Vermont Humanities

Curriculum Ideas

Image of girls reading in the grass
Humanities Camps

The primary goal of programs such as Humanities Camps is to offer new learning opportunities for young people who may not be thriving in traditional academic settings. This is underpinned by the belief that learning should not be relegated to classrooms or to childhood and is a self-driven, lifelong avocation for all of us.

Student making an Abenaki burn bowl using a blow stick

These humanities camps are really important for the adults, as well as for the young people who participate in them. We have the time to spend a whole week looking at topics that are important to kids.

Sarah Miller
Camel's Hump Middle School

Theme Ideas for Humanities Camps

When you apply to host a camp, you’ll be asked to describe your proposed camp or project and think about the following questions:

  1. What excites you about offering this opportunity to young people in your area?
  2. What makes it a humanities project?
  3. How will it provide a non-traditional model of learning?

The following program examples are only presented to spur the curiosity of teachers and educators.

Writing About the Natural World

This program would allow students to explore the wild spaces around their school through outdoor cooking, biking, meditating, building shelters, cataloguing plants and wild edibles, all coupled with discussions of nature writing by people like Camille T. Dungy, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Robinson Jeffers, Mary Oliver, and many more. Student participants could write their own pieces as a final project.

Civics, Activism, and Political Theory

What would it look like to build our own governance structures from the ground up? For a two-week summer program like this, students would come in with a general idea of civically engaging with their community, state, or country but their process would begin as all organizing does: what are our rules? How do we build consensus? Is anyone in charge? What are our goals? Hands-on youth organizing work is enlightening, empowering, and helps build a future generation of activists and leaders. Excerpted chapters from books like This is What Democracy Looks Like, from authors like Frantz Fanon and Emma Goldman, guest speakers from the VT Workers’ Center or the legislature all help in the development of a community of active, thoughtful, and engaged young people.

Storytelling and Film

This two-week crash course on film critique and filmmaking would allow young people to write, direct, act in, and edit their own film with equipment borrowed from the local community access station. Students would begin by sharing their favorite films and compiling a list for them to watch together for further reflection, inspiration, and general critique while they spend the rest of their days scouting locations, writing, and filming scenes all for a final film premiere for the entire community.

Questions?

Contact Jonny Flood at literacy@vermonthumanities.org

Humanities Camp Videos

Student making an Abenaki burn bowl using a blow stick

Jonny Flood on East Corinth Humanities Camp

From our 2021 year-end highlights video, Literacy Programs Manager Jonny Flood describes attending the “Indigenous Peoples and the Environment” Humanities Camp hosted by the Blake Memorial Library in East Corinth, Vermont.

Two boys at a humanities camp giving peace signs

2018 Humanities Camps

We visited humanities camps in Plainfield and Richmond to speak with directors and students about what they learned during their summer camps.

Vermont Humanities*** December 8, 2021