The Camphill Special School Project

I’m so happy to announce that I have been chosen to document and help produce the 50th anniversary book for Camphill Special Schools. I could not be more excited about this project! I’m honored and humbled that the director of the program, Guy Alma, asked me. I’m not gonna lie, I had a small foot in the door because my stepmother, Jennifer Nilsen, has recently joined the board and made the introduction between Guy and myself. I think she was forwarding my work to him on a regular basis, but I’m not sure. All I know is, I went to visit the campus this past weekend on a family trip home to Philly, and was blown away by the entire program, not to mention the amazing students that live there. Guy gave me a small tour and introduced me to the some of the kids. It would take me many paragraphs to explain what Camphill is, so I’m going to just give you a brief synopsis from their website.

“Camphill Special School is a nonprofit Pennsylvania Approved Private School and Waldorf school accredited by AWSNA and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools that offers day and residential programs for children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities that may include, but are not restricted to, mental retardation (MR), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Fragile X Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, and other conditions associated with intellectual disability. Camphill Special School is part of the worldwide Camphill Movement and the only Camphill community in North America for children, as well as the only Waldorf School in the country for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities.”

But if you really want to read an in depth description of how it was founded etc, click here and here

After my tour, Guy allowed me to photograph a few of the students as they did their chores and got ready for lessons. The school has many campuses around the world and many have working farms, cafes, craft stores and even a bakery where you can buy goods made by the students.

Here are some samples. Keep in mind I only shot for about an hour total this day. My plan is to reside there a few times every season for approximately a week. I believe this will go on for a year or two.