Elsa Beskow Day Camp – Bringing Swedish Literature Alive
August 7 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Elsa Beskow was a Swedish children’s book author and illustrator who was often called the ‘Beatrix Potter’ of Scandinavia. She published forty books with her own text and images.
Beskow frequently combined reality with elements from the fairy tale world. Children meet elves or goblins, and farm animals talk with people. Central themes were the relationships between children and adults and children’s independent initiative. Her work “depicted a happy home atmosphere in the Swedish countryside of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.”
In the August camp, campers listen to and do hands-on activities related to images and/or text in The Sun Egg (1932) and The Children of Hat Cottage (1930).
Each day at Elsa Beskow Camp, campers have opportunities to do fun, hands-on learning at the Discovery Stations; have lunch and recess; and play pioneer games.
Other sessions and projects during the August Elsa Beskow Camp include:
– Identify common Minnesota birds and their eggs by shape and size. Create a mixed-media bird using collage and stamping.
– Learn about sweet and bitter oranges, and sample types of oranges available in Minnesota grocery stores. Dissect an orange to learn the different parts of this fruit. Make and sample orangeade – a beverage that combines freshly-squeezed orange juice and lemonade.
– Take a nature walk to explore the restored prairie and wetlands at Gammelgården. See the bluebird houses along the bluebird trail.
– Using the sun’s power, create a cyanotype printing using items found on the museum’s grounds
– Learn about lizards in Minnesota and make a lizard lair to put in a garden at home. Create a colorful lizard from pipe cleaners.
– See how children learned both in the Old Church/One-Room Schoolhouse and Immigrant House during the mid- to late-1800s. Discover similarities and differences between education in the 1800s to that of the 2000s.
–See the many steps for creating clothes – from carding and spinning wool to weaving yarn on a loom and sewing fabric by hand. Learn to weave with yarn on a simple loom.
– Explore different types of homes used by humans and wildlife. Discover what types of birds were born in and fledged from the bluebird houses on Gammelgården’s bluebird trail. Identify local birds and their habitats by making a diorama.
– Learn about fire safety from a local fire department. See fire equipment and a fire truck up close. (An alternate fire safety activity will be done if the fire department is responding to a fire or other emergency.)
– Discover how spiders weave their webs and how they find their prey by feel. Create a wax-resist painting of a spider web.
– See a variety of shoes in Gammelgården’s collection including those made from birchbark, wood, leather, and satin. Learn about the shoemaking process in the 1800s; and the difference between a shoemaker and a cobbler. Learn about shoe parts by deconstructing different types of shoes.
– Explore the kitchen or cooking areas of the Pastor’s House and Peasant Cottage, and see how cooking and baking were done without electricity, running water, an oven, or a refrigerator. See recipes and sample food from the Housekeepers Cookbook, a book in Gammelgården’s collection from 1894.
- Offered: Wednesday and Thursday, August 7-8, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
- Ages: Children entering first grade through sixth grade.
- Fee: $130 members/$145 non-members (all supplies included).
- Register: Register for camp at Gammelgården’s EventBrite page.
- Registration Deadline: July 17. Limited to 20 children.
- Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Make your reservation early to guarantee a spot. A waiting list will be kept for the camp.
- Registration closes 3 weeks before the camp begins.
- Please ensure that campers come prepared with a lunch, a water bottle, sun protection, and a change of clothes and shoes. If rain is forecasted, include a rain jacket. It’s important that children have appropriate clothing for outdoor activities and art projects, and can change into dry clothes if needed.
- Camp starts at 9 a.m., so children should be dropped off 10-15 minutes before the scheduled start time. Prior to 8:45 a.m., parents may watch their children play on the playground next to Gammelgården.
- Pick-up is promptly at 3 p.m.
- Cancellation Policy: Up to 3 weeks before the event – 50% refund. Under 3 weeks before the event, no refunds.