There are two weeks of Chalice Camp Curiiculum: Chalice Camp I: History and Identity and Chalice Camp II: Identity and Justice. Learn more about each of them below.
Chalice Camp I: History and Identity
Our curriculum moves through the four theological statements written to the left. Our goal in creating Chalice Camp I is to highlight kernels of our religious heritage and theological turning points in our history that make us who we are today. We are able to bring alive our history in a way that's fun and helps children know our unique religious perspective. We take into consideration children's different learning styles, temperaments and developmental needs. Campers explore and experience UU identity, history, and values through energetic worship, games, drama, art, and community building. Click here for an overview of Chalice Camp I.
Chalice Camp II: Identity and Justice
Chalice Camp II uses the same educational approach, but the content is different. In this week of camp, campers explore the root causes of systemic racism in the US and develop a religiously grounded approach to countering racism and building just community. This curriculum is more challenging and can make some children and some parents feel uncomfortable. Part of white privilege is not learning about this history. Children do lose some innocence when they come to know the history of our country, which laid down the racism we live with today. Children of color often learn this history from their families as a way to provide them with resilience. There is power in these truths. As a religious movement building the beloved community, becoming anti-racist, anti-oppressive and multicultural, we believe all our children need to understand where racism comes from and why it is so important that we all work against it. In so doing, we can become the change we want to see in the world. Furthermore, campers will come to understand that racism is a human created structure, which humans have the power to dismantle. And, in fact, there have been people working against the creation of racist societies all along. Click here for an overview of Chalice Camp II.
The Fine Print: For Folks Considering Directing a Chalice Camp
Chalice Camp is designed for kids entering 1st through entering 6th grades. We find the camp works well with three or four circle groups, each led by a counselor. The groups are by age...oldest, middle, and youngest, ranging in size from 4 – 12 kids. Much of the curricular content, therefore, happens in groups of a similar age.
High school and college age youth work as camp counselors, and jr. high students are counselors in training. It is an important leadership development opportunity.
We alternate Chalice Camp I and II every other year. The experience of the curriculum is significantly different for a 1st, 3rd, and 5th grader.
The model is for the camp to be financially self-sustaining includng a stipend for the director or directors. This prevents burn-out and allows the camp to continue over many years, creating a tradition that children and youth anticipate year after year. In 2009, we will be running our 7th Chalice Camp. We charge more than the city run day camps, slightly less than the other non-subsidized day camps, and a lot less than the Jewish day camps. We felt good about our spot in the range. You’ll have to research the situation in your area. In some cases, congregations or districts may choose to subsidize the camp. We feel that religious education is as important as soccer camp or horse camp, and by charging market rate, we convey that to the parents. We also understand the tension when some of the campers’ families are already tithing to the church or cannot afford camp. We did provide scholarships as necessary.