Rural System's

Youth and Adult Camps

There are several "camps" topics ... 

Youth and Adult Camps

Camps that are already in existence within the region are to be sought for specialized use and developed as fun places for youths of both sexes and for adults. Concentrating on nature study, woodcraft, campcraft, and outdoor skills, a variety of activities allow people to escape the typical activities and sporting events of daily life at home. Some farm and agriculture-related camps will be sought. Non-denominational, the camps stress character-building, healthful living, independence, and a cooperative spirit. Periods are available for creative expressions (see The Writers' Camps described below).

Novosports are involved. Specialized units to enhance math and science interests and skills are available, both unified within the field programs. Extensive trail systems, boating, and horseback riding (including cooperative work with The Stables) provide a rich camplife environment. Tent-camps widely spaced provide opportunities for hiking and backpacking between camps. One unit concentrates on soils and geology.

Weekend winter camping is planned. Clachan activities are year-around.

One Camp Concept:

The Old Codgers' Place
A camp for the elderly where "to re-discover the child " is one slogan. Skits, dancing, marbles, ball toss, bike riding, swimming, reading, "how to use the computer " instruction, finding rocks in the stream, top spinning, singing, talent shows, art, songwriting, clogging, costume night, quiet times, good food, hikes, medical analyses and prescriptions for exercise and health, lasting memberships, newsletter and website and chat-room for each year, nature study and instruction, black bear and other wildlife ecology, photography, wood carving, Novosports, hide-and-seek (a new binoculars game), and GPSence, and story telling.

Clachan

"Camps" have a negative, childish, or old-fashioned connotation to some people. We propose to develop the concept and activities of the Clachan (pronounced "klack-en," Gaelic for small village or hamlet)
  Clachan
in which people, otherwise the "campers," live in small houses in a neighborhood or town and engage in diverse activities quite aligned with modern life, survival skills, human health, advancing education, home repairs, household skills, practical gardening, recreation, improving social skills, and managing money. Special software packages are used and become valuable tools in later life. There may be interactions among the Camp units. Potentials are being explored for villages as language-learning places (French and Spanish) with later student exchanges and participation in global markets, for example, in
Senegal projects.




Writers' Camp

A unique camp housed at one existing (or to-be-built) camp offers adult writers an unusual set of resources and programs to become successful writers or to improve as writers. The enterprise helps stabilize camp occupancy and promotes the area and its messages.

The camp provides:

This is a fully-catered activity. Staff members pick up participants at an airport or center and drive them to the camps, taking care of all baggage. Other camps or facilities for other family members (spouse or children) are available nearby and suggestions are available. This camp is an in-depth, fully concentrated, totally safe, drug-free, writing camp. There are great meals and trails for walking off frustrations (and weight). "Late snacks " are memorable. The camp does not "do sports " but concentrates on walks, quiet periods, jogging opportunities, World Ball and new sports demonstrations, and educational trips. Staff work hard on providing access for adult writers with disabilities. The great outdoors is not inaccessible. Programs are available: readings, skits, and lectures. The camp provides "conflict centers, " "crisis spots, " and the "hypervolume " the latter being a novel process for seeing conflicts more clearly and inventing new ones (about which to write.) A camp vocabulary game (on the computer) provides challenges, learning, fun, and "bragging rights " as scores progress during the week.

A local lore project is available for people with such interest. A 4-hour practical photography-support unit is taught. A vast "title and idea base " is available, providing a unique system to give ideas for articles, poems, etc. that match with each writer's interests or background. A poets electronic chapbook will be developed with help of the software group.

This is a year-around activity with limited winter camps. It coordinates with many other enterprises of Rural System Meaningful physical work (volunteer opportunities) other than jogging is available. We'll coordinate with the Southwest Virginia Writing Project of Virginia Tech.

We may consider Rikemo Lodge for small group sessions. The lodge is owned by the Nature Conservancy (1-866-RIKEMO-8) It is on Rt 65/72 1.5 miles SW of Dungannon.

Prof. Lisa Norris is an award-winning writer and faculty member of the English Department at Virginia Tech. She teaches English 1106 with a "People and Nature " emphasis: Her comments about the proposed camp:

"The focus of your camp is different, I think, from most of the ones I know, where people mainly want to make contacts with famous writers and agents and learn something more about the craft. Your camp idea seems to be a bit more holistically oriented--very interesting. "

See possibilities in a Literature Workshop (2003) at Univ. Virginia, Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Abingdon

See South Carolina camp at: www.ylicamps.com

This unit of the enterprise is likely to use existing facilities. A "tent camp " may be tested for expansion for some types of writers. Rentals of select areas for special use from the public lands (and other private, nearby areas) may be attempted.

Idea for a traveling week-long "camp"
The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) offers 15-20 paid internships each summer for economic and marketing specialists in our Washington, D.C. offices through the Summer Internship Program (SIP). The SIP provides U.S. citizen interns with an excellent opportunity to learn about issues, programs, and activities related to international agricultural trade. Students gain a broader perspective on U.S. international trade and development interests through interaction with FAS' 90 overseas offices and other federal agencies such as the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, the department of Commerce, and the U.S. Trade Representative. Housing may be provided on a need basis.
The camp might offer adults a learning experience visiting farms and discussing problems and issues and giving practical experience with soil, plows, animals, waste, etc.
Marketing group specific: (teachers, lawyers, housewives, elderly)


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Robert H. Giles, Jr.
June 28, 2005