W E D N E S D A Y  W E E K L Y
Bi-Weekly Summer Edition - July 7, 2015
In This Issue

Upcoming Events

July 6-9
Camp Week 4
Dance Dream Discovery
Egypt Adventure LEGO

July 9
Field Trip
Rooms 24, 25, 27 & 30 to White Clay Creek State Park

for Dragons Traditional Camp

July 10
Specialty Camp Performances
All are welcome!
Dance Dream Discovery - 11:45 a.m. in the Great Room
Showstoppers - 3:15 p.m. at the Meerkat Theatre in the woods

July 13-17
Camp Week 5

July 16
Field Trips
Rooms 24, 25, 27 & 30 to Strasburg Railroad Museum;
Room 22 to Dover Green

July 20-24
Camp Week 6
Specialty Camps -
Famous Scientist
American Girl History

July 23
Field Trip
Room 22 to Brandywine Creek State Park

July 27-31
Camp Week 7
Specialty Camps -
Fiber Arts I
Fiber Arts II
Indiana Jones LEGO

July 30
Field Trips
Rooms 25, 27 & 30 to Linvilla Orchards
Room 22 to Cape Henlopen State Park 


Message from 
Director of Extended Day Programs
Cass Winner
Cass Winner

When I was about five years old, we got a membership to Westtown School Lake, and I was registered for a short series of swim lessons. These were the kind of swim lessons designed primarily to convince reluctant children to first put their faces in the water (blowing bubbles), and then to submerge themselves completely.


This required some courage, because this water was brown and opaque, and a child who dove under the surface was likely to emerge festooned with whatever the freshwater equivalent of seaweed is. Eventually, I did it, and I still remember the thrill of taking that risk, willingly doing something uncomfortable and a little bit scary in order to become more independent in my world. There was a dock several yards from shore, and I wanted to swim to it.


This might have taken a lot longer if it hadn't been for my friend Wendy, who came to the lake with us one day in late summer, took one look at that dock and swam right to it. She pulled herself up, sat on the edge and waved. 


Lessons were one thing, but peer modeling was quite another. I did not want to be left behind, standing on the mucky bottom of the lake in my yellow bathing suit with a white plastic flower on the breastbone. I didn't have much form, but I splashed and paddled and got myself out there to that dock that very day. Wendy extended her hand to help me up.


I looked over to the shore and saw my mother reading her book, saw the lifeguard twirling his whistle, and saw the instructor who'd talked me into putting my face in the water only a few weeks before. No one cheered or patted me on the back, but I felt the satisfaction of having seen what was possible, set a goal to achieve it, and met my goal. It would not have happened nearly as soon without that friend to challenge me and help me up.


I see this synergy in camp every day: children inspiring each other, collaborating, and giving one another courage to try new things. It is the job of the adults to design spaces, plan lessons, and create conditions that encourage growth, but it's the community of learners that powers that growth. The children delight in one another's successes; they urge one another ahead by asking the next question: what if a dinosaur came? What if we added an "e" to the end of that word? What if we took the swim test together? What if we jumped off the diving board?


Summer or winter, each of us is better when we're all together.




News & NotesNews
Spaces Available for Famous Scientists (STEAM) Camp (July 20-24)

Ages 6-9
9 a.m.-noon

Fibonacci, Rachel Carson, George Washington Carver, Elizabeth Blackburn and more - l
earn what these famous scientists contributed to the world of science, and experiment with some of their most important theories with WMS STEAM Coach Paula Sharpe. Campers will explore the work of these scientists through hands-on activities and find out what obstacles they overcame to become great scientists. 
Register Now Button

Today's LearnersLearner
Preschool-Aged Campers Explore the Natural World

Maria Montessori noticed that children between the ages of 3 and 6 were intensely interested not only in the names of things in the world, but about how they fit together. The Montessori cultural curriculum for 3- to 6-year-olds includes instruction in the proper/scientific names of the parts of plants, birds, animals and the children demonstrate an amazing capacity to learn and remember them. The instruction satisfies their natural curiosity about the other living things in the world around us, and it creates the foundation for both scientific thinking and a deep connection to the earth that we inhabit together.


Summer weather allows us to spend more time outside and explore the natural world. We also bring nature inside for lessons, games and activities using words, pictures and specimens that they can hold in their hands. In Camp Week 3, the Preschool camp group learned about vertebrates and invertebrates. They talked about what a backbone was, and identified their own backbones. They observed their pet hermit crab as it walked around the rug. Did it have a backbone? No, but they listed other characteristics that it did have.


Next they examined several specimens of sea creatures: a horseshoe crab, a sea sponge, a hermit crab and a starfish. They sorted a stack of photos of animals and sea creatures, deciding whether they were vertebrates or invertebrates. At the end of the lesson, they ate crab cakes for snack.


Summer is a time for fun, but Montessorians know that learning is fun - and we don't need to "dumb anything down" for children. They are quite capable of mastering complex material, and they love to share what they discover.   

Tomorrow's LeadersLeaders
Sara Coughlin
Alumni Spotlight: Sara Coughlin, Class of 2005

Sara Coughlin attended Wilmington Montessori School from 1995 to 2005. After graduating, she attended Wilmington Friends School, followed by Hampshire College where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Writing and American Studies this spring.

Sara said that her experience at WMS strongly influenced her decision to attend Hampshire College, given their similar academic structure and shared emphasis on learning, as opposed to "grade-chasing."

Sara has always enjoyed giving back to her community and learning through hands-on work. Along with being a full-time student, she has volunteered at Shining Stars Adapted Dance Camp and held internships at Hampshire College, BreakThru Radio and Refinery29. Now that she has completed her degree, Sara has been hired as a production assistant for Refinery29, an independent fashion and lifestyle website for women.

"I was praised for my time-management skills during my internships last summer, for which I believe I have WMS to thank," Sara said. "It was during elementary school that I learned how to get my work done in a timely fashion without an adult looking over my shoulder and checking in at all times."


What stands out to her most of her time at WMS are the woods walks and stream watch days with Debby Morrison and Thelma Dooley, the winter and spring concerts under the direction of Kelly Rhodunda, and novel study in room 10 with Melissa Sugzdinis and Zo� Coleman. 


"One consistency across these memories is the impact my lovely teachers left with me," Sara said. "They guided me rather than dictated where I should go, and facilitated my education in a way that made me feel like it was totally my own."


Camp counselors Daniel Potter & Evan Juers as campers in 2002.
WMS Grads Become Camp Montessori's Next Leaders
by Cass Winner, Director of Extended Day Programs


At WMS, we love to keep in touch with our alumni, checking in to see what they are up to as they move farther and farther into the world. This summer, we don't even have to leave campus to do that, as we have 33 former students working in summer camp. Sixteen of these are graduates, and all are terrific staff members. We love having them be part of our community on a daily basis, and it is one of the ways in which we ensure that Camp Montessori retains and exemplifies the core values of Wilmington Montessori. This is really the reason that we started our Counselor-In-Training Program: to give teenage campers a way to step up, learn a new role and continue to be involved in the camp that they had loved as children.

With Mark Bomgardner out on medical leave, we considered canceling our very popular archery camps. Instead, WMS graduate Daniel Potter stepped up to lead both of them. Last week's Archery I camp was a resounding success, and in it he demonstrated all of the qualities we would expect to see in a Montessori graduate: organization, flexibility, collaborative leadership, ability to plan a long-term project and then adapt it to the students who participate, excellent communications skills, and a sense of joy in his own learning and that of others.


Lucy Benson has been an indispensable leader in the early elementary camp groups for six years, and David Lamiet has been guiding our toddler campers with his calm, friendly and patient demeanor since he was 14 years old. These are only a few of the young people who have made the transition from WMS student/camper to staff member, and who make our camp the special place that it is.

The Wednesday Weekly shares WMS news and events that are relevant to the families in our community.  

Please send submissions to [email protected] by 4:30 p.m. on the Friday prior to the issue in which you wish to include your information. Content may be edited for length  and style and may be held for a future issue due to space constraints.  

For more information, contact Noel Dietrich, Director of Communications.

Copyright � 2015. All Rights Reserved.