Vermont Humanities Council "Humanities Camps"

The Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation is proud to support the Vermont Humanities Council’s Humanities Camps.

Humanities Camp is an intensive, week-long, summer day camp program for at-risk middle school/junior high students that engages young people with reading and the humanities. Youth are hungry for the opportunity to learn and discuss, and the camps introduce them to the world of literature and ideas, fostering self-expression in a safe, nurturing environment.  Humanities Camps provide opportunities for students to discover more about themselves.  Students experience the satisfaction that accompanies insight and self-discovery, while developing reading skills and a love of learning.  Humanities Camps encourage youth to think critically about the world around them, and often lead to increased self-confidence and self-esteem.

The director of the Humanities Camp at Richmond Middle School described a student who would never participate in class conversations during “normal” school days. “Our camp experience with her was very different,” the director said. “In discussions, she would offer her ideas. I saw her confidence soar. She was open, friendly, and having fun, while also learning.” She continued, “This camper is a prime example of why the Humanities Camp is so important at our school. Not only did she have opportunities she wouldn’t normally have (like visiting a local news station), but she also grew and developed as a person.”

VHC Humanities Camps use themes specifically conceived for at-risk students: each camper receives a set of books on the chosen theme, used as the basis for the week’s activities, and theirs to keep.  Camp directors from the school create the curriculum and organize fun-filled days with reading and writing projects, the creative arts, and culminating presentations. Camps connect students with educational resources and opportunities for experiential learning. Field trips can be a welcome component of camp, giving students a chance to discover the humanities in the community around them and beyond, expanding horizons.

The impact of these camps is best expressed by the campers themselves.  Here is what a few campers had to say:

This week I learned…

“….that sometimes you have to look deeper than what’s there.”
“…how much better I can push myself to be.”

Humanities Camp made me feel…

“…that reading is not hard anymore – it’s fun.”
“…more creative and confident.”
“…ready to learn something new.”

“The coolest thing about this camp is that it is free – free food, free camp, free books, free fun.”
“Camp opened my eyes to books I wouldn’t have picked up on my own, and I liked them.”
“I don’t think I ever smiled that much in my whole life!”
“Humanities Camp rocks!”
“Camp was amazing and it’s so hard to describe in words – you just have to be there – and it will change your life!” 

To learn more about Humanities Camps visit www.vermonthumanities.org.