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Lace your boots and get your water bottle: Summer 2019 launches Camp Peregrine, and you won’t want t

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

fantasy garden

On summer mornings, the mud kitchen is open for business. A child mixes dirt, sand, and water in a big pot, while another spices it with fresh mint and a stick candle. “Happy birthday! Who wants cake?” Several children join in the Happy Birthday song. On a flat tray, two four-year-olds arrange flowers and mint leaves in a mandala like shape, creating an elegant mud pastry. Nearby, two children look through the strawberry patch, picking and eating as they go. Three more are assisted by a teacher in picking mint and lemon verbena to make a pot of sun tea—this time in clean water rather than mud.

All these examples of play-based learning occur in the Hummingbird’s Fantasy garden, a shady zone with a miniature garden for playing with toys, a Zen sandbox for arranging rocks and sticks, a plant tunnel in which stories can be read, and a real fountain. The Fantasy Garden is one of several garden spaces where students can enjoy their free time in Peregrine School’s rambling one-acre yard.

At Peregrine, we believe that learning is fun, and that the world is full of exciting learning possibilities. The summer is a great time to explore things that we don’t have time for during the school year: quirky and creative skills and opportunities that don’t “fit” academic grade-level standards. Summer is also a time to take it a little easy, to work a while and play a while, in our bucolic acre of gardens, under a tree on a hot afternoon. Lemonade, anyone?

Camp Peregrine will offer such a balance of exciting activity and relaxing free time so that children can enjoy their summer while learning through inquisitive play.

Primaria (age 4-5) and K-2 students will have a selection of STEAM camps which combine science, technology, engineering, arts, and math into themes ranging from studying “Mother Elephant and her Babies” to boat building. At Camp Peregrine, STEAM camps are inspired by curricula from GEMS (Great Explorations in Math and Science), written and researched at the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley. A healthy smattering of art and outdoor play will be added to GEMS activities, making them more “summery” and more “Peregrine,” without losing their original spice.

Also offered will be one week of robotics and/or engineering camps from LEGO Play-Well with sessions for grades K-2 and 3-6. LEGO Play-Well camps are wildly popular wherever they are offered.

Capturing the spirit of Peregrine’s Reggio-based philosophy that fuels our academic year, there will be weekly SOAR camps for both K-2 and 3-6 grade students. SOAR is Peregrine’s own mixture of subjects, standing for Science, Outdoor Education, Arts, and Responsibility. Students will experience problem solving and creative challenges in SOAR camps as they appear in real life: mixed together. In the SOAR experience, students are given the agency to invent things for themselves with as much creativity as possible. Imagine what “A bookish ladybug” or a movie without words would be like. Make a miniature world with real plants to take home or attend “Paper collage college.”

If you aren’t enticed yet, how about language immersion? Camps in Mandarin, accessible to Mandarin and non-Mandarin speakers, will teach Chinese cultural arts such as paper cutting and ink water-colors as well as challenge students to build the Great Wall or a skyscraper out of recycled materials. Immersion camps in Chinese culture and language are available for both preschool and K-2 students.

Finally, for the first time this summer, Camp Peregrine offers something for the older student who wants to explore something in-depth with an expert teacher. Youth camps for students aged 10-17 are offered in the late afternoon or early evening for the mature student who wants to study film, creative writing, or bird-watching.

We sincerely hope to see you and yours at Camp Peregrine this summer! You can peruse the full selection of courses at Registration opens on Monday, February 25.


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