By Jovanna Scorsone, Program Coordinator ROMkids Studio and Camp Director of ROM Summer Club
The ROM’s Summer Club has always been one of my favourite things, ever since I was a kid and came here as a camper! Over the summers of my childhood, I enjoyed groups ranging in focus from science to theatre – anything from trekking through streams and fields identifying plants and animals, to mounting plays based on ancient tales and deciphering secret codes in hieroglyphic. Those experiences inspired me to become Summer Club staff as soon as I was too old to be a camper, and, eventually, I found myself in the role of Camp Director. I have the best job ever!
Summer Club is an exciting time for the Museum. Hundreds of kids make themselves at home in our galleries and classrooms (and some curatorial offices too!), learning the ins and outs of the Museum, the research that goes on here, and discovering their own abilities through hands-on scientific experiments and creative art projects. And of course, the most important thing about all this learning at Summer Club is that it’s FUN! (And not just for the campers!)
I have just returned from a year away on maternity leave. In fact, I came back a mere two days before Summer Club started! A potentially daunting prospect when considering the pace of a day with my Little One (park or bakery? Blue hat or green hat?), compared to a day with over 320 kids, 26 groups, and 120 staff and volunteers. Fortunately, I returned to a fantastically professional staff that love to be here. Many were campers themselves and have been here for many, many years. Repeat campers are greeted by name and new campers are made to feel welcome on the first day of Summer Club and everything runs as smoothly as clockwork. I feel like I never left! And I can think of no better way to return to the world of work than to spend it surrounded by enthusiasm, learning, laughter, beautiful creations, high fives and fun!
The first session of Summer Club came to a close Friday – it passed by in a flash! At the end of the day we celebrated together in the Eaton Theatre as we watched the finished work of our Lights Camera Action, Shutterbugs, and Suit Yourself groups – and I sat there wondering where the time had gone. Only 4 more Summer Club sessions to go this summer (and 4 more summers until my Little One becomes a camper too)!