Like gods and goddesses

Students learn about ancient Greece, Olympics at camp

By Natasha Courter

Community News Editor

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RICHFORD — To gear up for the Summer Olympics in Brazil this August, students from Berkshire Elementary School and Richford Junior Senior High School traveled back in time, learning about the history of the games and Ancient Greece for this summer’s Humanities Camp program.

The Vermont Humanities Council chose Richford Junior Senior High School as well as eleven other schools in the state to host the week-long summer camp, which focuses on reading, discussion and fun activities that bring learning to life.

With the theme “Ancient Greece and the Olympiad,” campers aged 11 – 14 learned about the culture, customs and cuisine of Greece, ancient Greek myths and Olympic sports that can be traced back the first games in 776 BC.

Throughout the week, the campers read sections of Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods and The Lightning Thief.

On Tuesday, after sampling homemade pita chips, the campers went out back to the tennis courts to burn off some energy playing Medusa tag.

In this form of tag, one camper is chosen to play Medusa who has the power to stop other campers in their tracks with the touch of a hand. In Greek mythology, anyone who looked at the face of Medusa would turn into stone.

Another camper is chosen to play Athena, the goddess of wisdom, courage and heroic endeavors. Any frozen camper that is tagged by Athena is once again free.

The game is an active, creative way to reinforce lessons about goddesses, their origin and their relationships to other gods and goddesses from earlier in the week.

After Medusa freeze tag, campers made their way to the open fields at the back of the school to learn field sports including javelin, discus and shot put. Then the kids went on to participate in relay races and try and jump over hurtles.

At the end of the week, the campers will choose a god or goddess and create a product that is well suited to the divine entity. Then the campers will present what they have learned about the god or goddess and their product to an audience.

In celebration, the campers will take a trip to Johnston State College to swim in an Olympic sized pool.