A.K.Kamp History

Avra Kedavra … and poof …. The idea of a Word Kamp came into being where kids could exercise this intentionality and wonder. The Kamp’s origins go back to A Book for All Seasons in Leavenworth, WA where owner, Pat Rutledge, started the first book camp in 2002. After seven years of hosting the camp, it came to an end at the bookstore. Pleasantly plagued by the pleading of many children in the community, Amy Carlson, a.k.a. Dr. Fu, former director of the bookstore camp, took up the gauntlet and offered a new 2009 pilot program called Avra Kedavra Kamp at Faith Lutheran Church. Twelve brave kids entered this Word world bearing a bucket of supplies. The novel, The Mysterious Benedict Society, became our common story out of which writing and crafts spun in tornado force. We wrote poems, journals, stories; played ‘verb’ skits, literary hopscotch; crafted Word bank boxes, poetry doors, and t-shirts; learned how to do Metaphor Minds, Osprey Dives, and Yessence Poetry; and, of course, ran and swam (at the pool).

In its 2nd year, Avra Kedavra practiced its word magic again, only this time under the sponsorship of Icicle Arts at Barn Beach Reserve. Over a three-week stretch, 36 kids wrapped themselves up in Greek Mythology through our common story, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. We worked on story telling Aesop Fables, wrote poems, put on ‘Pandora’s Box,’ made plaster masks, formed word pools, etc. (Can’t give too many secrets away.)

2011 found the language loonies back on the bookstore porch beneath the protective oak. It felt like coming home, albeit a bit cramped. Thank you, Pat! We discovered calligraphy pens and acted as scribes, illuminating letters. We did guerilla art, discovered our coat of arms, created pop-up castles, and of course wrote and wrote and wrote, learning more about metaphor. The loonies always amaze Dr. Fu with their profound twists on the simplest of notions!

In 2012, we found a home at the Discovery School on the grounds of the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery. Operated by the Cascade School District, the Discovery School proved an ideal spot for running, hiding, playing Blind Ranger, writing, tie dying (and that’s an inside joke!), castle building, …. it was such a good place, we are hoping to be there forever, or as long as they will have us. Thank you Hatchery and thank you Cascade School District!! Again in 2013 and 2014, 2015, and, yes, 2016, 2017 and NOW 2018! Wow.

And here we are soon rounding the corner into 2018; Kamp remains whacky & wunnderbar. Come one. Come all. Enter the Word Play Cafe ,if you dare, and rub words together with other language loonies.


A Book for All Seasons Book Camp Themes:

  • 2002 – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Camp
  • 2003 – The Unfortunate Events Book Camp & Princess Camp
  • 2004 – Pirates & Mermaids Camp
  • 2005 – Inkheart Camp with Cornelia Funke
  • 2006- “Mwhahaha” Mad Scientist Camp
  • 2007 – The BFG Camp – Gobblefunking & Sniglet Snorkeling with Roald Dahl
  • 2008 – The Pit & The Pendulum Camp with Edgar Allen Poe

Avra Kedavra Kamp Themes:

  • 2009 – The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart @ Faith Lutheran Church
  • 2010 – The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan @ Barn Beach Reserve
  • 2011 – The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron @ A Book for All Seasons
  • 2012 – The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan  @ The Discovery School
  • 2013 – The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein @ The Discovery School
  • 2014 – The Various by Steve Augard @ The Discovery School
  • 2015 – Falcon in the Glass by Susan Fletcher @ The Discovery School
  • 2016 – Magyk by Angie Sage
  • 2017 – Peter & The Star Catchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
  • 2018 – Hmmmm! Now what is it going to be this year? Something beasty and original. You shall see.

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