This summer, the Dragons and Meerkats - our Upper Elementary/Middle School camp groups - broadened their cultural horizons as they immersed themselves in different customs from 10 countries around the world. At Camp Montessori, camp groups' activities follow a new theme each week. This summer, the Dragons and Meerkats joined forces to tour the globe.
They started the journey in Argentina, where they learned gaucho-style leather braiding, and finished their tour in Mexico, where they tested their Spanish language skills and learned about the Huichol - an indigenous people of Mexico. Along the way, they stopped in Australia, Egypt, Ghana, Greece, Italy, Japan and Thailand, with a special stop in their home country during the Fourth of July week.
"It's a way to sneak in academics in a fun, non-school year way," said lead Meerkat counselor Alyssa Novello.
During the school year, WMS teachers and classrooms celebrate many holidays so students can learn and experience different cultures and traditions, from Lunar New Year and Diwali to Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. By introducing various holidays to their students, Montessori teachers hope to spark children's curiosity and appreciation for traditions that are different from their own.
Likewise, our staff designed the camp curriculum to both expose Meerkats and Dragons to new traditions and teach them about different cultures and countries through games, and cooking, science and art projects. They also aimed to build on geography lessons many Meerkat- and Dragon-age campers were learning during the school year.
What were the campers' favorite stops? Greece, where they made evil eye medallions to ward off bad luck, and Ghana, where they enjoyed learning traditional Ghanaian dance.