We wrapped up our first Camp DIG program on Friday, July 17th and we couldn’t be more thrilled at having had the opportunity to bring new experiences and education to ACC students. Camp DIG (Dream, Investigate, Grow) was a Monday through Friday summer camp from July 6th-18th for 25 students aged 7 to 14. The camp emerged through a partnership between the Athens Land Trust, the UGA School of Social Work, and The Center for Social Justice and Civil Rights. Campers engaged in science, art and literacy activities which were presented as tools to investigate social and food justice with the ultimate goal of empowering students to address related issues through community activism. The camp culminated its two weeks with a community dinner at which students presented unique visual and performance art pieces that they developed through their camp studies.
Our campers gained a variety of experiences which helped to expand their understanding of social and food justice, as well as tools with which they may spread this knowledge to their communities in order to create a healthier, more empowered Athens.
Art: Campers engaged in artistic activities such as drawing, mural painting, print-making, spoken word, dance and speech writing with the guidance of local artisans who emphasized the importance of art as a medium for community celebration, improvement, and activism.
Science: Campers participated in scientific activities such as micro-pippeting, food nutrient testing, pH testing with a home-made cabbage juice indicator, soil testing and chemical changes (making butter/cooking vegetables) with an emphasis on observation, the scientific method, and the use of science as a tool for social and food justice.
Literacy: With students from the UGA School of Education, students read “Seed Folks,” a book that uses a community garden as a stage for the investigation of social issues such as race, gender, ethnicity and class. UGA School of Education students led group readings and facilitated interpretation and discussion of the book with DIG campers.
Field Trips: Campers went on several fields trips over the course of the camp. Kayaking was used as an ice-breaker and team-building day on the first day of camp. Campers also went on a field trip to Atlanta, where they visited the MLK Museum, Truly Living Well Community Garden and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Campers were then given the opportunity to visit the West Broad Farmers Market Community Garden, where they were given a farm tour, helped with a soil test and brainstormed for their mural, which will be displayed at the garden. Students were then given the chance to cool off and celebrate their hard work at the Lay Park swimming pool. Lastly, students visited a host of Athens’ historical and innovative sites, where they met and learned about past and present influential African American leaders. Students also had the chance to learn about and make their own robots at the Fine Arts Museum!