Harry Potter Camp at Vancouver Unitarian campus was a huge success this summer. How do I know? Mainly because the kids were talking about “next year at Hogwarts” at the end of day one and were still talking about it at the end of the week. They also arrived each day with smiles and excitement bubbling up and together built a real sense of community. They worked through conflict and resolution as well as through games, classes, and creativity.
We had 20 attendees who came from the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, North Shore Unitarian, and others who were drawn to the “Hogwarts” page on the website. New friendships were formed, and old friendships strengthened.
Theatre in Action
We approached the camp with the intent to create an immersive theatrical experience for the kids from which they could explore real, pertinent, issues and develop their own power, abilities, and agency. The kids reveled in the opportunity to let their imagination of the Hogwarts world come to life, being sorted into Houses, the decoration of the Great Hall, and the re-naming of rooms—Dormitory of Democracy, Room of Retirement, Chamber of Choice. They were initiated into a chapter of Dumbledore’s Army and, through dotmocracy, chose to focus on fighting the Horcrux of Waste. The theme of how to approach zero waste will be carried through our Sunday activities this fall.
Shape of the Week
Classes were held throughout the week, taught by both our local UCV Professors and local Guests:
Herbology—with Professor Kiersten, exploring the UCV gardens and grounds for “magical” medicinal plants and creating a healing salve from plantain and calendula with olive oil and beeswax.
Potions—with Professor Jannika, creating a Cold-Away Potion from echinacea and an Elixir of Euphoria from Orange Blossom Essential Oil.
Charms—with Professor Douglas, exploring acting skills through Professor Douglas’ own charms: Interiofocus (stilling the mind and focusing inward), Accion (finding personal power in action), and Connectisaurus (connecting with another person and working together).
Quidditch—with guest Quidditch players and Kidditch instructors from the Vancouver Vipers Quidditch Team.
Defense Against the Dark Arts—with guest artist and actress Professor Bailey, exploring how to face our fears through humour using poetry and spoken word.
Two Guest theatre artists turned the ground floor of Hewett Centre into Diagon Alley and made appearances as familiar ghosts Moaning Myrtle and Nearly Headless Nick. Together they delved into the complexity of what to do when public art lifts up one culture and ignores oppressions.
Patronus Workshop—with Professor McGonagall, exploring core aspects of their personality and identifying a strength of their own that brings something positive into the world.
The week ended with a Feast and Sharing with family and friends of all that they had been doing and learning—including spells, skits, games, and a haunted house of their own creation.