The summer program of the Parts and Crafts Collective is a lab for kids and adults to learn together — a place to get outside of the routine, away from the often rote and stressful practices of day to day life to experiment with making and learning and playing with the things that people find personally important, whatever they may be.
Every summer we bring together an extraordinary collection of creative kids and adults who are interested in sharing and learning and making and doing. We provide space for kids to be creative, and we give them the inspiration and tools that they need to make and work through plans and projects of all types and sizes. At the same time, we give the adults that we work with a place to think, and people and tools to think with, about learning and creativity.
Each session of camp has a theme which we use to make a rough sketch of the kinds of activities and projects we’ll work on. And each session will include some kind of longer-term project or progression of projects based around the theme -- making a marimba (during Music Experiments and Experimental Music, 2011), or a mushroom museum (during Life: Natural and Artificial, 2011). These ongoing larger projects, or project-progressions are designed to give kids and staff the experience of doing something really amazing together, and, in the process, developing a certain kind of rigorous competence (and, implicitly, confidence).
At the same time, the themes are emphatically not schedules. They are, more than anything else, skeletons on which we can hang our ideas, and inspirations to kids and adults both as to what kinds of things might be fun or interesting to do. The beauty of summer camp has always been, and continues to be, the way that we can work, each week, with a unique set of kids and adults and find many different somethings to delight and engage us all. The theme might be music, but if this is the week that everyone gets suddenly excited about designing rockets, you can bet we’ll be spending a lot of our time designing and launching rockets.
During all of our sessions, we’ll have our electronics workbench, art table, a bunch of hand-tools, building supplies, scrap materials, air pumps, hot glue, duct tape, etc. And on any given day there is a very high probability that printers will be taken apart, bread will be baked, LEDs and motors will be glued to things, there may very well be giant cardboard sculptures.
What: Parts and Crafts Summer Camp -- Science and Spectacle
When: Monday, July 16th - Friday, July 27th, 9am-3pm (2 weeks, Monday through Friday. Early care and late care available, 8am-5:30pm)
Where: Clarendon Hill Church, 155 Powder House Blvd, West Somerville
Who: kids, ages 7 – 12 Cost: suggested: $600 ($300/week), sliding scale
Science is making the invisible visible, finding information about the world around us and figure out what this information might mean. Working closely with our friends at PLOTS (the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science), we’ll build simple, but effective DIY scientific instrumentation and use it, both to learn more about our immediate surroundings (using balloon-and-kite mapping, spectrometry, thermal photography), and to work on improving the designs of the instruments themselves.
On the flip side is “spectacle” -- making the amazing visible, or the visible, well, spectacular. We’re imagining the circus -- stilt-walking and poi-spinning and juggling. And things that are big -- sculptures, structures, inventions -- anything that makes an impression.
And we'll also, of course, play games and draw pictures and make music and build circuits and program computers and make messes and hang out and have a blast.
Sometimes it doesn't make sense for a kid to come to camp all week. We offer a prorated daily rate of $70/day if kids want to come for 3 or 4 days. We keep very tightly to a pretty low staff to kid ratio so if kids are coming to camp for only 1 or 2 days, it becomes very difficult for us to work out appropriate staffing levels. It's logistically undesirable, and totally unfair, to ask the people who work with us, to only work (and only be paid) for a few days of the week. If you really want to come to camp for only one or two days (perhaps to check it out and see if it's a good fit), do email us and we can probably work something out, but, generally we need to minimize day-to-day changes in the number of kids who we're working with.
*On Sliding Scale
We want Parts and Crafts to be a welcoming and diverse place! We also don’t want enrollment decisions to be a burden for parents juggling child-care options, or implicitly exclude kids from our community by virtue of affordability. It’s essential to us that our programs be available to anyone who wants to participate, regardless of income or ability to pay. Your use of the sliding scale is entirely up to you ; we have no interest in checking up on your finances and generally prefer to assume that people are kind and generous than otherwise.
That said, we are almost entirely participant funded, so the continued existence of our programs depends on some form of financial support from you. If you can pay our full prices, please do! If you can’t, please come anyway!