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Summer Skool 2013

1/2 freeskool, 1/2 summer camp! An affordable day camp for teens with no teachers and no classes. Just teenagers, adults, and their projects.

Short Summary

Summer Skool is a day-camp dreamed up a few years ago. With the help of friends, it was first brought to life last August.  It was a great success, and now we're ready to do it again! 

This year's projects include...

  • Shoe- and boot-making
  • Terrariums and dioramas
  • Inventing and design
  • US history-themed workout video
  • Electronic music
  • Music videos
  • Clothing embellishment
  • Stage design
  • Soapbox derby

For a complete list, check our website.

The whole idea is to balance the traditional authoritative relationship between adults (teachers) and youth (students) with a more collaborative one (peer-to-peer).  During camp, creative adults come prepared to take on a project they have been wanting to do, but maybe haven't had the space, time or motivation to follow through on. Teens come and interact with these projects however they want. Alternately, the teens come up with their own projects or suggest collaborations with the adults. Last year, for example, Nic, 25, set aside his raft project to help Durin, 12, make a 5' trebuchet. Freedom of activity like this, coupled with the dynamic environment brought by the adult participants, allows the teens to take initiative of their education in a way unavailable in conventional settings.  Here, learning becomes something pursued rather than dispensed.

The camp is extremely cheap for families, and offered on a sliding scale.  This makes it available for folks without as much financial privelege, which turned out to be the majority of our families last year.  Your contribution makes it possible for us to buy supplies for the projects, to create the infrastructure (such as structures for shade, tables, chairs and a portable toilet), that would otherwise be funded through tuition. 

 

What We Need & What You Get

Here's where we need your help:

We are good at being thrifty but money just flies at every turn.  We're trying to raise $3,360, which seems like a lot of money to me, but less than that last year to be cutting it super close.

Last year each grown-up got $100 for each week they attended.  We had 10 counselors, the majority of which stayed for the two weeks of the camp.  So we spent roughly $1800 on supplies for projects.  If possible we'd like to give them a little more this year, another $50 for each week. That would put us at $2700 or more. 

We need 6 large tarps to house our projects, and protect us from the weather.  Each tarp costs $25, so we'll need $150 plus $20 or so for rope and stakes. Total = $2,870

Currently, Summer Skool owns 3 usable tables & 5 chairs.  We would like to acquire 4 or more tabes to house our projects, plus 10 or so chairs.  Last year we got used tables for $15 a piece and were donated some chairs.  We estimate $70 for those.  Total = $2,940

Summer Skool happens on the land we rent in southern Vermont.  There are no utilities, no water, no electricity, no toilet.  We use a generator to power anything requiring electricity, which ran about $50 in gas last year.  We rented a port-a-potty for $170.  Total = $3,110

And finally the three acres is all field and has to be mowed with a tractor, which we have our lovely neighbor do for $250.  Total = $3,360

Here's what we'd like to do for you!

  • For all your help we want to give you a taste of all the beautiful fun times we'll have.  You can check out pictures a month after camp has finished.  You'll get to see the counselors and kids in action, and the projects at the finish! We'll send you a link to the pictures.  
  • Together we'll design this year's logo and send hand made cards with thank you's from staff and kids and notes about what meant the most to them.
  • We'll send you a t-shirt with the logo we dream up!

 

If we don't reach our goal we still use the money for summer skool, we just try to raise more elsewhere and make do with what we have.

 

Other Ways You Can Help

Some people just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help:

  • If you like what we're doing but can't contribute financially pass the word along to folks who can!  You can use the Indiegogo share tools!
  • If you know of any families in southern Vermont or western Massachusetts let them know about us. 
  • Encourage us with kind words!  

Team on This Campaign: