The story of Edventure More is truly a story of partnerships. We teach kids about friendship, teamwork and collaboration because Edventure More itself is a product of these same qualities. At the heart of the organization is the friendship between Sharon and Ed, Edventure More Co-founders, which formed while they both worked at SCORE! Educational Centers in 1999. Becoming friends in a work environment meant that inherent in their relationship is an ability to work towards a common goal, never to take things personally and always try to make the workplace a fun place to be.
From Edventure More’s start, Ed and Sharon’s goal was not to reinvent the wheel, but utilize already established expertise as the foundation for their programs. They did this by bringing together the Bay Area’s leaders in science, art, animation, and recreation to help design the curriculum for their new camp. These partnerships proved vital to establishing the quality of the curriculum from the onset as well as being the key to successful growth into new communities over the next 10 years.
In 2004, the YMCA of Marin officially came on board to help with the design and staffing of our outdoor recreation program. Soon afterwards, a seven-year partnership was forged with the Exploratorium, as well as a partnership with the California Academy of Sciences that goes on until this day. Most of the Exploratorium-designed themes, activities and methodology are still used today in our physical science themes. The Academy continues to design our life science curriculum both for camp and our School Year Programs and also helps lead our annual Science Instructor trainings.
The following year, two more museums joined in on the collaboration with the Museum of Children’s Art and The Children’s Creativity Museum (formerly known as “Zeum”) signing on to help in the design and training of our hands-on art curriculum and stopmotion animation sessions respectively. These wonderful institutions still continue today to ensure that our campers have access to the highest quality enrichment activities.
Even after 10 years, Edventure More hasn’t stopped making friends! This year we will partner with the national non-profit, Playworks, to enhance our staff’s game facilitation skills and incorporate more life skills into our physical activities. We’re also expanding the staff’s use of Kimochis, another life skills partner, to all our sites. Kimochis provides their “toys with feelings” and guided activities to help campers build emotional intelligence and healthy social skills. As our Edmo in the Park program expands, so does our partnership with Let’s Go Chipper, a cast of cartoon characters that help kids develop a love for the environment and developing healthy lifestyles.
So this summer, when your child comes home telling you about the new friend he/she made, the team cheer their group invented or all the teamwork it took to make their animated movie, know that these skills may one day help them form grand partnerships the likes of which you would never imagine.