Though written nearly a dozen years ago, Anna Quindlen’s “Doing Something is Nothing” could not be more relevant today.
In it she muses that “downtime is where we become ourselves, looking into the middle distance, kicking at the curb, lying on the grass or sitting on the stoop and staring at the tedious blue of the summer sky.”
Yet in the same breath she warns: “if downtime cannot be squeezed during the school year into the life of frantic and often joyless activity with which our children are saddled while their parents pursue frantic and often joyless activity of their own, what about summer?”
What about summer?!
Listen up, everyone: though there is certainly no excuse for frantic and joyless activity during the school year, aiding and abetting a frantic, joyless summer for a child should be a jailable offense!
Last week we announced WonderLab’s Summer Quest with this in mind. To borrow Quindlen’s language, WonderLab is where late-elementary and middle school-aged Learners become themselves. For us, it’s not as much about “what” as it’s about “who” they become.
I don’t know about you, but the magic of childhood summers was having the time to explore a curiosity around a passion. One summer it was the quest to build the greatest skateboard jump at my best friend Joe’s house. This resulted in a deep though short-lived passion for skateboarding, followed by a fractured wrist, and then a passion for remote controlled cars when I realized that I could get a car to do the jumping for me!
So though I appreciate Quindlan’s call for doing nothing, I think that going from far too much structure to far too little is not good for kids either. WonderLab offers something in between—the logical intermediary between curb kicking downtime and over-focused/over-structured camps.
That’s precisely what we designed Summer Quest to be: a place where kids have both the time and the right amount of structure to explore their curiosity. Where they have the opportunity to design and build fun projects around their individual interests and passions. Most importantly, where they build their confidence and become inspired, lifelong Learners.
Build a robot? Make a film? Create an app? Identify a great opportunity or injustice and do something about it? Where will your child’s creativity take them this summer? We’re here to help them make those discoveries in a safe, productive, fun environment.
If the upper-elementary or middle school-aged Learner in your life is ready to begin their quest, we’re certainly ready to guide the way. Reserve your spot now!