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Nerd Camp


When I was a wee lad in Junior High School, my mother found an interesting summer camp in the local paper.  This "inventors" camp was hosted at Cogswell College, when it was still using the campus on Bubb Road in Cupertino (where UC Santa Cruz Extension satellite campus is located now).  Every weekday for a while, I'd ride my bike down the freight train tracks to arrive each day for a whole lot of eye opening.  Sitting in college classrooms and filling our heads with knowledge.  Playing in the computer lab and pirating Apple ][ software (I'm sure the camp didn't approve that one).  We had full reign of the facility and enthusiastic camp leaders who really treated us like little little inquisitive adults, instead of silly kids.  We even had sessions on patent law, but I don't think the intellectual property law stuff really registered in our middle school brains.  ;)

 Hubble Space Telescope

(Photo Courtesy of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Some of the fun day trips we were taken on included:

The reason I've been thinking about this particular incredible summer has to do with my overall educational experience from K-12.  Experiences like this camp helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my life, more than any class or guidance counselor in school could have ever given me.  While traditional school prepared me for the rigors of the college academic life, it never helped me make the connections between the practical applications of math and science in a career setting.  Thanks for signing me up Mom!

If you are a parent stumbling across this, think about enriching your child's educational experience beyond the scope of their school.  Sites like (http://www.bayareakidfun.com/pages/campsscience.html) can help you find a fun place for you child to find some inspirations and have fun.

It looks as if Cogswell has continued on the summer camp tradition in spirit.

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