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!!
On to 2013 …. the book has been chosen and the mind spins wildly. Stay-tuned.
A Book for All Seasons Book Camp Themes:
Avra Kedavra Kamp Themes: