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Their own personal Hogwarts

Cho's Academy hosts Harry Potter Camp, which brings 14 kids together to make wands, learn spells and play Quidditch.

July 21, 2011|By Joanna Clay, joanna.clay@latimes.com
(Don Leach, Coastline…)

Capes? Check. Brooms? Check. Snitch? Check.

It's Quidditch time.

Wednesday was day two of Harry Potter Camp in Laguna Beach, hosted by Cho's Academy co-owner Dana Sara.

The day included spells, potions, a Quidditch match and a dark arts squirt gun fight.

Tuesday's activities included wand making, which many of the kids called their favorite activity.

Clad in a cape and tie, and wearing Harry's signature round glasses, Emily Baker was ready to catch the Golden Snitch.

"Quidditch today was awesome," the 11-year-old said. "It was like an exact replica of the game."

About to start sixth grade at Thurston Middle School, Emily has read all the Harry Potter books — except the seventh and final one — and has watched four of the movies on YouTube. Her last birthday party was Potter-themed.

She and a friend came up with the idea to make lanyards and sell them to save up for a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Fla.

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The lanyards are made, she said, but now the trick is figuring out to market them.

When asked if she would dress up in costume at the park, Emily said, "Of course."

Noah Herbst, 14, has taken on a leadership role at the camp, which he found out about through Cho's Academy's tae kwon do program.

"I'm basically a Harry Potter fanatic," he said.

Noah has read all the books "at least twice" and thinks Harry has a unique story.

"Harry Potter is this kid that's been bullied all his life and then he gets this message that he's a wizard," he said. "It's nice to think that a normal kid can be special in a way you can't imagine."

About 14 participants, ranging in age from 6 to 14, are enrolled in the camp.

It's the first time Sara has done the camp, but she thinks the Harry Potter theme is a hit.

"Some of the kids have grown up with it," she said. "They actually live it throughout the week."

Sara has added some fun elements, such as assigning each camper a character. They can't reveal which character they are, but fellow campers can put their guess into the Goblet of Fire. She gives the campers lines from the film but said many don't need a script, as they know the words by heart already.

Sara's daughter, Dolce, applauded Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for her creativity, with her gold goggles holding back her curly blonde hair.

Dolce said she's most excited for the sleepover during the last night of camp and making amulets.

"I can't wait to do that," the 11-year-old said.

Harry Potter Camp runs through Saturday.

Cho's Academy is hosting camps all summer long including Sports Camp, Superhero Camp, Seeing Outside (an arts camp) and Western Camp. For more information about Cho's Academy and its summer camps, call (949) 281-7517.

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