Tag Archives: camp

7 Questions with Amy Cannon

Amy Cannon is a Program Coordinator at IEA. She has worked here for over two years and in the administrative support of educational programs for over six. Her primary focus at IEA is on the Yunasa camps.

1. What are you most passionate about in working with the gifted community?

I am probably most energized by gifted kids’ excitement to know and understand the world. So often, their desire to question and explore is dampened by teachers who want them to stay on task, peers who pressure them to fit in, and parents who aren’t sure how to meet their children’s insatiable need to know. It is this motivation and drive that makes the gifted so likely to shape our future – to contribute inventions, innovations, and discoveries to our world. I love the spark of curiosity I see in all the kids we work with and want to do what I can to fan that spark into a flame!

2. What is one thing you think every family with a gifted child should know?

So often parents will call or email and talk about how unique their child’s situation is – how few equal peers they have, how they present a novel challenge to their school structures, how what they deal with is unlike what they see around them. As someone who administers programs for the gifted, I can assure them: “You are not alone.” There are others out there who have the same struggles, the same challenges, and the same wonderful gifts. What I love about Yunasa camps, and about all of IEA’s programs, is that we provide the opportunity for the gifted to connect – across the country and sometimes across the world – with others who are like them and who share their experiences, joys, and challenges. To observe the strong friendships and lasting community forged in our programs among our constituents is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.

3. Why do you enjoy focusing on the program that you do?

Yunasa camps are my main focus as a Program Coordinator. All our programs are wonderful and rewarding opportunities, but I particularly enjoy working with Yunasa because of the opportunity to go to camp! I love the outdoors; that I get to go kayaking or build a Nature Sculpture with campers as a part of my job is unbelievable! I am also immensely grateful that I am able to work so closely with our Yunasa Fellows, world-renowned experts in the field of giftedness, and wise, kind, sensitive people from whom I personally have learned a great deal.

4. What’s your favorite Yunasa tradition?

Yunasa summer camps, as with most summer camps, are rich with traditions that are handed down from year to year. My favorite tradition might be the opening and closing ceremonies. The campfire, the drum beat, and the songs are the same, but the feeling is so different from the beginning of the week to the end. I love feeling how the traditions have deepened with the campers over the span of just one week!

5. What’s your favorite snack food?

I love cheese more than is probably healthy. I love a spread of cheese, crackers, fruits, and meats. It feels “fancy” but is excessively easy to put together!

6. What’s a movie you watched recently that you liked?

I recently watched “Paper Moon,” which I loved. It has Ryan and Tatum O’Neal, a real-life father and daughter playing a father and daughter con artist team in the movie. Tatum O’Neal was the youngest actor ever to receive an Academy Award, which she won for her portrayal in this movie at age 10. It was made in 1973, is set in the Great Depression, and is funny, witty, and moving.

7. What’s one activity you enjoy doing in your free time?

I’m a voracious reader, so I spend a lot of time doing that! Since moving to Pasadena, I’ve tried to take advantage of being so close to the San Rafael Hills and San Gabriel Mountains and get in a lot of hikes! I also very much enjoy exploring around Los Angeles – Chinatown, Our Lady of the Angels cathedral, Little Tokyo, Olvera St. Taking the metro around L.A. and finding new places to explore and cultural opportunities to benefit from make me glad to live in such a vibrant city! Recently, I took up the ukulele – though I’m far from proficient, it’s come in handy for a sing-along or two. Sadly, I don’t think it will fit in my carry-on for camp!

There are still a few spots left for this summer’s Yunasa and Yunasa West camps. Apply today to join Amy and the Yunasa Fellows in Colorado or Michigan!

Have your kids been to Yunasa or a camp that allowed them to connect with other kids like them? Please share your experience in the comment section below!

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Considering Summer Camps and Programs for Your Gifted Child

By Jennifer Kennedy

Yunasa Campers

Summer opportunities allow gifted kids to connect with others around shared interests and experiences.

It’s time to start thinking about your kids’ summer plans!  There are great summer opportunities available for gifted children, and many have applications due in the next month or two.

There are several types of summer opportunities to consider, but the two most common are:

  1. Day Camps and Programs
  2. Residential Camps and Programs

IEA offers summer programs in both of these categories.

  • Academy is a day enrichment program in South Pasadena, California, that provides high-achieving elementary and middle school students with challenging classes that focus on exploration and application of knowledge. Courses this summer will include favorites like Chemistry and Rocket to Calculus, as well as brand new class options.
  • Apprenticeship is a three or four week residential program that matches gifted students from across the country with highly-regarded mentors in fields like science, industrial design, math, and medicine. This year’s program will be offered in Los Angeles and San Diego.
  • Yunasa and Yunasa West are week long residential camps for highly gifted 10-14 year olds. The camps are facilitated by renowned experts in the field of gifted education and are devoted to teaching campers techniques for integrating the intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical aspects of their lives.

Because each child is unique, the ideal program for each child will vary, so consider your child’s personality before deciding on a camp or program. As Dr. Bob Schultz of the University of Toledo points out, you may want to keep in mind that intensities in gifted children will have an enormous impact on their experiences at an overnight camp, so the set-up and focus of residential camps are important. NAGC’s Parenting for High Potential has a list of questions to ask about camps and programs in order to help match your child with the best summer opportunity for their strengths, needs, and interests.

Once you have decided what type of program is best for your gifted child, there are many resources available to help you find those opportunities, including the following:

  • IEA’s Gifted Resource Center allows you to search for summer programs for gifted kids using specific criteria such as location, keywords, and age group.
  • Hoagies’ Gifted has an extensive list of summer programs for gifted kids by state.
  • The National Association for Gifted Children also has a database of summer programs searchable by state and keyword.
  • The Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented has a list of summer programs specifically for gifted kids in Texas and throughout the U.S.

Good luck with your search!

Have any more tips for finding summer camps and programs for your child? Let us know in the comments!

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