Students from last year's camp sit in the grass and sketch the front facade of Lorenzo.
Cazenovia Lorenzo’s annual Rippleton Schoolhouse summer camp, where boys and girls ages eight through 12 experience a week of 19th century school days, is expanding to two weeks this year with one week focused on artistic creations and one week on scientific exploration. The camp will run two non-consecutive weeks, one at the beginning and one at the end of July.
“Last year was a great success and I’m looking forward to bringing my science and art background to this year’s two camps,” said summer camp schoolmarm Kathleen Emerson, an elementary teacher in the Chittenango district who is returning for her second year in the position. “I want to give the students a rich, educational content while simultaneously allowing them to enjoy the best features of a Cazenovia summer: being outdoors, playing, observing nature and visiting the lake.”
The Rippleton Schoolhouse Camp, which is in its ninth year of operation, is located on the grounds of the Lorenzo State Historic Site. The daily routine offers typical curriculum such as arithmetic, writing, map-reading and word puzzles, and activities included anagrams, basket weaving, flower pressing, a tour through the Lorenzo Mansion, pottery, tin punching and spool knitting. Each day of camp also has a lunch break and short recess.
Some of the highlights from last summer’s camp were when students made and flew their own box kites, learned how to weave wicker baskets from local resident Bonnie Slocum and learned about hot-air balloons from a representative of Carrol Teitsworth Liberty Balloons.
While not all the specific programs and guest speakers have been finalized yet for this year’s two camps, Emerson hopes to again make kites, have a presentation by Slocum and tour the Cazenovia Public Library’s Egyptian museum and cultural museum — including learning about 19th century inventions and patents.
“It has been gratifying to see how much-loved and well-utilized our Rippleton Schoolhouse has been by Central New Yorkers since we moved it to the site in 1997 — and this year will mark our ninth season of summer camp,” said Barbara Bartlett, director of Lorenzo State Historic Site. “After an enthusiastic start with us as our new summer schoolmarm last July, Kathleen is returning to the program to include two weeks of camp offerings this year. Her teaching background and service as an historic interpreter at Genesee Country Museum in Mumford, NY, have afforded her a unique set of experiences in molding summer camp at Rippleton.”