Those attending the Art and Poetry Champions camp at Ark City Arts this year will step into the past and be transported to a time of royalty, tall tales, brave knights, and fantastic creatures.
Like the knights of old, campers will learn about falconry and how these birds were used to hunt. The Royal Gauntlet Society will bring live falcons and owls for a visit and an opportunity to meet these birds and their handlers.
The professionals of Royal Gauntlet have been instrumental in helping to preserve the delicate balance in nature. For more than 30 years, its members have been dedicated to returning sick or injured wild animals to their homes in the wild.
Led by licensed master falconer and animal rehabilitator Bob Aanonson, Royal Gauntlet has provided care and rehabilitation services to sick or injured wildlife as prescribed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Currently, Royal Gauntlet has more than 30 volunteers who donate their time, talents and finances to ensure as many animals are released back into the wild as possible.
Art and Poetry Champions is the brainchild of mother-and-daughter duo Ashley Friend and Judi Groves. Friend is a writer, illustrator, and teaching artist who is the co-creator of the Art and Poetry program.
The 2016 Art and Poetry Champions summer camp will celebrate Shakespeare’s work with tongue-twisters, riddles and a reader’s theater.
Students will be challenged to construct models of cathedrals and catapults, to capture unicorns and dragons through hands-on drawing methods, and to find inspiration for their own stories in fables and fairy tales.
Groves, Friend’s mother and co-creator of the camp, said she is ecstatic about the summer’s camp.
“Students attending Ark City Arts’ Art and Poetry Champions camp will learn that while these subjects seem to not have a relationship, in reality they are best friends.”
This is the camp’s third year to receive the Kansas Creative Arts Industry Commission grant, according to arts director Kammy Downs, as well as matching grants from the local Robert Warrender Foundation and Legacy foundations.
Collaborating with Ark City Arts for another year of elaborately costumed book talks is the Arkansas City Public Library.
This year, the camp has expanded in several ways. New collaborators include Martin Shaffer, of Cowley College’s science department; the Winfield Arts and Humanities Council; Mike Munson, of Munson Insurance; and Oklahoma-based Royal Gauntlet.
In addition, the camp is adding four paid internship positions filled by college students. It will be a two-week camp running from 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays from June 13 to June 24, with a showcase performance and art show on June 24 at Ark City Arts, 112 S. Summit St.
Students will spend two of their days at Cowley College with Shaffer, participating in fun science projects, and learning about the physics of flight and engineering mysteries of cathedrals.
Shaffer is an Arkansas City resident and professor at Cowley College, where he currently teaches engineering, physics, general physics and physical science.
Shaffer taught high school physics and chemistry for 15 years before coming to Cowley College to head up its physics programs in 2011.
During the last 10 years, during his summer teaching breaks, he has spent a lot of time working at Fermi National Labs in Chicago.
He is a Quarknet fellow who specializes in cosmic ray detection, spending his last several summers doing high energy and cosmic ray workshops in China and Japan, and across the United States.
Art and Poetry Camp is free to students aged 10 to 13 years old who pre-enroll. For information or to enroll, call Ark City Arts at 442-5895.
This information was provided by Ark City Area Arts Council Arts Director Kammy Kennelley-Downs.