Storm Chaser summer camp aimed at helping kids

By: Maddie Garrett Email
By: Maddie Garrett Email

SHERMAN, TX – A new summer camp in Sherman is bringing the traditional outdoor activities and crafts together with interactive learning. It’s part of MasterKey Ministries' summer programs, featuring three week-long camps all with a different educational theme. This week it’s storm chaser camp.

"I really like weather because.... I don't really know I just like it, I like science,” said 10 year old Jacob Cunliffe.

And though Jacob isn’t in school, he’s still learning all the same. On Wednesday it’s all about the science of wind

10-year-old Jacob Cunliffe isn't in school... but he's learning all the same. On Wednesday it’s all about the science of wind, and Thursday it will be focused on tornadoes. The whole week is geared towards learning about weather.

"Every day they are learning something new and learning it in a way that leaves them excited,” said Julie Rickey, director of the camp and the non-profit group MasterKey Ministries.

Rickey started the MasterKey Ministries in 2008 after she saw a need in the community to help local kids learn in an interactive and effective way. She said most of her students are Hispanic or from low income families.

"We realized that the Hispanic population was increasing so that obviously was a need and we have a lot of people that are lower income families. And so we need to do something as far as looking and seeing what are the needs and what can we do to solve the problems,” she said.

Rickey also runs after school and language programs during the year. All of her efforts are geared at reaching out to kids.

"Children need to experience things not just by listening to a teacher, they need to learn things visually, auditorially and by hands-on activities and so that's what we did,” said Rickey.

This Wednesday, hands-on meant flying a kite. But the kids showed that they’ve been learning all week, and that shows that Rickey’s camp is working.

"I learned that from oceans, lakes, rivers, streams and every other water types, goes into the air as evaporation and turns into clouds called condensation,” explained Jacob.

And Rickey said knowing that the kids are learning and having fun makes all of her efforts worth it.

There will be two more camps this summer: The next is called Crime Scene Investigation in which local law enforcement will also participate in educating the kids. And the final camp is called African Adventure, which will focus on exploring other cultures.

To contact Julie Rickey at MasterKey Ministries, call: (903) 870 – 6014.
Their website is:

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  • by Anonymous on Jun 27, 2010 at 10:55 AM
    Weather is cool, music is great, learning is fun and kids need a safe place to congregate together but I just dont trust that "ministry" part of it. Seems like it would come through the back door and bite you on the asnkle.
  • by jason Young Location: Sulphur , Ok on Jun 26, 2010 at 08:43 PM
    Ya. I just found out more about it . I know the chaser you speeck of and he is a great guy .
  • by Julie Location: Sherman on Jun 25, 2010 at 04:01 PM
    Hi Jason! We chose a meteorology theme because my family thinks that learning about weather is a fascinating subject. To call a camp...meteorology camp doesn't sound exciting for most kids...thus, a name that catches kids attention: Storm Chasers!. We learned about all aspects of weather using hands on experiments and music. In addition, we had LOADS of fun with weather themed crafts and games. We even had an appearance of a Storm Chaser. He taught about tornado and storm safety, shared live video footage of tornadoes, and permitted kids to check out his equipment. Great week!
  • by daniel Location: sherman tx on Jun 24, 2010 at 04:17 PM
    greatest summer experiance
  • by Jason Young Location: Sulphur , Ok on Jun 24, 2010 at 03:42 PM
    Ok , Why did they call it Storm Chaser camp ? Jason Young TVN/iMap live Streamer
  • by Teena Location: Howe on Jun 24, 2010 at 12:53 PM
    Julie is an awesome teacher ... she helped my son thru a brutal year in math. She is tough, but fair and her only goal is to help and minister.
  • by Proud Dad Location: Sherman on Jun 24, 2010 at 01:28 AM
    Proud of my 10 year old son for doing such a good job on his interview. He was extremely nervous. We love u very much.
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