Folk School

July 8-13, 2018

St. Olaf announces its fourth year of Folk School Camp: a week-long comprehensive, residential camp for boys and girls ages 10-16.  The camp will teach traditional handcrafts to participants, who in the process, will explore some Nordic traditions and get a feel for the folk school philosophy. Founded in 1874 by Norwegian immigrants, St. Olaf takes pride in its Nordic connections and is a natural site for this unique camp.

Throughout the week, the focus will be on process, object making, skill building, and true experiential learning. During the evenings, a variety of fun activities will help campers build community and friendships including campfires, a rustic meal, and movie night.

Most activities will take place in the Flaten Art Barn, a timber-framed structure built at North House Folk School by members of St. Olaf staff and faculty in honor of the original art building on campus. Located near the St. Olaf natural lands, Flaten Art Barn is an excellent site for the Folk School Camp — close to the heart of campus, but far enough away to feel like a retreat. The camp will also utilize Center for Art and Dance studios, the home of St. Olaf’s Department of Art and Art History.

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Session, Fees, and Registrations

Register now with our secure online form or complete a printable registration form on your computer and send it via mail. Registrations are accepted until capacity has been reached.

There is a $100 late fee for registrations submitted after June 1.

St. Olaf Folk School Camp:  $$$
For boys and girls ages 10-16. 

Camp fee includes:
Lodging, meals, and camp t-shirt.  Campers are housed in comfortable, secure students residence halls.  Bedding and bath towel are provided. Coaches and counselors live in the residence halls and provide 24-hour supervision.  St. Olaf employs a professional security staff that is on duty 24/7.

Campers are housed two per room and may request a specific roommate. Roommates need to request each other on their registration form. Camp space is filled on a first-come basis and spots cannot be held for a late-registering roommate.

Refund Policy:
Written cancellations (post, fax, or email) received four weeks prior to camp start date will receive a refund less the $100 non-refundable deposit fee. No refunds are given within four weeks of camp start date; substitutions are accepted.

Meet the Staff 

Christie Hawkins is the Folk School camp director. In other roles on campus, she serves as studio art technician in the Department of Art and Art History, and is visuals designer and set production chief for the St. Olaf Christmas Festival; along with being the adviser to the St. Olaf Sloyd Club. Christie has a BFA in glasswork and sculpture, and an MFA in sculpture.  Her artwork often centers around objects for use in daily life, and she believes strongly in the importance of handwork and the benefits gained through the act of making. Folk school camp is her favorite week of the summer!

Cailan Carpenter is a St. Olaf Studio Art major graduating in the spring of 2017. She has been interested in Norwegian folk art for many years and has been a counselor for St. Olaf Folk School camp the past two years. Cailan has been weaving on different types of looms since she was ten years old and learned about wood carving in college. She is the co-founder of the St. Olaf Sloyd (which means ‘handwork’ in the Nordic languages) club. She is so excited to meet this summer’s campers and share her love for Nordic handcrafts!

Camp Schedule 

Sunday:  After move-in and dinner in Stav Dining Hall, campers will enjoy an evening workshop on knife skills and green-wood carving.

Monday: Campers will put their knife skills and green-wood knowledge to work to create either a butter spreader or a coat hook — or both! In the afternoon, they’ll switch gears and do some band weaving to create a bracelet or bookmark.

Tuesday: Hand-sewn leather work is the project for the day, and campers will learn to hand assemble and personalize a small wallet or journal cover.

Wednesday: Blacksmithing is an age-old craft, and campers will learn some basics of heating and hammering steel — and possibly create their own marshmallow skewer.

Thursday: Campers will learn about hand-sewn bookbinding, and will make a simple book of their own.

Friday: On the last day of camp, students will have some time to fine-tune a favorite project from the week. Following lunch, parents are invited to join campers in one last activity before heading home.

Bon Appetit – Stav Dining Hall 

Meals are prepared by Bon Appetit. Healthy options include the salad bar, grilled meats and veggies, and hot entrees, cereals, yogurt, fresh fruit, a deli station, soup, and dessert station.  There are plenty of food options for vegetarians, gluten-free, and other specific needs.  However, if you have a specific food allergy, please email us so we can get your camper connected with the kitchen.

Do you like good food? So do we! Four schools across the country, St. Olaf being one of them, with food service operated by Bon Appétit Management Company were placed on the Princeton Review ‘Best College Food’ list this year. Campers will have the chance to taste the amazing creations, experience and service from our friends at Bon Appétit! Check out this article to learn more about their recent accomplishment!

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do you get on our mailing list to receive open registration updates and brochure?
E-mail us to get added to our list.

How many campers are at camp?

Will participants be allowed to travel around campus alone? 
Campers are informed to travel with a buddy during movement between breaks.

What are your cell/smartphone and other electronic devices policy? 
Cell phones and other electronic devices are not prohibited but should be used only during free time.

If a participant drives themselves to the program, can they leave whenever they want? 
No, at check in the driver’s keys are turned in and given to the directors of the camp.  If they wish to leave, a note must be provided from their guardian in advance.

Do you have enforceable consequences for prohibited actions?
Campers who break rules are sent home.

My child is one year too young for camp. Can he still register?
We maintain a wait list and if there are still openings prior to the start of camp we will fill positions with younger students. Call the camp office to get your name on the list. 507-786-3031.

What if my child is on medication?
Although camp counselors can hold the medication in a locked room, counselors cannot administer the medication to the camper.
All campers must be able to administer their own medications.

May I use a credit card to pay for camp other than online.
No. In order to meet regulations, we can only take credit cards using our online form.

What is the refund policy?
Written cancellations (post, fax, or email) received four weeks prior to camp start date will receive a refund less the $100 non-refundable deposit fee. No refunds are given within four weeks of camp start date; substitutions are accepted.

What if you need to cancel due to a medical circumstance?
Doctors note and written request will need to be submitted.  Once received and confirmed,  refund/credit will be submitted on a case-by-case basis.

What if camp gets canceled?
Any camp not meeting the minimum enrollment week prior to camp start date will be canceled and notification will be sent.  Some camps may have earlier deadlines and either a refund/credit towards another camp will be offered if the camp is canceled.

Where is St. Olaf College located?
St. Olaf College is located 40 miles south of the Twin Cities metropolitan area in historic Northfield, Minnesota. Call the conferences, camps, and events office at 507-786-3031 to inquire about transportation options to and from the airport and/or refer to our website for further information.