Yesterday was the final SLP event for teens. As exciting as it was, I am so happy that it’s over. This summer was definitely a learning experience for me, and I’m really excited to put what I learned to use for next year’s programming. I had about 20 teens register for the programs this summer, which is exciting in itself because there are normally about 10 who register and 5 who show up. I had about 9 average participants, with a whopping 17 for my science program. It was interesting that the actual programs drew more participants than the movie programs, when the opposite has been true in my previous experience. I think that, in the future, we will limit our movie programs to newly released DVDs like Divergent, but only with a lot of hype and publicity. I’ve basically decided that summer programming and programming events like Teen Tech Week will be more focused on in depth programming.
The science program actually had a much larger turnout than expected. My husband and his coworker performed science demonstrations and gave cute anecdotes for some of them, like the elephant toothpaste. According to the story, the MSU vet school rescued an elephant with really bad breath, and regular toothpaste just wasn’t big enough, so they had to come up with something that was large enough for elephant teeth. The main attraction of the program was the liquid nitrogen experiments. The kids loved watching the ping pong balls spin around, the balloons “magically” shrinking, and flowers disintegrating. My husband and his coworker did a great job of explaining the science in a way that the kids could understand, and they all got really involved with answering questions and hypothesizing about the experiments.
The Zombie Bash was a great end of summer/back to school event. Because I was sick and out of work for a week, the Bash was rescheduled to coincide with the weekend that the kids went back to school. I think it was a nice way for them to get ready to get fully back into the routine of school. We had several different stations at the bash: zombie target practice with foam dart guns and a moon blaster, “zombification station” (face painting), zombie themed food, feed the zombie, and two gaming stations for the Xbox and Wii. All of those in attendance seemed to have a blast. At the end of the program, we passed out prize packs which included instructions for a DIY zombie survival kit, gift cards donated by local business, and some other small prizes.
I can’t wait to get started planning for next year’s SLP, because the theme is superheroes. I am really going to have a lot of fun with this one!