Childhood memories have a way of awakening in later life in another form that may or may not be consciously recognized.  Compare these two activities.

ONE-WEEK DISCOVERY DAY CAMP For students ages 8 – 10
Discovery Day Camp serves as an introduction to the performing arts. Children spend their mornings taking classes in theatre, dance, music, creative writing and fine arts. Each afternoon, they participate in traditional camp activities such as hiking and local field trips. On Saturday, at the end of each session, campers present a final showcase to which all parents are invited.

With this activity

The Saturday Adventurers go from art to ancient today. First to the studio of Eschwan Winding, a studio envied by many. She paints in all media, in both realistic and impressionistic styles, though her first love is mural painting. She also does decorative pieces such as small screens to be used as table decor. Her home is a real artist’s home, the furniture painted in soft colors, and the view from her rooftop is enchanting indeed.

Now to the ancient: the eighteenth-century Hacienda Landeta, owned by the first governor of this area. Note the façade, built by the Otomí Indians, who used their own artistic ability in placing the stones. The inlaid mosaic walkways use different shades of grey stone to form flowers and even a scorpion. We will visit the original chapel, where fading frescos can still be seen. Notice the huge bóveda ceiling in the vast room inside the hacienda; once used to store grain, they say, but now wedding receptions are held there. How grain was separated from the chaff by the wind will be explained. You will wish you had your camera!

This tour leaves from inside the Jardín, across from the Parroquia, at 10:30am..

The latter is an extension of the former.  Saturday Adventurers is a Day Camp for Adults.

San Miguel Gangs understand the desire to return to one’s childhood roots and have brilliantly created a series of Day Camps to bring all those feelings back and keep gang members busy and thought free.

In addition children with visiting parents can drop them off at one of these camps for the day and they will find adult playmates.

House & Garden Tour Day Camp

Sunday has the best day camp for anyone with visiting parents.  The drop off spot is the Biblioteca before noon.  The camp costs 150 pesos.  You will have no worries about your parent. They are given a name tag where you can write their name and where they are from.  If you get their early then they can walk around and try to find either people with the same first name or from the same place they came from.  At noon, they are given a Camp Counseller called a Guide and put on a bus to their first Day Camp Stop – a house that they could never afford to own.

One of the home’s most alluring features is the amount of cantera used for columns, countertops, fireplaces, shelves and fountains, which were quarried and carved in Escolasticas

They will be ushered through the house by the Guide who will tell them what everything cost and how they could never afford it.

With the envy factor now revved up it is time to go to the next stop – the art extravaganza.

Their goal in building this home was to have a place with plenty of light, comfort and areas where they could enjoy the art brought from their previous homes and the many pieces bought from local San Miguel artists.

The purpose is to point out to your parents their lack of taste and complete lack of understanding what good art is.  There will be no Poker Playing Dogs (for Jennifer) nor Black Velvet Elvis in these houses.  If they come back wanting a six foot red ceramic devil blame Deb Hall.

The last stop is the House with a View.  Your parents will see a good view to compare with their own bad view.  Totally discouraged they will be put back on the bus and taken back to the Biblioteca where you can pick them up.   Take them to Starbucks to cheer them up.

Walking Tour Day Camp

This day camp offered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. It is a two hour guided fast paced walking tour that leaves from in front of the Parroquia. The group is led by a Docent who makes up a different story each time about the places and the people that were important to the history of San Miguel. The naming of the town after Ignacio José de Allende is told in many different ways.  Sometimes he is coming to San Miguel with his pregnant wife around Christmas to pay taxes.  Another time the Virgin of Guadalupe appears to him in a field with stories he is to tell.  Sometimes he and his buddy Miguel Hidalgo are on a  road trip from Mexico City and after a night of heavy drinking discover San Miguel.  What is so charming about this tour is that history does not get in the way of a good story.

Tamed Flower Day Camp

Botanical Garden Tour Every Tuesday, the vice-director gives a two-hour tour in English of the 247-acre park on a hillside above San Miguel. This is a chance to have some fun among the cacti.  Mischievous adults have been known to walk fellow Day Campers into a very prickly cactus and giggle. A recent tradition is the Botanical dress.  “Big girls” find a flower motif fabric and make it into a mu mu.  Taking inspiration from Mimes they stand in the Garden and pretend they are a very large flower.  The other flower activities are sure to keep adults busy and vacant.

The Wildflower Identification and Picking Day Camp

Richard Cretcher, author of Flores Silvestres: A Pocket Guide to the Wildflowers of San Miguel, offers a walk and a pick in the botanical garden September 19 to identify the multitude of gorgeous flowers blooming at this time of year that will look good in your livingroom.  The walk starts at 9:30am and costs 100 pesos for nonmembers and 70 pesos for members of El Charco. This is a popular activity, so please reserve a space early by emailing nzerriffi@yahoo.com.

The Bird Identification and Catching Day Camp

Audubon Birdwalk, Every third Sunday at 8 a.m., a group of birdlovers and hunters leaves from in front of the Instituto Allende, on Ancha de San Antonio, to visit birding sites in the San Miguel area.

Bring hat, water,  binoculars, nets and pellet guns if you have them.

No experience needed.

Full Time Day Camps -Rancho Los Labradores

The clubhouse at Los Labradores offers total immersion Day Camp for bored Gang Members.  There classes in painting, yoga and photography for 450 pesos per month.  Great value for Getting Fully Arted.  If you take all three there is a 20% discount.  In addition this site offers weekend workshops such as QuantumTouch and Self-Discovery (note this work shop is X rated).

Games Day Camps

Chess in three places. Faux Adults meet Mondays 5–6:30pm in the north portal of the Biblioteca Pública’s central patio. The library closes at 7pm, but Café Santa Ana lets players carry on for another hour or two.  And carry on they do – pillow fights, knight toss, tag, hopscotch and rowdy fun.

Players with drinking problems also gather at Mamma Mia, Umarán 8, on Thursdays, 5–7pm.

Chess players who have read more than two books meet three times a week at Casa de la Cultura on Chorro: Saturdays, 10am–2pm, Wednesdays and Fridays, 5–8pm.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Day Camp

This is scary day camp.  The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30am at La Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15 and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation and gender identity. Visitors are invited to attend the service and then join the UUs in the hotel restaurant for brunch. Your parents might come back gay or black so be warned if you send them to this day camp.

Service Organization Day Camp

There is something conformable about a Day Camp based on the old service clubs at home so send the old folks to The Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende-Midday that meets every Tuesday at Hotel Real de Minas at the intersection of Calles Ancha de San Antonio and Stirling Dickinson.

Arts and Crafts Day Camps

This Day Camp is a good introduction to the Arts and Crafts milieu of San Miguel.

It’s at the Instituto Allende at Ancha de San Antonio 20.  This camp is designed by Gilberto Castillo from Oaxaca and features marimba music.

This camp requires no participation other than to listen and watch.

Your parents won’t be bringing home any art to put on the fridge but they do get a colored name tag and their faces painted.

Private, Secret, Special Day Camp

These day camps are not available to the common gang member San Miguel.  They are invitation only.  They are the haunted house day camps of San Miguel.  Here is the next one – On Saturday, September 20, Rick and Deb Hall open up their El Cortijo home for an exhibition and sale featuring the fantasy folk art of Los Linares (really scary stuff) . Net proceeds benefit Ópera de San Miguel.  (All Day Camps have this disclaimer.  It is not a legitimate licensed Day Camp unless the fees go to some Charity.) There is no charge for entrance into this one-day exhibition except you have to sing a silly song to enter and wear a hat.  For additional details, call 152-0663 or stop by Zócalo Folk Art, Hernández Macías 110.  No food will be served so have your children prepare a box lunch for you.  Deb has an added scary treat at this day camp.  She will show you the Devil Room.

There are so many Day Camps and the following is just a partial lists.

Theatre Day Camp – Auditions for Iguana Productions

Inner Workings Day Camp – Meditation Center – Gangaji Videos

Volunteer Day Camps

Check them out at  www.atencionsanmiguel.org.

English Book Day Camps

Learn how to fill your library with books that make it appear you are reading
Credit to Jennifer Rose for the idea.