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When the COVID-19 pandemic struck and quarantines were put in place, high school student Megan Kim found her normally busy schedule open up and herself with not much to do.
“When quarantine started I was just laying in bed all day,” said Kim.
Kim’s mother would often suggest that she be more productive and find something she enjoyed to fill her time.
“She’d say, you can’t be in bed all day, you need to do something with your life,” she said.
Her mother’s words resonated with the ABRHS rising junior and she came up with an idea to start a virtual summer camp for kids. She reached out to her friends and asked if they’d be interested in collaborating with her. Much to her surprise, many were enthusiastic about the project.
“I was so glad so many of my friends wanted to do this because I was worried no one would want to do it,” she said.
It seemed most of her friends were also looking for a way to escape the boredom of quarantine and the gentle nudging of parents to do something.
“We said hey, why don’t we give an escape for both us from going insane and other parents and their kids too.”
They came up with a name – Camp Cookies – as in Internet cookies – and got to work putting together a course schedule and a very sophisticated website.
The group of friends, who each have extensive experience with the specific subjects they are teaching, include Kim, Alisa Khomiakova, Grace Blaufuss, Mitali Krishnamurthy, Kim Eppling, and Joshua Yang. Planning began a month ago. Friend Emily Hiltunen. drew the banner for Camp Cookies and Min Kulsick also helped them prepare by attending practice Zoom classes and giving them feedback on their teaching .
They feared that no one would sign up for camp and their extensive planning would be for nought. But that was far from the case.
The response was tremendous and more than 70 kids registered for camp. With most of the classes filling up during the first week of registration, second slots were added.
“None of us expected this,” she said.
The camp, which is free, begins on July 20 and runs through Aug. 7. Classes meet once or twice a week and include hip-hop dance, food science, cupcake decorating, drawing, public speaking, fashion history and illustration, math, poetry, and creative writing.
The camp is open to students ages 6-18 though some courses have size limits and age restrictions. But with the broad range of offerings, there’s something for everyone at Camp Cookies.
All of the camp instructors are rising juniors at ABRHS except for Kim Epping who will be attending MIT in the fall. She is teaching two math courses called Logic and Math Weirdness which are geared towards students ages 15 and up.
Eppling is passionate about math and is excited to share that passion with her students.
“I really wanted to do something on the fun part of math because that’s the math I love, “ she said.
Registration for Camp Cookies is now closed. For more information visit https://campcookies.wixsite.com/camp