Calling all Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff! Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has come to Montclair.
More than 50 children ages aged eight through 12 gathered this week at St. John's Episcopal Church to attend a Harry Potter-themed day camp, Magic for Muggles. Though the camp takes place in Montclair, would-be wizards from Bloomfield, West Orange, Belleville, Verona, the Caldwells and other neighboring towns show up (sometimes repeatedly) for the popular one-week sessions.
The camp, headed by Glenfield Middle School teachers Kevin McCarthy, 60, and Adam Scribner, 37, allows the kids to feel as if they are attending Hogwarts, where activities like wand-making, dueling, and quidditch matches are all the rage.
"The idea actually came from my son, who is a big Harry Potter fan," said McCarthy. "He kept bugging me to read the book, read the book. I finally did, and realized what he was so excited about. We were looking to create a summer program that was different from recreation or arts and crafts. We wondered what it would be like for kids to attend Hogwarts for a week."
The camp started on June 27 and will end July 18, giving kids four weeks of wand-waving fun. The camp is privatized, with money coming out of McCarthy and Scribner's own pockets. Although the camp is not advertised locally, word has spread from kids to parents about just how fun the camp really is. For the past few years it has filled up early (this year, it was filled to capacity by May.)
"I'm really liking camp here. I started coming last year. I really enjoy making the wands and playing quidditch," said Lily Wurstein, 10, who attends Bradford Elementary School in Montclair.
Scribner, who was a Lord of the Rings fan growing up, wondered how to integrate science and literature into the camp, until he found the perfect solution using the world of Harry Potter.
"I really truly believe that this is something that really engages students in a way that no other camp does," he said."
Linda Federico-O'Murchu contributed to this article