Local teacher starts summer camp to spark kids’ creativity

Local teacher starts summer camp to spark kids’ creativity
July 03
01:00 2019

For as long as she can remember, Jessica Spatcher has dreamed of owning and operating her own summer camp for children in the community and three weeks ago that dream became reality when she opened the doors and invited children to Creative Day Summer Camp (CDSC).

A fourth-grade teacher at Hall-Woodward Elementary, Spatcher said she always wanted to do something in the summer with kids where she could create the curriculum and the other in-and-outs of the camp. After years of research and tons of paperwork, Spatcher said she got serious about opening the camp last year. During an interview with The Chronicle earlier this week, Spatcher said she faced several obstacles on her journey to opening the summer camp, including finding a location. But once she found an available space at John Wesley AME Zion Church on 25th Street, everything else seemed to just fall into place.

“I think finding a location that was safe for the kids was probably the biggest obstacle I had to face. And then all the paperwork and applications from the children, checking food allergies and stuff like that,” she continued. “It was a lot harder than I thought it would be and then the day-to-day operation is even more work, but it’s all worth it.”

A typical day at CDSC isn’t typical at all. While there is a focus on reading, math and Spanish like you may receive at any other camp, CDC encourages children to be outgoing and creative. No matter if that means choosing play-dough over coloring or breaking out the latest dance moves to show your friends. Music is infused into most of the activities students complete throughout the day and students also have the opportunity to enjoy weekly field trips.

“We don’t do work all day – I make sure that we have fun. I tell the parents this isn’t school and I don’t want this to feel like a school setting,” said Spatcher. “Everything we do is hands-on and at no point in the day are we just sitting down quiet unless we’re watching a movie. Painting, drawing, dancing, math, reading, just different activities all day.”

Spatcher said what sets CDSC apart from other summer camps in the area is her ability to connect with campers. She said, “I think what sets me apart is the fact that I am an educator; I can relate to the kids. Instead of seeing me as just a camp counselor, they know I can relate to them. I reach them on a personal level.”

Several parents have shown their approval of Creative Day Summer Camp by reaching out to Spatcher on social media. On her Facebook page, Sheniqwa Pegues wrote, “Ka’Ni was so happy when she came home from camp yesterday! You are amazing and I am so glad I got my baby in your camp.”

When asked about the future of the camp Spatcher said the summer camp is only the beginning.

“Eventually I want to do a before-and-after school program so this is just getting everything off the ground. I’ve had so many inquiries from people trying to get more kids in, but I wanted to start small,” she said. “But I’m already looking into some things for next summer, including a bigger venue to hold more kids. This is only the beginning.”

Creative Day Summer Camp is open to boys and girls ages 5-12. For more information, contact Jessica Spatcher at 336-770-0650 or by email at

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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