Camp ArtyFact Plants Seeds
Camp ArtyFact 2016 has been all about planting seeds of discovery in the minds of everyone involved. Campers all grew in different ways. Take Week 4 as an example. Participants explored weaving, frontiers, gardening and cooking from their own unique perspectives. But there’s one thing all the campers, and even the staff and “volunteens,” discovered that week: how cool collaboration is. Everyone involved in camp, and even organizations in the community, came together in the most inspiring way, planting seeds of cooperation all over the place. Camp ArtyFact is lucky to have such excellent partners, and excellent students who like to work together to discover.
The Kentucky Weavers camp learned about how natural materials can be incorporated to work with yarn, T-shirts and other craft materials to make beautiful weavings and designs. Collaboration between our modern materials and the resources that native Kentuckians would have had helped the students connect with the people who lived in this area so long ago.
The whole week for “New Frontier” campers was based on the fact that ideas which Daniel Boone and other founding Kentuckians had can be applied to future space exploration. The students examined elements of wilderness travel, flatboat transportation, wagons and steam engines as inspiration for their very own space vehicles, which they designed, built and tested. Their most valuable discovery, however, was that imagination and history can work together to propel the future.
Community collaboration was a big part of the experience for kids in the two afternoon camps. Both the gardening camp and cooking camp got to hear from Kentucky State University’s team of pawpaw researchers on Tuesday. Sheri Crabtree told students all about this special fruit, native to Kentucky, and how KSU is growing it for research. She even brought pawpaw ice cream to share.
The gardening camp also experienced firsthand some of the amazing collaboration taking place in the Frankfort community by visiting a community garden, where people from a surrounding neighborhood can claim a plot and grow their own produce. These kinds of gardens are invaluable to Frankfort’s neighborhoods and exist largely thanks to the CommonWealth Gardens organization, which Sellus Wilder founded. CommonWealth Gardens’ president, Kris Shera, was gracious enough to form a special partnership with Camp ArtyFact this year, and get the ball rolling for KHS’s own special garden behind the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. So not only did campers visit a community garden, they also started one. Frankfort’s own Inside Out Design provided dirt that students then distributed among raised garden beds, where they planted corn, onions, strawberries and zucchini.
Camp has left it impact on the KHS campus, creating many amazing works of art, a garden, and giving the exhibits a lot of love. But it also planted seeds in each person involved: seeds of inspiration, seeds of collaboration, seeds of discovery.