Artisans must be 8 years old by the starting date of Willowbrook. These campers, ages 8-11, may choose their daily activities from a variety of art centers, where they explore more independently. Some campers choose to sample every activity offered in a day, where others may focus more closely on only one or two.
Welcome to Willowbrook.
"Willowbrook is a small seed we plant today for our belief in tomorrow."
– Althea Pratt-Broome, Founder
Willowbrook is a summer day camp that provides opportunities for children to develop their creative potential through experiences in the Arts and Environmental studies in an atmosphere that mentors and nurtures the whole child. At Willowbrook, campers are free to explore an open outdoor environment organized into over 34 separate covered areas, each with their own distinct instructors and focus. These "tents" are where we learn new skills, interact closely with mentors, and make friends.
Students 8-18 use natural materials to create traditional and modern baskets.
Through writing of original stories, poetry, books, scripts, and interviews, students become more powerful observers, explore their imaginations, and develop greater awareness of themselves and others. They also create Willowbrook’s own publication, “The Babbling Brook.”
The dance program is offered to all ages and skill levels, covering classical ballet, creative movement, jazz, tap, ballroom, contemporary and world folk dance.
At the drama tent, campers can audition for and perform in any of the 10+ evening performances each year.
Students are given opportunities to learn the art of visual storytelling, and are taught the skills needed to create their own films.
Students 3-18 can enjoy painting, drawing, collage and many other fine art techniques.
Hand building techniques are taught in coil, pinch, and slab construction for every level, from 3 -18 years. Let your mind go wild!
Campers experience traditional and contemporary Japanese arts and craft.
Instrumental and vocal instruction is offered at every level, and music is also a large part of many theater productions.
Students learn indigenous crafts and their historical techniques. Native stories and music are also taught.
Discovering beauty and wonder in the natural world is an integral part of the Willowbrook experience. Through the study of nature and science, children become aware of our responsibility in maintaining the sensitive balance on earth. Included are nature walks, projects, and hands-on experiments.
Visual art through the photographic methods reveals an exciting way to view the world, using varied media and photographic techniques. Darkroom processes are also introduced.
Clay is used to create functional and artistic objects.
Ages 5 – 18 may learn to throw on potter's wheels. 8 – 18 year olds learn methods for finishing, glazing, and firing clay.
Students have the opportunity to construct a variety of puppets. Using art, storytelling from around the world, and drama, they breathe life into the inanimate. There are also opportunities to create and perform puppet shows.
Campers contribute to stage set painting and make theatre props.
Campers create fiber artworks using hand and loom weaving. Needlework and friendship bracelet techniques are also introduced. Gimp keychains and rag rugs have been camper favorites as well.
Campers learn international and folk arts from around the world, their histories, and special techniques.
Advanced Artisans must be 12 by Willowbrook's starting date. Our high school program offers opportunity for advanced instruction in selected arts. All Artisan areas are available to this group. Many of our Advanced Artisans work half days through our teen apprenticeship program. See extended info of Advanced Artisans for more details about eligibility and how to apply.
Advanced Ceramics provides instruction for more proficient students. Due to the popularity of this area, campers may have limited wheel sessions per day.
Advanced Artisans can come to Stained Glass to create beautiful colored artwork and jewelry.
The growing interests and diverse talents of this busy, eager group have many opportunities for expression. Each age level in the Village has its own home base and teachers who help guide the children in choosing activities.
Village Art lets campers explore all aspects and mediums that catch the eye and hand. From paint and crayons to fairy wands, pop-up cards and creations from recyclables, there is no end to what a child can create here!
Dance is first introduced to campers in the Squirrel's Nest, and the experience continues into the Village. Campers learn to explore the art of movement with games, performances and different types of music. Props are used to enhance movement and the understanding of our bodies.
The Village Drama area offers many games and activities to help children discover the different characters within themselves. Villagers are given many chances to participate in camp-wide theater productions as well as smaller productions, presentations, plays and skits held within The Village alone.
Our Village Music program includes songs, games, dances and other activities to help children learn the basics of rhythm and pitch. In addition to the option to take lessons on over a dozen instruments, Villagers are also introduced to world music with folk songs and visits from other camp specialists in the Artisan Area.
Learning and caring for the world around us is an integral part of the Willowbrook camper experience. Nature walks, craft projects, hands on activities and games are all options to help children become aware of the physical beauty of the earth.
As children discover the importance of touch and feel, Village Pottery gives children the opportunity to mold a natural substance into anything in their imagination. Many techniques are taught using different tools and with help from caring staff. Villagers are also given the choice to learn how to throw clay pots on a kick wheel.
Village Puppetry encourages campers to create characters and bring them to life through different materials. Options for writing, practicing and performing puppet shows are available.
Village Weaving introduces the ideas of patterns and colors. Campers are taught how to manipulate the materials to create beautiful works of art.
The Squirrel's Nest is an area of beginnings, with opportunities to explore the arts and try new skills in a secure environment.