For younger students, the Great Books Summer Program is often a time of intellectual awakening and fascination, as their own personal powers of critical thinking and perception blossom. Through stimulating questions and expertly led discussions, young minds learn how to make the connections between the themes of great literature and their own lives. We help our students gain confidence and find their own voice to share their ideas. In addition to practicing and developing their language skills, self-expression and reasoning, students develop their ability to listen carefully and consider the views of others. The end result is a more thoughtful young person who is better able to articulate opinions based on textual references and with the confidence to be heard.
Students in the Intermediate Program will read such texts as Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Ovid's Metamorphoses, LeGuin's The Ones Who Walk Away, Dante's Inferno, Jorge Luis Borges' The Aleph, Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron and more. All reading materials are provided to students upon arrival at camp. No advance reading is required; we prefer that students do the reading together on campus. While we are a reading and literature program, we take care to choose selections and excerpts that can be digested during the reading period in the day to provide rich discussion among our students.
Students who take part in multi-week programs get to experience two or three times the academics and fun at Great Books. Each week has a unique, thematic curriculum to engage and challenge the students to begin answering enduing philosophical questions like, "What is the good life? What do I owe my neighbors? What must we do in the face of injustice?" In addition to the enhanced educational and social opportunities afforded by a longer program, students in multi-week programs take part in off-campus excursions on the weekend. Some past excursions have included The Winchester Mystery House, The Exploratorium and Fisherman's Wharf, MASS MoCA and a performance by Shakespeare and Company.
At Great Books, we are committed to providing a fun and engaging environment. There is plenty of opportunity each day for students to interact with each other outside their classes where they can play field games, take a supervised trip to explore the campus and nearby shops, swim in the pool or go fountain hopping. We understand that even the most intellectually curious child needs time to play and make friends so we make certain that there is time each evening for social events. Some activities that our students take part in are theater games, pod trivia night, a dance and the final day art elective performances. While some students come with a friend, the vast majority come alone so we make sure to help them make connections with other students that lead to great camp friendships.
Students in the Intermediate Program are housed by age and gender within our dormitories. They are assigned to pods which are comprised of 6-8 students along with one college-aged Program Assistant. These counselors live on the hall with the students and are involved in every aspect of the student's day. They escort them to classes, meals and activities. They facilitate the reading and initial comprehension of the texts for lecture, and they provide an adult presence to help the students transition to their time on campus.
Seminar One: Homer's The Odyssey
Seminar Two: William Carlos Williams poems
Free Time (town trip, field games, crafts, swimming, etc.)
Literature Elective (i.e. Utopia, Plato, Short stories, etc.)
Applied Arts Elective (Creative Writing, Theater, Music, Visual Art)
Ice Cream Social on the quad