lot of our stuff is really team-focused — in a big group setting or just a partnership.”

Inner-city LEGOs Snapology of Minneapolis, which started out hosting classes and camps at schools and other destinations around the Twin Cities, today offers most of its classes at its new Snapology Discovery Center in Uptown Minneapolis. “I want the community to have options like this,” Hagebak said. “A lot of play spaces are in the suburbs and if you’ve got kids and you’re looking for a place to go for two hours on a Saturday morning, they’re in Eagan or they’re in Eden Prairie. I wanted to be in the city.” Snapology’s instructors, including Dorsey, come from different STEAM and education-based backgrounds. Some are licensed teachers or paraprofessionals while others are experts in engineering and science fields. They each have different ways of engaging with kids. “Rob’s style is a little more like a fun uncle,” Hagebak said of Dorsey. “One of my other teachers, Kevin, is like classic teacher. He’s always writing on the board and very structured. [Susan] has been in the nonprofit world for most of her life and she just really wanted to work with kids. She brings this totally different, positive, happy vibe to everything that she does. She loves working with the preschoolers and gets all silly with them.” Dorsey said the traditional science and math curriculum — with an added focus on the arts — helps develop well-rounded kids.


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↑↑Campers work together on building a windmill made out of LEGO at a Snapology of Minneapolis camp. Photo by Snapology of Minneapolis

“The right brain is doing programming,” Dorsey said of his animation campers, “while the left brain is coming up with the story ideas.”

Busy builders Sessions are meant to be fun and playful as well as educational. A few of the summer camp options for 2018 include Amusement Park, Epic Minecraft, Robot Rescue Mission, Space Wars and even LEGO Friends — a more feminineoriented part of the LEGO empire that’s decidedly not rooted in sci-fi themes. Full-day camps typically involve one type of camp in the morning, followed by another in the afternoon to keep kids interested and engaged. Superhero Robotics and Lego City Camp, for example, allows ages 5–8 to design programmable robotic superhero vehicles in the morning, followed by lunch and recess, and an afternoon of exploring the world of transportation and city structures. Campers, maybe without realizing it, learn about energy, wheels and axles as well as how to make stable and strong buildings and bridges.

Kids in the aforementioned Animation Studio half-day camp got a break from using computers all morning by attending Ninja Camp in the afternoon. “They build a dojo [out of LEGOS],” Hagebak said. “And they make throwing stars out of origami and do skills challenges with chopsticks.” Campers at Snapology even get to work on their speaking skills: At the end of the week, friends and family are invited to a film festival in which campers present their stop-motion films. “They’ll stand up there and talk about it — why they did it, how they did it, what they wanted to convey,” Hagebak said.

Community outreach Hagebak, as part of his mission to help disadvantaged children, is also using Snapology to reach out to low-income families in the Twin Cities by working at Community Emergency Assistance Programs (CEAP) events. CEAP provides food, housing and employment resources for community members in Hennepin and Anoka counties, including events at local food shelves. Hagebak recalled one event in which he

Snapology Children learn basic and advanced science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) concepts through the use of LEGO, DUPLO and other building toys. Other camp offerings include robotics, animation and video-game design. Ages: 4–14 Dates: June 11–Aug. 24 Hours: 9 a.m.–4 p.m. for full-day camps and 9 a.m.–noon or 1–4 p.m. for half-day camps, which can be combined to create a full-day Location: Snapology Discovery Center, 2649 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, as well as The Blake School (Hopkins, Wayzata, Minneapolis), Crystal Rec Center (Crystal), Friends School of Minnesota (St. Paul), Hale Elementary (Minneapolis), Kiddywampus (Hopkins), Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis) and New Life Academy (Woodbury). Cost: $120–$150 for a week of half-day camp or $300 for a week of full-day camp Info: 612-440-7627,

set up a table with art activities and LEGO building stations. “There were like 250 families there, and most of them had kids,” he said. “All of a sudden, these kids came running over to me. It was awesome.” Though the Snapology Discovery Center will be the main location for Snapology of Minneapolis’ camps and classes, Hagebak said he will continue to bring the same learning experiences into schools, including metro-area communities that might not offer so many activities for kids. “I definitely want to keep focusing on the schools that don’t have as many resources — and just being out there and doing as much as I can,” he said. Olivia Volkman-Johnson is a local freelance writer and a recent graduate of Winona State University. Aris Clinic co Activated Growth MNP 0318 H4.indd 1

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Open to all Summer at Blake day camps offer a slice of the school’s academics, arts and athletics programs for ages pre-K and up BY OLIVIA VOLKMAN-JOHNSON


he Blake School — a private, nonsectarian school — serves about 1,400 pre-K through 12th-grade students across its campuses in Minneapolis, Hopkins and Wayzata during the school year.


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But did you know that the school is open to all — not just Blake students — for special camp programming known as Summer at Blake? In fact, Blake isn’t unique in this respect: Numerous private schools in the metro

area invite non-students to join their campuses during their off seasons. (See our sidebar on page 57.) During summer, Blake hosts about 900 Blake and non-Blake students in more than 100 classes, workshops and camps,

← A determined camper runs past his competitors in a football camp at The Blake School, which offers camps every summer for Blake students as well as the public. Photos by Murphy Byrne

featuring academic, arts and athletic activities, including day camps. There’s typically a 50-50 split between Blake and non-Blake students attending camps each summer. Blake’s general-interest day camp — Camp Acoma — includes four age categories — Cubs (pre-K–K), Bears (grades K–2), Adventure (grades 3–4) and Leaders in Training (grades 5–7). Rates are comparable to other local day camps at $245–$340 for a week of full-day camp, including extended-day options. For sessions running June 18–July 20, Acoma campers can take advantage of Blake’s expansive Hopkins campus, which includes ample opportunities for outdoor play, visual arts, athletics, daily swimming at the on-site pool and even ice skating in a newly renovated ice arena. During sessions held July 23–Aug. 3, Camp Acoma sessions move to the school’s Wayzata campus (known as Highcroft) with swimming at Wayzata Beach. Blake’s core values — of respect, love of learning, integrity and courage — are explored throughout the summer. Each week features a unique theme along with weekly field trips and special projects. Off-campus field trips emphasize adventure and new experiences: In 2017,

↑ A young camper displays her colorful yarn creation in the Knit, Purl camp — designed to teach campers knitting, including a purl type of stitch.

kids traveled to U.S. Bank Stadium, Carlson’s Llovable Llamas and Lake Minnetonka Sailing School, to name a few. Children of all ages can also enroll in specialty half-day camps at all three of Blake’s campuses June 11–Aug. 9. Specialty options include language, music and theater lessons as well as other interest-based half-day camps such as Magic: The Gathering, Buttercream Basics With Cookies, Chess Camp, Global Art Adventure: American Southwest and Gamebots Beginner Coding. Parents can mix and match all types of camps by enrolling kids in half-day versions of various camps, including the option of half-day Camp Acoma sessions.

Mix and match Last summer, we met Luana, a fifth-grader, who took advantage of Camp Acoma and specialty camp options in the same week on the Hopkins campus. She attended a Page to Stage theater-arts camp in which she helped paint a tree for the backdrop of a theatrical production of Stephanie’s Ponytail, based on a children’s book by Robert Munsch. Each morning, Luana learned how to transform the pages of a story into a live performance through acting exercises and theater games guided by Blake drama teacher Lori Opsal. Later in the day, Luana attended Camp • March 2018


Open to all

←A camper studies fossils at the Geology Rocks specialty camp at The Blake School.

Acoma where she learned team-building and leadership skills while working with younger campers. “There’s a lot of things you get to do and it’s really fun,” Luana said. “And then you get to play with the little kids and you get to help them.” Gabi, a fourth-grader, also attended the theater camp. Her favorite part of the day, however, was swimming and water activities at Camp Acoma. Last year, Gabi participated in the Acoma Aquathlon in which campers raced against each other in running and swimming while being cheered on by friends and counselors. Specialty theater camps take advantage of the newly renovated auditorium on the Hopkins campus, which is also home to the annual Camp Acoma talent show. “They might play catch, they might do some tumbling, they might sing,” said Jessie Briol, the director of Summer at Blake. “It’s a super fun time and a chance for the kids to

Photo by Murphy Byrne

LEARN MORE Many private schools in the Twin Cities offer summer camps and classes to students and non-students alike. The Blake School Hopkins, Wayzata, Minneapolis

Hill-Murray School Maplewood

Breck School Golden Valley

International School of Minnesota Eden Prairie

Friends School of Minnesota St. Paul

Providence Academy Plymouth

Groves Academy St. Louis Park summer-school

Minnehaha Academy Minneapolis


March 2018 •

Mounds Park Academy Saint Paul

spend some time on stage, which is always nerve-wracking, but a great experience.” Summer at Blake also includes — for grades 9 through 12 — courses for credit, such as Woodworking and Health, offered to help Blake students — and non-Blake students with permission from their schools — meet their arts and health curriculum requirements. Non-credit-bearing academic classes for upperclassmen as well as intensive ACT prep courses are offered over the summer as well.

Camp Acoma Counselors at the Acoma day camps create a traditional summer camp atmosphere by singing a special camp song. “Alright! Let’s do the Acoma song!” Briol shouted to a giggling group of kids —

Summer at Blake Day camps, specialty camps and courses for school credit in arts, athletics and academics are offered for ages preschool through high school every summer for the public as well as students enrolled for school at Blake during the school year. Ages: Camp Acoma includes grades pre-K–K (Cubs), grades K–2 (Bears), grades 3–4 (Adventure) and grades 5–7 (Leaders in Training). Specialty camps are offered for grades pre-K–12. Academic classes and courses for credit are offered for grades 9–12. Dates: June 18–Aug. 9 Hours: 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. for Camp Acoma — 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. with before/after extended-day options; specialty camps and courses for credit are typically offered in two- to four-hour time slots between 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Location: Blake Campus (110 Blake Rd. S., Hopkins), Northrop Campus (511 Kenwood Pkwy., Minneapolis), Highcroft Campus (301 Peavey Lane, Wayzata) Cost: Camp Acoma costs $245–$250 for a week of full-day camp (8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.) or $275–$340 with before/after extended-day options (7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.); families who mix and match specialty camps may also add recess bridge care between afternoon and morning camps, which costs $25–$35 per week. Info: 952-988-3463,

↑↑Playing outside and making new friends are key components to the summer programming at The Blake School’s Camp Acoma. Photo by Chris Polydoroff

pre-K Cubs to seventh-grade Leaders in Training, all gathered on the steps of the Lower School. Quickly, the campers composed themselves and lifted their arms up in anticipation. “A is for adventure that’s headed our way!” they sang as they joined their hands over their heads into a point. “C is for the choice we make to do our best today! O is opportunity to M: make a new friend! A is for Acoma! Acoma! That’s the end!” they shouted with glee. After the opening Acoma song, campers broke into their groups and followed their counselors to start their days — jampacked with art projects, kickball games

and team-building exercises, too. Briol said she hopes students leave Blake camps with a well-rounded, fun and educational experience. “I’m very passionate about summer programming, just in general,” Briol said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for kids to be in a space where they can take risks and make friends and have fun and be themselves without any pressure. So that’s what I really hope kids get out of this summer — an opportunity to grow and learn and just enjoy themselves.” Olivia Volkman-Johnson is a local freelance writer and a recent graduate of Winona State University. • March 2018



Check list Encourage your kid to pack his own suitcase. (Then get ready to pack away your anxiety!) BY SUE LEBRETON

Illustration by Victoria Hein


March 2018 •

om. You forgot to pack extra socks,” my 10-year-old son said accusingly after we picked him up from a weeklong overnight camp. Socks, I mused, mentally searching through the gear I’d packed over a week ago. I remembered making an extra trip to the store for the hiking socks requested on the camp list. Had I not packed them? “Do you mean the hiking socks?” I asked. “No, just any socks. I have a blister because I wore the same pair of socks all week,” he said, his voice rising. “I packed more than enough socks,” I assured him. “They were right there with your underwear.”  “Oh yeah: I could not find my underwear, so I wore the same pair of underwear all week, too.” At this point, his dad and I burst out laughing, but he didn’t see the humor.  “They were not in the bag! I even had a counselor help me look for them,” he asserted confidently. Puzzled, I wonder if he could’ve been the victim of a cabin prank in which someone hid his underwear and socks. When we arrived home, I opened the large gear bag. Lo and behold, jammed in one section, just where I’d packed them, were ample clean socks and underwear. “Oh, I guess we never saw the second zippered section,” my son said. My mind jumped back to the night before camp when I finished packing his bag and then, as suggested by the camp guide, walked him through where everything was. I suppose his, “Yeah, yeah, Mom, I know,” should’ve showed me he wasn’t listening. Lesson learned. The following year, he packed his own bag and I reviewed it. As you pack and prepare to send your child off to camp, whether it’s for the first or fifth time, remember that camp organizers are experts. Just trust their directions — and follow them closely. Here are some general guidelines I’ve learned (and relearned) after sending two children to various camps for many years.

Start early: Review the suggested packing list with your child a few weeks before camp. This will give you time to purchase any missing items. (It might also help your child get excited about camp.) Let them do it: Have your children pack their own bags (with supervision). This will help them eventually find those important socks and underwear. Plus, it adds to their sense of independence, another reason we choose to send them to camp, right? Label it: From luggage to individual items, use a system to label every item that leaves your house. Preprinted labels are great, but can be expensive. One year when my daughter attended camp, we created a logo for her using her initials. We marked all her belongings using a permanent marker. Even if another camper had the same initials, her items were uniquely identified. Be careful with care packages: Double check if these are even allowed at camp. In more rustic surroundings, food isn’t permitted in sleeping quarters because it attracts wild animals. If food is allowed, send enough for your child’s cabin mates, too. But be sensitive to any allergy issues. Many camps are peanut-free or nut-free. Pack it out: A horse camp my daughter attended suggested campers bring a detailed list of their belongings. When she was packing up to go home, it made it easier for her to locate missing items. For example: She knew she was looking for two pink shirts, not one. Don’t helicopter: Keep communication to a minimum and obey any camp restric-

tions. Many camps allow one-way communication in which parents can send a daily letter or email to the child. You’re the expert on your children: Will receiving a daily note from you make them more or less lonely? Our son asked us not to send any notes the second year as he found the notes made him lonely and homesick. Be strong: I know you may be anxious and missing your child, but don’t call the camp unless it’s an emergency. Pack your own anxiety away and prepare your children for the possibility of homesickness. Tell them it’s normal and can happen to campers of any age. Assure them you know they can handle it. Counselors should be trained to help campers work through these issues. If your child calls crying for you to come and get him, steel yourself and repeat that you’re confident in his ability to manage. Then speak to the head counselor to assess the situation. This happened to us the first year our son attended camp. But he worked through it (so did Mom and Dad) and he felt quite proud and independent when he completed his first week at camp. Don’t bring valuables: Jewelry and expensive electronics belong at home. If children attend camp with cell phones or iPads, they might miss opportunities to connect and make new friends. And isn’t that why we’re sending them to camp in the first place?   Sue LeBreton is health and wellness journalist who lives in Calgary, Canada. • March 2018



GET SPECIAL DEALS YMCA SUMMER RALLY DAYS Thursday, March 1 – Tuesday, March 6

SAVE $50 on registration fee

SAVE $15 per session fee

SAVE $50 on registration fee




Grades K – 5

Grades 1 – 6

Grades 6 – 8

Summer Power is your answer to quality care and exciting adventures. We offer flexible 3-, 4-, and 5-day options. No two weeks are alike! Weekly themes and weekly field trips.

Youth will have the opportunity to learn new skills, practice and play new sports. Y Summer Sports is a safe, fun, non-competitive sports program designed to build teamwork, leadership skills and self-esteem.

Uproar provides an exciting combination of spirited adventure and growth. Teens get their first taste of leadership as they help to plan their summer activities and participate in weekly field trips.

Thursday, March 1 – Tuesday, March 6

Register Online Membership not required. Financial assistance available. Need more information? Attend the

YMCA SUMMER PROGRAMS FAIR Saturday, March 3 9:30 a.m. – Noon


Thursday, March 1 – Tuesday, March 6

Thursday, March 1 – Tuesday, March 6

YMCA CAMPS YMCA OVERNIGHT CAMPS CAMP ST. CROIX Ages 7-17. Located on the St. Croix River, two miles south of Hudson, WI. Campers participate in a wide variety of traditional camp activities or select a specialty camp such as horseback riding, rock climbing, sailing and canoeing. Three-day, one-week or two-week sessions.

CAMP ICAGHOWAN Ages 7-17. Located on Lake Wapogasset near Amery, WI. Icaghowan offers traditional camp and a variety of unique specialty camps focused on activities such as horseback riding, river canoeing and skateboard camp. Three-day, one-week or two-week sessions.

CAMP IHDUHAPI Ages 7-17. Located on Lake Independence just 22 miles west of Minneapolis, MN, Ihduhapi offers youth a traditional experience or sailing and horseback riding specialty camps. Three-day, one-week or two-week sessions. Leadership development programs for grades 8-11.

CAMP WARREN Ages 7-16. Camp Warren, located in the north woods on Half Moon Lake near Eveleth, MN, offers girls-only sessions the first part of the summer and boys-only sessions later in the summer. Camp Warren has a strong tradition of progressive activities including sailing, archery, tennis, photography and horseback riding.

YMCA FAMILY CAMP CAMP DU NORD All Ages. Located on the edge of the BWCA on Burntside Lake, Camp du Nord offers a totally unique week-long camping experience for families. Cozy woodland cabins with kitchens range from rustic to upscale. Tent camping sites, full/partial food service also available. Hiking, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, swimming, nature and arts programs are offered as family activities and for children’s age groups. Relax at days end with an authentic Finnish sauna.


SAVE $25 per session March 1 - March 6

YMCA TEEN WILDERNESS ADVENTURES CAMP MENOGYN Ages 12-18. Camp Menogyn is located on the Gunflint Trail 30 miles north of Grand Marais, MN. There are no roads leading to Menogyn, so all campers cross West Bearskin Lake by boat to arrive at this beautiful, intimate wilderness setting. Our focus is on the small group, compassionate guided wilderness canoeing, backpacking and rock climbing trips that are safe, fun and enriching.

CAMP WIDJIWAGAN Ages 11-18. Located on Burntside Lake near Ely, MN, Widji offers high-quality canoe and backpacking adventures in the BWCA and throughout North America. Widji wilderness trips are focused on respect and values that build skills for life and a relationship with the environment that is unparalleled.

YMCA DAY CAMP AGES 4 - 14 YMCA Day Camp provides a week full of exciting camp activities like canoeing, archery, fishing, camp crafts, cookouts, swimming and more! Day camps facilitate a great introduction to camping in a safe environment. Kids are home each night. Bus transportation is available at most locations.

YMCA DAY CAMPS: SPECIALTY CAMPS Develop a greater passion for the things you love, or try out something new at one of our YMCA specialty camps! Campers spend approximately 2 hours each day in their specialized activity. The remainder of the day is spent enjoying traditional camp activities.


SAVE $15 per session March 1 – March 6 DAY CAMPS Camp Christmas Tree 6365 Game Farm Rd., Minnetrista, 952-544-7708. Located on 45 acres at Dutch Lake near Mound, MN. YMCA Camp St. Croix – DayCroix 532 County Rd. F, Hudson, WI, 612-465-0560. Located on 400 acre site overlooking the St. Croix River. Camp Guy Robinson 3100 217th Ave NW, Oak Grove, 763-785-7882. Located at Lake George Regional Park. Camp Heritage 7732 Main Street, Lino Lakes; located across from Wargo Nature Center in Lino Lakes. YMCA Day Camp Ihduhapi 3425 Ihduhapi Rd., Loretto, 763-479-1146. Located on Lake Independence. Day Camp Ihduhapi offers the beautiful, north woods feel of camp. Camp Kici Yapi 13220 Pike Lake Trail NE, Prior Lake, 952-835-2567. Located on 80 acre site in Prior Lake. Camp Kumalya 1515 Keats Ave. N., Lake Elmo, 651-731-9507. Located at Lake Elmo Park Reserve in Lake Elmo. Camp Manitou 9910 Briarwood Ave. NE, Monticello,763-535-4800. Attraction-packed new location at Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. Camp Spring Lake 13690 Pine Bend Trail, Rosemount, 651-456-9622. Located at Dakota County Spring Lake Park Reserve in Rosemount. Camp Streefland 11490 Klamath Trail, Lakeville, 952-898-9622. Located on Lake Kingsley in Lakeville.

For more information:

612-230-9622 Membership not required. Financial assistance available.




Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) Summer Social Skills Classes AuSM Social Skills summer classes for youth and adults with autism offer low-stress, accepting environments that encourage learning and growth while participants develop social skills and confidence. Classes centered on special interests including the great outdoors, filmmaking, community outings, improv, zoos, art, drama, and more are offered in locations throughout the metro area. E-mail for more info. Register today! 2380 Wycliff St, Ste 102 St. Paul 651-647-1083

The Bakken Museum Students explore the exciting world of technology and innovation through handson activities, magic tricks, team-building challenges and invention. Campers learn the invention process and build their own take-home creations. Spaces fill fast, so register early! 3537 Zenith Ave S Minneapolis

Bell Museum Summer Camps Explore art and science through outdoor


March 2018 •

adventure, hands-on experiments, planetarium shows, creative play, and field trips to meet U of M scientists! 2018 campers will be the first to enjoy our brand new museum! June 11–August 31, Grades K–8 St. Paul 612-624-2345

Brain Balance Centers Brain Balance is a holistic approach to helping kids who struggle with academic, behavioral, or social skills deficits. Brain Balance combines sensory motor exercises with cognitive skill training and healthy nutrition to balance both hemispheres of the brain. We offer programming throughout the school year and summer months. Provide this ad and get $500 off enrollment. Brain Balance Achievement Center of Minnetonka 4745 Cty Rd 101 952-582-4290

Camp Invention Invent the future today at Camp Invention! This summer’s all-new curriculum allows children in kindergarten through 6th grade to create a vehicle of the future, design a mechanical robot dog, and build futuristic dream homes. Local educators lead a week of hands-on activities that fuel children’s 21st century skills. Early registration discounts are available.

Multiple locations throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area! 800-698-4332

Summer STEM Camps with Curious Minds LLC Kids become a citizen scientist or engineer by participating in exciting hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) activities and challenges. Curious Minds LLC is an official partner of Twin Cities Public Television SciGirls CONNECT on PBS TV! June 18th–August 10th half-day camps for ages 5–13. Register at

Groves Academy Summer Programs Groves Academy offers summer programs for students entering grades 2–11 from the community with learning and attention challenges. Taught by Groves trained teachers, our small class sizes and specialized instruction build success and confidence. Both academic and enrichment programs are available. 3200 Hwy 100 S St. Louis Park 952-920-6377

Hamline Mock Trial Camp This week-long, overnight camp is for students of any skill level, entering grades 9–12 to learn from collegiate mockers, attorneys, judges, and experts on developing teamwork, critical thinking, and presentation skills while getting a glimpse into college life. Day only or overnight options available. Hamline University St. Paul 651-523-2974

Hamline Numbers Rule Boot Camp At this week-long day camp, high school students preview college life while participating in activities focused on accounting and finance. Campers visit with local businesses to gain insight and bring back that knowledge to apply toward a fictitious startup. Hamline University St. Paul

Hill-Murray School There is something for everyone at HillMurray School this summer—grades 2–12! Samples of our Academic offerings include: Virtual Reality, Intro to Coding, Intro to Aviation, Jump Start & Study Skills, Summer Slide Math & Reading, ACT Prep, Driver’s Ed. Register today – space is limited! 2625 Larpenteur Ave E Maplewood 651-777-1376

iD Tech Camps The world’s #1 summer STEM program for ages 7–17, held at 150 prestigious universities including Macalester. With worldclass instructors and innovative courses in coding, game development, robotics, and design, our programs instill in-demand skills that embolden students to shape the future. Held at Macalester and 1 50+ Locations Nationwide 1-844-788-1858

Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest Students in grades 4–8 will learn how to run a successful business through a variety of fun, interactive activities. Held at JA BizTown, our unique kid-sized city. June session explores STEM careers; July session will appeal to the young entrepreneur. 1800 White Bear Ave N Maplewood 651-255-0455

Mathnasium Mathnasium makes math make sense, helping students reach their individual potential and achieve life-changing

mastery of number sense and math fluency. Mathnasium offers math enrichment, test prep, homework help, and summer programs. CALL TODAY FOR A FREE TRIAL!

The Art Academy


Give your child the opportunity to explore their creative side and develop their skills by illustrating their own children's book and learning the principles of drawing and painting at the Art Academy's Summer Camp program. Classes and camps, with exceptional student/teacher ratios, are available for students ages 5–18.

Explore the world of STEM with Snapology by using LEGO® bricks and similar building tools to learn about video game design, animation, robotics, programming, engineering, and physics through a handson approach that promotes playful learning.

Articulture Art Camps

22 Twin Cities locations 877-601-MATH (6284)

2649 Lyndale Ave S Minneapolis 612-440-7627

The Works Museum Engineering & design camps for kids in pre-K–grade 6. Coding, LEGO engineering, girls design, robotics, architecture, and more! Half and full-day options, June–August 2018. The Works Museum: inspiring the next generation of innovators, engineers, and creative problem solvers. 9740 Grand Ave S Bloomington 952-888-4262

Zoo Camp Minnesota Zoo offers half-day to week-long adventures for toddlers to 12th graders (and adults!) to meet animals, make new friends, and have fun learning about the natural world. Check out our popular Horse Camps and our new Build a Canoe with the Zoo camp for 7th–9th graders! Register at 13000 Zoo Blvd Apple Valley 952-431-9320


Adventures in Cardboard Mythic Play in Summer Wildlands! Be initiated into an esteemed House of The Realm and jump into live-action adventure gaming! Build your own armor, create castles to defend your land, battle on trails, fields and shorelines! Swords, bows, catapults, magic and monsters! Full days spent in beautiful parks across the metro region. Days, Monday–Friday, ages 8–16 and several TEEN ONLY weeks! 22 sessions in 10 Regional Parks, June 11–August 17. 3448 16th Ave S Minneapolis

651 Snelling Ave S St. Paul 651-699-1573

Articulture art camps encourage kids to explore a variety of media and emphasize personal creativity—fun and educational! Themes range from animation to food as art. Runs June 11–August 31 for ages 4 and up. Full- and half-day options. $132–$285. 2613 E Franklin Ave Minneapolis 612-729-5151

Artistry Over 75 week-long visual and performing arts camps for grades 1–9! Artistry campers will explore art forms including pottery, fused glass, design, theater arts, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, plus NEW out-of-the-box offerings! $135–$165/ half-day. Combine for full-day experience. Scholarships available. Bloomington Center for the Arts 1800 W Old Shakopee Rd Bloomington 952-563-8575

ARTrageous Adventures Fun, creative weekly camp themes, parties and events throughout the year! Paint, reARTcycle, sculpt and collage in our handson studio right in the heART of Kenwood, Minneapolis. Check us out on Facebook for fun events, craft ideas and camp info! Minneapolis 612-423-7554

Cooks of Crocus Hill Cooks of Crocus Hill is a locally owned culinary retail store and cooking school. With three locations in the Twin Cities, Cooks offers an assortment of cooking tools and classes aimed at helping kids and adults foster their culinary journey. St. Paul: 877 Grand Ave Stillwater: 324 S Main St Minneapolis: 208 N 1st St 651.228.1333 • March 2018


CAMP RESOURCES ADVERTISER LISTINGS Hamline Young Writers Workshop At this week-long day camp, high school students, ages 15–18, who are passionate about creative writing get to explore the craft, connect with other young writers in the Twin Cities, work with award-winning authors, and get a sense of college life. Hamline University St. Paul 651-523-2479

Kidcreate Studio Kidcreate’s award winning summer camps are designed to inspire and educate young artists, ages 3 to 12, in an environment where giggles and grins are encouraged. Camps combine art education with an atmosphere full of fun. This summer’s camps include: Beyond Pokémon, Big & Messy, Glitter & Glow, LEGO Star Wars, Mad About the Masters, Shopkins Cute, Sparkle Spectacular, The How To's of Drawing, The Messiest Art Camp Ever, Think Pink, Willy Wonka’s Candy Crafts and many more! Making a mess is the best at Kidcreate! Eden Prairie: 7918 Mitchell Rd 952-974-3438 Woodbury: 1785 Radio Dr, Ste F 651-735-0880 WATCH FOR OUR NEW STUDIO, OPENING THIS SPRING IN SAVAGE!

The Loft’s Young Writers’ Program The Loft’s Young Writers’ Program offers numerous classes throughout the summer that foster creativity, enrich talents, and create friendships. Classes run for ages 6–17 at all skill levels. Open Book 1011 Washington Ave S 612-215-2575

6–18! Weeklong and multi-week options. Scholarships available. 2501 Stevens Ave Minneapolis 612-874-3765

The Phipps Summer Art Camp Partial-day and full-day classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media, pottery, art & nature, fiber arts, stained glass, jewelry, and more, as well as theater productions and dance. For ages 4 through teens. Taught by experienced art educators. June 18–August 10. The Phipps Center for the Arts 109 Locust St Hudson, WI 715-386-2305

Shell Lake Arts Center With programs in jazz, rock band, show choir, art, theater, film, and more, the Shell Lake Arts Center is like nowhere else! Just two hours northeast of the Twin Cities in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. Come join us for the experience of a lifetime! 802 1st St Shell Lake 715-468-2414

Art Camps at Studio Seven One week painting and drawing camps for students ages 7–18. Compositional elements will be explored through landscape and figure studies. Students will paint and draw both in the studio and outside. Trips to galleries and museums included. Camps are Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. $580 per week, all materials are included. 708 N 1st St Minneapolis 612-376-0381

Maker Activities for Kids at the Library

Textile Center

Hands-on, drop-in activities for youth ages 8–12 at the library! Activities offer an opportunity for youth to be engaged and inspired by STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) concepts. Parents/guardians are encouraged to join in the fun! Always free!

Small classes taught by skilled artists―learn to weave on a loom, create a handmade hammock to lounge in, stitch a quilt to enter in the Fair, or become a fashion designer and sew a fabulous outfit! Ages 6 and up. Half- and full-day options.

Saint Paul Public Library (multiple branches) Saint Paul 651-266-7034

Minneapolis College of Art and Design Join us at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design for a series of innovative, handson, and engaging visual art and design camps and classes for kids and teens ages


March 2018 •

3000 University Ave SE Minneapolis 612-436-0464

Dance, Music & Performance Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs Day Camp

For Elementary & Middle School boys & girls

who love to SING! Join us for a week in July for singing, music games & making friends. Singers will explore their vocal potential & increase their confidence. Grades 2–5 & 6–9. Only $75. See website for dates and times. Bloomington Center for the Arts 1800 W Old Shakopee Rd Bloomington 952-563-8572

Brave New Workshop Student Union Brave New Workshop is the nation's longest running improv and satirical comedy theater in the country. Whether your student is a born performer or looking to break out of their shell, our week-long improv and sketch writing camps are perfect for any creative young person. No experience necessary! For ages 9–18. 727 Hennepin Ave S Minneapolis 651-300-6281

The Center for Irish Music Center for Irish Music offers private and group instruction to students ages 2 to 102 on traditional Irish instruments including singing, harp, whistle flute, bodhrán, piano and fiddle. Drop by to meet our team of 20 wonderful instructors and learn a tune! 836 Prior Ave N St. Paul

Chan DT Musical Theatre Camp Chanhassen Dinner Theatres offers summertime theatre camps for kids and teens (ages 5–18). It’s a fantastic week of full and half-day sessions focusing on musical theatre fundamentals taught by Chanhassen professionals throughout the summer. Sessions begin June 11th. Registration opens Feb. 1st! PO Box 100 Chanhassen 952-934-1525

Circus Juventas Travel the globe without ever leaving our big top! Our full-day, week-long camps explore a vast array of circus arts from Morocco to Mongolia, China to Russia. Reserve your spot now to be a part of one of the most talkedabout and unique summer camps anywhere. 1270 Montreal Ave St. Paul 651-699-8229

CREO Arts & Dance Conservatory Wholesome, creative, joyful dancing for all ages & stages. June 18–August 20. Our noncompetitive dance studio provides expert instruction in ballet, jazz, contemporary, and hip-hop. Summer classes include: Pony Power, Fairy-tale Ballet, Faith Based Dance, Ballet/Jazz/Modern Intensives. Wayzata Home Center 1250 Wayata Blvd E 612-636-6893

Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) Summer Programs Two engaging summer programs in Minneapolis and St. Paul provide fun and challenging orchestral experiences for string, woodwind, brass, and percussion students of all abilities, ages 8–18. No auditions required. Need-based scholarships available. Details and registration at orchestras. 408 St. Peter St, Ste 300 St. Paul 651-602-6800

The Guthrie Theater The Guthrie's day camps and intensives spark the imaginations of young people entering grades 3–12. Participants work alongside theater professionals to explore and develop their skills as creative thinkers and artists. Camps run weekly, June 18–August 3. 818 S 2nd St Minneapolis 612-225-6134

Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival Lutheran Summer Music (LSM) is a residential training and performance program. Each summer, LSM brings together band, orchestra, choir, composition, organ, and piano students in a supportive, intentional community. Students from all faith backgrounds are welcome to join us! Valparaiso University Valparaiso, IN 612-879-9555

Sing Minnesota August 6–10, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sing Minnesota is a weeklong day camp for girls and boys, ages 8–12 sponsored by the Minnesota Boychoir. While focusing on choral singing, campers also participate in other creative arts: drama and movement, visual arts, and outdoor fun and games! $350, scholarships available. Concordia University Buetow Music Center 300 Hamline Ave N St. Paul 651-292-3219

O’Shea Irish Dance Classes Director Cormac O’Se, original member of Riverdance. Professional Irish Dance training for preschoolers through adults; for competition, for fun, and for fitness! Weekly Classes: Mondays–Saturdays. Beginners

Classes registering now! Summer camps June, July, August. The Celtic Junction 836 Prior Ave N St. Paul 612-722-7000

St. Paul Ballet Dance all summer long with St. Paul Ballet. Dance camps, intensives and drop-in classes available for ages 2.5–100! 655 Fairview Ave N St. Paul 651-690-1588

Stages Theatre Company Summer Theatre Workshops: June 18– August 17, 2018. Calling all ACTORS, SINGERS, and DANCERS… Have fun learning about theatre from some of the area’s finest teaching artists! Stages Theatre Company offers a variety of age appropriate workshops for students ages 4–16. 1111 Mainstreet Hopkins 952-979-1111, option 4

SteppingStone Theatre (SST) Camps & One Day Classes Young people lead the creative process in SST's year-round Creative Learning programs for ages 3–18. Create-A-Play in

Hill-Murray School There is something for everyone at HillMurray School this summer—grades 2–12! Samples of our Arts/Activities offerings include: Summer Pops Orchestra, Summer Band, Theatre Camp, Film & Visual Storytelling, Radio Broadcasting, Digital Photography. Register today – space is limited! 2625 Larpenteur Ave E Maplewood 651-777-1376

Lundstrum Performing Arts Lundstrum offers two summer musical theater intensives, Peter Pan and Shrek for ages 8–17. Intensives are taught by professional performers and culminate in three performances. Evening classes are offered with a final in-studio performance. Themes include Lion King, Monsters Inc. 1617 N 2nd St Minneapolis 612-521-2600 • March 2018


CAMP RESOURCES ADVERTISER LISTINGS our devised theatre classes, learn theatre design skills in our workshops or perform on the mainstage as a LEAP artist. Mix up your creativity and play in our interactive, youth-centered programs to promote critical thinking and empathy. Scholarships available! 55 Victoria St N St. Paul 651-225-9265

Theatre Arts Training at Children’s Theatre Company June 11–August 17, ages 4–18. Theatre Arts Training offers camps for all levels in acting, musical theatre, improv and more, making it easy to find the perfect fit for the young actor in your life. Be Curious. Be Creative. Be Confident. Registration now open. 2400 3rd Ave S Minneapolis 612-874-0400

University of Northwestern (UNW) – St. Paul, Academy of Music Whatever the age or musical ability of your child, UNW Academy of Music has a summer camp to excite and challenge them on their musical journey. Brio Music Camp: Intro Music for ages 4–8. Show Choir for ages 9–16, Piano Institute for ages 10–18. Music Recording Camp for ages 13 and up. Northwestern Campus 3003 Snelling Ave N St. Paul 651-631-5108


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Youth Performance Company (YPC)

American Swedish Institute

Full- and half-day theatre workshops for grades K–12. Opportunities for beginning and advanced students. Topics include acting, musical theatre, improv and more! We also offer a residential theatre camp at Bay Lake Camp. Get your groove on at YPC!

Have fun at ASI's Thursday Summer Day Camps, July 12–August 9, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. with Nordic Cooking and Culture, Pippi Longstocking and Vikings themes for ages 7–13. Try our new four-day Youth Handcraft Camp and make things to take home, June 25–28, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

3338 University Ave SE Minneapolis 612-623-9180 x102

Zenon Dance Company & School Week long dance camps for ages 6–14. Each day includes technique, choreography and fun. Participants will perform for family and friends on the last day! Register online for Youth Hip Hop & Sampler camps throughout the summer. 528 Hennepin Ave, Ste 400 Minneapolis 612-338-1101


AFSA N.E.R.D. Camp N.E.R.D. (Nature, Environment, Resources, Discovery) Camp is packed with hands-on experiences in a variety of STEM fields. Campers, grades 4–8, can mix and match options that create a fulfilling experience unique to their interests! Camp dates: Session 1: June 18–22, Session 2: June 25–29. Full and half-day options available. Questions? Contact Stephanie Forliti at or visit to register. 100 Vadnais Blvd Vadnais Heights 612-260-2662

2600 Park Ave S Minneapolis 612-871-4907

Anoka-Hennepin Community Education Children in preschool through grade eight will explore fun art, theater, STEM and athletic opportunities and field trips through weekly, hands-on camps and classes. Sliding fee is available for eligible families. Registration opens Mar. 2, visit www. or call 765-5061286 for more information. Coon Rapids: 11600 Raven St NW Andover: 15400 Hanson Blvd NW 763-506-1286

Tanadoona | Camp Fire Minnesota Explore Tanadoona’s Big Woods and zigzag by canoe across Lake Minnewashta! With 103 acres, adventures are endless with new friends and local and international counselors. NEW: water log rolling, Tanadoona Tree House, and agility course! Open Houses: 3/10 & 5/5. 3300 Tanadoona Dr Excelsior 612-235-7284 Camp on the Hill–Cathedral Hill Montessori School A uniquely urban summer camp for children ages 6–9. Mornings are spent exploring different weekly themes around the city and afternoons are spent at a Montessoriinspired base camp where children participate in arts and crafts, outdoor games, and weekly service projects. 325 Dayton Ave St. Paul 651-222-1555

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Awarded "Best Day Camp" by Nickelodeon’s Parent’s Picks. Camp Como enhances your child’s appreciation for the natural world with enthusiastic instructors, zookeepers and gardeners, and behind-the-scenes adventures. Campers will get closer to plants and animals than ever before. Preschool through 8th grade. 1225 Estabrook Dr St. Paul 651-487-8201

Concordia Academy Concordia Academy offers sports, arts, and STEM camps for Grades 3-12: basketball, CSI, Bella Voce girls choir, volleyball, acting, duct tape art, dance, auto shop, youth worship team, art, 3D Fab Lab, photography, softball, football, soccer, RC planes, and weightlifting. 2400 N Dale St Roseville 651-484-8429

Gibbs Farm Day Camps We’ve created the perfect mix of day camps for your kids! Family-friendly pricing, fun for kids ages 4–15. Choose Pioneer PeeWees, ages 4–5; or one of our three-day camps, ages 6–10, including Pioneer Kid, Gibbs Girl or Dakota Day Camp. Digging History, our archaeology day camp, and Victorian Ladies Day Camp are for ages 11–15. Camps offered June 19–August 31. Pioneer Kid, Gibbs Girl, Dakota Day Camp, Digging History, Victorian Ladies: $99/week. Pioneer Peewees: $19/day. 2097 W Larpenteur Ave Falcon Heights 651-646-8629

Gibbs Girl Three days, three experiences! For girls 6–10. This craft-rich camp explores the lives of girls in Minnesota during the 1800s: Life as a Pioneer girl, Dakota girl and Victorian girl. Tuesdays–Thursdays, June 19–21 and August 7–9, 21–23, and 28–30, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. each day. $99/week.

2097 W Larpenteur Ave Falcon Heights 651-646-8629

The International School of Minnesota The International School of MN welcomes the community to participate in camp June 18–August 17. Swimming and canoeing lessons, nature hikes, crafts, gardening, sports, and beach Fridays! Daily language classes & cultural exploration in French or Spanish. Preschool (3.5 years) through entering grade 9. 6385 Beach Rd Eden Prairie 952-918-1800

Inver Grove Heights Park & Recreation Kids R.O.C.K. is a summer program for kids ages 5–12 that runs June 11–August 24. Campers engage in hands-on activities, games, crafts, songs, swimming in our water park, field trips and themed events. Campers may register for 3–5 days per week. 8055 Barbara Ave E Inver Grove Heights 651-450-2585

Kroening Interpretive Center at North Mississippi Regional Park The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board exists to provide places and recreation opportunities for all people to gather, celebrate, contemplate, and engage in activities that promote health, well-being, community, and the environment. 4900 Mississippi Ct Minneapolis 612-370-4844

Minnehaha Academy Summer Programs Jump into summer fun with more than 60 half- and full-day athletic, enrichment and academic camps for grades pre-K through 12. 4200 W River Pkwy Minneapolis 612-728-7745

Minnesota Waldorf School Summer Day Camp Old fashioned summer fun on our 8 acre campus! A relaxed schedule of crafts, nature play, games, music, gardening, and more. Ages 3.5–entering 5th grade. Flexible weekly scheduling. 70 E County Rd B St. Paul 651-487-6700 x202

Playworks 2018 Summer Camp

Sign up for Playworks Summer Camp, full of learning, adventure, field trips, and fun! Children learn through hands-on experiences, outdoor activities, playing in the Atrium, and educational programs. Playworks Summer Camp is open to children 6–12 years of age. Daily meals are included. Part-time and full-time options are available. 2200 Trail of Dreams Prior Lake 952-445-PLAY (7529)

Providence Academy Providence Academy’s Summer Activities offer a variety of programs for students age 5 through grade 12. Enjoy activities that promote experiential learning, creative and academic growth, and unique summer experiences. Full-day sessions for students age 5 through grade 6. 15100 Schmidt Lake Rd Plymouth 763-258-2500

School Chess Association Summer Day Chess Camp All levels of chess instruction, professional educators tailored to the student’s individual needs. Fun activities include swimming, water slides, field ball, Magic the Gathering, soccer, tennis, roller skating, bowling, fishing, sign language, and role-playing games. Programs: June 25–28, July 9–12, July 16–19, July 23–26, July 30–Aug 2, Aug 6–9, Aug 13–16. St. Louis Park Recreation Center 3700 Monterey Dr St. Louis Park 763-593-1168

SCL Academic and Sports Camps Art, basketball, beginning band, bowling, football, science, soccer, theatre, volleyball, and wrestling camps led by SCL faculty, varsity coaches, and players. Space is limited. Register early. June 11–August 10 (dates vary). Starting at $50/week. St. Croix Lutheran Academy 1200 Oakdale Ave, West St. Paul 651-455-1521

Shoreview Parks & Recreation Camps Three-day to eleven-week half and fullday sessions including summer childcare, playground programs, specialized sports, art camps, dance, and more! Ages 3–15. Camps available June 11–August 24; visit our website or call for more info. 4580 Victoria St N Shoreview 651-490-4750 • March 2018


CAMP RESOURCES ADVERTISER LISTINGS Spring Break & Summer at Blake From robots to art projects and the classroom to the athletic field, Blake challenges students to creatively express themselves in an array of disciplines. Sports, academics, arts and day camps are open to pre-K–12 students throughout the Twin Cities. Hopkins, Minneapolis, Wayzata 952-988-3463

St. Croix Montessori School Join us for 12 fun filled weeks of summer adventure on our outdoor nature pavilion and farm. Campers will explore our forest and prairies while learning about the natural world. Each week is filled with exciting opportunities. Campers ages 3-5 and 6-9 welcome. Download our brochures and registration forms at 177 Neal Ave. N Stillwater

Wolf Camp at the Wildlife Science Center Live wolves, bears, raptors, and other Minnesota wildlife are the focus of Wolf Camp at the Wildlife Science Center. Program topics include wildlife ecology, animal care, radio telemetry, creating souvenir track casts, and archery. Wildlife Science Center 22830 Sunrise Road NE Stacy 651-464-3993

YWCA Minneapolis YWCA Minneapolis Summer Day Camps promote healthy attitudes and lifestyles through safe, respectful, fun and diverse learning experiences. Our programs feature swimming, sports, games, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) activities and weekly field trips to explore the city. 3 Camp Locations: YWCA at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, 800 E 28th St, #15103 YWCA Downtown, 1130 Nicollet Mall YWCA Midtown, 2121 East Lake Street 612-215-4189 ( care__youth_programs/child_care__ education/summer_kids_camp/

Horseback Riding Lost Creek Ranch

Lost Creek Ranch Camp Confidence is the best overnight camp for horse crazy kids! Campers get their "own" horse. Ride a minimum of four hours every day! Individual


March 2018 •

attention. Make new friends and begin a lifelong passion for horses. Less than one hour from the Twin Cities. N6842 570th St Beldenville, WI 715-273-6070

Regent Arabians: Developing Equestrians for Life LESSONS, DAY CAMP, TRAIL RIDING, BIRTHDAY PARTIES. Handle, groom, & ride beautiful, intelligent & experienced horses. We educate & ride year round. Students improve their physical & mental fitness, selfesteem, respect & focus while pursuing their dream with horses! 26125 Tucker Rd Rogers 763-428-4975

Sunnyside Stables Horsemanship Summer Camp Sunnyside’s camp is a place to discover horses and new friends. Each day includes riding—rain or shine, as we have an indoor and outdoor arena as well as scenic trails. You will discover the basics of grooming, saddling, body language, posture, contact, and balance to develop independent riding skills. 15400 Emery Ave E Rosemount 651-226-2027


Concordia Language Villages We are the premier language and cultural immersion program in the U.S. Since 1961, we have provided an authentic experience with programs for all ages offered in 15 different languages. Day camps, residential youth camps and family camps offered. 8659 Thorsonveien Rd NE Bemidji 1-800-222-4750


Camp Victory Ministries A Christian Camp in Southeastern Minnesota providing overnight, day, and wilderness camps. Get active, connected and inspired to follow Jesus Christ! Over 17 different specialty camps to choose from, like Viking Camp, Soccer Camp, and Drone Camp. Sign up today at Zumbro Falls 507-843-2329

Venture Photography At Venture we capture your precious moments in time and beautifully present them in our stunning hand-crafted product. Our innovative photography, exceptional quality, and first class customer service continues to redefine family photography, creating lasting memories for generations to come. 705 Mainstreet Hopkins 952-345-3392 venturephotographyminneapolis


Audubon Center of the North Woods Youth summer camps with a focus on wildlife, nature, challenge and outdoor skills. Rocks, Ropes & Rafts (entering grades 6–8); Outdoor Explorations (entering grades 5–7); Ways of Wildlife (entering grades 4-6). June–July. 54165 Audubon Dr Sandstone 888-404-7743

Camp Bovey A summer youth program of East Side Neighborhood Services. We provide a safe place for youth to have fun while participating in outdoor activities. Campers gain confidence in outdoor living skills. Check out our new team challenge course in 2018! Northwestern Wisconsin 612-787-4030

Camp Chetek Camp Chetek is a Bible camp in northern Wisconsin on Lake Chetek. All staff undergo rigorous training and background checks. Horses, boats, basketball court, pedal carts, archery and shooting range, Bible lessons. Campers grades 3–12. Monday–Saturday. PO Box 26 Chetek, WI 715-924-3236

Camp Chippewa for Boys We develop character through adventure, inspired by over 80 years of tradition. Your son will receive individual attention as he learns life skills and makes lifelong friends in our wilderness environment. He will return more confident, self-aware and resilient. 22767 Cap Endres Rd SE Cass Lake 218-335-8807

Tanadoona | Camp Fire Minnesota

Unroll your sleeping bag in a rustic cabin for a week with new friends, and local and international counselors. 103 acres along Lake Minnewashta, adventure awaits with activities like archery, agility and teambuilding courses, and canoeing. Open Houses: 3/10 & 5/5. 3300 Tanadoona Dr Excelsior 612-235-7284

Camp Foley Grow Grit. Investigate Independence. At Camp Foley, kids from all over the world put aside their phones to work on face to face social skills all the while trying new activities and taking risks in a safe, kid focused environment. 9303 Father Foley Dr Pine River 218-543-6161

Camp Lebanon Looking for a safe & fun summer highlight for your son/daughter? Kids love Camp! From kindergarten grads to high schoolers, Camp's upbeat Christian environment is

designed to give campers the time of their lives while growing physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. 1205 Acord Rd Burtrum 1-800-816-1502

Camp Lincoln for Boys and Camp Lake Hubert for Girls Camp Lincoln for Boys and Camp Lake Hubert for Girls are separate, traditional camps that focus on skill and character development for ages 5–17. Off the shores of Lake Hubert, we offer over 40 land, water and adventure activities. 23416 Camp Lincoln Rd Lake Hubert 800-242-1909

Camp Nicolet for Girls Family-owned and operated since 1944, at Camp Nicolet we provide a safe, fun, inclusive environment in which girls develop an understanding of and appreciation for self, others, and the natural world through exciting activities, community living, and outdoor adventure. Catch the Nicolet spirit!

PO Box 1359 Eagle River, WI 715-545-2522

Camp Olson YMCA Since 1954, Camp Olson has been providing unforgettable and life-changing experiences for youth and young leaders through quality camping programs. Traditional summer camp available as well as specialty programs in sailing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and leadership development. 4160 Little Boy Rd NE Longville 218-363-2207

Camp WeHaKee Have fun, build friendships, be yourself! More than 40 activities that each girl chooses. Campers from around the world. Exceptional staff! At the heart of WeHaKee is relationship. Just three hours from Minneapolis in Northern Wisconsin! N8104 Barker Lake Rd Winter, WI 800-582-2267 • March 2018


CAMP RESOURCES ADVERTISER LISTINGS Girl Scouts River Valleys Girl Scouts is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. With programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. Camp Elk River 10775 237th Ave NW Zimmerman Camp Lakamaga 12303 Lakamaga Trl N Marine on St. Croix Camp Northwoods 63275 Camp One Rd Mason, WI Camp Singing Hills 49496 193rd Ave Waterville 800-845-0787

Laketrails Base Camp Since 1952, Laketrails has been guiding teens and middle school youth on wilderness canoeing and camping adventures through the islands of Lake of the Woods. Campers are immersed in Nature, learn outdoor skills, learn to care for the environment, and accept and appreciate themselves and others. Oak Island

St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy St. John's Northwestern Military Academy is a private, college preparatory and leadership development school that combines personalized academic instruction, mandatory participation in athletics, ongoing instruction in ethics and values, and a structured, military-style environment that allows students an opportunity to achieve at their full potential. 1101 Genesee St Delafield, WI 800-752-2338

Star Lake Wilderness Camp Star Lake Wilderness Camp provides life changing experiences for 3rd–12th grades. Campers sleep in tents, swim in lakes, hike, canoe, cook on fires, and live in guided small groups. Some weeks have Christian programming. Pay only what you can afford. Pequot Lakes 651-263-0578

Tamahay Camp for Girls Tamahay Camp for Girls is an overnight camp for girls ages 7–16. Tamahay offers the opportunity to make new friends and learn new skills in a technology free environment. Our small sessions enable campers to get to know everyone at camp. Two and four week


March 2018 •

sessions available. Come ride horses, swim, sail, and much more at Tamahay! 21566 Cty 84 Akeley 218-652-3033

Wolf Ridge Summer Camp Kids grades 2–12 will find outdoor adventures to match their curiosity at Wolf Ridge. Share nature up-close every day with lifelong friends at our 2000-acre campus near Lake Superior and the BWCA. Learning is the greatest adventure there is! Choose yours at Finland 218-353-7414

Special Needs Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) Summer Camps

AuSM’s summer camps are tailored for youth and adults with autism and feature options including 1:1, 1:2, and 1:4 staff to camper ratios. Parents and caregivers can rest assured knowing that their campers are being cared for by highly trained, experienced staff, while campers make memories that last a lifetime. Camps for

AuSM members include Hand in Hand (residential, 1:1); Wahode (day, 1:2); and Discovery (residential, 1:4). E-mail camp@ for more info. Register today! 2380 Wycliff St, Ste 102 St. Paul 651-647-1083

Groves Academy Summer Programs Groves Academy offers summer programs for students entering grades 2–11 from the community with learning and attention challenges. Taught by Groves trained teachers, our small class sizes and specialized instruction build success and confidence. Both academic and enrichment programs are available. 3200 Hwy 100 S St. Louis Park 952-920-6377

Specialty Angel Foundation

Camp Angel provides three days of peer support and therapeutic activities for children and teens (6–18) with a parent or caregiver who has (or has had) cancer. Camp provides a unique opportunity for children and teens to have fun and enjoy intentional and meaningful camp activities led by trained volunteers and staff. The three-day camp is at Camp Eden Wood in Eden Prairie. 1155 Centre Pointe Dr, Ste 7 Mendota Heights 612-627-9000

Aris Clinic c/o Activated Growth This half-day program, usually covered by health insurance plans, helps kids 5–18 heal and still have time for summer fun. Professional staff provide a safe, structured weekday experience of psychiatry sessions/ medication management and three hours of group therapy. Kids learn empowering social, psycho-educational, mindfulness and life skills. Visit our website. Call about openings. 7616 Currell Blvd Woodbury 651-259-9750

Camp Choson Camp Choson is a dynamic, welcoming day and resident camp that offers youth ages 4–17 opportunities to explore Korean arts and culture. A camper’s experience includes Korean language and culture, traditional dance and drum, Taekwondo, music, self-respect, archery, Korean arts, and outdoor play. Camp Lakamaga

Camp of Champs A special needs camp serving youth with ADHD, LD, on the autism spectrum, mental health concerns, among others. Featuring customized and individual objectives, aerial adventure and high ropes course, beautiful resort facility and hands-on character development and learning. 13218 Cty Rd 40 Park Rapids 218-760-8442

Girls Who Code Girls ages 10–18 learn coding, connect it to their interests, build confidence and join a supportive sisterhood of girls who code. Beginner and advanced courses: Intro to Computer Science, iPhone App Development, Wearable Tech & Fashion Design, Website Design & Development. St. Paul: St. Kate’s University 2004 Randolph Ave Mendota Heights: Visitation School 2455 Visitation Dr Minnetonka: Vantage Space, Minnetonka Public Schools 4350 Baker Rd 844-226-7622

Green Earth Children’s Academy We provide a magical, natural space for children ages 3–8 to enjoy summer, creating their own spectacular play ideas and learning from a myriad of art, nature, and environmental science projects. Children experience a diverse and authentic summer experience with the focus on play, nature, and art. 4115 26th Ave S Minneapolis 612-272-5466

Sports and Fitness Gleason’s Gymnastic School

What better way to spend summer than learning something new at Gleason’s Gymnastic School? Our fun facility and our professional instructors combine to make Gleason’s classes a tremendous learning experience for children of all ages and experience levels. 2015 Silver Bell Rd Eagan 651-454-6203 9775 85th Ave N, Ste 500 Maple Grove 763-493-2526

Hill-Murray School There is something for everyone at HillMurray School this summer—grades 2–12! Samples of our Sports/Fitness offerings include: Football, Baseball, Hockey, Basketball, Softball, Volleyball, Soccer opportunities for students of all ages and skills! Register today – space is limited! 2625 Larpenteur Ave E Maplewood 651-777-1376

Lake Calhoun Sailing School We offer two-week sailing camps for kids of all sailing abilities. Half or full-day options for sailors starting at 4 years old. More than just learning how to sail, our students learn teamwork, self-confidence, and environmental stewardship. 3010 E Calhoun Pkwy Minneapolis 612-470-7245

Mini-Hops Gymnastics Campers have professionally trained coaches that help develop and build gymnastics skills, lead small and large group activities, get crafty, build strength and friendships. There will be daily down time for the youngest campers (4 & 5 yr olds). All gymnasts are welcome from beginner to advanced. Ages 4+, M–F, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. with

8:30 a.m. Early Drop Off available. Save 15% when you register by March 31st! 2600 Campus Dr Plymouth

Revolutionary Sports Offers instructional classes, summer and school-release day camps, after-school programs, and preschool programs. Kids, as young as age two, learn to play over 25 different sports, staying active and having fun! Experienced, professional coaches that are great working with kids as young as two, use challenging, non-competitive curriculum to teach sports and life skills. Metro-wide locations 7000 Washington Ave S Eden Prairie 612-234-7782

TAGS Gymnastics Camps Fun, fitness, friends! Gymnastics and tumbling camps for boys and girls ages 3–17 in June, July, and August. Kids will learn fun, new skills while developing strength, flexibility, and coordination in a safe, positive atmosphere! TAGS Apple Valley: 5880 149th St W Apple Valley 952-431-6445 TAGS Eden Prairie: 10300 W 70th St Eden Prairie 952-920-5342

The Little Gym of Edina Anytime Summertime Camp For kids ages 3–12. The most flexible camp in town lets you pick one day or as many as you want! Each week has a fun new theme with games, art, physical activity, and a whole lot of fun. 8223 Hwy 7 St. Louis Park 952-924-0083

Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club Are you turning 12–18 this year and want to try rowing? Join us at our Jr/Sr High Summer Rowing Camps! Bryant Lake Park 6800 Rowland Rd Eden Prairie 612-760-0575 • March 2018


Out & About MARCH

Farm Babies ⊲ Meet animal babies of all kinds at the Wells Fargo Family Farm at the zoo with special activities on select days. When: March 23–April 30 Where: Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley Cost: Included with zoo admission of $12 for ages 3–12 and 65 and older, $18 for ages 13–64 Info:


The Wiz

⊲ Travel with Dorothy and her friends in this dazzling all-ages show, featuring rock, gospel and soul music. When: Through March 18 Where: Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis Cost: Tickets start at $15. Info:

Tropical Beach Party ⊲ Escape the cold at the zoo with a party in the tropical exhibit space, featuring two giant indoor sandboxes! Bring your own pail (BYOP) or favorite sand toy and play surrounded by palm trees, exotic animals and special activities. Weekend events include scavenger hunts, educational family activities, face


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painting, zookeeper talks and more. When: Through March 11 Where: Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley Cost: Included with zoo admission of $12 for ages 3–12 and 65 and older, $18 for ages 13–64 Info:

FEB. 24

Minnesota Parent Camp Fair ⊲ Get a jump on summer planning with Minnesota Parent’s 12th-annual Camp Fair. Meet one-on-one with representatives from more than 50 summer camps, including sleep-a-way camps and day camps, too. While you explore summer-adventure options, your kids can enjoy family-friendly activities, crafts and a few featured animals from the Como Zoo.

When: 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Feb. 24 Where: Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: or 612-825-9205

Star Wars Day ⊲ Test your Star Wars IQ, build jitterdroids, launch stargliders, create stop-motion animations, compete with wind-powered pod racers and more. When: Feb. 24 Where: Science Museum of Minnesota Cost: Included in regular museum admission of $12.95 for ages 4–12 and 65 and older, $18.95 for ages 13–64 Info:

FEB. 25

WOW! Family Sunday ⊲⊲Celebrate the 1968 debut of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood with Won’t You Be My Neighbor? — featuring songs, puppets, games and the chance to meet interesting people from the community. When: Feb. 25 Where: Minnesota History Center, St. Paul Cost: Included with museum admission of $10–$12 for adults, $6 for ages 5-17, free for ages 4 and younger Info:


Disney on Ice: Frozen ⊲⊲See the Academy Award-winning tale told live, capturing the dynamic between two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa. And join a sing-along with tunes such as Let It Go, Fixer Upper and Do You Want to Build a Snowman? When: Feb. 28–March 4 Where: Target Center, Minneapolis Cost: $17.50–$92.50 Info:


Discover the Dinosaurs ⊲⊲Enter a special Time Lab to observe a collection of enormous, prehistoric dinosaurs. Families can compete in the Cretaceous Challenge Zone, visit the Time Trek Theater to meet baby dinosaurs, test their dino knowledge in trivia contests and more. When: March 2–4 Where: Minneapolis Convention Center Cost: $19–$21 Info:


Kids Film Fair ⊲⊲Check out short films, children’s classics and a preview screening of The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales at this Free First Saturday event. Plus: Make

your own stop-motion animation film with artist Hallie Bahn. When: March 3 Where: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Cost: FREE Info:

Jazba 2018 ⊲⊲This Bollywood-fusion dance competition features top dance teams from across the nation going head-tohead for the crown of Jazba Champion. When: March 3 Where: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis Cost: $5, $10, $30 Info:

Pancake Breakfast ⊲⊲Enjoy pancakes topped with pure maple syrup among friends from the community. Explore this Minnesota tradition with a naturalist-led hike to learn about the process of sap collection and syrup production. When: March 3 Where: Dodge Nature Center, West St. Paul Cost: $5 suggested donation Info:

The Okee Dokee Brothers ⊲⊲See the Grammy Award-winning artists — Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander — behind kindie hits such as Can You Canoe? Through the Woods and Saddle Up! Kids can take part in a free play-andlearn hour in the lobby one hour before the show with art activities and musicand-movement demonstrations designed to enhance the performance. When: March 3 Where: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St. Paul Cost: $16–$20. Lap passes will be available on the day of the event for children younger than 3. Info: • March 2018


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Out & About

Dance for grades 3–6 (March 25 at Plymouth Library); and, for grades K-2, Percussive Dance at the St. Louis Park Library on March 30 and at the Hopkins Library on March 31. When: Various Where: Various Cost: FREE Info:


Steps of Hope ⊲ Check out the state’s largest annual autism resource fair, games and an AuSM Flash Dash. When: March 4 Where: Southdale Center, Edina Cost: FREE Info:

MARCH 3–31

In Step

MARCH 6–11

School of Rock: The Musical ⊲ Based on the hit film, this new musical follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher who turns a class of straight-A students into a rock band.

⊲ Children are invited to explore the world of dance in this free, energetic, culturally enriching series, including a Soul Dance Celebration for grades K-2 (March 3 at Webber Park Library, Minneapolis); Classical Northern Indian

When: March 6–11 Where: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis Cost: $39–$135 Info:



⊲ Join a darling bear on a delightfully destructive chase through a department store in search of his missing button. When: March 6–May 13 Where: Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis Cost: Tickets start at $15. Info:

MARCH 9–10

Let’s Play Hockey Expo ⊲ This 29th-annual hockey trade show features the latest and greatest in hockey equipment, training aids, trends, camps, services, novelties and more, all coinciding with the Minnesota Boys’ State High School Hockey Tournament. When: March 9–10 Where: St. Paul RiverCentre Cost: Admission at last year’s event was free. Info:

Try CDC’s FREE Milestone Tracker app today... Because milestones matter! Milestone checklists for 2 months to 5 years Summary of your child’s milestones Activities to help your child’s development Serving people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, HOBT collaborates with SCHOOLS and COMMUNITIES on unique, interactive ART RESIDENCIES that nurture the creative spirit and encourage a sense of joy and wonder. Visit or call 612.721.2535 for more information.


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Learn more at 2/15/18 12:21 PM

MARCH 9–25

The Nightingale ⊲ Based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, this all-ages danceinspired original performance features a collaboration with the Twin Cities-based company, Escalate Dance. When: March 9–25 Where: Stages Theatre Company, Hopkins Cost: $12–$16; lap passes are $5 for ages 3–4 and free for ages 2 and younger. Info:


Women in Science ⊲ This Discovery Days event features hands-on activities and a chance to meet women working in the STEM field, in careers that involve saving butterflies, building robots and inventing new types of yogurt.

g n i m a Dre

When: March 10 Where: Bakken Museum, Minneapolis Cost: FREE with admission of $10 for adults, $8 for ages 13–24, $5 for ages 5–12 Info:

MARCH 10, 26, 31

Rock Your Art!

⊲ Kids in grades 1–6 are invited to explore the science of art. Join an artist naturalist to create a bowl out of marbling clay using patterns found in nature. When: March 10, 26, 31 Where: Pierre Bottineau Library, Minneapolis (March 10), Long Lake Library (March 26), Walker Library, Minneapolis (March 31) Cost: FREE Info:

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1/25/18 5:17 PM • March 2018


Out & About MARCH 11 & APRIL 15

Urban Expedition

⊲ Experience cultures from around the world, including music, dance, food, animals, crafts and more at this annual international event series. When: 1 p.m. March 11 (Bolivia) and April 15 (France) Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info:


Maple Syrup Festival ⊲ Play games, taste maple syrup, learn how to make maple sugar and enjoy activities for all ages. When: March 17 Where: Brookdale Library, Brooklyn Center; bus transportation will be provided to and from Eastman Nature Center in Osseo.

MARCH 24 & 31

Easter Egg Hunt ⊲ Search for eggs, enjoy a snack, hear stories and explore the first floor of the elegant Gilded Age home of James J. Hill. This event is geared toward age 2–7, who must be accompanied by an adult. When: March 24 and 31 Where: James J. Hill House, St. Paul Cost: $8; free for ages 2 and younger Info:


March 2018 •

Cost: FREE Info:

Lego Day ⊲ Spend the afternoon building LEGO contraptions (that you can run down a zip line); filming a LEGO stop-motion movie; creating drawing machines, tops and mosaics; and checking out remarkable creations of the Twin Cities LEGO User Group. When: March 17 Where: Science Museum of Minnesota Cost: Included in museum admission of $12.95 for ages 4–12 and 65 and older, $18.95 for ages 13–64 Info:

MARCH 17–18

Cost: $49–$69 Info:

MARCH 17 & 24

Maple Syruping ⊲ Celebrate the return of spring by observing the age-old process of turning tree sap into syrup. Observe a tree tapping demonstration, collect sap, visit the evaporator and sample delicious maple syrup. When: March 17 and 24 Where: Dodge Nature Center, West St. Paul Cost: $7 per person or $20 per family Info:



Irish Day of Dance

⊲ Minecraft players and their families can meet their favorite YouTube creators, compete in tournaments, participate in a costume contest, witness live stage shows, learn from Official Minecraft Education Global Mentors and shop at the World’s Largest Official Minecraft Merch Store.

⊲ Check out the latest installment of Sundays at Landmark, an annual fallthrough-spring series of cultural and arts events designed to entertain, enrich and educate all ages.

When: March 17–18 Where: St. Paul RiverCentre

When: March 18 (Irish Day of Dance), April 7 (Scottish Ramble), April 29 (Bandwidth Community Band Festival*), May 13 (Saint Paul Civic Symphony Mother’s Day Concert*)

Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul Cost: $4–$7 or FREE, where noted* Info:


Flashlight Egg Scramble ⊲⊲Kids ages 3–9 can bring their flashlights and baskets to scoop up eggs. Several golden eggs will also be hidden for a chance to win a special basket. Doors open at 7 p.m. for pre-hunt activities, including inflatables, games and Easter Bunny photo ops. When: March 23 Where: Savage Sports Center Cost: $6 per child; advance is registration required. Info:


Eggstravaganza ⊲⊲This interactive workshop helps families with school-age children explore ways to color and decorate hard-boiled eggs. They can also learn how prepare them for salads, snacks and main dishes. Participants will take home a finished food product, recipes and instructions. 

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When: March 24 Where: Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk River Cost: $25 per family Info:

MARCH 26–30

Movie Matinee

⊲⊲Watch different movies on the big screen every day of spring break, courtesy of Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. When: Despicable Me 3 (March 26), Wonder (March 27), Beauty and the Beast (March 28), Ferdinand (March 29) and Coco (March 30) When: March 26–30 Where: Southdale Library, Edina Cost: FREE Info: • March 2018




Duct Tape Lab

Lil’ Explorer Thursdays

⊲ Create fun stuff (bookmarks, wallets and more) with duct tape in this activity geared toward grades 2–6.

⊲ Ages 1 to 3 are invited to meet animal and plant visitors, join in a story time, play games and many other fun activities with a different theme each week.

When: March 28 Where: St. Louis Park Library Cost: FREE Info:

When: 10 a.m.–noon Thursdays Where: Como Zoo and Conservatory, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info:

Tots & Trains ⊲ On every first and third Wednesday of the month, come for story time, crafts and a snack. Then stick around to play at the train table, explore the trains and tour the restoration shop. When: 10 a.m.–noon first and third Wednesdays Where: Minnesota Transportation Museum, St. Paul Cost: $6–$11 Info:

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March 2018 •

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2 hours of fun in our private party room! Painting is fun for Boys and Girls of all ages.

More than 60,000 young children end up in emergency rooms every year because they got into medicines while their parent or caregiver was not looking. Always put every medicine and vitamin up and away every time you use it. Also, program your poison control center’s number in your phone: 800.222.1222.

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← Jenna, 4, of Carver

Girl power!

Photo by Nicole LaCoste Photography

We asked for photos of your girls being silly, fearless, wild, stubborn, proud and strong. Oh, wow, you delivered. Rock on!

↑ Caitlyn, 3, of Otsego

↑ Araliya, 5, and Amaya, 3, of Brooklyn Park

↑ Eva, 8, Lila, 6, and Tess, 4, of Shakopee

↑ Aria, 3, of Ham Lake

↑ Audrey, 3, of Blaine

↑ Selma, 3, of St. Paul

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March 2018 •

March 2018  
March 2018