In his address for the fourteenth anniversary of Camphill Special School at Beaver Run, Carlo Pietzner spoke about his imagination of a ‘Children’s Village’. He envisioned this community as “a village for the child, for the purposes necessary to give space to the child. The child as such.” It was to become “an island for the sake of the child. And that was to be the child both physically as well as within us.”
In a child we meet the future. Everything that is not yet finished, everything that is still in the process of becoming, is a part of this universal childhood that Carlo is speaking of. Under the umbrella of the Camphill Academy (formerly the Camphill School of Curative Education and Social Therapy), members of Camphill communities across North America come together to nurture the child within — to grow and develop, to unfold new capacities, in order to better be able to meet the needs of the future.
Camphill Special School is home to the Curative Education Program of the Camphill Academy, as well as the administrative center from which this activity is coordinated and supported throughout the North American Camphill Movement. Just as it takes a village to raise a physical child, it also takes a village to raise the inner child, to stimulate growth and development within all of us as adults and professionals. Camphill Academy is a community of learning that is deeply embedded and rooted within the communities of practice that form the North American Camphill Movement. The experience of living and working in community is itself the greatest challenge and opportunity for growth. Everything else — guided practice, coursework, retreats, workshops, independent study — builds on this experience. And so the Camphill Academy, as a home for the child in the adult, takes the imagination of the Children’s Village and expands it beyond Beaver Run, beyond Camphill Special School, to include all the member communities of the Camphill Association and other like-minded communities across this continent.
By Jan Christopher Goeschel, Director, Camphill Academy