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Davis Journal

Wizarding Academy Camp unlocks summer magic

Jun 06, 2024 09:52AM ● By Becky Ginos
Maximus Green holds a snake as part of the cold creatures class at the Wizarding Academy Summer Camp. - Abby Nielsen tries on her wizard’s hat and the magic begins. Courtesy photos

Maximus Green holds a snake as part of the cold creatures class at the Wizarding Academy Summer Camp. - Abby Nielsen tries on her wizard’s hat and the magic begins. Courtesy photos

Step into the world of spells, snakes, lizards and other unworldly experiences at the Wizarding Academy Summer Camp where a touch of a wand opens a magical place. 

“It started nine years ago,” said Director Kim Bouck. “I had an 8-year-old son who loved Harry Potter so we were reading it together. One night I couldn’t find the book, he’d snuck out to read ahead. I figured there must be more kids than just my son who loved it so I thought I’d invite 15 of his friends and we’d all do fun things together.”

Bouck had no idea how fast it would catch on. “When I launched it (the academy) there were 40 kids. The first room was sold out then the second room sold out. Now I have 240 kids.”

It’s such a fun, immersive environment, she said. “The teachers are professors. We give the kids a robe and get them sorted into a house. They get a house patch. They’re so excited to belong to their house.”

The camp has classes throughout, said Bouck. “There’s a chemist and potions master that blows up things with liquid nitrogen.”

There are 25 magical cold creatures, she said. The kids get to hold snakes, frogs, scorpions and bearded dragons. It’s their favorite day. There’s also the ‘Earth Wing’ owls class where they learn about owls.”

Bouck said the kids have an opportunity to make their own wands as well. “They compete in dueling matches with the entire camp using offensive and defensive spells. At the end we crown a dueling champion.”

Kids get to participate in Wizard Sports, she said. “They have broomsticks and run with balls and shoot them through hoops at the end of the field. It’s one house against another.”

The camp tries to appeal to all kinds of kids, Bouck said. “We offer things for sports and athletic kids and do our version of capture the flag. There are a lot of outdoor games. But we have trivia for the intellectual kids.”

They also welcome children with disabilities, she said. “We try to integrate them into most of the activities for the most part with their neurotypical peers. They have their own house too with alternative activities. Sometimes they need a quieter space.”

It’s fun to see these kids that wouldn’t have an opportunity to come to a camp, said Bouck. “It shows us what they can bring. It gives them the summer experience they would not normally have.”

Former campers that started out in second grade and are now in college beg to come back as a Prefect, she said. “We’re fortunate that they love the camp. It's been such a positive experience.”

Bouck has a Wizarding Academy Summer Camp in Salt Lake at Canyon Rim Academy and in Davis County at Bluffridge Elementary in Syracuse. “We’ve been named the Best of State 2019 camp in Utah.”

The camp is recommended for kids second through seventh grade but they have children as young as kindergarten, she said. “One younger child invited a seventh grader to his birthday party. They had bonded at camp. It gives them the opportunity to meet all kinds of kids from different schools and ages to form that unity that comes from their house.”

The Wizarding Academy Summer Camp is July 8 – July 19 from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Cost is $280. This summer’s class is already full but Bouck said people can get on the waitlist and if they get enough interest they’ll open up another room. For more information visit and Davis County wait list.

“I want to create an environment where when the kids walk through the door they feel free to explore,” said Bouck. “I want them to have an imaginative experience for their summer activity. It seems like once kids put on a robe they come out of their shell. It opens the door to possibilities to grow, learn and change through the camp.”