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Week 2: Like no other art camp around!

As we like to say here at BMS: "It's gonna be big, and it's gonna be messy! It's like no other art camp around!"

Big, Messy Art with Lore Deighan and Tammie Sarver - June 25-29 (Ages 3 to 12)
[Littles group is FULL. Email to get on waiting list. Only THREE spots left in Middles Group and TWO spots left in Elders group.]

Have you ever had the urge to make as big of a mess as you possibly can? At this summer camp, making a mess is not only allowed, but expected! We will play with paper mache, mud, paint...anything that makes a mess, and each group, Littles, Middles, and Elders, will engage in activities designed for their interests and abilities. Dress for messiness because we guarantee that no one will leave this camp clean!

BMS early childhood teacher, Tammie Sarver, will be leading the Littles group (ages 3-5). Lore Deighan, the creator of Big, Messy Art Camp and BMS art teacher, will be back with the Juniors group (ages 6-9). The Elders group (ages 10-12) will be led by local nature artist, Julia Bollinger.

Blue Mountain School Summer Camps are $156 per week for the first child in a family and $141 for each additional child in a family. Camps are from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday. To register, complete and return the registration form.

Week 1: Forest Forts

What better place to start the summer than in the woods with Blue Mountain School?

Forest Forts led by Jenni Heartway, Stefi Schafer, and Haley Leopold - June 18 to 22 (Ages 3-12) [FULL]

Join us for a week of fun and fort building in the great outdoors! Campers will explore the woods around our beautiful campus while exercising their building and cooperative play skills. We will incorporate primitive skills, games, music, water play and art into each of our days, and each group, Littles, Middles, and Elders, will engage in activities designed for their interests and abilities.

BMS early childhood teacher, Stefi Schafer, will be leading the Littles group (ages 3-5). Jenni Heartway, the creator of Forest Forts Camp and BMS early learning teacher, Jenni Heartwary, will be back with the Juniors group (ages 6-9). New this year for the Elders Group (ages 10-12) is BMS and Springhouse Community School teacher Haley Leopold.

Blue Mountain School Summer Camps are $156 per week for the first child in a family and $141 for each additional child in a family. Camps are from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday. To register, complete and return the registration form.

What Happens at BMS Camp?

It was just like camp should be.... fun, laid back, great activities with a friendly and spirited staff. All with a little bit of education snuck in. - Camp Parent

No matter the theme, all our camps have a similar rhythm to the day. As campers arrive, they put their belongings in their cubbies and check in with their group: Littles (ages 3 to 5), Juniors (ages 6 to 9), and Elders (ages 10-12). A few independent activities like coloring or puzzles are available as friends arrive, and then it's time for our morning circle. Circle time is a great opportunity for friends new and old to learn more about each other through games and songs and also gives teachers an opportunity to share what campers will be up to that day.

After circle, it's time to get busy! Whether together or in groups, campers will spend the majority of the morning working on the main projects of the day. Each group will enjoy special activities geared to their interests and skills in addition to working with other groups on main projects.

Everyone takes a break for a mid-morning snack, then it's back to projects until lunch time. After recess, the water starts to flow, and The World’s Largest Slip ‘n’ Slide is ready for action! For friends who aren't as adventurous, there are sprinklers and a wading pool, too.

The afternoon generally winds down with calmer activities such as crafts or continuing projects begun earlier in the day, and the Littles have rest time.

Each day wraps up with a closing circle, where students have a chance to share what they've done and to talk about their plans for the next day. And at the end of each camp, family and friends are invited to join campers for a special activity or presentation.

BMS Camps run Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. All campers should come dressed for adventure and need to bring snack, lunch, and a water bottle. We also suggest you bring a swimsuit and towel for water play as well as sunscreen and bug repellent if you wish to use them.








Celebrating our accomplishments from 2016-17

When alum families come by for a visit, a common remark is about how much we've done on campus since they last saw it. As we gear up for 2018 and the wonderful plans in store, we'd like to share with you some of our accomplishments from the last year.

Between September 2016 and today, we...

  • Celebrated our 35th anniversary!
  • Began our 9th year as an independent, contemplative progressive school.
  • Initiated and sustained a new, year-long Forest Kindergarten program.
  • Hosted a record 150 summer campers! 
  • Received an Artist-in-Residency grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts for the third consecutive year to bring Heart of the Child's music program to our school.
  • Maintained a solid financial footing while also increasing staff salaries.
  • Worked with the Virginia Department of Social Services to license our early childhood program.
  • Maintained and improved infrastructure including replacing worn out classroom flooring and furniture, renovating the trailer for new office space, adding new playground equipment, and rejuvenating several of our hand-crafted school signs.

  • Continued to improve and grow our programs based on feedback from families, students, staff, and other community members.
  • Celebrated 8th anniversaries with three of our staff, 7th anniversaries with 2 staff, and 6th anniversaries with another 2 staff.
  • Made Blue Mountain School history by enrolling more students than ever before.
  • Raised nearly $5,000 and over 150 volunteer hours for our Blue Mountain Barn Raising!

Thank you! We couldn't have done it without you!

Fall Campaign Begins!

We are planning an old-time barn raising here at Blue Mountain School, and we hope you will join us! Of course, we won't be building an actual barn (though that could be fun!). So what are we planning?

In 2018, construction will begin on a new space for our enrichment classes! This space will also be used for school and community events.
We are super excited! 

Like all barn raisings, we can't do this alone. We need your help! To get things started, we have a goal to raise $10,000 over the next few weeks. We also hope to bank pledges for 500 volunteer hours towards the actual Barn-Raising Day. (Keep reading for more info about our Time Bank!)

Click the button below to donate online now, or if you would like to send a check or make a donation in person, you can send an email with your pledge.

A Firm Foundation: Building the Contemplative Progressive Model 

Nearly ten years ago, during the 2008-2009 school year, the school's enrollment dropped to less than 20 students. Big questions about the sustainability of a small, parent-run school in a rural community came up. With those questions also came a sense of possibility as our Board of Directors imagined the ways we could see the school through this part of its story, which was already more than twenty years old.

With open hearts and minds, our Board began the process of identifying some reasons for the drop in enrollment and subsequently began the creative process of developing our current educational model. Exhilarating meetings and passionate debates about education, kids, and community were balanced with grounding, homemade potlucks and camaraderie as we all took turns hosting the group in our homes throughout that winter. Our current educational model and organizational structure grew from a place of friendship, shared vision, and common purpose.  To read the rest of the story about how we have already built a strong foundation for Blue Mountain School, check out our blog...

Many Hands: The Value of Volunteers  

Another memory for me has to do with building the school. After we purchased the property, someone had to cut down the pines (it was 8 acres of wooded land) to clear a site for the school itself. I remember wading into the thicket of pines on a Monday morning with chain saw in hand and wondering where to begin? So, I just started felling trees and limbing, and on it went for basically a week.

-- Bob Grubel

When you visit BMS, the buildings that you see were constructed in large part by volunteer labor. (Check out an article in the June 1986 Floyd Press.) Our school's first families donated countless hours of hard work to create the classrooms we enjoy today. It is in the spirit of the Blue Mountain founders that we call on our community to pledge your time to erect the new Enrichment and Community Building.

We hope to bank 500 pledged volunteer hours, which works out to one work day per student enrolled. We need to fill a wide variety of jobs, including preparing food and providing music for Barn-Raising Day. To make your pledge of time, stop by the office or send an email

Get Paid to Donate!
Would you like to be paid for donating to Blue Mountain School? Through the Virginia State Neighborhood Assistance Program, anyone who files Virginia state taxes is eligible to receive a 65% state tax credit on donations of at least $500 ($616 for a business). Your $500 donation will cost you less than $175!

Help Us Share Our Story

Do you know someone who may be interested in supporting Blue Mountain School? Please consider sharing this email with your family and friends. We love welcoming new faces into our school community!


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