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Friday, June 7, 2013

New book offers program activities for summer camp or summer school.

When school lets out for summer there will be a variety of programs for youth to keep them busy during the summer months. The directors of these programs will be interested in a new book, Day Camp in Hawaii.  This book offers a summer camp program for elementary age students that can be used by any youth group, camp or summer school program.

“When I was in charge of Cub Scout Day Camp, I thought the best part of the job was coming up with all the activities, games, crafts and songs needed for the program,” the author, Paula Hrbacek said. “Later, I worked for Campfire and the YMCA doing after school and summer programs. They used a theme for each week of camp, too.  Even though they were different programs, they still used games, songs and skits.”

It was difficult for Hrbacek to find enough activities for a week of camp using a tropical theme.  Instead, she wrote her own activities such as the deaf sign language hula dance.  She rewrote the song “Tiny Bubbles (in the wine)” and turned it into “Mighty Cub Scouts in a line.”  It meets the Cub Scout requirement for using sign language, but if the name of the organization is changed, it could also be used to meet Girl Scout requirements for dancing and singing as well.

Writing her own activities was the easy way to come up with an original and fun program.  Hrbacek  majored in journalism and art at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She’s the author of three arts and crafts books and one novel. Currently, she writes about children’s arts and crafts for the Panama City edition of The Examiner, a free online newspaper. In addition to her publishing credits in Highlights, Pack-o-Fun and other magazines, she has a degree in elementary education from Pensacola Junior College and experience teaching art in a Catholic school.

A stay-at-home mother of four, Hrbacek has fifteen years experience leading Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts. She received the District Award of Merit from Boy Scouts for her work on the Cub Scout Summer Day Camp Program. She was also given the Girl Scout Outstanding Volunteer Award for her work with Juniors, Cadettes and Senior Scouts.

"I did a similar event for Girl Scouts at Cluster Camp," Hrbacek says.  "Many of the activities in this book can be used for that program, too.  Other leaders came up to me and asked where I found all the ideas we were using, so I tried to make the book meet as many program requirements as I could, and make it adaptable to as many situations as I could.  It isn't just for day camp; it can be used at family camp, a church outing, Webelos overnighter, Cluster events, a Mom and Me sleepover, or even just a troop or pack's campout for a weekend."

“The attendance record is a brilliant idea,” said Roy Smith, the air rifle instructor at the camp. “She saved herself a lot of paperwork with that one.”

Shannon Drake-Bleakney, a Cub Scout Day Camp Director in Indiana said “I was very impressed by your Day Camp In Hawaii ebook.”

Day Camp in Hawaii has everything a summer program needs; games, sports, crafts, art projects, Hawaiian lore and trivia facts, geology, skits, songs, guest speaker suggestions, first aid, CPR, tourism, music and dance.  It also includes money saving tips, time savers, and organization and management tips. Every activity has an introduction that is educational, and a closing thought that reinforces a basic value, such as honesty, hard work, and friendship. 

The activities are grouped into two age levels. Lower level activities are for grades K to 3.  Upper level activities are for grades 4 to 6. 
“This is a great book,” commented Laurie Flynn, an artist in Pensacola FL.  “There are a lot of great ideas in here.  It gives a leader a lot of choices.”

Campers who participated in these activities when Hrbacek ran it as a camp program said it was “awesome” and “the best camp ever.”  Leaders commented the program was “well organized” and “easy to do”.

Day Camp in Hawaii is available from Amazon and Barnes & Nobel as a paperback, Nook or Kindle.  Bookstores can order in quantity from Create Space. 

Day Camp in Hawaii
Published by Create Space
Book store discounts and bulk orders:
Individual copies available at Amazon and Barnes & Nobel
Paperback, Nook and Kindle editions
132 pages, 8 ½ x 11


  1. There are good activities in there just for the parent that has to deal with keeping kids busy at home.