I’m Topher Bradfield, Children’s Outreach Coordinator and Camp Director for BookPeople the largest independent bookstore in Texas. I began Camp Half-Blood in the summer of 2006 after having a group of enthusiastic Percy Jackson fans ask me, “Wouldn’t it be cool to go to Camp Half-Blood for real?”
10 years later we’ve gone from hosting one session of Camp Half-Blood to the ten sessions we have planned to celebrate a decade of magical summers for 2016. In 2011 we added Camp Jupiter to the demigod family of camp programming. We do this for one reason: we’ll do anything to keep kids interested in reading. If this means, and it does, building the world of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the Heroes of Olympus series, Kane Chronicles and now The Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, we’ll do it. We love the books, we love kids, we love creativity, friendships and adventure. With this in mind we hope you’ll become a part of our demigod family.
My goal with Camp Half-Blood & Camp Jupiter is a straightforward one: bring the books to life. Camps based on books seemed like a good idea when I started this journey and it’s turned into a passion. Since your kids are such huge Percy Jackson fans and have basically memorized the books I felt that it was more important to create an environment, with engaging backstories, that run parallel to the stories in Rick Riordan’s books without copying the books themselves. This allows your kids to become their own demigod characters within the world of Percy Jackson. Your demigod will get to have adventures and go on quests as their own story unfolds over the course of their camp session. They’ll learn and utilize critical lateral problem solving skills and use creative play and teamwork to win the day. We favor a whole learning approach to the camp experience. We try to make meaningful connections between history, mythology, literature, art, science, sports, current events, language and rampant creativity. Oh yeah, sword training, chariot racing, archery, lava wall climbing, and phalanx training are pretty fun too.
We have an amazing family of councilors and educators, also big Percy Jackson fans, who return year after year to be a part of the community that your demigod campers have made so rich and rewarding.
When you combine this with support from author Rick Riordan, publisher Disney/Hyperion and BookPeople, there isn’t much we can’t bring to life. This is the kind of camping community we love – everyone with a vested interest in continuing to find new ways to make reading the adventure we all know it can be.
I hope to see you and your demigod(s) this summer,
Son of Apollo