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Published: 8/15/2007

Things turn magical, mystical at Sylvania Village's day camp

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
In her proper costume as a transfiguration specialist Cheryl Jackson, right, places a magical hat on Elizabeth Teczynski. In her proper costume as a transfiguration specialist Cheryl Jackson, right, places a magical hat on Elizabeth Teczynski.
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Tucked away along Main Street in one of Sylvania's most magical settings, 8-year-old Nathan St. Clair waved his handmade wand.

"Ridiculous!" the Toledo youngster said, directing his command to classmates over plates of pizza, macaroni and cheese, and melon.

Immediately, Cooper Hopson, a 9-year-old from Sylvania, contorted his face in a most ridiculous manner, prompting giggles from girls and guffaws from the guys.

About 25 area youngsters last week made capes, wands, and broomsticks; cast (pretend) spells, and played games during the Sylvania Historical Village's Magical, Mystical Day Camp.

Located at 5717 N. Main Street, the historical village provided a perfect setting for the event, including a large green space for a lively quidditch match, a fictional sport featured in the wildly popular Harry Potter books and movies.

Several participants were drawn to the event because of the day camp's Potterlike theme, but others said they signed up because they like to keep busy during the summer.

As the day camp got underway bright pink pouches with pretend money were handed out to participants in the historical village's Log Cabin. Fake coins were used to buy supplies to make wands, brooms, and robes, said 8-year-old Will Monegan of

Sylvania, one of the youngsters who said he's not particularly interested in Harry Potter.

"I came here for something to do," he said.

Students, who were assigned to Doringryff, Puffles, Robinsbeak, and Salamander Houses similar to those featured in Harry Potter books, went through the historical village's depot, and then had the opportunity to ride on a push-car along a section of railroad tracks.

Destination: the bright red, restored caboose that is on permanent display at the historical village.

Until recently, a locomotive was parked near the 83-year-old caboose, but the engine was transported last month to Maumee, where it is being restored.

Event organizers, dressed in costumes in keeping with the magical and mystical theme, noted that the restored depot is the oldest depot in existence in Ohio.

Jesse Holt of Fort Wayne, Ind., who was wearing all black garb in his role of Professor Drought, volunteered to play one of the adult characters.

His fiancee, Kristen Cygan of Sylvania, dressed in a long black and white gown, portrayed a professor's assistant during the event.

A recent graduate of Lourdes College, Ms. Cygan participated to fulfill requirements of an internship program. She's quite knowledgeable about the history of magic, Mr. Holt said.

Cheryl Jackson of Sylvania, a long-time volunteer with the historical village, brewed up some special concoctions with the youngsters in her class, where she served as a transfiguration specialist.

In another learning lab, Mr. Holt directed the making of gooey stuff called "flubber."

Youngsters, including some who were rather hestitant to touch the slippery stuff, pulled white globs from jars of water.

"Reach in! Be brave! Start squeezing out the water. It's flubbery fun," exclaimed Joy Armstrong, curator/director of the historical village's museum.

Participants earned points for their cooperative spirit as well as their willingness to follow directions about cleaning up tables before moving to the next activity. Awards were presented at the conclusion of the program.

Samantha Howard, who celebrated her 9th birthday on Aug. 12, said she was pleased that enrollment in the day camp was part of her birthday gifts. "It's pretty fun," she said.

Luckily, the waving of the wands and casting of spells all was in good fun, considering that one youngster tried to turn a visitor into a beetle.

Contact Janet Romaker at:

jromaker@theblade.com or

419-724-6006.



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