INCENDIO! Harry Potter Day Camp Lights Up Young Witches and Wizards

'Magic for Muggles' rides high in the suburbs of Montclair.

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

Ilia Wood July 13, 2011 at 01:43 PM
This is the first time my son has been at a camp that he CAN NOT stop talking about. The entire drive home he will not stop telling me all the things he did. IT does not stop there. He comes home and wants to keep learning spells for the duels, making wands and just throws himself into the wizarding world. I am sure he is going back next year.
Lauren Bright Pacheco July 13, 2011 at 09:36 PM
OMGoodness - My kids are attending Magic for Muggles next week and they are chomping at the bit. This video has them even more excited!
Robert Allen July 15, 2011 at 02:25 AM
When I went to pick my son up after his first day at camp, he was smiling like never before. He cried on the last day because it was over.


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