Imagine what it means to a kid in a small town in Georgia to take a week-long time travel trip, with costumed characters, games and foods from the past, crafts, and lots of opportunity for make-believe.
Imagine Camp Snipesville.
Directed by historian and author Dr. Annette Laing, Camp Snipesville involves lots of make-believe: Kids pretend to be in a small Southern town called Snipesville (the name comes from Annette's series of time-travel novels, The Snipesville Chronicles.) Snipesville is an unusual place, in which the past repeatedly interrupts the present with time-travel "moments", in which kids meet costumed characters from history. At Camp Snipesville: Victorian Adventures, held in our atmospheric Edwardian arts center in Statesboro, kids imagined themselves as factory workers, schoolchildren, and even slaves. We visited a house museum in Savannah (a first for many of the kids), and they had a surprise encounter with slaves at a historic farmhouse.
We are now launching our own non-profit, Imaginative Journeys, which will rent church halls and other venues for our camps in Statesboro and, by next year, elsewhere in South Georgia. We plan to create science and history camps that make full use of children's imaginations. The need is particularly urgent: Science and, particularly, social studies have become neglected subjects in elementary schools, as testing increasingly drives curriculum: That is particularly true in low-income areas like ours. What social studies curriculum remains is, too often, a dry litany of facts that all but guarantees kids' aversion to history.
In contrast, Annette's programs have earned raves from kids and parents alike, from all socio-economic levels. TimeShop, her former kids' program, drew the attention of the AP (see http://www.annettelaing.com/uploads/TimeshopAP.pdf) In an area where quality, accessible arts and humanities programs for kids are few, Annette's programs make a great impact.
We're now preparing our World War II camp, to be held in the Statesboro Unitarian church, October 12-16, 2009, during the school break. We will pretend to be wartime evacuees, eat the foods of the period, go shopping with British money from the 1940s, play authentic board games, and handle historical artifacts. We also meet people who actually lived through the history we explore: Among our speakers will be a former British child evacuee, and a veteran of the American Women's Army Corps who served in London in 1944-45. This session is limited to 25 children, to ensure that every kid gets attention!
Annette would love to be able to reserve 10 free places for low-income kids in this rural area, and that's why we're appealing on Kickstarter. Help us bring to kids an experience that they will never forget.
- (24 days)