When the Friends of the Fells Youth Programs Director Ann Frenning Kossuth first saw an EarthLoom® on display at a Maine Farmer’s Market, she knew immediately that it would be perfect for summer camp. It could serve not only as a rainy-day activity but also as an intentional way to bring children together in community to create art in a nature setting.
“The EarthLoom is a living symbol of our intention to weave together the fabric of community… It brings the magic of weaving together to groups, celebrations, and ceremonies.” — Weaving a Life Founder Susan Barrett Merrill
To make this special loom of nature materials woven on a man-made frame happen in time for summer 2019, the Friends first secured a $300 grant (with the help of volunteer Michelle Desveaux) from the National Coalition for Education & Cultural Programs (NCECP) via the Stoneham Business and Community Educational Foundation (SBCEF).
After that, Principal Fallon of the Medford Vocational and Technical High School (MVTHS) agreed to let the Friends work with the MVTHS Carpentry Department — pro bono. Mr. Brown and his crew built the loom’s 6-foot+ frame and Jesse MacDonald, our Development Associate, took care of bringing the materials to and from the shop — ultimately delivering it direct to the Tudor Barn.
Tudor Barn image credit: Mike Ryan
Years ago, under former Executive Director Mike Ryan’s oversight, the mid-19th-century stone Tudor Barn (above) was lovingly restored with the help of $15,000 in fundraising efforts by the Friends of the Fells. Since then, however, the building has not been used to its maximum potential. Happily, this year by storing and using the EarthLoom at the Tudor Barn, it has transformed the use of the space by youth actively weaving in the summer forest program.
All images (other than Tudor Barn) courtesy of Fells Forest Programs camp instructors.
Spaces still available for some weeks in Summer 2019. Sign up today! https://www.friendsofthefells.org/youth-programs/