Summer Camps


We’re looking forward to summer!

The pandemic has turned many things upside down, and here at Penland we have been very Covid-cautious. With safety at the forefront, we have planned a range of options for kids and teens next summer so you can choose your location for getting creative at camp, whatever your comfort level with being out in public.

For those who are ready to join us on campus, we have nine in-person camps half and full-day day art-based camps for ages 3 to 17 in a variety of engaging subjects, led by local teaching artists. To foster safety, we’ll have just one camp in the space each week and class sizes will be limited; camps will be primarily held outdoors; and we’ve instituted social distancing and cleaning protocols. The list of camps is below.

We also have Out of the Box! kits in a range of media that will be ready to ship as early as February 15th, so your family can plan to have a week of “camp” at home on your schedule. Details are here.


A Summer Journal​
With Meg Peterson

June 14–18, 9:00 a.m.–noon
Ages: 9–12
Tuition and materials: $135

One of the most nourishing things we can do for ourselves is to pause long enough to notice the natural world around us, and its reverberations inside of us. In this camp, we’ll make a modified Coptic stitch journal—a 140-180 page book that lays flat—with paste paint covers and pockets to contain interactions between the inner and outer worlds. We’ll visit the surrounding woods for inspiration and observation.

Meg works as Penland’s Teaching Artist, making books of all kinds with Mitchell County school students. She has been teaching book arts and journal-keeping to humans of all ages for the last 25 years.


Appalachian Folk Arts​
With Sam Maren

June 21–25, 1:30–4:30 p.m.
Ages: 6–9
Tuition and materials: $135

Let your imagination be captured by stories about Jack and his brothers, Tailypo, Uncle Remus, and other tales from long ago. We’ll also make traditional wooden toys, a stump fiddle, and a mouth bow, and use these instruments to explore mountain folk songs.

Sam is a folk musician and woodworker. He has worked with To River Arts in the Enhanced Arts for Preschool program, as a resident artist in Mitchell County schools, and with Penland’s children’s programs for many years.


Playful Puppets​
With Selma Neel

June 28–July 2, 9:00 a.m.–noon
Ages: 6–8
Tuition and materials: $140

This camp will combine storytelling and art as we make delightful puppets! We’ll learn about different types of puppets and practice oral storytelling and story acting. Using a variety of methods for making simple puppets, each child will create their own characters and design a diorama backdrop for their story. Let’s play together!

Selma is a licensed elementary teacher at Odyssey Community School in Asheville where she designed an integral arts unit incorporating history, culture, personal exploration, and art.


Seeing into Nature: Creating Inspired Drawing, Writing, and Photography​
With Sue Wasserman

July 12-16, 9:00 a.m.–noon
Ages: 9–12
Tuition and materials: $140

Nature is a magical backdrop for the imagination. How often, though, do we miss the magic, looking but not necessarily seeing? We’ll spend our time wandering in the woods, learning to look at flowers, mushrooms, downed branches, rippling water, and more in new, inspired ways. Then we’ll use that vision to create imaginative photographs, illustrations, and writing. We’ll set the muse free and follow where it leads! Note: Campers must bring their own camera or phone with camera for the photography portion of this camp.

Sue is a freelance writer and nature photographer who has written for publications such as the New York Times and Southern Living and was a writer-in-residence in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


Ocean Camp​
With Christine Henry

July 19–23, 9:00 a.m.–noon
Ages: 3–6
Tuition and materials: $130

Set off on a voyage to explore the wonders of the ocean. We’ll learn about the creatures who live in and around the sea through making puppets, 3-D painted ocean creatures, underwater dioramas, and tie-dyed mermaid tails and pirate scarves. There will also be music and play, and we’ll even have a treasure hunt!

Christine is a glass artist and teacher at Spruce Pine Montessori School. She has taught for Kids Camp and the Toe River Arts Enhanced Arts in the Preschools program for many years.


Let’s Get Cookin’​
With Alena Applerose

July 26–30, 1:30–4:30 p.m.
Ages: 9–12
Tuition and materials: $135

This camp will introduce you to basic cooking techniques. We’ll learn about and prepare a variety of ingredients including produce, grains, meat, dairy, spices, and sweeteners. We’ll prepare snacks, meals, and dessert. You’ll take home a handmade biscuit/cookie cutter and a set of decorated serving utensils.

Alena has shared her lifelong love of food and art with kids for over two decades. She is Penland’s baker and a teaching artist in the Subs with SuitCASEs and Kids Camp programs.



Design, Build, Admire​
With Wyatt Severs

July 5–9, 9:00 a.m.–noon (half-day)
Ages: 13–17
Tuition and materials: $225

Join us for a week of designing and building. We’ll begin by discussing the characteristics of wood—from seed to lumber. Students will create sketches and scale drawings of their own piece of furniture and learn how to properly and safely use basic hand tools. As they build their furniture, we’ll cover techniques of joinery for simple to complex structures paired with the surface embellishments of painting and upholstery to finish our pieces with style and comfort!

Wyatt is a furniture maker and sculptor. He has taught woodworking to young people through Anderson Ranch, Arrowmont, Campbell Folk School, Kentucky VSA, Murray Art Guild, Sprocket, and Penland Kids Camp.


Pit Fire​
With Anne Beyer

July 5–9, 1:30–4:30 p.m. (half-day)
Ages: 13–17
Tuition and materials: $155

Campers will experience every part of the ceramic process in this exciting pit fire workshop. We’ll experiment with different materials and create unique pieces through various handbuilding techniques. Campers will learn about traditional firing methods by preparing a pit that we’ll use for finishing our work. The class will conclude with a reveal of our ceramics pieces and we’ll see what the fire has in store for us!

Anne is an adjunct instructor at the Paducah School of Art and Design and specializes in wood firing. She has taught Kids Camp at Campbell Folk School and Penland.


The Art of Books​
With Ani Volkan

July 12–16, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (full-day)
Ages: 13–15
Tuition and materials: $250

Printmaking exploded as an art form during the 15th century in Europe and brought art to the masses through books, posters, and more. Learn to create your own reproducible art through relief printmaking techniques such as multi-color single-block registration and shaped plates. Learn a range of book techniques from bookbinding stitches to no-staple zines to pop-ups. Make a storybook, journal, or graphic novel. What will you create?

Ani has taught with after school arts programs, museums, universities, art centers, nonprofits, and Penland Kids Camps. Her specialty is alternative lithography and photo-etching techniques.

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