So for several months, my colleagues and I have been invading your Facebook pages, email inboxes and Twitter accounts—and possibly your child’s school mailboxes or cubbies—to tell you about Camp ArtyFact.
Well guys…it’s here. And it is fantastic.
Since I don’t work directly with children (Note: For the children’s sake, this is a good thing), I decided to sit in on a few minutes of some sessions today to get an idea of what the camp is like.
What I found was amazing. Kids were having fun, giggling, paying attention and—shh! Don’t tell them—learning all at the same time. Mike was right. It is possible to learn and have fun at the same time.
The video below shows the beginning of an activity during Camp ArtyFact. Erica Harvey, who works with family programming here at KHS, is telling the students about the difference between handmade and manmade objects. Please excuse the Blair Witch type shaking cinematography. I love our Flip camera, but I lack surgeon’s precision with moving around and filming. During the short video the kids are entering A Kentucky Journey, the KHS permanent exhibition.
So Erica introduced the activity in the video. Then, a conversation ensued about how to look at dolls and figure out when they were made. The conversation went something like this.
Erica, holding up three different dolls. “Which came first? Which came second? Which came third?”
(Campers respond correctly.)
Erica: “So how did you know?”
Camper 1: “That one has not very much detail. That one has a little more. And then that one is a bigger doll with better clothes.”
(To my delight, this is a correct answer and illustrates that there is at least one camper in the group after my own heart—with an eye for fashion.)
Camper 2: “Raggedy Ann is sometimes made by hand.”
Erica: “Sometimes, but I don’t know about this one. See those perfect little circles where her eyes are? So do you know how they put that on? They probably put raggedy Ann through a stamping machine. So her face was probably put on by a machine.”
Camper 2: “And her hair.”
Erica: “And her hair.”
(Alas! Another camper after my own heart—with an appreciation for good hairstyles.)
As you can see, the dialogue was interesting, the campers and instructors were engaged, and learning was taking place—whether the campers realized it at the time or not.
If you missed Camp ArtyFact this year, please stay tuned for information on a mini-camp in the fall and the full camp again next summer. For questions about the camp, email Mike Deetsch or visit www.history.ky.gov/camp.