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Week Three: Creating and Exploring

It's the middle of our summer together already- the weeks are flying by. The kids have been learning their songs for the camp play, and figuring out what roles they might like to play. As I walk through the campus, it's so lovely to hear kids' voices as they learn to sing in harmony, and their laughter as they play in the sandbox. The mood here is joyful and relaxed.

Some notes from our Art Station Master Jill: "This week, we went FULL ART LAB EXPERIENCE, starting with trash creations (toilet paper rolls, boxes, cardboard etc....), moving on to beads, ribbons and knickknacks, and culminating with sock puppet mania! The way I see the art program here at Summer Play Camp, is that it is a time of exploration, and a time to focus on the process of just making art for the sake of making art. I present an art project each morning. But if the students want to make something else, I have provided a melange of supplies so that they can focus on another medium. Some kids then chose to draw with art pens, or make a friendship bracelet. I want their time in the art room to feel like breathing space, where expression and exploration are accessible. I have brought in boxes and boxes of art supplies that I have been collecting, so that the kids can dig their hands into a box and in a highly tactile fashion, pull out something that intrigues them. Some kids built elaborate trash sculptures. Some preferred to draw. Some glued beads onto ribbons, cardboard and other beads. Some created necklaces and belts. Watching the oldest group build sock puppets was a treat. They really let themselves be silly, and their puppets were incredible!"

In woodworking with David, the kids have made model cars, houses, tiny beds and chairs, and innumerable swords and battle axes (don't worry, they know not to whack each other with them). They've also created a small working catapult, and one camper made a gift box. Thanks to Niall Templeman and the other parents who have donated wood and tools. In cooking with Joy, the kids have made pancakes, basil pizzas, and lemon grilled veggies. Yum. With Mary Esther in Science and Nature, we've been learning about the mycorrhizal network of fungi and trees, looking at different kinds of mushrooms, and working all these concepts into the script for the play. Symbiosis is the word of the week- you may hear your kids singing a song about it. And in music, we are working on singing melody and harmony as we practice the songs for the play. "Won't you take me to...funghitown!" In small groups, some kids are also learning their instrument parts for the play, using drums and other percussion instruments, ukuleles, guitars, piano, recorders, flute, violin, and saxophone. Group D's excursion this week with Joy was to Van Saun Park, where the kids got to see animals like capybaras and ocelots, and play in their huge new sprinkler park. In-between all these exciting activities, there was plenty of time to relax with friends in the shade, or play in the playground.

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