It was as if Mother Nature knew the Summer Program at Tamassee DAR School was coming to an end because the heat wave broke as the last week of summer fun came to a close.
The overall theme for the program was “Seek Yourself” and the Lifestyles segment included self-evaluations and explorations of self-care for the students. Discussions were held about our diverse backgrounds, our abilities to control anger, sadness, and confusion, along with some methods regarding physical and mental coping skills. The art segment found the students designing profile posters illustrating what makes each of them who they are and clearly shows their individuality. The many art activities provided opportunities to talk about each child’s dreams, their positive attributes and to explore their creativity through multiple mediums. During Team Building class, the children made and launched rockets and focused on activities designed to bring them all together. During the music segment, the students enjoyed hands-on experiences with the ukulele, the dulcimer, and guitar.
In the weeks that followed, the children found themselves testing their creative sides by completing pottery projects such as bobble heads, mice and owl sets, and hand dish soaps using their own hands as the models. These projects encouraged originality as each completed piece was then decorated to reflect the individual personalities of the children. There were classes in theatre and lessons on how to prepare healthy food dishes. Of course the food they created was also enjoyed by the children as part of the lesson plan.
Week 4 of the Summer Program was all about giving of themselves. The students learned how to create homemade, healthy dog treats which were then bagged up and donated to the local human society. Homemade bread was made by the children and presented to their appreciative Teaching Parents. Clay pots were decorated by the students and presented as gifts to delighted support staff members. Working on these projects provided the summer camp counselors with the opportunity to open discussions about being empathetic, recognizing and appreciating the care we provide to one another, and building positive relationships.
The final week of the Summer Program included the Keowee Key Boat Outing, Picnic, and swim day at High Falls State Park, followed by an off-campus outing to the Greenville Drive game, which was sponsored by Mountain Hill Community Church in Landrum, SC.
As the Summer Program comes to an end and the store shelves begin filling up with back to school supplies, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that the start of the new school year is quickly coming. It was a fun summer experience for the children of Tamassee, and one filled with life lessons to help them understand and appreciate who they are as people and the value in giving back to their communities and those they love.