Grindstone Alternative Children's Camp
Year Published: 1982
Organization profile published 1982
Resource Type: Organization
Cx Number: CX2416
The Alternative Children's Camp is organized by members and friends of the Grindstone Co-operative, a 350-member co-op which owns and operates Grindstone Island centre, a 12-acre island located in Rideau Lake halfway between Kingston and Ottawa.
Abstract: The Alternative Children's Camp is organized by members and friends of the Grindstone Co-operative, a 350-member co-op which owns and operates Grindstone Island centre, a 12-acre island located in Rideau Lake halfway between Kingston and Ottawa.
In the past 18 years, the island has been a conference and education centre which focuses on social change issues.
Two years ago, co-op parents suggested that Grindstone could fill a need by developing a children's program which would promote egalitarianism, non-sexism, cooperation, ecological awareness, non-violence and FUN. The summer-1982 program will be the third camp in as many years.
At the Alternative Camp, the children are invited to help shape the program to suit their interests and needs. Daily camper/staff meetings are held as a forum for planning activities and airing problems. Careful attention is given to resolving problems in the most creative way possible. The now-traditional mud volleyball games started as an alternative to problematic cabin raids. Playing, sliding and laughing on the muddy flooded volleyball court served as a fun way to release energy and develop group consciousness. Staff and resource people offer skills in dance and drama, carpentry, art, cooperative games and sports, puppetry, rowboating, ecology and music. Campers have access to a wide variety of books, records, games and films. Theme days provide variety in the pace of the program - a carnival, Backwards Day (doing most everything creatively in reverse), and Intergalactic Day (an outdoor space cross-cultural experience). During this last activity, campers were led on a simulation in which they travelled to other planets, and each of four planet groups developed their own costume and face decoration, forms of communication, songs, and, through discussion, visions of an ideal world. The camp ran for 12 days in 1981; children could attend for a six or twelve-day period. The 1982 summer camp will take place sometime in June (1982).