Mike Duffy, arts and crafts director at Camp Beech Cliff, will be one of the many people leading virtual programming for students during April vacation. Virtual camp is a collaboration between the school system, area camps, and arts organizations. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Virtual camp for school vacation week

BAR HARBOR — If you’re wondering how to keep your kids occupied during school vacation week, April 20-24, when the schools aren’t offering remote learning, they can “go” to camp while staying safely at home. 

Teachers and administrators in the Mount Desert Island Regional School System have teamed up with Camp Beech Cliff and several local arts organizations to design a virtual Family Arts, Culture and Nature Camp. 

“The goal is to provide our students and families with interesting experiences and activities,” said Julie Meltzer, the school system’s director of curriculum, assessment and instruction. 

It is all free of charge, including the kits with materials that kids will need for some art projects. 

The lineup of activities includes those that can be done independently at any time, as well as options to participate in classes that will happen online at specific times. 

“The teacher collaboration and the enthusiasm and creativity of area arts organizations and community education partners has been noteworthy,” Meltzer said. 

Matt Cornish, camp director at Camp Beech Cliff, will be leading kids in playing cooperative and team-building games in two interactive Zoom sessions. 

“We’ve also got some videos with Mike Duffy, our arts and crafts director, working on some projects kids can do, hopefully with things they’ve already got at home,” Cornish said. “And we’ve got a physical workout recorded by two of our waterfront staff that kids can do along with them.” 

Other organizations involved in the virtual camp are ArtWaves, Wendell Gilley Museum and Summer Festival of the Arts. 

Liz Cutler of ArtWaves is offering three kit-based workshops. 

“I’m putting together a fleece kit, a print-making kit and a paper kit,” she said. “Each kit has enough material to make about nine small, simple projects.” 

One kit has everything that’s needed for collaging. 

We have some really interesting papers, so you can collage them,” Cutler said. 
“We are including some glue, so you can collage it around a balloon and let it dry for a few days, then pop the balloon and you have a little bowl. 

The Wendell Gilley Museum also will be providing a limited number of activity kits. 

More information about the free, virtual Family Arts, Culture and Nature Camp, including a schedule of activitiesis on the school system’s website, mdirss.org, and there are links from each school’s website. 


Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.