Spring break is just around the corner, March 27 to 31, and quite possibly you’re wondering what’s available for your kiddos outside the house. So, we’ve corralled a few day camp options for you to consider, and please let us know if you bump into any we’ve missed.
Corvallis Parks & Rec: Every year, this is the most popular option in Corvallis, and it’s easy to see why, it’s both a good program for campers, and inexpensive too. Of course, many parents know that, and the available slots fill quickly. At press time, for ages 6 to 8, there were only two openings remaining, and for ages 9 to 12 there were eight openings.
If your camper does get one of the remaining slots, they’ll engage in spring-themed arts and crafts, and they’ll visit local parks and play outdoor sports and field games. Click here to check availability and register.
Now, what to do if you can’t get your kiddo in at Parks & Rec, well, you actually have some pretty sweet options.
Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis: A longtime standby for non-school days, the B&G Club offers a variety of age appropriate activities for kiddos grades K-8, and they also take care of snacks and meals, which is unique. $37 daily per kiddo, but what’s nice for larger families is a $74 daily cap for any family with two or more children. Scholarships are available. To learn more, or register, click here. At press time there were plenty of slots available.
Corvallis Environmental Center: Welcome to the wonderful world of wetlands. Kiddos will learn all about the unique plants and animals that call the wetlands home. Campers will discover the important role that these ecosystems play in maintaining the health of our planet – they’ll find out what you can do to protect our local wetlands and discover the wonders within.
Meets at Starker Arts Park, 9 am to 3 pm, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. $65 a day per camper, ages 5 to 11. They also offer extended care for $10 daily. At press time, their site says they have openings. Click here if you’re interested.
Valley Rock Gym: Students will develop young campers’ skills in the vertical world while providing an outlet for their spring-season energy. This venue promises challenges for every level of climbing experience.
$90 daily, with 20% discount if student is enrolled all five days. Gym members get an added discount too. Ages 6 to 12. Runs 9 am to 2 pm. At press time, there were six to seven openings per day, depending on which day you preferred. Click here to register.
The Arts Center: Three different offerings from this Central Park adjacent venue. Play with Clay for a Half Day is for ages 7 and up, slated for 9 am to 12 pm from Tuesday to Thursday. Cost is $55 a day.
Also for ages 7 and up, Fun with Fiber Arts, a beginner friendly weaving class that runs from 1 to 4 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday. Cost is $45 a day.
For ages 9 and up, Adventure Game Characters runs 9 am to 12 pm, from Tuesday to Thursday, and it’s $130 for all three days. Campers will design and draw their own characters using illustration techniques and tools, and they’ll also create a backstory including strengths, weaknesses, motivations and conflicts. This class also features a collaborative game.
At press time there were openings, click here to register.
Peak Elite: Camper activities include a water day, ninja warrior lessons, gymnastics lessons, foam pit play, arts and crafts, outdoor play, games like tag and hide-and-seek, and the occasional movie. Bonus, campers get to use Peak Elite’s gymnastics facilities.
Ages 6 to 11. $270 for full day, 9 am to 4 pm. $170 for half day, either to noon, or from noon. $25 off for members. At press time, they have openings. To learn more or register, click here.
Spring Break Survivor Camps: Held in Willamette Park, it’s four full days of learning survival skills and practicing them in survival scenarios. Skills taught and practiced will include shelters, fire safety and building, knife safety, tracking, foraging, teamwork, traps, orienteering, cordage and knots and primitive skills. Specific skills and curriculum will depend on instructor and student preference. The stated camp goals, besides having fun, is to build initiative, self-control and judgment while connecting with the natural world. Campers will play survival-themed games based on real-life survival scenarios. The week ends with a final scenario and a certificate of achievement. No prerequisites. Campers will need weather-appropriate clothing, and their own snacks and lunch. Call Coyle Outside for details about curriculum 541-760-0774 – Coyle Outside donates 10% annual profit to causes that benefit youth and nature.
$314/week for children living in the city, and $393/week for those living outside. Camp runs Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 6 pm. At press time, four slots were available. Click here to check availability and register.
School District Learning to Talk: When someone says Communications Audit, the natural response is to glaze over – but the school district has wanted to know that when they talk, people are hearing, and they’re understanding. So, that’s why they did the audit, and they’ve learned there’s room for improvement.
Firstly, they learned they’re sending so many messages that district families can’t even tell what information they SHOULD actually pay attention to. Part of the problem is that a number of communications go to all families, even families for which the information is irrelevant. This is called message fatigue. Also, families do not understand ParentSquare and how it is being used.
Also, families aren’t sure where to direct district-level questions, and they don’t understand how decisions are being made – particularly about finances. Families also feel the district is more focused on equity than academic rigor. Click here to view the district’s Communications Audit webpage.
Schools Want State Action on Cybersecurity: This might finally be the year for cybersecurity funding at the Legislature. Schools could use the help.
A somewhat obscure legislative committee has been exhaustively working since the start of the session on a bill to invest in local government cybersecurity.
The Joint Information Management and Technology Committee is one of the Legislature’s smaller committees. It meets once a week and has only a few bills assigned to it. The committee is powerful, though. It is a joint committee, meaning it has members from the House and Senate chambers. Co-Chair Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene, who was first elected in 2007 and is a former co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, adds veteran punch to make things happen.
House Bill 2049 would do a number of things, including:
- Establish the Oregon Cybersecurity Center of Excellence within Portland State University. Oregon does not have a centralized location for cybersecurity outside the Department of Administrative Services, a state agency that is responsible for state agency cybersecurity, not local government support. This center would coordinate funding, particularly federal funding, with a targeted focus on the unmet needs of regional and local government, special districts, education service districts, K-12 school districts and libraries.
- Establish the Oregon Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Operating Fund as a standalone account to continuously fund the center. It is not uncommon for programs to be created by statute to receive one-time funding only or no funding at all. The ability to continuously appropriate funds hopefully indicates the Legislature intends to keep this program going.
- Appropriate as much at $10 million to start the programs in the bill.
This is not the first time the Legislature has considered local government cybersecurity investments. In 2022, HB 4155 was expected to become law. It was an end of session casualty, however, delaying a comprehensive response to cybersecurity challenges.
School districts and ESDs support the bill. Rachel Wente-Chaney, the High Desert ESD chief information officer, testified earlier this month on behalf of many stakeholders, including OSBA, the Oregon Association of Education Service Districts, the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators and a number of school district-based IT professionals. She described the threat of malicious hackers increasingly targeting schools and shared the variety of attacks districts have faced, including:
- ransomware attacks, resulting in disruption and school closures;
- phishing attacks, resulting in financial losses and/or theft of personally identifiable information;
- information systems breaches, jeopardizing both the continuity of education and student data privacy.
This problem is increasingly in the news. Malicious hackers have done staggeringly expensive harm to school districts, notably the Los Angeles Unified School District. School officials hope this bill will put our districts in a better place to stop these bad actors before they make inroads.
By Advocate Staff, with Cybersecurity reporting from Richard Donovan, a Legislative Services Specialist with the Oregon School Board Association.