To draw kids away from TV and videogames summer camps nowadays should offer something more than kayaking, swimming and campfire songs. And some of them really do it. For example Stockton CSI camp capitalizes on America’s littlest TV addicts, borrowing themes from popular TV-shows. In place of traditional activities campers are solving crimes.
Campers work as part of an elite team of investigators and professionals to help solve a murder (found dummy body in blood for example). Every camp session features a different murder case. Youngsters methodically gather evidences and gain experience with testing techniques, such as fingerprints, DNA analysis, impressions, bite marks, ink analysis, chemical analysis, hair and fibers, blood typing, and so on. Unlikely TV-shows, where everything is an evidence, objects on the camp crime scene may be left by an innocent passerby and be nothing but irrelevant garbage.
Campers also learn how to question suspects and witnesses, how to know when people are telling the truth or lying, and figure out when people’s memories may be distorted. Finally, campers learn how to prepare a case for trial: how to select jury and present their cases. Also children visit county jail and may see what life is like there (useful experience for kids, isn’t it?). Whether the murderer is determined or not after they have finished their investigation, the campers are shown a video of actors staging the crime.
Stockton CSI site notes that the camp connects young people with world class experts and informs them of potential career choices with the police, FBI, corrections, and in fields like criminal justice, forensic psychology, and the law. So it may be useful for kids in future career choosing.
And the main information is about prices. Two weeks in the camp cost $889 (the price includes all meals, room and board, classes taught by experts, hands-on investigative and trial experience, and field trips). Early birds may get discounts.