Celebrating the Golden Gate at Camp Galileo

One of the things that really distinguishes Camp Galileo from your run-of-the-mill summer camp are their themes. Each week of camp is built around a theme, which ties together all the art, science and outdoor activities the campers enjoy.  Each theme draws upon something unique and interesting for inspiration.  Themes can center around people (Galileo, Leonardo), times (the 60's, the Renaissance), or places (the lost city of Atlantis, outer space).  Still other themes are based on current events, like this year's Celebrate the Olympics (coinciding with the 2012 London games) and Celebrate the Golden Gate (to mark the bridge's 75th anniversary).

Last week my twins attended a Celebrate the Golden Gate session at Camp Galileo, and all week long they worked on projects inspired by the bridge and its surroundings.

For science, they designed and built their own suspension bridge using wooden boards, popsicle sticks, wooden spools, rope, and other materials.  These weren't just pieces of art; the kids used counterweights (carboard boxes filled with gravel) to hold up the bridge, and 3Po was quick to show me how the triangular tresses on his bridge towers made it more stable.  He loved showing me how he tested his bridge by loading the span with cups of pennies!

For art, they made 3-D "painted lady" models, inspired by the famous Painted Lady Victorian houses in San Francisco.  The houses were adorable, and some kids had even made beds and furniture for the inside of their houses!  I'm sure Polly Pocket would want to move straight in. 

Even the outdoor games they played were inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge:  they worked in teams to figure out how to make their way across the San Francisco Bay (the playground blacktop) by hopping from island to island (rubber dots).

All Camp Galileo themes are great, but I have a special fondness for Celebrate the Golden Gate, because it's based on a local landmark that my kids know and love.  Even though the camp counselors didn't really talk about the Golden Gate or its history (I wish they had done this, but The Pea informed me that "It's a camp, mom, not a lecture!"),  I like to think that after this week at camp, they're not just taking home some really cool projects and fun memories -- they're also taking home a renewed sense of history, and a renewed appreciation for the Golden Gate Bridge and the human ingenuity and effort required to build it.

The 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge only comes once in a lifetime, but fortunately your kids can catch Celebrate the Golden Gate at Camp Galileo all summer long!   Week-long Celebrate the Golden Gate sessions are available at the following Camp Galileo locations, starting on the following dates:

Berkeley: 7/16
Burlingame: 7/9
Corte Madera: 7/2, 7/30
Cupertino: 7/2, 7/30
Danville: 7/16
Fremont: 7/16
North Fremont: 7/9
Hillsborough: 7/16
Lafayette: 7/23
Los Altos: 7/2
Menlo Park: 7/2, 7/30
Oakland: 7/9, 8/6
Palo Alto: 7/23
San Francisco North: 7/16
San Francisco South: 7/2, 7/23
San Jose Almaden: 7/2
San Jose Evergreen: 7/9
Saratoga: 7/16
Sunnyvale: 7/9, 8/6
Woodside: 7/9

Disclosure:This is the fourth in a series of posts about Camp Galileo and Galileo Summer Quest, for which I am being compensated with a free week of camp for each of my children.. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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