Star myths, gardening, and other adventures: Summer day camps at Prairie Moon Waldorf School and upcoming ‘MayFest’

For local families who are looking for a hands-on, nature-focused children’s activity this summer, or who are interested in exploring the growing Waldorf education movement, Prairie Moon Waldorf School is offering a dynamic lineup of day camps this year for children in pre-K through junior high grades. Details on these programs, which include a “Summer Star Myths” camp and a series of camps exploring the Four Elements for grades 4-8, as well as a gardening camp for grades 1-3, are listed below.

In addition, anyone with an interest in the school is invited to attend school’s annual “MayFest” spring celebration and open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 5. The event, which features food, music, a traditional Maypole dance, a puppet show, and (weather permitting) kite flying, will be at the school’s main campus at 1853 E. 1600 Rd. in Lawrence (about a 5-minute drive from the East Lawrence I-70 exit), with tours of the school’s nearby Early Childhood campus available.

Prairie Moon Waldorf School is one of more than 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide, and is the only school in Kansas to offer Waldorf education and its unique “whole child” approach.  For the past 100 years, the broad-based Waldorf curriculum, developed by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, has emphasized the concept of “head, hands and heart,” promoting a balance of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being in students.  By emphasizing the whole child, Waldorf education seeks to foster individuals who are motivated to serve humanity with strength of will, depth of feeling, clarity of thought, and the ability to work with others.  The Waldorf curriculum also emphasizes the natural world and the rhythm of the changing seasons, with its corresponding community celebrations and rituals such as the “MayFest.”

Below is a full rundown of the school’s summer-camp offerings. All camps will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

  • Summer Star Myths Summer Camp (Grades 4-8, June 4 through June 8): This one-week camp, led by Ms. Molly Mackinnon, centers on the summer star myths of the Greeks, Lakota, Chinese and Navajo. Mornings will focus on outdoor activities such as planting, building a living shelter, medicinal plant lore and more. Afternoons will bring the myths to life through art, including chalk drawing, clay, watercolor and pen and ink. Each day will close with a reading period. .
  • Four Elements Summer Camp series (Grades 4-8, multiple 1-week sessions). This series of camps, led by Mr. Ireneo DeLeon and Mr. Bret Schacht, will explore a different Element of the natural world in each session, using crafts, excursions, games and other themed activities to observe and analyze the Four Elements and the interplay among them.
  1. Earth (June 11–15). Activities will include digging for clay, clay modeling, metal work, sand art and making cob to repair a cob oven for firing and food.
  2. Fire (June 18–22). Activities include making fire from scratch, learning about heat through building different styles of fire, creating a solar oven, and cooking food.
  3. Air (July 9-13). Activities include kite-making, archery, and Frisbee, all in the name of exploring aerodynamics.
    Water (July 16-20) Activities include boat-making, water play, canoeing and visiting bodies of water in the area.
  4. Garden! Garden! Garden! Earth in all forms! (Grades 1-3; 8 one-week sessions from June 4 through July 27): This camp, led by Ms. Maya Weil (June 4-July 13) and Ms. Anna Talleur (July 16-July 27) will focus on harvesting summer crops, preparing and cooking them, and sowing seeds for the fall, set against a backdrop of stories, myths, songs and plays. Students will also visit the Medicinal Plant Garden, have opportunities for water play, and get below the topsoil to play with clay.
  • Preschool and Kindergarten Summer Camp (8 one-week sessions from June 4-July 27): For the youngest Waldorf campers, this camp, led by Ms. Hannah Grow, will follow the daily rhythms of the normal Waldorf early-childhood day, with the addition of water play, crafting, and light gardening work.

The registration fee for Prairie Moon’s summer camps per weekly session is $215 plus a $15 materials fee, and space is limited. Anyone interested in registering for a camp should reserve a space as soon as possible by contacting the school at (785) 841-8800 or info@prairiemoon.org. Further details about Prairie Moon Waldorf School, including information about the upcoming MayFest and the summer camps, is available at http://www.prairiemoon.org