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Melissa Banjak: Melissa Banjak has a bachelor's degree in English from Indiana University and a Master's in American Culture Studies from Washington University. She has been teaching for 24 years, the last 17 of which have been at North Kirkwood Middle School. She lives in Kirkwood with her husband and two children, Sam (13) and Grace (10). Â Before having kids, she enjoyed traveling to Great Britain, where she taught and took graduate classes; to Europe, where she back-packed and explored her family heritage, and to Japan, where she participated in a "homestay" program for three weeks with thirty 8th graders. Though not venturing so far from home now, she loves taking her students to explore inspirational settings for writing in Kirkwood and surrounding areas.

Barry Crook (below) serves as the Library Media Specialist at North Kirkwood Middle School.

He taught high school, college, and middle school science for 15 years before moving to the library in 2008. Barry received the St. Louis Science Center Loeb Prize for Outstanding Science Teaching in 2002 and was named the Outstanding Middle School Science teacher by his peers through the Science Teachers of Missouri. Mr. Crook has served as an expeditionary learning coordinator and field trip planner for twelve years and has accompanied students on over a hundred learning expeditions.

JULY 30- AUG 3, 2012 AGES 12 - 17 Cost of Camp $350.00 - In addition to our two professional facilitators, there will be High School facilitators as aides for the younger campers. The camp cost will cover bus transportation to field experiences, Sunday night dinner, snacks and drinks for the week. Every camp participant will receive a learning journal, a camp t-shirt, materials necessary for instructions, and an anthology of their work.

Participant Agreement I will do my best to participate in all events. I will respect the camp leaders, all the participants, and hosts of the places we visit. I realize that if I cause severe discipline problems, a meeting will be held with my parents and I may be excluded from camp activities. Cost of the camp will not be refunded. I will do the best I can to have fun!




Ideas comes from many sources and many experiences. The trick to being a writer is to recognize these sources and transform them into words. In this camp, participants will be given both the experience, and the education to transform their ideas into the written word. We invite your child to join us as we explore the art of becoming a writer.

Week Activities

Meeting Places and Times

Join us as we explore the written word... From our very first memories, our lives have been surrounded by stories. Some based in truth, and some based in pure imagination. The act of listening to a well crafted story takes one away to another place. Join us as we explore the art of writing these stories. Learn how to take your every observations and experiences, and use them as the seeds for your own creations.

Check in: 9:00-9:15 a.m. Return: 4:00 p.m. Drop off and pick up at Lions Pavilion in Kirkwood Park (except on Monday) All participants will need a sack lunch everyday unless otherwise indicated.

Experiential Learning Students will: • Write, write, and write some more. • Keep a journal of observations and experiences. • Speak with local authors. • Collaborate with other campers.

Author Visits A truly inspirational and motivating experience is to listen to an author convey how they developed their ideas. In this camp we will provide opportunities for participants to interact with local authors. Campers will benefit from their experiences, while at the same time, creating some for themselves.

• Learn new writing techniques and idea generating skills.

Sample Schedule Sunday: Pre-camp dinner in downtown Kirkwood Monday: Kirkwood Train Station, Amtrak trip to Washington MO. Tuesday: Suburban observation adventure

• Get daily feedback from a skilled teacher.

Wednesday: Meramec State Park

• Be exposed to a variety of different locations and settings.

Thursday: Grand Center exploration

It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end. Ursula K. LeGuin

Friday: Powder Valley

Writing and Exploration  

Instructive and Creative Experiences, Writing and Exploration

Writing and Exploration  

Instructive and Creative Experiences, Writing and Exploration