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BMS Blog

Week 3: Let's Build!

When you arrive at Build It! Camp, you'll be greeted by stacks of wood, tangles of wire, mountains of cardboard boxes and some great teachers ready to help you turn your dreams into reality!

Want a skateboard or scooter that works on a grassy hill? Build it!

Ever wondered how to make your own musical instruments, robots, rockets, stilts? Build it!

Want to make an alarm for your bedroom? Build it!

Have an idea for an invention, but just need the tools and materials to make it a reality? Build it!

We will have a variety of materials and tools available for all ages, and in the afternoons, our older campers (10-12) will have a chance to tackle more complex projects using more advanced tools. On the last day of camp, family and friends will be invited to join us to check out (and maybe even try out) our campers' creations!

Build It! Camp led by Shawna Williams - August 8 through 12

Use real tools and real materials to build projects you can take home. Make sure to wear clothes with lots of pockets or borrow your grown-up's tool belt because you'll need your hands free at this camp! (Ages 2 ½ to 12)

Camp is Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The cost is $150 for the first child in a family and $135 for each additional child in the family. For more information or to register, please send a message.

Camp Registration Form

Camp Scholarship Form

 

Week 2: Into the Woods!

Ages 2.5 to 9: This camp is Full! Please email us to get on the waiting list.

Ages 10-12: We have four spots available for this age group.

You asked for it, and here it is... Forest Forts Camp may have a new name, but it still has the same spectacular fun! (With lots of new surprises, of course!)

One exciting addition to Fort Camp will happen in the afternoons when our older campers (ages 10-12) will have a chance to broaden their outdoor skills by working with Ezekiel Fugate. Ezekiel is a former BMS teacher and current Director of Student and Staff Engagement at Springhouse Community School. Some of the activities these campers will explore are

  • learning to build survival shelters (e.g., debris huts)
  • identifying and preparing wild, edible foods
  • learning the basics of tracking
  • building and tending fires safely 
  • lots of fun outdoor games (e.g., advanced hide and seek, eagle eye, scout-style capture the flag, wren tag)
  • catching frogs and other critters  

Forest Forts led by Jenni Heartway - June 27 through July 1

Join us for a week of fun and fort building in the great outdoors! Campers will explore the woods around our beautiful campus while exercising their building and cooperative play skills. We will incorporate primitive skills, games, music, water play and art into each of our days. Younger campers will create a fort as a group and older campers will divide into small groups to create many forts. Dress for adventure because we plan on being outdoors rain or shine! (Ages 2 ½ to 12)

Check back on Monday for something totally new...

 

A Riddle for You...

What's messier than a playground after weeks of drenching rain?

What's messier than a two-year old with a new pack of markers?

What's messier than a passel of goats with a five-gallon buck of peanut butter?

What's even messier than a week of Big, Messy Art Camp?

Answer: the Blue Mountain School Festival of Colors, of course!


Everyone is welcome at the Festival of Colors! Even if you don't come to camp, we hope to see you at the Festival on Friday, June 24.

Check back tomorrow for some woodsy fun....

 

Week 1: It's Gonna Be Messy!

This camp is Full! Please email us to get on the waiting list.

It's gonna be big, and it's gonna be messy! It's like no other art camp around!

Please join us for another year of Big, Messy Art camp! We'll have old favorites like paint Twister, body painting, and lots and lots of glitter. But that's not all! BMS art teacher, Lore Deighan, has some especially messy surprises in store for campers, but you'll have to join us to find out what they are!

 

Big, Messy Art led by Lore Deighan - June 20 through 24

Have you ever had the urge to make as big of a mess as you possibly can? At this summer camp, making a mess is not only allowed, but expected! We will play with paper mache, mud, paint...anything that makes a mess. Dress for messiness because we guarantee that no one will leave this camp clean! (Ages 2 ½ to 12)

Check back tomorrow to see how messy this camp can get...

A Peek Inside BMS Staff Meetings

This article was written by BMS office co-manager, Carol Volker.

Nearly every Tuesday afternoon during the school year, the staff of Blue Mountain School gather together – outside if the weather allows or in one of the classrooms if it doesn’t. Staff meetings are an important but somewhat hidden piece of the school, and I often find myself thinking, “If only all our parents could see and hear what happens at staff meeting!” Here is a little peek inside The Blue Mountain School Staff Meeting…

The start of a staff meeting is a lot like drop-off time in the Early Childhood classroom: loud and full of energy! Many of us are only at school one or two days a week, so this is our chance to connect with each other and catch up. We pass around hand-me-down clothes for our kids, Hari usually has eggs to sell, and someone always puts the kettle on for tea. And snacks. What is a meeting without snacks?

Once we are all settled, Shelly leads us in a moment of silence or a guided meditation and then brings us back to the present moment with the chime. (In many ways, our meetings reflect what happens in our classrooms!) Next, we have time for announcements: Don’t forget to write your newsletter piece! Does anyone have any Altoid tins I can use for a project? I have a copy of a great article about learning through play if you want to borrow it… Then we get down to business.

Each week, we focus on one of four basic themes: business, process, staff development, and planning. Like our school’s curriculum, these themes are a guide rather than a dictate. We recognize that sometimes we will need to deviate from the scheduled theme to meet a specific need that has arisen, but the structure of the themes holds a place in our meetings for all the areas that need to be covered each month.

During business meetings, we discuss upcoming whole-school events like celebrations and field trips and talk about big-picture things like the accreditation process or thoughts for the next school year. It is important for us to be able to talk about these things as a group, so that we all are able to contribute to and be informed about what is happening at school.

In our process meetings, we have time to share concerns or successes and to practice reflective listening and empathy skills as well as communication skills and relationship building. We generally will have a reading that goes along with this meeting.

Staff development meetings are like mini classes for us. There is often more reading and occasionally a video that provide a jumping off point for us to learn, practice, and reflect about teaching techniques and tools. Sometimes, one of our teachers will share a presentation about techniques or tools they have learned about at a conference or from personal experience. Researchers in the fields of education and child development are constantly discovering new information about how to best meet the needs of students, and we do our best to stay up to date on this research. We may also use this time to learn and reflect about our model and our program.

Finally, we have planning meetings. These meetings provide a space for teachers to share what they are working on and to connect with each other on plans or themes that are woven between multiple classes and enrichment areas. This is also a time to share concerns about specific students or groups or about other experiences at school.

Witnessing planning meetings has the biggest impact on me as a parent because I am able to watch my daughter’s former, current, and future classroom teachers, her enrichment teachers, and the school director all working together to make sure she and her schoolmates get what they need. I see and hear how much each member of our staff cares about each one of our students, and it is so clear to me in these moments the value of our model and its emphasis on relationships and community.

The meetings generally wind down around 4:30 or 5:00, but sometimes we are so engaged the time escapes us. A few folks with other appointments sneak out and our kids begin to wander in with pouty faces and hungry bellies. The signs are there, so we gather up our notes, put away our tea cups, and head home.

If you would like to take a peek at an agenda from one of our recent meetings, click here.

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