By Julia Limmer
The last day of camp is never a dull affair at Harborfields High School. Almost every Thursday, campers attending Harborfields Community Educational Foundation (HACEF) arts camps display their projects and artwork for their parents, siblings, and peers.
A record 690-plus kids from all grade levels attended the nine-week camps this summer, choosing such options as fashion design, woodcrafting, drawing, and painting, among others.
“I am so proud of our students and faculty for the impressive work they have done,” Superintendent of Schools Francesco Ianni said. “Seeing so much talent, passion and dedication was truly the highlight of my summer.”
Parents are asked to come 15 minutes early on the last day of camp so they can view everyone’s art displayed in the hallways of the high school’s art wing.
Eileen Rottkamp has been teaching a course, “Drawing Painting Sculpture,” at the camps since the beginning in 2011. She always had an art show to display her campers’ works. Other teachers shortly followed suit.
“The art shows mean so much to the kids and their parents,” Rottkamp said. “It gives the campers the opportunity to proudly display their work and their parents get to experience the joy their children feel from being creative. Every summer presents a new opportunity through these camps for the teachers and campers to have a rewarding experience.”
Along with programs that stick to different types of arts and crafts, other course options included robotics, coding, and cooking.
Sharon Chillemi taught two sessions of “Chocolate Mania” this summer. Her campers created delicious treats such as “under the sea” marshmallows with graham cracker, chocolate, and a goldfish cracker, and emoji lollipops.
“Perhaps one of these camps could spark their enthusiasm for a lifelong hobby or even fuel an interest in their chosen career path,” Karin Fey, one of the camp’s directors said. “It is an honor to help bring those opportunities for creativity, for innovation, and learning to our kids.”