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ABOUT US

Our Founders 

Adina and Shannon met at the start of this game-altering shutdown as they worked together to pivot a successful and long-running in-person camp to an online spring break "camp" serving kids and families left stranded and isolated at home. What at first seemed like a quick stop-gap became an extraordinary vision. As they worked together with this wonderful community, it became apparent that something magical was happening...kids were finding joy and connection in new and exciting ways! Since then, they have partnered with credentialed teachers and experienced educators to form a bright new spot here on the internet. They bring their 25+ years of teaching experience, their enthusiastic support of kid-centered, project-based learning, and their shared belief in the healing powers of nature and imagination.

The Best Staff Ever!

Innovative and dynamic educators from around the country came together to make Camp Sassafras the unique community we envisioned. While each person brings their own special talents and passions to the team, we all share the goal of truly seeing and connecting with every camper, pushing the boundaries of "online learning" and finding new ways to engage with each other and the world around us. Our staff believes that every kid has something to share and we all become better learners, kinder neighbors, and more creative thinkers when we take time to listen and celebrate one another. The world can feel pretty upside-down these days...we're happy to have a team dedicated to bringing energy, fun, and connection to our online adventures. We can't wait to meet all of YOU!

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How can a zoom meeting do any of this? 

We believe that our young people (and young-at-heart-people) are still full of promise and joy! Sure, the world is a little updised-down right now, but we've been amazed at the joy every zoom class has brought into our lives. When we let the kids lead us, we find such surprising paths toward discovery and connection. That's why we will tell you that the "content" of our classes is always secondary to the "connections" we are making. A camper might make a lovely art project or learn about a chemical process, but what we hope they will remember for years to come is the feeling they got when they were able to tell everyone about their cat Muffins! Humans need connection to thrive. We need to feel heard, seen, known...and right now, this technology is allowing that to happen. We are so grateful to be with you on our collective journey down these difficult roads. Keep going on!

Sassafras is a very unique and unusual tree, just like our camp. We debated for a long time about choosing a name for our new online camp. Read more below about some of the reasons why we chose Camp Sassafras. (Of course, the main reason is probably that it's just so much fun to say!)

 

From root to leaf, it has so much to offer! You may be familiar with the distinctive aroma of Sassafras, but you might not know about some of its other wonders. The roots may be dried and made into tea and root extracts were used by Native Americans and early colonists for medicine. The twigs and leaves are edible and often used to add spice and flavor to soups and other dishes. The berries, leaves, twigs, and bark provide food for many animals. We find it so inspiring to think of the many useful aspects of this tree and to strive to make our programs as helpful to our community of kids and families!

 

Where Sassafras really shines though is in its mysterious beauty. The bark of the tree looks rough and dark brown on the outside, but just under the surface there are surprising bright reds and oranges. It's a lot like the imaginations of our young artists and explorers, there is so much waiting to be uncovered! Unlike most trees though, Sassafras leaves show a remarkable individuality that perfectly matches our belief that EVERYONE has something special to offer and we all benefit when we strive to recognize and celebrate each other's strengths. The ovate leaves on this tree can come in several different shapes and sizes and it is a mystery how they come to be growing together on the same tree. You can find one-lobed, two-lobed, three, four, even five-lobed leaves all growing on the same tree, each adding their unique beauty to the whole. It's a fascinating collection that inspires our own work to deepen our connections to diverse people of all shapes, colors, and creeds.

If you live in the part of our country where Sassafras grows, we hope you'll take a walk in the woods and experience all that these amazing trees have to offer. If you haven't got a Sassafras tree nearby, take a walk anyway, and see what kinds of trees in your neighborhood might inspire your next creative endeavor! We hope the great outdoors will bring you a sense of peace and purpose...and when you're ready to come back inside, we hope you'll join us for an online Camp Sassafras adventure! See you soon in the zoom room!

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The Sassafras Tree: Our Inspiration!

Fun for all ages!

We've got a place to welcome you! 
Camp Sassafras is for everyone. Whether you're looking for inspiring ideas to share with your pre-school child or creative engagement that allows your older kids to have fun with friends, we've got a class for you. We also throw the most amazing online parties on the interwebs! Birthdays for years 1-120, teambuilding events, anniversaries...we customize your perfect online party!
What is Little Sprouts? 

Camp Sassafras is committed to bringing the right online experience to each camper. That's why we created Little Sprouts! These fun and creative classes are designed to give our youngest kiddos an amazing and personal experience that they can share with their grownups. Each week, our team will bring a new and wonderful play-based activity to the group, facilitating interesting and joyful connections between adults, children, and the whole class community. Our Little Sprouts educator, Shelly Smith, is a credentialed Special Education teacher and gets lots of practice exploring with her own 3 and 6 year old daughters! Her warm smile and generous spirit shine through every engaging class moment. We hope you and your little ones can join her online soon!

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