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Kauffman Museum’s summer camps for all ages to include adults

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – As it has for the past number of years, Kauffman Museum at Bethel College will host Uncle Carl’s Camps, with two new offerings in 2008.

The summer day camp sessions are intended to provide learning and enjoyment for children of various ages and, this year, for adults as well.

In addition to the “traditional” offerings in nature, art and history, this year’s line-up includes a first-ever adult camp, “Reeling in the Past: Kansas Pioneers and Silk (session B)” and a middle school science camp, “The Forces of Nature Challenge!”

Karen Kreider Yoder, an elementary school teacher and a lecturer at the University of San Francisco, will lead both the adult camp, July 7-11 from 1:30-4:30 p.m., and the session for ages 9-12 (or completed grades 3-6), on the same dates from 9 a.m.-noon. Participants will be given the opportunity to observe and explore silkworms through the lenses of science, art and history (some early Mennonites were involved in raising silkworms and harvesting silk in the 1800s).

Activities include scientific inquiry, silk crafts, hiking to search for silkworm food and a field trip to a former silk production site. Kreider Yoder has raised silkworms for the past 25 years in California and Japan.

This camp is “designed for all children and adults who are curious about the world around them and those who are specifically interested in the history of silk production in central Kansas,” said Andi Schmidt Andres, Kauffman Museum curator of education. “The adult session is also a good option for area teachers, who can use the knowledge gained to design second- and fourth-grade science, history and art units.”

“The Forces of Nature Challenge!” will allow participants to build and design structures that withstand forces of nature such as gravity, friction and compression. Youth ages 12-14 (or completed grades 6-8) will have the opportunity to build bridges, water bottle rockets and catapults.

“The Forces of Nature Challenge!” takes place June 23-27 from 9 a.m.-noon each day. Instructor is Dennis Flickner, an 8th-grade science teacher for USD 373.

Kauffman Museum hopes these camps will “encourage children to be inquisitive and learn by doing and prompt students to ask questions, get dirty and make their own discoveries,” says Andres. Not only that, but the camps offer a way to participate in fun, interesting learning that is not always feasible in a classroom or during a school day, she says.

Both the silk camp for adults and the middle school science camp still have vacancies, as do the silk camp for kids and “Figuratively Speaking I, session 2,” an art camp for children ages 6-8 (or completed grades K-2), led by LaDonna Unruh Voth, an elementary art teacher for USD 373, June 16-18 from 9-11 a.m.

To register for camps, go to www.bethelks.edu/kauffman/Education.html, where there is a link for a downloadable brochure complete with registration form. Or contact Andi Schmidt Andres at 316-283-1612 to register over the phone with a credit card. Member and non-member costs vary, depending on the camp. Cost includes a T-shirt.

Regular Kauffman Museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tues.-Fri., and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission to the museum, which also includes admission to the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture,” is $3 for adults and $1.50 for children ages 6-16. More information is available by calling the museum at 316-283-1612 or visiting its Web site, www.bethelks.edu/kauffman/.

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