Frank Gooding has always wanted to be a superhero and on Thursday, The Lexington School granted him that wish.
"I would want every superhero boy power," Frank, 5, said, adding that he definitely didn't want any girl superpowers.
Dressed in a Batman suit and mask, Frank went through an obstacle course at Camp Curiosity, a six-week program with a one-week "Superhero in Training" theme. The children, ages 3 to 5, cheered when they went outside to the obstacle course armed with their cardboard shields and swords.
White T-shirts with the sleeves cut off were capes hung from the back of the kids' necks. The capes were brightly decorated with markers earlier in the week.
The children ran and jumped over small hurdles, crawled through tunnels and dashed around cones while dodging flying balls. They dived through a Hula Hoop onto a mat, where a large Superman sign greeted them at the end.
As the children began the course, one teacher, Jonathan Herrington, cheerfully shouted, "Superman's watching, so you better do your best!"
Frank said he liked jumping through Hula Hoops the most, and he wanted to be a superhero simply "because I like to be, and I have two superhero toys."
Kai Johnson, also 5, used imagination coming up with special powers in his shield. He said his shield could shoot fire, turn into a bow and arrow and serve as a Frisbee and fly. "Stand back," he shouted as he demonstrated, tossing his shield across the grass.
"I like flinging my shield all around all day," Kai said, with a huge smile on his face.
Fisher Hale, 5, ran the obstacle course with his blue-striped cape flowing behind him. If he could be any superhero, Fisher said, he would be Superman "because he has laser eyes."
On Friday, the kids will run the course again, but with the added bonus of getting to "save" another superhero, either a camper or a teacher.
Meredith Carrithers, Camp Curiosity's director, said the camp has multiple options for kids each week, so they can cater to kids who are interested in arts or sports, or something completely different. Some examples of themes for the summer are Wild Wild West, Under the Sea Week and football camp.
She said the superhero theme was very popular.
"They have to stand in their superhero pose and do a pledge each morning," Carrithers said.
She said some of the kids have been creative coming up with their special powers. One child turned everything into ice.
Lyndsey Mayberry, one of the teachers, said the kids prepared for the course with push-ups and sit-ups, among other exercises. The teachers enjoyed the course as well. "We have to bring out our inner powers, and the kids just love it," she said.
Taylor Harrison: (859) 231-1324. Twitter: @heraldleader