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Historical Society Extends Deadline to May 3 for Summer Camp Registration

Camp students learning to paint, Summer 2023. Contributed photo

Greenwich Historical Society’s Art & History Camp returns this summer with enhanced programs that provide engaging and interactive STEAM experiences for school-age children. Students in grades two – eight will explore the arts, cultures and sciences that were prevalent during the Colonial American period of the Bush family and the progressive era of the Holley family.

“Art & History Camp is a core element of our programming to strengthen the community’s connection to our past, to each other and to our future,” says Historical Society Executive Director and CEO Debra Mecky. “This commitment starts at the elementary school-age level, when children can experience firsthand the daily lives of children 200 years ago, whether it be weaving, gardening, botany, cooking, drawing or painting. These skills help children appreciate other experiences, which in turn builds resilience, resourcefulness, creativity and leadership skills for thriving in today’s fast-changing world.”

For over 30 years, several thousand children in Greenwich and neighboring communities have benefited from these programs. Each year the Historical Society evaluates feedback from the parents of participating children who report that they are energized by the new relationships and experiences they have developed, all of which are overseen by trained counselors who underscore the importance of responsibility, sharing and character development.

Greenwich resident Nina Haberli’s daughter has attended many different day camps in the area and year after year, the Historical Society’s Art & History camp has been her favorite: “She loves the creative projects, writing and performing in plays each year, and of course learning about history in a hands-on way. She’ll be returning for her fourth year,” says Haberli.

According to Former Assistant Camp Director Isabella Ferrante the camp offers unique opportunities to learn: “This camp is a place where history, art, creativity, and joy combine to give kids an opportunity to learn in a unique way. It inspires passions and excitement in kids that carries beyond the grounds to their homes, friends, and schools.”

Four camp programs are offered at the Historical Society, each with highly engaging content and interactive experiences that are inspired by the historic campus.

Historical Happenings
July 8 – 12 / Grades 5 – 8
9:30 am – 2:30 pm
Senior Camper week brings together the best of both the Bush and Holley time periods. In the spirit of the Colonial Bush family, campers will interact with farm animals, create beautiful silhouettes, dive into colonial cooking and weave with yarn they have hand-dyed themselves. In honor of the Holley family and the Cos Cob Art Colony, campers will work with Master Artist Dmitri Wright to create unique pieces of Impressionist art and recreate one of the large-scale Elmer MacRae masterpieces.
“I look forward to sharing the classical training I received from my studies and through mentors steeped in American Impressionism,” says Dmitri Wright. “Students will have the opportunity to actively engage in the technique and practice of Impressionism and relive the experience of the first Impressionist artists who were inspired by the grounds of the Historical Society, once the site of the first Impressionist art colony in America in the late 19th century.”

Colonial Connections
July 15 – 19 / Grades 2 – 4
9:30 am – 2:30 pm
Children in the Colonial America-themed week will dive into the daily lives of Colonial Connecticuters. Campers will meet an array of traditional farm animals, learn how to card wool and weave yarn into beautiful fabrics from the campus’s historic gardens. They will learn the medical, culinary and aesthetic uses of the plants and perform a series of scientific experiments from the dye garden to determine plant colorations. The culinary plants will be used to make a series of popular snacks and sides from the 1770’s.
Artful Adventures
July 22 – 26 / Grades 2 – 4
9:30 am – 2:30 pm
Children will learn about the legacy of the Cos Cob Art Colony from the collections housed at Bush-Holley House. Under the supervision of Master Artist Dmitri Wright, they will learn the principles of the Impressionist style of painting favored by many of the Cos Cob artists. Together they will create landscapes, compose still lives and re-create a 12-foot-tall masterpiece by Elmer Livingston MacRae. In the afternoons, they will practice portraiture and craft a series of self-portraits in a variety of different artistic styles and mediums.

Family Fridays
July 8 – 26 / All ages
2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Every Friday afternoon is family day. Campers set up an art show to display their masterpieces to friends and family and stage a play that they have written, produced and set-designed over the course of the week. Parents, grandparents, siblings and all other interested family members and friends are encouraged to see the show.

Children can attend for one week at a rate of $450 or two weeks at $800. A sibling discount is offered at $800 for two children. Scholarships are offered. Registration deadline is May 3.

For information and assistance with registration and scholarships, contact Michele Couture, director of operations and visitor services at mcouture@greenwichhistory.org.

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