Camp Westminster, a summer camp throughout June for children from Kindergarten through eighth grade, presents kids throughout the St. Louis area with a variety of sports and art programs. This camp is unique as the instructors are locally if not nationally recognized in their specific area of expertise.
“The highlight of our camp is the dynamic and professional instructors that we have,” said Abby Karsten, one of the main orchestrators of the camp in a television interview for Great Day St. Louis.
Instructors range from Andy Benes, a former Cardinal pitcher to Steve Stipanovich former player from the Indiana Pacers in the NBA. The arts department is also well staffed. Jim Butz, a widely known actor who featured as Hamlet in the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival and who received the Kevin Kline Award for a previous role will be head instructor of the Drama camp.
“Whatever you like to do, you’re going to find someone who is an expert in that sort of camp,” said Karsten.
The camp offers both half day and full day sessions as well as a lunch break in the middle of the day and an Extended Care Program for both sessions.
The camp sessions include cooking, The Play, soccer, swimming, dance and cheer, art, musical theatre, wrestling, band, chess, tennis, moving making, improvisation, and a Readers Workshop where students will learn to flourish in his or her specific interests. From fundamentals to improving technique and beyond, these camps are created to aid kids as they work to master their God-given skills and abilities.
“Kids will be learning new things, getting to practice sports, art, drama, music, cooking, and more while building relationships with other kids and the camp counselors,” said Karsten.
Registration for these camps began in February and will continue through early June. Currently, there are two-hundred-sixty students enrolled, but the goal is six hundred kids or more. This would be in competition to the other camps around the St. Louis area that have been established for years such as MICDS Camp Pegasus.
One aspiration the camp hopes to achieve is to open the new campus to a whole new generation of kids throughout the entire community and present opportunities for the kids to grow.
“I’m so excited to see Westminster full of younger kids throughout the month of June. We’ll have kids here from all over the community and we have so many different camps that there’s something to fit every kid’s interests,” said Karsten.
The schedule for the campers will be split into two parts. Students may stay for either the entire day and participate in two sessions with a lunch break in between, or attend only one session for half the day. For the younger kids who may be interested in a wide variety of subjects, the camp offers “Camp Wildcat” where kids will do a variety of sports, arts and crafts, and other fun activities.
In the past, the camps at Westminster were for specific areas such as soccer or cheerleading and kids were only able to participate in one or the other. This new factor widens the variety of students as well as presents more opportunities for Westminster to share its new campus.
“I think the camp is a good opportunity to open Westminster to the community and to invest in the lives of the younger kids that might attend this school one day,” said Kaylie Duke, Camp Westminster employee.
Another new feature is the hiring of student help. High school students can acquire paid jobs through Westminster to aid the children in different areas of the camp.
“The best part of the job is just being able to meet different people whether it’s the workers or the kids. It would just be a great chance to meet new people,” said Kayla Hampton, an applicant for the job.
Employees would work about four to five days a week in the various camps helping the adult session leaders.
“I am most excited to spend time with a bunch of little kids and help them grow in the area they are most interested in,” said Anna Gaffney, camp instructor.
The camp is an exciting new chance for a younger generation to enjoy the new Westminster campus and grow in their designated areas of interest.
“It is about opportunities for great people and great programs that impact families and students and the younger children,” said Zach Clark director of advancement.