Anderson's Bookshop of Naperville is making its first foray into the world of weeklong summer day camps this year, offering three sessions of Camp Divergent for students entering sixth through 12th grades.
Owner Becky Anderson said she always has wanted to offer a book-based camp for young readers, and the popular "Divergent" series by Veronica Roth created the perfect opportunity.
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If you goWhat: Camp Divergent
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 9-13, July 7-11 or Aug. 4-8
Where: Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville
Who: Sponsored by Anderson's Bookshop for students entering sixth through 12th grades
Cost: $250 for each camper
Info: Camp Divergent tab of andersonsbookshop.com
"'Divergent' I thought of right off the bat," Anderson said about the series, which spawned the recent Chicago-filmed "Divergent" movie. "We're focusing in on a book series that's really popular with kids, especially a series that lends itself to learning."
The series includes the books "Divergent," "Insurgent" and "Allegiant," all set in a post-apocalpytic version of Chicago in which the population is divided into factions based on five virtues: Candor, for the honest; Abnegation, for the selfless; Dauntless, for the brave; Amity, for the peaceful; and Erudite, for the intelligent.
Anderson said the camp will spend one day focusing on the traits and skills of each faction, doing activities such as gardening, brain teasers and martial arts, and hearing from speakers, including local politicians.
"Divergent" has been a favorite of Anderson's since Roth visited for a pre-publication event before the first book came out in 2011. Anderson said she is excited to translate the series into a camp with fun, creativity, adventure and friendship for students.
"This book is a natural for it because it's a five-day camp and there are five factions in the story," she said.
Twenty-five slots are available in each of the camp's three sessions, which will run 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 9-13, July 7-11 and Aug. 4-8.
With space available for only 75 campers, Anderson said she expects Camp Divergent to sell out quickly. While the camp is for students entering middle school or high school, Anderson said she already has fielded interest from adults wanting to join in.
"It was something I always thought would be fun, and we hope to expand to include other age levels," Anderson said.
Camp Divergent will meet at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., expanding on the outdoor museum's other summer options about art, Civil War history and science. Bookshop employees who are also avid "Divergent" readers will lead campers in activities designed to help them give back to charity, like those in the Abnegation faction; learn about science, as those in the Erudite faction would; or hear local politicians discuss the importance of ethics, which people in the Candor faction would value.
"These are college-age counselors who know the series backwards and forwards and love it, too," Anderson said.
The camp won't be as highflying as the recent "Divergent" movie, as participants won't be jumping on trains, zip-lining off tall buildings, wielding knives or weapons or doing any other high-risk activities. But the movie has inspired how counselors will dress and imagery organizers will use to create T-shirts and faction buttons to give to each camper.
"Now that we have more visuals, we're going to go with that," Anderson said. "That's some of the imagery we're going to re-create."