Photo Caption 1: A Little Learner seated in a wheelchair makes lemonade by pressing a lever to squeeze lemon juice with the help of her older sister and teacher Jeri Hart.
Photo Caption 2: A Little Learner plays in the wading pool with her sister as their mom cools her feet. The girls wear matching flowered swim shirts and all have the biggest joyful smiles.
Photo Caption 3: A Little Learner wearing pink glasses sits cross legged between her parents in a paddle boat as they enjoy a boat ride on the lake. All wear blue life-jackets and smile, and dad is making a peace sign.
Photo Caption 4: Twin Little Learners wearing sunglasses get a lakeside fishing lesson from EHC staffer Jamey Gump. The sister holds the fishing pole and the brother looks on, waiting for his turn.
Photos by Emmalaine Berry Photography
Editor’s Note: LightHouse Little Learners Camp ran from Friday, June 10 – Sunday, June 12
By Pam Chapin, Little Learners Program Director
“Good Morning, lake!” exclaimed the happy toddler as she followed the path to the Dining Hall for breakfast at Enchanted Hills Camp (EHC). One hand explored the lakeside fence, and the other clutched the stuffed bunny that would spend the weekend at her side when our Little Learners and their families headed up Mt. Veeder in Napa to experience the magic of camp among the redwoods. As the weekend unfolded, there were so many memorable moments as families relaxed together, shared new experiences, and built lasting relationships. There was a sense of community, of belonging, and as one parent stated, it was “transformational”.
Families arrived on Friday, settled into their cabins, and gathered together for a welcome reception. As parents relaxed and chatted, toddlers and siblings made lemonade and had snacks. When a red flag warning due to the Napa winds changed our plans for gathering around the campfire, families happily gathered lakeside instead for songs and silly fun with the camp counselors. We learned about the rich history of EHC and its founder Rose Resnick, the efforts to rebuild and preserve the landscape after the 2017 fires, and the vision for expanding camp into a year-round retreat.
Saturday was brimming with activity as families explored camp, went paddle boating and fishing, and gathered around the cool wading pools where splashes and giggles could be heard. Everyone explored at their own pace and toddlers could be seen resting among dog guides. Children touched the natural textures of moss, lavender, and dried orange slices and made them into a suncatcher collage or viewed them on a lightbox. Birdfeeders were made from pine cones, sunflower butter and birdseed. Children emerged from the art room wearing golden paper crowns. Our friends from California Deafblind Services brought a tie dye activity to share, and soon there were colorful patterns on bandanas, shirts, onesies, and even socks blowing in the breeze to dry.
Families gathered for meals between activities, and at dinner children frosted cupcakes they had baked that afternoon. The day culminated in a talent show that included such festivities as singing, ukulele playing, a somersault, pompom shaking, dancing the Macarena, and a drum circle.
Heading down the hill on Sunday, listening to the rustle of the redwoods, our hearts were full. We can’t wait for next time!