The Huntingdon Community Center Camp HCC is underway this year, bringing summer fun to approximately 75 children in the area.
The annual day camp, open to local children entering Kindergarten to Grade 6, lasts two weeks each summer.
The counselors include high school and college students as well as teachers. Between campers, monitors and principals, each school district in the region is represented at the camp.
Each camp week has a unique theme with corresponding activities. The themes for the two weeks of this year are the Olympics and kindness.
A day at camp includes a mix of physical activities and arts and crafts, STEM and team building, plus breakfast, lunch and snacks every day.
The kids can’t wait to hit Isett’s community pool on a day of camp and conclude each session with a camp-wide water balloon fight on Friday.
A normal camp week would include field trips, like trips to the University Park Airport during Transportation Week and to Fort Roberdeau during Wild West Week in the summer of 2019. Unfortunately, that part has been left out. aside the past two summers due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Still, the camp hosts guest presenters from the community related to each theme, such as Naomi Radio, head coach of women’s lacrosse at Juniata College.
For Olympic week, campers are divided into K-2 and 3-6 age groups. On day one, each group came up with a team name and flag design.
“Campers participate in different Olympic events every day,” said camp co-director Ryan Oser.
Teams earn points which translate into Olympic medals awarded at the end of each day based on points accumulated throughout the week.
Some events included a football raffle, hockey and basketball shootouts, and a Nerf pistol shooting competition.
Even with the theme, the camp organizers were sure to add arts and crafts projects to the mix, like aluminum foil sculptures from sporting events or Olympic torches.
On the last day of Olympic Week, older campers will teach the younger ones a new sport they invented, and Huntingdon Mayor Dave Wessels will speak at the closing ceremony.
During Kindness Week, campers will participate in an egg drop contest as a team building activity and paint “rocks of kindness” to place throughout the community.
This is the first year that camper groups have been divided by age.
“It’s like running two camps at the same time,” said Felicia Abrashoff, senior advisor.
This allows administrators to further tailor activities to different skill levels and interests.
Abrashoff has been involved with Camp HCC since she co-led it in 2017, and notes the increase in camper numbers and interest throughout her time.
The Huntingdon Community Center thanked Jack M. Shuck Insurance, Mutual Benefit Group, the Isett Community Foundation and the Huntingdon Vision Center for their continued support of Camp HCC.