Summer Camps and Classes Canceled? Manhattan Beach Teens Step InAug 07, 2020 09:49AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Beach Camp: Throughout the summer a variety of teen-led "beach camps" have sprung up around Manhattan Beach. The Bubble Sitters camp, led by Owen and incoming Mira Costa junior Kimiya Torabi, provided child care and safe beach activities for kids ages 5 to 12 (the camp lasted through July 31, although Owen and Torabi are still open to future camp or babysitting activities upon request). Both teens are experienced babysitters as well as MIra Costa water polo players. Owen has been part of the Junior Guards program for five years and is lifeguard certified; Torabi is First Aid and CPR certified and has worked as a Beach Sports summer camp counselor.
"We spend lots of time playing games in the sand, and having lots of fun water time," said Torabi. "A majority of the kids are in elementary school, but we do have an option for the older kids to have a mock Junior Guards day including swims, surfing, and exercises."
Does it make a difference that the camp is run by teens? "We do believe that the kids respond differently to us than they would to an 'adult' counselor," said Owen.
Added Torabi: "They see us more as a friend or older sibling instead of someone who is obligated to watch them. By being closer in age to the kids, it allows us to bond and relate with them easily."
Coding Classes: Sydney Weisberg, a rising junior at Mira Costa, loves computer science and has been helping elementary students learn a coding program called Scratch. She tutors kids online through Zoom, and she tries to customize her lessons to match up with kids' interests. For one young student who loves Harry Potter, for example, she designed a Hogwarts-themed lesson.
"I remember how when I first started coding it was kind of hard, but I still remember the feeling of, 'This is really exiting,'" she said. "So I try to bring the same excitement to the kids. I want them to have a passion for it."
Being a teenager can help with relating to kids, she said. "As a teen I maybe get more excited about it then many adults would."
(To reach Sydney for coding lessons, text her at 424-903-5217.)
Math Tutoring: Liam Berger, a rising junior at Mira Costa, is a standout math student who enjoys helping other students work through math challenges. This summer, he started a tutoring service called Beach Tutoring, specializing in math classes from primary grades through Algebra 2.
Fishing Lessons: Harrison (Harry) Mathis is an incoming Mira Costa senior and expert fisherman who loves teaching kids to fish. He has been offering (free) fishing lessons and has worked with kids as young as age 4.
He says that kids tend to respond well to a younger person who is teaching them a new skill.
"I feel that if someone closer in age is teaching them, they feel more comfortable and willing to listen and learn," said Mathis.
Drama Classes: Local teens run the show - literally - at Anchorless Productions, a theater company and drama program for special needs young people and adults. The executive board includes rising Mira Costa juniors Ben Henschel (executive director), Caroline Kiely, Hayden Asiano, and Erica Boylan.
They're planning a fall/winter production of Frozen, and if it can't be in person, they'll do that on Zoom as well.
- Manhattan Beach kids flexing their talents during the quarantine;
- Mira Costa students who created a citrus company with 25% of profits going to a food bank;
- A Mira Costa student who made a poignant photography exhibit of Mira Costa seniors;
- An MBMS student whose business idea won a competition that is sending her to compete at the national level;
- A just-graduated Mira Costa student who leads the South Bay Food Initiative, and;
- A just-graduated Mira Costa student who is set to lead a children's chorus in a war-torn city in Israel.