Day 1 Summary at the Prairie Chess Camp

posted Jul 16, 2018, 7:07 PM by James Hodina

Dear Prairie Chess Camp Families,

Before I get into the summary of our first day of the Prairie Chess Camp, I need to provide you notice of a logistical issue.  The building is having trouble with the automatic locks on the activity entrance we used today. I am told this problem may surface at the end of the day.  They are working to fix the problem but it may not be fixed this week. An alternate entrance is a door on the east end of the building. This door enters into the primary hallway that goes straight to the cafeteria (rather turning after the gymnasium).  There is parking. You may use this door anytime. Simply drive around the corner, park, and enter. Of course, you can always call me if you have difficulty getting in, too.

We got off to a fabulous start today.  I was surprised to learn today that about half of our chess campers are attending their very first Prairie Chess Camp.  That is so awesome! Everyone arrived ready to play. The school bus pickup and drop off went right on cue (thank you Gokul, Sanmati, James, and Joseph).  Spielman’s Event Services arrived early and set up pipe and drape to construct three classrooms in the cafeteria.

We let the kids settle in this morning by playing some casual chess games before starting with our morning lessons.  Our students are split out into four groups based on age and US Chess Federation rating. Each group has three-morning lessons, rotating to a different instructor with each lesson.  By rotating, all our students get to work with each of our amazing instructors (Alex, Erik, Dan & James with Joseph and Gokul) equally throughout the week. We have a lesson plan for each group, every day

Each student has a folder that they will keep their tactics worksheet and scoresheet of any games they played and recorded.  They can go back to their folders throughout the day to work on their tactics puzzles or store their score sheets from their games.

In the afternoon, we played a tournament among students. We played three games at 40 minutes a piece.  All students recorded their moves in a scorebook provided as part of the camp registration. After each game, the students then reviewed their game with one of our instructors to get direct feedback on their play.

Snacks, lunch, and recess went smoothly, thanks in large part to our high school student volunteers and staff (Regan, Trevor, Andre, Teresa & Sanmati).  Morning snacks included Rice Krispie bars and Nutri-Grain bars. Lunch was catered by Subway and afternoon snacks included cheeseheads with apples, pears, and bananas.  Recess after lunch and at snack time let kids play and run off a little energy, too.

I was able to take some pictures today. Here is a link to the online photo album:

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.

Take care,