We are located in Shelburne, Vermont.
We welcome ALL children over the age of 7, as long as they WANT to be here. This is a camp that needs a commitment on the part of the child for the week to be fully enjoyed. Sometimes one child in a family belongs here, while another child is better suited to a farm camp or a sports camp or a computer camp. This is why we require the entrance essay. We have many children who wait eagerly all year for this week of magic when they can be fully themselves.
We foster the wild Magic that happens when a child tunes into details of the natural world, into people, plants, animals, even the weather. We encourage magicians to be aware of beauty, to become fascinated by the patterns, symbols and the wonders of nature.
We are constantly exploring the esoteric fringes of science and sorcery – where quantum mechanics and biochemistry meld with the spirit world. We rely on ancient wisdom from cultures around the globe. Every day we journey to meet our power animals, and teachers. We work with healing plants to make potions, with crystals to focus energy, and with intuition to communicate to animals, to people, to plants, and to understand ourselves.
And what we can’t do for real, we depend on the best magic of all – imagination! Spellcasting, crawling through the time-travel tunnel, potions that turn a stone into a dragon’s egg – all these are treated with just as much delight and respect.
There is a wonderful rhythmic flow to the day that expands and contracts the energy, going from wild free outdoor play to focused internal meditation, from theater to sports, from hand-crafts to academic study. We have had over a thousand children come through camps over the years and are able to support children who need encouragement to find a still place or spark a child who needs to discover the courage to step beyond their familiar comfort zone. Our goal is to give emotional tools so children can be brave and self-regulated, focused and wildly playful.
We begin each week with sorting into our Treewild houses: Graymalin magicians are charismatic, Seacrest – kind to animals, Wayfarin – brave and Rhinebelt – studious. Each house attracts a certain kind of person, either because it is their strength, or because that child needs a little more of that quality to be strong. The houses have animal crests on banners that are in the quidditch field.
Nearly every week has an original play that Alison (a children’s book author) has written. The students of Treewild Academy face real magical challenges, meet magical creatures, and portal through to other lands in these plays. Sometimes, the play turns into a musical, which is even more fun. We have play practice every afternoon, and a performance for parents on Friday afternoon. Parents arrive at 3:30 for a 4pm show.
We find that all the children, even theatrically shy children, are able to master their lines in a remarkably short time. If you know that you child will thrive with fewer lines, please let us know when you register. We give out the scripts in advance, and many children arrive with their lines memorized, or at least practiced, and they receive substantial house points for this effort!
We create new magical tools for every camp, depending on the theme. This could be tiny hand-blown Egyptian glass bottles filled with essential oils on raw wool roving, or authentic Japanese calligraphy brushes, a specially made deck of divination cards, or healing crystals. We go over the top with the details and quality of our tools, because that’s where we discover true magic.
Although each week differs, for every session, we make new pendulums for each magician so they can start to discern energy and choose and clear their wands.
Also, all magicians of course, either get a new wand, or return with the wand they had before. Plastic wands, no matter how cool they are, do not have the magical properties of trees, so they are not appropriate for our magical work.
Each morning we give house points for a variety of reasons. For example, magicians are able to offer kindness points to someone who has done something thoughtful. Early in the week, we give points for a child who can remember everyone’s name.
But the greatest house points are eared by (optional) homework, where magicians work at home (sometimes for months in advance) on an essay or a diorama, a potion, or a spell, or a song… something that is in some way magical or related to the theme of the camp – the universe is the limit!
They are awarded one point per word, and ten points for words in a foreign language or script. Illustrations, potions, etc are awarded points by degree of time involved, and detail shown. We save these marvelous works of art in our Grimoire!
EVERY WEEK has spellcasting. The Spellcasting Tournament on Friday involves a short improvised skit created by small teams of magicians where they create a story and each person casts 3 spells. We have a long list of Treewild spells that we add to each year as magicians invent more cool spells to use. The teams get to practice every day, and the tournament on Friday is a highpoint of the week.
Absolutely. Every day. Rain or shine. The magicians wear dragon-skinned pinnies and ride on broomsticks that Joplin has crafted and carved. We play at the end of the day, and parents are welcome to come watch the game.
When it is absolutely too brazenly hot, we get parents to drive us to the Shelburne beach, and play water-quidditch, which really is just splashing around in the water, but it feels so good that nobody minds not flying on broomsticks. Our camp pass to the beach covers all parents, so you can come dip in the water when you pick up your soggy magician.
Enchantment Camps provides snacks that are a blend between healthy and delicious fun. We celebrate birthdays extravagantly. We are sensitive to food needs, and always provide alternatives. However, this is a lot of effort, so if your child is food-finicky, and you list an allergy, please let us know if you’ll be providing your own snack.
We began Enchantment Camps the summer the last Harry Potter book came out, and we ran such a crazy fan camp that NPR featured us on their national show! But after that summer, we developed our own magical world, Treewild Academy of Wizardry, which has some similarities (sorting hat, quidditch) but is quite unique and definitely not a camp only for children who love those books.
We have robes hand-sewn by a local seamstress out of high quality crepe satin. They have a filigree hook clasp, and an embroidered dragon’s crest patch. We charge less for them than our actual cost, because we believe that the joy they bring is worth the expense!
Joplin harvests wood from the trees that grow around Treewild, with permission from the trees, of course. He carves each wand with a personality, fits the shaft into the handle, and polishes them. During camps, we connect with the trees so that the magicians are able to receive that specific energy while using their wand. For example, willow energy would be flexible, and able to connect with emotions, while oak energy is strong and grounded.
Because we offer such an immersive experience, our camps are longer than most in the area, running from 9am to 4pm. We are happy to offer before or after care (from 8am, until 5pm) for $10 each hour. You are welcome to pay on the day, or in advance.
Please do not pick up early, or drop off late.
We do ask that you treat this week as exclusively for Enchantment Camps. Schedule dental appointments, family gatherings, sports events for the rest of the summer, not this week. When a magician needs to leave camp in the middle of the day, it interrupts the spell that we have cast for everyone. Also, the children love it when they can continue the magic at home, doing creative homework, sharing their new skills.
Yes, although your spot will not be guaranteed in the camp until we have received all the registration information (online form) and payment in full. If you are receiving a scholarship, you confirm your spot with a $100 deposit.
This year, Enchantment Camps has increased our prices so that we are in line with other camps in the area. But we are well aware that some families are not able to afford a high-end summer camp. We are offering scholarships so that families who have a little extra can donate to Treewild, a 501-c3 non-profit, and other families can receive a gift allow their children to come without financial stress.
Camp fees are non-refundable. However, the fees may be transferred to a different camp if an opening occurs, or to a future year, or a school-year class if a written (e-mail) request is received 30 days before the start of class. If you let us know fewer than 30 days in advance, there will be a $75 administrative cost. Cancellations within 48 hours are non-refundable. We often turn children away, but last minute cancellations prevent us from filling the spot. Should Enchantment Camps need to cancel a camp or class for any reason, we will provide a full refund.