The Summer Program officially began with the 11 Senior Climbers returning from their week-long leadership experience which included hiking and camping near the Appalachian Trail. The seniors brought back memories they will cherish forever, as well as a new focus to support the character-building direction for returning Climbers and a commitment to welcome and guide New Climbers into the community of Jacob’s Ladder.
The first week has expanded and enriched the minds of our 63 Climbers through such classes as: “Harry Potter and the Ladder of Jacob”, a study in philosophy; “The Garden of Your Mind”, the practice of mindfulness; “Creativity Corner”, creations in arts, crafts, and graphics; “Why Stop Writing? To be continued….”, creative writing in prose and poetry; “English Legos: the Building Blocks of Writing”, strengthening of grammar and essay writing skills ; “Storytellers, meet your new best friend: the Verb”, the art of storytelling written in the small space of a post card; “Get Your Game On”, fun while solving mind bending puzzles as a team and alone; “Gardening with the Prince George Master Gardeners”, learning the art and science of plants and gardening.
Every summer since 1991 the Jacob’s Ladder program has required Climbers to take swim lessons. Swimming is regarded as a necessary life skill. We are fortunate this year to use a local Petersburg swim club’s pool and their instructors for our lessons. Groups of Climbers rotate through a week of lessons, each with plenty of free-swim to practice the skills they have learned. In addition, the “1:00 to 3:00 Time” offers several recreation options for the Climbers such as board games, origami, yoga, basket ball/gym time and “on-dorm” time.
Gym-time is important. Each afternoon the Climbers participate in exercises and large group play. We are delighted to have the addition of an experienced physical education teacher to our summer staff. After swim lessons, she can be found preparing her gymnasium classroom for the expectant Climbers waiting to see what new exercise and game she has set up for them to play.
Auditions were held earlier this first week for parts in the Jacob’s Ladder production of the “Lion King”. This is to be a fantastical evening complete with impressive costuming. All are invited to lend a hearty cheer and energetic applause to the dancing and singing of our 35 talented and budding thespians.
Sparklers, firework pop-sicles, and glow bracelets were brought out to the patio and the boom box blasted with Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” to celebrate 4th of July, JL-Climber style. Not a foot was still as voices were raised and air guitars strummed with the good old-fashioned enjoyment of friends gathering together.