Our Village Camp 2023 Recap
What a great third year of camp! Paran Recreations, in collaboration with partners at Vermont Arts Exchange, Friends of Hiland Hall Gardens, John G. McCullough Library, Bennington College, and Power’s Market ran Our Village Camp for six weeks this summer.
More than 100 campers got hands-on experience making connections with the community and each other, gardening, swimming, making art, summer reading, being community scientists, and more at each partner site. The program is unique in that it taps into the power of place-based learning, utilizing the Village North Bennington as a campus. In addition to community development, we also offered free swim lessons to campers, were a site for free lunch distribution through Abbey Food Group, and welcomed guest presenters from the Bennington Climate Advocates and PAVE.
Making third space learning accessible is a primary mission of Our Village Camp and each year we are leveling up the number of full scholarships given out to local children. This year we gave out more scholarships than ever with 50% of participants attending camp for free! We could not have reached this goal without the generosity of local sponsors including the Alliance for Community Transformations, and funding from Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation, George Mergens Foundation, Agnes Lindsay Foundation, Fund for North Bennington, United Counseling Services.
Our camps and programs are designed to immerse youth and adults in:
• Paran’s natural environment
• Place-based education
• Food system education including how to cook, process, and store foods grown from local community gardens
• Knowledge of the indigenous peoples who used this land and their cultural heritage