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HANFORD — After opening last November, Children's Storybook Garden and Museum dived right into summer by starting a day camp program.

So far, there has been spotty attendance at the camp. Jean Collier, a spokesperson for the garden, attributes lack of attendance to the fact that the garden is still in its first year and this is the first year running the camp.

Collier said that attendance will determine how many week-long day camps are held during the rest of the summer because a minimum of four children is needed to cover the costs for the week of camp.

Garden and museum teacher Meghan Hanh said they can have no more than 12 children at a time for the camp with just her as the teacher.

At the camp on Thursday, children colored some flowers before heading out to pick some tomatoes, Chidiogo Igboerika, 6, said that camp is fun and she really likes all of the art projects they have done this week.

Igboerika’s mother picked a good week for her to attend since the theme this week was art and artists.

The children learned about Monet on Thursday while sitting in the Monet House which has small paintings that are done in a style like Monet’s paintings.

Then the children went out in the garden and painted a watercolor of a bridge over a lake. Not all looked paintings looked exactly like a bridge over a lake, but its impressionistic art and the children are between the ages of 4 and 7.

Next to the Monet House, the foundation has been drawn for the Van Gough House. Dave Jones, the garden’s marketing director, said the house will be similar to the Monet House and is just the beginning of planned projects.

Collier said that the museum tries to operate with as little debt as possible which is why fundraisers and donations are so important to continue the garden’s development.

Aside from holding fundraisers for the garden, Collier said that the winter field trips and the summer day camp are how the garden keeps funds for operation.

Brittany Libby, a Hanford resident, asked Hanh for a little bit more information about the camp while exploring the garden with her two sons.

Hanh explained that the camp runs from 8-11 a.m. and is made for children ages 3 to 12. For the first child, the cost of the camp is $100 and the second-child cost is $75.

Collier explained that the camp continues the garden’s efforts of teaching children literacy, nutrition and other subjects in a fun way.

The children made tice cream shaken in a bag and topped it with strawberries on Thursday.

Other days they make food with items that they pick from the gardens on site such as salsa and zucchini chocolate cake.

Next week’s theme is engineering and mad science.

Since they haven’t had a steady stream of children for the camp, Hanh said they can accept sign-ups the week before and sometimes the day before Monday.

Hanh said that next year they will have a more solid schedule because more people will know about it after their first try this year.

To find out more information about the camp or to sign-up, call Hanh at (252) 269-0005. There is also information available on the Children’s Storybook Garden Facebook page (https://bit.ly/2N8OmQw).

The reporter can be reached at 583-2458 or chelsea.shannon@lee.net.

News Reporter

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