Our first Hogwarts of Fairhope summer camp had 38 campers and 4 teens. The Sorting Ceremony was very quiet to start, but as campers were sorted and welcomed by their Heads of House, the excitement built. We learned a lot our first year, and made some great memories and great friends. Although the campers had never experienced our alternative Houses, they embraced the concept and immediately began to show house support and loyalty. Competition was fierce for the house cup, and the final Quidditch match proved to be the deciding factor.
The classes we ran the first year were:
History of Magic (Magic the Gathering (tm) card game)
Spell Play (dance/music)
Charms (pottery, tie dye, found object assemblage)
Herbology (plant science)
Divination ("reading" tea leaves and other fun fortune-telling games)
Each house is tasked to perform three projects during the two weeks, a community service project, a performance of some kind to show the rest of camp at the final assembly, and some kind of art project that is unique to the house. Here are the service projects for Year 1:
PhoenixFire: Patrolled the campus every day picking up all litter.
StoneDragon: Collected food for the food pantry run by Ecumenical Ministries in Fairhope.
WindHorse: Weeded and cleaned up the on-site garden.
WaveRider: Cleaned and repainted hopscotch squares on the grounds of the host site.
Our theme, Alohomora! came from the spell the characters in the book use to open locked doors. For our campers, the doors we opened were those of imagination, fun and friendship. For the professors, guides, and other volunteers, we opened doors of wonder and amazement; we really were not sure what to expect from the camp, or how the children would react to our crazy ideas of how to bring the world of Harry Potter to life. We all learned so much that first year, but mainly, we had a whole lot of fun.