Summer Reading: Superhero Training Camp

Like many libraries, our summer theme this year is heroes! We were all pretty excited (DUH) and had a lot of trouble limiting ourselves to what was doable. This was also the first year that I was in charge of planning the entire summer reading program, and I made a lot of big changes, which are going pretty well (more on that in a future blog post, but think down on plastic crap!).

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My do-not-mess-with-me face

One thing we’re doing is more in-house programs, and up first was superhero training camp! This was the program I mentioned when I did school visits, so we had a lot of interest, and we had a BLAST!

As kids arrived, they created names tags that served to sort them into 4 different colored groups (this mostly worked). Then, they gathered in a group and I welcomed them to superhero training camp. We talked for a few minutes about superheros and super powers and I explained our stations:

Level up: Create a superhero ID card! I found this template online, but I decided that I didn’t like the pre-existing list of superpowers (it included x-treme cuteness) and I wanted the kids to be creative and come up with their own powers and their own drawing, so I tweaked it a bit.

Suit up: Costume decoration. We had pre-cut felt masks, red tablecloth squares, and toilet paper tubes for wristlets. I just put out a bunch of markers and stickers, and let them go to town. Ideally I would have liked to use glue and glitter glue and puff paint, but there was no way that they could have dried without disaster. Oh well, they still looked great.

To the rescue!: The goal of our obstacle course was to save a piece of unobtanium (crumpled gold foil) from a lake of kryptonite (crumpled green foil), and escape unscathed through rings of fire and spider webs. I told them all that if they touched kryptonite they would die and have to start over, but I didn’t actually make anyone start over.

They loved this station, and went through multiple times. They were all super into the gold foil, and wanted to keep their pieces of rescued unobtanium.

Villian smackdown: This was the other favorite station that got repeated over and over again. We had two options: shooting a nerf gun at a villain (Hades) coming out of a portal in the sky, and villain bowling to knock down cones with villain faces on them.

Each kid got one turn at each and then had to go to the end of the line; as new kids joined the station, they got to go ahead of anyone who had already had a turn. We also only had one nerf gun bullet out; part of the station was that the kids had to collect it after their shot and hand it over to the next person. (superheroes work on teams!)

Our summer reading assistant helped with a lot of the prep (ie. he crumpled green foil for days), and we had 3 staff members in the program, along with a few teen volunteers. It was loud and chaotic and there were a few on the fly adjustments, but overall, this was insanely easy. And we all had a SUPER good time!

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on my way to world domination
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