“In 1999, which was perhaps the second summer at Sense of Wonder for Benjamin and Andrew, then aged 10 and 8 (Abigail began a bit later), you wrote in your brochure, “The purpose of our camp is…to appreciate the very small wonders as well as the enormous ones… In those days, it was a wonder for this parent to stand quietly outside your studio, looking into a sunny space bursting over with the activity of the children inside, bursting yet curiously quiet at the same time because of their intentness and because of the utter tranquilness of the space itself. An odd juxtaposition, creation unleashed yet no chaos. Each individual child could hear in that space their own heart’s song while remaining aware of songs of others, together without cacophony. Sense of Wonder has nourished our children, indeed has nourished our family. This space on Grove Avenue has become, we might say, sacred in its holding a quarter-century of children who have occupied it at summer’s height and at their own high point of noticing, of taking-in, of formativeness, of capacity to see things in the world blazingly and utterly magically.”
— Rick Spatafora and Cathy Kinney (Andrew Spatafora is currently an adult Counselor at Camp Sense of Wonder)
“Sense of Wonder (SoW) has positively impacted all five of our children’s lives. For example, Our three teenagers have learned the value of teaching and mentoring younger children during the amazing year round and summer programs. Our teenagers have also had the amazing privilege to work with and learn from artists and musicians and creative arts adults from all over the world. Secondly, Our 8 year old has attended SoW for 3 years now. He loves learning about art and creating in all different ways with numerous mediums. He has learned from artists, musicians, authors, puppeteers and storytellers from all over the world. He is learning how art can be a career with so many options. And lastly, Our 5 year old little girl has cerebral palsy and she is blind. And even though she is confined to a wheel chair, Pam Benjamin and all of the staff at SoW have always made her feel welcome as she listens to the music during the summer programs and hears the children’s voices raised in song!! She laughs and giggles and wriggles on her blanket in the sun in the SoW backyard that is transformed into a summer arts festival theatre! In conclusion, Sense of Wonder is a true gem of a program on Martha’s Vineyard because it offers something for all ages. Adults share with children and children learn from each other. It is beautiful to watch the magical interaction between art and music and adults and community and children! Sense of Wonder is Magic and we are blessed it is part of our community ! Thank you Sense of Wonder!!”
— Sharon and Bill Engler
“Coming into the art studio at Sense of Wonder I am always first overwhelmed by the newest creations tucked away in the cubbies. Then as I look around I see the layers of the years: the masks that have been hanging up since I first started coming to camp or the papier-mache’ giraffe that has been keeping an eye on the studio since I was a LIT. And as I grew older and started to help with art classes after school, sharing in the students creative experience and the development of their projects has been so exciting. I love the way students from all kinds of backgrounds come together: some that think they have no interest in art or others so engrossed already in their imagination. Each producing a unique project and sharing it together. Sense of Wonder creates a unique space for all ages to explore their own imagination and expand upon their believed limits to see how much they are truly capable of. The Humanitarian Work and Global Awareness that SoW teaches has influenced my career decision to become a Doctor who is able to help care for children and adults in 3rd World Countries. Thank you Sense of Wonder!!!”
— Celeste Bailey: Student, Leader in Training, Adult Counselor and Assistant (Celeste is currently a medical student at Penn State College of Medicine)
Sense if wonder is a community focused on using love and positivity as a means to relate to the world. It allowed me to feel what it’s like to be in a community of people excited about caring for this world, learning to accept and celebrate one another, and the infinite richness of curiosity. My memories of SoW can only be described as being apart of this phenomenon created by positive feedback loops, where I felt recognized, supported, and loved enough to fearlessly learn about the world, self expression, culture, and life. It is an unforgettable journey that continues to remind you of what you gain by being brave and curious, connecting with others without fear and judgement, and taking opportunities to celebrate the richness of life. I have a foundation of early experience that continues to support my love of life and hunger for adventure and understanding. This truly is largely because of SoW. I only hope I will have the opportunity to introduce my own children to this amazing program one day!
— Lily Jane Morris, Camper, Leader in Training, Adult counselor, Assistant