Thrilled for Thursdays #4

:: Fontana Arts Camp ::

Oh, Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?


So Aly was making me want to spoon out my eyeballs with a spork with her exasperating refrain of “I’m bored!”

I guess my previous Thrilled for Thursday adventures just wasn’t cutting it for her. What do they say about really smart dogs? How they’re high-strung and need to be amused or put to work or they’ll drive you bonkers with their restlessness? Well, my daughter is the border collie of daughters and I knew I had to do something or we both wouldn’t survive the summer.

Enter Fontana Arts Camp, stage right. Literally.


Now, there are about half a dozen choices for summer day camps sponsored by the city. Dyl and Aly had both gone to Nature Camp two summers in a row and had told me at the beginning of this summer that they didn’t want to go back. Dyl said he was perfectly fine being a veritable couch potato and Minecrafting all summer. Since this is his last summer of “freedom” (he enters the chaotic world of middle school next year and we all know it’s downhill from there), I agreed to his slothfulness.

I should’ve known this was not a deal I could make with Aly. After a day, she’d done all her Pinterested crafts. After two days, she’d tired of all her library books. After three days, even her iPad couldn’t occupy her and she began to whine.

And whine. And whine.

And there’s just so much I can do before I throw in the towel; this is why I’m a high school teacher, folks, and not an elementary school teacher. (Also since when did the role of parent become “entertainer” and not just “provider” anyway?!)

So I went online and tried to find a summer day camp that would engage my precocious daughter. We are not physical people so Camp FIT was out. So was the aforementioned Nature Camp. Camp Imagination looked promising but they were all booked up; registration began all the way in April.

And then I saw Fontana Arts Camp. I am so glad they couldn’t think of a more appealing name. Because that’s the only reason I can think of for why they weren’t completely full from April.

My friends, this is the best. camp. ever. Not only do they have the most ideal camper to counselor ratio (10 counselors for 25 kids), they also have the most compelling program.

Basically, the kids learn about art – real art; not arts and crafts – in the morning. Then in the afternoon (after a free lunch), the kids practice a performance that directly relates to the art they learned in the morning. Each weekly session is different and Aly got in on the first session when they were learning about Renaissance art and Shakespeare!

My English teacher heart soared! What serendipity indeed!

Aly initially got the part of Miranda in The Tempest but the counselors cut it at the last minute because it wasn’t working. And because they felt Aly was apt and able, they gave her a new part – Helena from A Midsummer Night’s Dream – one day before the performance! She had three lines. She memorized them all and acquitted herself with true professionalism.


Because it was the week of 4th of July, the session ended on a Thursday with the campers performing at Center Stage, an historic venue in downtown Fontana that regularly holds dinner theatre. It was grand and atmospheric and loads of fun. So much so that I immediately registered Aly for another session. She missed Cinderella this week but she’s doing The Jungle Book next.

It’s too bad Dyl isn’t a performer or I’d have signed him up too. It truly is such a steal for the kids to be learning and having fun and all for a mere $10 a day from 9am-5pm. Ah, well. At least he makes an appreciative audience member for his sis.



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19 thoughts on “Thrilled for Thursdays #4

  1. […] Fontana Arts Camp – I’ve already spoken of this miracle camp, but it bears repeating how thrilled I am of it. Not only is it obscenely affordable, it taught Aly […]

  2. Sounds great! My former-English-and-drama-teacher heart smiled all over.

    • mtsedwards says:

      It truly was serendipitous! Thanks for stopping by, fellow educator veteran! Hope to see you back soon. 😀

  3. Val S says:

    That sounds like fun! They should do that for adults, too. They could charge more than $10 and throw in some wine at the end of the day. I’d sign up for the whole summer!

  4. Kezzie says:

    It sounds great!!! What luck it wasn’t full!!! I’dhave loved that as a kid x

    • mtsedwards says:

      There are a lot of things I’ve given my kids that I wish I’d had as well. Does this mean life keeps getting better and better?

  5. Patti says:

    Great fun – your kids will have wonderful memories. And the price cannot be beat! xox

  6. What a totally cool camp! And the whining is exactly why I taught high school for 18 years and have been the misfit at the elementary… 🙂

    • mtsedwards says:

      Although, I have to be honest and admit that whining is not exclusive to elementary; I’ve had my share of whining teens at my school.

  7. Lorelei Ortega says:

    Such fun for Aly! You write about motherhood with such humor. You sure you don’t want to do Expressing Motherhood as a pair?

  8. $10.00 per day!!!! Where do I sign up, LOL? Seriously, it sounds like a wonderful program.

    Now, parting is such sweet sorrow…but I must leave you to your summer hooligans.

    • mtsedwards says:

      We had such fun at the beach again today! I shall write about it forthwith, but not for next Thursday. It’s T3 coming up…

  9. I am not my children’s entertainer. If my kids proclaim boredom (or ennui as Pumpkin Pie calls it), I give them chores to do. 😛 I’m so mean.

    That being said, I do take them to fun free / cheap things. They went to Vacation Bible School at our church. Our local library has a great series of kids’ shows (puppets, magic, juggling, etc.) during the summer. We also have a neighborhood pool this year. Oh, and Books a Million has a free Family Fun Camp on Saturday afternoons (probably a nationwide thing).

    $10 a day?!? What a steal! Similar camps around here are $55 per day and only run from 10am – 4pm.

    • mtsedwards says:

      Ennui! /chortle You are so doing right by your kids! J’adore!

      I think it’s easier to amuse them when they’re younger because everything is still new. At the risk of implying my kids are jaded at the tender ages of 9 and 11, I do feel it a bit challenging sometimes to engage them. The good news is that they’re properly brought up enough not to complain when we do something they consider distasteful. Dylan says “It’s not my favorite” and Aly says “I’m just not a [fill in the blank with corresponding activity] person.” They’re so very politely British that way, aren’t they? ;p

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