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Pinecrest summer offering lets kids be kids
Camp ‘just all total fun’
From left, Alex Bonogofsky, Emma McWaters and William Shelton play under a parachute during Summer Fun Camp at Pinecrest Academy. - photo by Jennifer Sami

About this

This is the latest in an ongoing FCN series on educational school camps for children this summer.

The sun was out on a recent morning at Pinecrest Academy, but it was raining inside the dining hall.

From under a multi-colored parachute, children ages 4 to 10 jumped up and excitedly scurried around catching the Skittles raining down from overhead. The candy shower was just one of dozens of ways Melissa McWaters made summer fun.

About 21 students attended McWaters’ Summer Fun Camp last week, up from the 14 who attended the first session in June. In addition to the growth, “six kids came back.”

“It makes me feel really good that they had such a good time at the first camp they wanted to come back,” she said.

During the weeklong camp, children made bird houses, photo albums and magic Skittles jars. They played with water balloons, a slip and slide, watched movies and snacked on snow cones and s’mores.

And when it wasn’t raining outside, they also spent time on the school’s playground and playing games such as red rover.

“We’re just having summertime fun,” McWaters said. “We don’t take any naps, it’s just all total fun.”

About half the students who attend the camp attend Pinecrest, a private Catholic school in south Forsyth. Just getting to be on a new campus was exciting for Isabella Johnson.

“I don’t go to school here so I get to explore everything,” she said.

Perhaps the best part about the camp for Johnson was meeting Tatiana Houchins.

“I met her when I first came in and now we’re really good friends,” she said. “We get so wild and fun here ... and I like doing the water games and having fun with friends.”

In addition to her new friend, Houchins said her favorite part of camp has been playing games and “there are lots of fun crafts we do.”

McWaters, who works in admissions for the school, said her love of children inspired her to start the camp.

“I wanted it to be, honestly, where they weren’t sitting around playing video games, that they were having good, clean fun,” she said. “That’s what it’s all about, having good fun.”

In addition to McWaters, Sarah Catania, a rising ninth-grader at Fidelis Christian School, and Claire Bartling, a rising eighth-grader at Lakeside Middle School, were brought in to help.

“It’s fun because they’re so energetic and you get to run around with them,” Catania said.

Bartling worked at another camp and said she was excited when she saw this one. The kids, she said, have made it even more fun.

“They’re all really adorable and sweet,” she said. “Sometimes they say really funny things.”