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Dordt Discovery Days

Campus Center
Jun 24, 2024 - Jun 28, 2024
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

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Dordt Discovery Days is a five-day camp for students who have completed 6th, 7th or 8th grades and wish to explore new interests or dive deeper into familiar ones. Students choose a morning and an afternoon class in the arts, sciences, humanities, and sometimes recreational sports or activities. Students meet new friends from a variety of places and backgrounds. They live and learn together in Christian community. Dordt Discovery Days provides an academic and social setting that encourages all students to develop their skills and interests.

There are three enrollment options:

  1. Day camper: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Includes classes, lunches, snacks, t-shirt
  2. Commuter: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Includes classes, lunches, snacks, t-shirt, and evening meals and recreational activities
  3. Resident: Includes four nights in campus residence halls supervised by Dordt's student services staff, classes, meals, snacks, t-shirt, and evening recreational activities

To learn more, check out the Important Information below.

Registration opens on April 9.

Details

  • Begins at 10 a.m. CDT on April 9, 2024
  • If spots are full, you can sign up to be on the waitlist which is a FREE ticket. It does not guarantee a spot, but we will assess the availability of your waitlist requests as spots open up and become available due to cancellations, etc.
  • On the registration form, you can list your preferred roommate (please verify that person is coming). Dorm rooms fit two campers. Many campers go potluck so you do not have to indicate a roommate.

Important Information & Class Descriptions

Liability and Medical Information

Liability Forms are due by May 1.

Discovery Days Liability and Medical Form

Parent FAQs

Parent FAQs

Cell Phone Policy

Cell phones are not allowed at Discovery Days for any reason. We want to encourage campers to make memories and interact with other students while on campus, and we feel this is best done without a phone. Also, we are unable to monitor students’ cell phone activity, therefore it is unsafe for them to have a cell phone on campus. Any student caught with a cell phone will be required to leave camp immediately. A parent/legal guardian will need to pick up the student, no matter the time of day or night. Campers have access to the phones of Discovery Days staff to call home, if needed. They may also use the Admissions phones during the hours of 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. by asking a staff member. Parents will also be provided with Discovery Days staff cell numbers in case of an emergency.

Class Descriptions

Look through the class options for Discovery Days 2024 below.

Animal Doc 101 (Morning Class)

Holly De Vries, Dordt Professor of Agriculture

Do you dream of becoming a veterinarian, vet tech, or animal caretaker? Then this class is for you. Whether you are interested in farm animals or pets, you will have a hands-on learning opportunity to experience what it’s like to be an animal doctor and discover how God created each animal unique and a beautiful part of creation. We will visit a local veterinary clinic, learn how to do a physical exam, practice giving injections and stitching, perform a dissection, tour a farm, and more! Come prepared to get your hands and clothes dirty!

Baked from Scratch (Morning Class)

Kryn Vander Berg, Dordt Business Student

If you have a love of baking, or a desire to learn new recipes, this is the class for you! Bakers will learn cupcake frosting design, delicious picnic basket treats, cookie jar staples, Christmas goodies, and other sumptuous treats. Campers will also tour local bakeries to explore the "behind-the-scenes" of famous Northwest Iowa treats. *Please note: some recipes will include nuts and peanuts.

Basketball Strategies (Morning Class)

DJ Droog, Dordt Graduate Student and Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach

Learn the ins and outs of the game of basketball and how to strategically put your team in the best position to win!

Beach Volleyball (Morning Class)

Chad Hanson, Dordt Men’s Volleyball Head Coach

Playing outdoor beach and grass volleyball is a lifelong opportunity for community and fellowship. Learn skills and strategies of the sport at appropriate levels to your abilities.

Beekeeping (Morning Class)

Phil Westra and Ron Rynders, Dordt Alumni

Pollinators are an important part of God's creation. You may have some experience taking care of a pet or raising livestock, but how do we take care of bees? This class connects the biology of honeybees to the hands-on practice of beekeeping. Some enroll with curiosity about insects while others come to face their fears. Students will learn about the most studied insect in the world, open up beehives, inspect the combs, harvest honey, and bring home products from the hive. Protective gear is provided.

Cooking with Karinda (Morning Class)

Karinda de Boom, Western Christian High School Educator

Even if you've never advanced beyond making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or licking the spoon, this class will show you how to rustle up some grub sure to impress your friends and your mom. Learn how to make healthy snacks, main course dishes, and even drinks and desserts. A trip to the grocery store will make ingredient shopping less of a mystery, and if it all pans out, you'll take home a DDD cookbook! Both guys and girls are welcome to learn basic cooking skills that will put you somewhere between Chef Boyardee and Rachel Ray.

Dance and Cheer (Morning Class)

Mel Knobloch, Dordt Dance and Cheer Head Coach

Let’s Go! Let’s Go! L-E-T-S G-O! This high-energy class will get you moving and shaking, leaping, and jumping, and even tumbling and stunting! You will learn everything dance-related from hip hop, to ballet, to Zumba, and maybe even some country line dancing! You’ll also get to cartwheel, flip, and stunt your way to the top as we learn what it takes to become a cheerleader. No experience necessary.

Discover the Organ (Morning Class)

Carrie Groenewold, Dordt Professor of Music

Curious about the "King of Instruments?" Discover the thrill of playing Dordt's mighty Casavant organ with private and group lessons, field trips, and other hands-on activities. Pre-requisite: 4 years of piano lessons recommended. Submit a note of recommendation from your parent or piano teacher emailed to Dr. Carrie Groenewold, carrie.groenewold@dordt.edu from the ϳԹ Music Department.

Divinely Designed for Community Impact (Morning Class)

Angela Perigo, Dordt Director of Faith Formation

Are you curious about the unique way that God designed you to serve in his kingdom? This experience is for anyone who wants to discover more about their divine design (quizzes anyone?) and then engage those gifts together in fun, hands-on service projects throughout the community.

Down on the Farm (Morning Class)

Mike Schouten, Dordt Agriculture Department

Feed the calves! Vaccinate the steers! There are farm chores to do at Dordt's Agriculture Stewardship Center! Learn about caring for farm animals and about growing food for them in a real farm setting. Because farm safety is important, you'll learn firsthand how to properly use equipment like a skid loader. You might even get to harvest from the garden and process the food into tasty treats. (Think strawberry jam and homemade ice cream!) Don't pass up this chance to be a farm kid for a week! No repeaters, please.

Engineering (Morning Class)

Dordt Engineering Student

Have you ever wondered how bridges are made to help us cross rivers, highways, and train tracks? And have you ever thought about how prosthetic limbs work to assist people? Well, guess what? It's all thanks to engineering! But here's the exciting part: Have you ever imagined designing something like that yourself? And what if we could power cars with wind instead of gas? In this class, you'll explore the world of engineering and learn how to build bridges. Then, you'll put your skills to the test by creating your very own bridge designs and prosthetic models. We'll even use cool lab equipment to test how strong they are. But wait, there's more! You'll also get to build and test car models, discovering how wind or gravity can make them move. So, join us and uncover the amazing world of engineering that keeps us moving forward every single day!

Game Quest 1.0 (Morning Class)

Ryan Zonnefeld, Dordt Professor of Education

Strategize. Agonize! Cooperate. Instigate! This board game extravaganza hones your game-playing skills while having a ton of fun. You'll learn games like Acquire, Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, and Ticket to Ride where strategy is of vital importance. Social deduction plays a role in the Sheriff of Nottingham and Resistance while teamwork saves the day in Forbidden Island. Game Quest 1.0 is a great choice if you love to play and learn new games. You'll even have some free-play time to choose from over 70 games to play.

Imagination Station (Morning Class)

Shauna Vander Kooi, Unity Christian High School Educator

Have you always wanted to learn how to draw different characters or objects in unique styles? Do you have a passion for doodling or want to learn more about drawing? This class is for you! Let's have fun trying new materials and styles while creating unique masterpieces.

Lights! Camera! Action! (Morning Class)

Rich Lodewyk, Dordt Media Network Director

Behind the scenes or on camera? Which one is for you? This class begins with basic skills in television remote production using the new Dordt Media Network broadcast remote production truck. Besides directing, you can try your hand at being a news and sports anchor and talk show host. The camera's on you! You get to try it all with state-of-the-art broadcasting equipment! Three, two, one...you're on!

Nursing (Morning Class)

Mindy De Jager, Dordt Nursing Clinical Coordinator

Give shots, take blood pressure, do CPR, or practice nursing skills on our patient SAM (Simulated Automotive Man) and our other nursing mannequins. There's no end to the discoveries you'll make about your body and how to care for it. From first aid procedures to how to maintain a healthy diet, this class will give you an idea if you're really interested in the medical profession. ATTENTION: If students are willing, we will test their blood sugar, which involves a finger stick with a sterile lancet using proper technique and protective gear. No repeaters, please.

Ooey Gooey Science (Morning Class)

Sandra Nyenhuis, Unity Christian High School Educator

This lab is for anyone who wants to get his or her hands into biology and chemistry! You’ll do dissections, create slimes, and find out who has the dirtiest hands! We will make chalk and grow snakes. Microscopes, Petri dishes, scalpels, and beakers-we’ll do real science together. Ready to get messy?

Photography 101 (Morning Class)

Becky Vanden Brink, Photographer

Photography helps us express ourselves in a way that words sometimes can’t. Join me for a week of learning how to use a DSLR camera while exploring more about who God made you to be through the gift of photography. In this class, you will learn about the different modes and settings of a camera and how to use them to get exactly the shot that you want. We will also learn about composition and how to apply it to get great photos. This class is project-based so get ready to grab a camera and go explore!

Racquet Sports (Morning Class)

Craig Stiemsma, Dordt Professor of Health and Human Performance

Do you want to learn the rules, strategies, different serves, and many different shots in pickleball, badminton, and racquetball? Do you want to learn the rules and strategies for singles and doubles in these very popular racquet sports? Learn all this and more about pickleball, one of the hottest new sports in the country, as well as racquetball and badminton, which is an Olympic sport. We will have many different competitions and tournaments during this week.

Ready. Set. Grow! (Morning Class)

Jaclyn Vander Waal, Dordt Alumna

Get your hands dirty as you plant and propagate your very own leafy companions! Not only will you become a master of house plant care, but you will also learn about trending house plant varieties. You may even leave with a new potted friend or two!

Robotics (Morning Class)

Bryce Enger, Dordt Math and Physics Education Student

Have you ever wondered how a robot works? Have you ever wanted to program a robot to complete fun challenges? If so, this class is for you! We will learn to program different types of robots and complete fun challenges against our peers along the way. Whether this is your first or 50th time programming a robot, there will be something for everyone!

Survivor (Morning Class)

Sarah Davelaar, Sioux County Conservation

Spend each morning learning survival skills and having lots of outdoor fun! You'll learn the basic survivor skills: how to build shelters, make a campfire, find wild edible food, build traps, and learn how to use a compass and GPS unit and more! And at the end of the week, we will have a survival challenge to test all your skills! *Please bring jeans and old clothes you don't mind getting a little dirty. Closed-toed shoes are also recommended. We will be outside as much as possible. No repeaters, please.

Theatre Make-up Studio (Morning Class)

Becky Donahue, Dordt Theatre Department Production Manager and Costumer

Do you want to look like an old man or like you've been on the wrong end of a back street brawl? Want to make your friend look like a vampire? Or a wild beast? This class will supply you with your own basic theatre makeup kit so you can learn what to do with a stipple sponge. You'll get to morph your facial features using a variety of makeup tools. But watch out; you could end up with a black eye yourself!

Track and Field (Morning Class)

Craig Heynen, Dordt Professor of Health and Human Performance/Men and Women’s Track and Field Coach

Improve your running, throwing, and jumping skills, or learn them for the first time! Each day will include warm-ups, instruction in techniques, field practice, and of course, plenty of races, relays, and other friendly competitions. The week culminates in a mock track meet on Friday where you'll get the chance to beat your best times!

The Wonderful World of Gaming (Morning Class)

Brad Hickey, Dordt Director of Gaming and Student Support Specialist

Together we will explore the world of gaming and discover how God's love for us includes the games that we play! This adventure will include playing various games together while focusing on developing good gaming habits and ways to use our gaming to love others and grow in our faith.

Agriculture and Food: How It’s Produced (Afternoon Class)

Rich Vyn, Dordt Professor of Agriculture

Have you ever wondered where our food comes from and how it’s produced? This class will explore how a variety of agriculture and food products are produced, such as ice cream, cheese, eggs, and berries. You’ll visit production facilities and farms to learn more and see for yourself how food is produced. Then you’ll play the Farming Game to see if you have what it takes to make money farming!

Baked from Scratch (Afternoon Class)

Olivia Vander Haag, Dordt Alumna

If you love to bake or have a desire to learn new recipes, this is the class for you! Bakers will learn cupcake frosting design, delicious picnic basket treats, cookie jar staples, Christmas goodies, and other sumptuous treats. You'll be able to take home your treats to share with friends and family. *Please note: some recipes will include nuts and peanuts.

Beekeeping (Afternoon Class)

Ron Rynders and Phil Westra, Dordt Alumni

Pollinators are an important part of God's creation. You may have some experience taking care of a pet or raising livestock, but how do we take care of bees? This class connects the biology of honeybees to the hands-on practice of beekeeping. Some enroll with curiosity about insects while others come to face their fears. Students will learn about the most studied insect in the world, open up beehives, inspect the combs, harvest honey, and bring home products from the hive. Protective gear is provided.

Bookworms (Afternoon Class)

Jen Wielenga, Dordt Graduate Student

This class starts with homework you are going to love! Read a BOOK! We’ll choose a couple of books, you read your favorite of those, and we will discuss and enjoy them together. We will talk about genres, classics, and favorite authors. We’ll sprinkle in some library visits, and of course, have you read a book while on campus. It is the best of reading worlds! Bookworms RULE!

Cooking with Karinda (Afternoon Class)

Karinda de Boom, Western Christian High School Educator

Even if you've never advanced beyond making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or licking the spoon, this class will show you how to rustle up some grub sure to impress your friends and your mom. Learn how to make healthy snacks, main course dishes, and even drinks and desserts. A trip to the grocery store will make ingredient shopping less of a mystery, and if it all pans out, you'll take home a DDD cookbook! Both guys and girls are welcome to learn basic cooking skills that will put you somewhere between Chef Boyardee and Rachel Ray.

CSI Sioux Center (Afternoon Class)

Kylie De Boer and Sydney Vander Pol, Dordt Criminal Justice Students

Come with us to explore the world of crime solving and learn how experts solve criminal cases through investigation!

Escape Artists (Afternoon Class)

Bruce Kuiper, Dordt Professor of Communication

Do you like puzzles? Do you like challenges? Do you like competition? Do you like trying to do all of these in a stressful timed situation where each decision can make the difference between victory or defeat? Then join us for "Escape Artists" as we work on our own version of the popular escape room phenomenon. No matter if you have had an escape room experience before, you'll spend your week designing and solving individual puzzles and challenging each other with words, numbers, and diabolical cleverness. All this deviousness concludes with an open invitation for others to try out our final escape room. There's no escaping this session - join "Escape Artists" and test your mind against other Puzzle Masters.

First Steps in the Programming World (Afternoon Class)

Logan Swanson, Dordt Alumnus

From our phones to the computers in our cars, we are surrounded by technology that has an impact in our day-to-day lives. This class will introduce you to computer programming and give you a chance to write your own code!

Game Quest 2.0 (Afternoon Class)

Ryan Smit, Dordt Professor of Music

Strategize. Agonize! Cooperate. Instigate! Game Quest 2.0 is a great choice if you have experience playing board games or have completed Game Quest 1.0 and want to play some more advanced games. Test your social deduction in games like Resistance and Cockroach Poker. Expand your strategy into games like The Shipwreck Arcana where cooperation is key. Take a deeper dive into Settlers of Catan with multiple expansions. Travel to Egypt to test your probability skills in the crowd-pleasing Camel Up races. Dig into other games like Arboretum, Kingdomino, and Welcome To...while also having some free-play time to choose from over 70 games to play.

Imagination Station (Afternoon Class)

Shauna Vander Kooi, Unity Christian High School Educator

Have you always wanted to learn how to draw different characters or objects in unique styles? Do you have a passion for doodling or want to learn more about drawing? This class is for you! Let's have fun trying new materials and styles while creating unique masterpieces.

Improv Comedy (Afternoon Class)

Selena Munson, Dordt Admissions and Advancement Departments

Learn how to take a crazy idea and run with it through improv games! Whether or not you think you’re funny, improv comedy can teach you how to tell a good story, think on your feet, and help out your friends. And, you’ll laugh until your sides hurt!

Intro to Health and Human Performance (Afternoon Class)

Andrew Geleynse, Sioux Center Health

We will be looking at the professions of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and athletic training. Participants will do a mixture of in-class learning and hands-on activities to learn more about what these professions have to offer.

Intro to Journalism (Afternoon Class)

Mikaela Mackey, Staff Writer with Iowa Information Media Group

Step into the world of modern American journalism, practice writing leads, and learn how God has used journalists throughout history.

Lego Robotics (Afternoon Class)

Bryce Enger, Dordt Math and Physics Education Student

Calling all Master Builders! So, girls and guys, you're ready to move past building Emmet-style double-decker couches, and take your Lego skills to the next level? Or maybe you've always been fascinated by robotics and would like to try your hand at building and programming one for yourself? Sounds like you're ready to create functional robots, using Lego Mindstorms kits! We will build several different robots throughout the week, as we team up to conquer design challenges and hone our programming skills. By the end of the week, we're pretty sure you'll be singing along: "Everything is Awesome!"

Movie Date (Afternoon Class)

Dave Mulder, Dordt Professor of Education

Lights...camera...ACTION! Get in the director's seat as you learn more about your favorite movies. We'll watch a wide variety of clips from movies from all across the ages. We'll explore how levels of violence have changed in the past decades, how to recognize a film's message or theme, and how special effects promote the plot. We'll even check out the history of movies and what movies were like in the "old days." Of course, we're having snacks and popcorn the whole time! As a group, we'll become film critics, learning how to view films through our Biblical glasses and figure out what movies are "good" and why. You'll definitely give this class two thumbs up!

Ooey Gooey Science (Afternoon Class)

Sandra Nyenhuis, Unity Christian High School Educator

This lab is for anyone who wants to get his or her hands into biology and chemistry! You’ll do dissections, create slimes, and find out who has the dirtiest hands! We will make chalk and grow snakes. Microscopes, Petri dishes, scalpels, and beakers-we’ll do real science together. Ready to get messy?

Photography 101 (Afternoon Class)

Becky Vanden Brink, Photographer

Photography helps us express ourselves in a way that words sometimes can’t. Join me for a week of learning how to use a DSLR camera while exploring more about who God made you to be through the gift of photography. In this class, you will learn about the different modes and settings of a camera and how to use them to get exactly the shot that you want. We will also learn about composition and how to apply it to get great photos. This class is project-based so get ready to grab a camera and go explore!

Ready. Set. Grow! (Afternoon Class)

Jaclyn Vander Waal, Dordt Alumna

Get your hands dirty as you plant and propagate your very own leafy companions! Not only will you become a master of house plant care, but you will also learn about trending house plant varieties. You may even leave with a new potted friend or two!

Silkscreen Posters and T-shirts (Afternoon Class)

Vaughn Donahue, Dordt Instructor of Graphic Design

Do you want to make your own t-shirt or poster? How cool would it be to wear a shirt that YOU designed? Come spend a week screen printing in the Dordt Art and Design Department! We'll turn a sketch or digital design into real ink on real paper, and we'll get plenty messy along the way. We'll play with colors, fabrics, and maybe even some glow-in-the-dark ink!

Social Work and Service (Afternoon Class)

Erin Olson, Dordt Professor of Social Work and MSW Program Director

In the Bible God calls us to love and care for our neighbor, but who is our neighbor? And how do we love and care for him/her? In this class, you'll learn what it means to be a helper and how by helping others you can actually help yourself and work to strengthen God's kingdom here on earth. You'll learn how to become a better and more effective listener (and talker!) for your friends and family. You'll also learn how changing your own self-talk can help your own outlook on life. As another part of the class, we will learn about how we can help our community members in need by joining the work of local non-profit organizations. We'll visit a thrift store, and food pantry, a shelter, and other organizations to learn about what they're doing to help those in need and then we'll volunteer some of our time to help those organizations continue to do their good work!

The Wonderful World of Gaming (Afternoon Class)

Brad Hickey, Dordt Director of Gaming and Student Support Specialist

Together we will explore the world of gaming and discover how God's love for us includes the games that we play! This adventure will include playing various games together while focusing on developing good gaming habits and ways to use our gaming to love others and grow in our faith.

Yard Games (Afternoon Class)

Chad Hanson, Dordt Men’s Volleyball Head Coach

Yard games are an increasing aspect of neighborhood and church gatherings. Learn techniques and strategies for games like Corn Hole, Kan Jam, Spike Ball, Bocci, Kub, and more. These games are low exertion, and anyone can learn and play, no prior experience required.


A picture of campus behind yellow prairie flowers