Camp Blog


With our 2-Week Showcase around the corner, Appel Farm was a very busy place to be today. In the Art Barn, some campers were writing cards and artist statements, while others finished pieces that are to be displayed during the 2-Week Art Show. Ceramic pieces were being painted, comics being inked, and self-portraits being perfected. The 2-Week Theatre production of Things Fall, could be found doing some last minute rehearsing or in the costume shop being fitted for their character’s wardrobes.


I love portraits. Always have. The old masters could capture a moment in the soul of a person. For me this was magic.
Over the past twenty-four years I have enjoyed the privilege of taking portraits of the campers and staff at Appel Farm. I use the word “privilege” advisedly. It takes a great deal of trust to look into the glass eye of a camera and be yourself. I am honored so many have done this. Then my job is simply to press the release.
“Faces of Appel Farm” are portraits that I take over the course of the summer. Enjoy.
-Sarvananda Bluestone


It’s a very special day here at Appel Farm, so much so that it only happens twice a year. Our campers and staff both look forward to this day, and it shows in majors and minors. Of course paintings were being made, and songs were being sung, plays were rehearsing and sets being painted, but you could tell by every ones demeanor … they couldn’t wait for beach day!


 It was a merry Monday here at Appel Farm and our campers were enjoying a beautiful day! Our recording arts campers took a chance at DJ’ing and are preparing to DJ our camp dance on Friday night! Ceramics was throwing and shaving down their pieces to perfection. All of our actors and actresses were running through scripts and memorizing lines, while our costumers were designing and brainstorming. Weaving was getting line ready to go in the loom, wrapping it around a bench to prevent tangling.


It’s Super Sunday here at camp, and as we are all Super Heroes, we all woke up on time for breakfast! And then the first thing on today’s schedule were workshops! We had all sorts of incredible workshops this Sunday, improve groups meeting, a lesson on fencing from some pretty amazing fencers, how to help your singing, the most energetic bunch of water aerobics, open discussions on issues, face painting, poetry sessions, and even learning how to juggle!


It was quite the busy Saturday at Appel Farm today! Painters were practicing pointillism and made even more self-portraits. Campers in ceramics were helping each other trim their pots and cups to avoid having excess clay. Our guitar students were learning new chords, our dancers new moves and choreography. In one of our improve classes they played a game called “Help Desk”, where every person has to go around and ask the same question but embody a completely new character than has been done before, and it was hilarious to watch and even participate in!


It’s department trip day here at Appel Farm! All of our campers were out and about learning, and having new experiences! Our music department headed to Bridgeton, New Jersey and performed at the farmer’s market and brought joy to so many people passing by! Our photography department headed to Philadelphia and did a photo scavenger hunt at Penn’s landing. Sports and Swim headed to Parvin State Park and went on a huge canoeing adventure! Our 2D art’s program also went to Philadelphia, but they went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and got to take in so many incredible works.


Things are in full swing at camp 4 days in to our second session! In the Art Barn, painting and drawing classes were finishing their self-portraits. Multimedia/screen printing made printing boards, while ceramics began throwing their first pots! Comics worked on perspective of their characters, and our campers studying sculpture worked on their wire based animals. The recording arts trailer was full of campers mixing music and sounds for their first time on a computer. Our photo students got a darkroom lesson and practiced put film on to a reel!


Self Portrait Appreciation Blog Post! I assume the majority of you all have an idea of an image in your head when you hear the word #selfie of young people pulling and pushing their faces in to strange shapes for a picture of themselves to get a few laughs. But the term has much more artistic and personal meaning to it than a catchy song on the radio or a mobile phone application ridden with “hashtags” … Or as I learned them, the pound key, “#”.


Today was a very busy day at camp! Everyone is beginning to settle in to our new schedules and enjoying their classes. All of our campers, who were strangers two days ago, are now friends. A few of our Southies at lunch alerted me that they are “BFFL”s now, not just friends. (Best friends for life) 

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Appel Farm Arts Camp