Stories from The Patch

Native American Day Camp Teaches Patchers New Cultures

Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in Stories from The Patch | 0 comments

This summer’s Native American Day Camp explored the crafts, games, food and outdoor skills of several Native American tribes including: Hopi, Cheyenne, Iroquois and Cherokee. The Cabbage Patch chose to bring this camp to children because it allows them to learn about other cultures and study history that they might not have had time to study in school. “The purpose of Native American Day Camp is to teach Patch children the history of America, the art and culture of Native Americans and the folklore behind it,” said Elizabeth Smith, Recreation & Youth Development Specialist for The Cabbage Patch. During the week, children took a field trip to the Falls of the Ohio, where an archaeologist showed tools that Native Americans used to survive, and explained that they were made from animals. They also visited Otter Creek, where they learned how to do archery and went fishing. Crafts included making dream catchers, kachina dolls and headdresses. The children learned that dream catchers were created to catch bad dreams while the good dreams would know how to pass through. They also learned that kachina dolls represent the spirits of natural elements, animals or deceased ancestors. Meanwhile, headdresses were created to show importance and honor, and some even thought they would protect a warrior during battle. “One camper got very creative with the headdress and dream catcher by asking to put pink, purple and jewels on it,” Elizabeth said. Campers left the week with a greater understanding of the Native American culture, history and creative crafts that represent their own creativity and...

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Science Day Camp Made Science a Blast

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in Stories from The Patch | 0 comments

Science builds a foundation for a child’s education by advancing critical thinking, creativity and the ability to problem solve. The Cabbage Patch started the summer Science Day Camp two years ago to help engage students in a fun creative way to introduce these concepts to our members. “It is important to teach them to be creators,” Kanisha Ford, Educational Opportunities Specialist for The Cabbage Patch, said. At the beginning of the week campers were assigned a project and a partner according to their area of interest.  Slime, ice cream, volcanoes and the beach were a few of the experiments presented at the end of the week at a Science Fair held in Holladay Hall. Each child received a certificate for participating and three groups then received a prize for first, second, or third place. First place went to “Craters and Meteorites,” followed by “Chemistry of Ice Cream” and “Weather/Climate in Your Neighborhood.” Throughout the week, campers also experienced science through field trips to the Louisville Science Center (where they learned about chemical mixtures), the Louisville Zoo (where they saw reptiles and amphibians), and U of L’s planetarium. Kanisha said the character Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus inspires her to make science “fun, creative and wacky” but a learning experience for the children and youth enrolled in Science Camp In addition to learning about science, the week included improving social skills by working with a partner. “Young humans take longer than a week to get to know someone. At first, some partners collided but then eventually came together,” Kanisha said. At the end of the week, one parent told Kanisha, “My child did not like science, but now he wants to sign up for Science Camp every year.” When camp was over, students looked at a chart from the first day and saw how much they improved and learned. Campers walked away with awards, memories and a greater understanding of the world around...

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Donate School Supplies to The Patch: Help a Child in Need

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013 in Stories from The Patch | 0 comments

Now through August 2nd, The Cabbage Patch is collecting donations of school supplies to support children and families as they prepare to go back to school this Fall. This “Back to School” supply drive is one of the many ways individuals and groups from the community can get involved at The Cabbage Patch and help at-risk children and families in a real and tangible way. “Every year, we see a tremendous need for school supplies among our families. Through these donations we can really ease the burden as they prepare to send their children back to school,” said Doug Holm, Senior Family Support Specialist for The Cabbage Patch. Earlier this month, Harvey Browne Presbyterian Church donated 75 backpacks filled with supplies to the Supply Drive, and just a week later, 4th and 5th graders from Second Presbyterian Church’s  Camp “S.O.S.” (Summer of Service) donated another 50 backpacks filled with supplies. Other service organizations, like the newly-formed “Glosi” (Greater Louisville Outstanding Service Initiative) Girls are collecting supplies to contribute too. Below are lists of our most needed supplies. If you are interested in donating, contact Counseling & Family Services Support Specialists Doug Holm ( or 753-4434) or Calvin Holloway, Manager of Counseling & Family Services ( or 753-4423).  Most Needed Supplies 1″ and 2″ 3-ring Binders (3 ring 1 inch, 3 ring 2 inch Colored Pencils Composition Notebooks Two-pocket Folders (with and without metal prongs) in solid colors only Graphing Paper Hand Sanitizer Highlighters (all colors) Notebook paper (college ruled & wide-ruled) Pens (black, blue, red) Pencils (#2 pencils, no mechanical) Protractor and compass Spiral notebook  (1 subject, 3 subject & 5 subjects, college ruled & wide ruled) Other Needed Supplies Backpacks (no wheels) for younger and older students (we especially need backpacks for middle/high school) Calculators (middle school level) Dictionary (paperback) Crayons (8 count, 16 count, 24 count) Erasers (Block erasers, pencil top erasers) Giftcards (Walmart, Office Depot, etc.) to be used to buy graphing calculators Glue (glue sticks, Elmers Glue) Index cards (3”x5”) Kleenex – boxes of kleenex Markers (Crayola classic markers, washable) Pencil sharpener (handheld) Pencil zipper bag or pencil box Rulers Scissors (blunt tip, regular tip, left-handed also) Thesaurus (paperback)  ...

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Bike Day Campers Took Their Talents to the Trails

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Stories from The Patch | 0 comments

Learning how to ride a bicycle is an important milestone in a child’s life. Riding a bike is fun, social and a healthy pastime. There are basic skills a child needs to know before taking their bike on the road which is why The Cabbage Patch hosts a Bike Day Camp each summer. The camp begins with Traffic Skills 101, giving youth a thorough understanding of how to be on the road and part of traffic. The course is taught by a League Cycling Instructor certified by the League of American Bicyclists. William (Raz) Rasinen, Manager of Recreation and Youth Development is a LCI along with Kate Holwerk, a volunteer. Kate also provides this for other public community centers in the area. Campers come to Bike Camp with different experience levels, some have never ridden a bike before, but most are familiar with a bike. “Most have ridden a bike, but do not know the basic things, such as measuring results, helmets, how to check tires or change them,” Raz said. The camp includes parking lot drills before campers move on to the trails. Then the campers visit some of the big parks with bike lane trails, including Shawnee and Iroquois Park. No matter where the campers are riding, they are having a blast. “They could ride around in circles and have fun,” Raz said. Campers’ bike skills and personalities shine through on the trails, which is Raz’s favorite part of the camp. “I enjoy the personalities of the kids, we always have characters, and we enjoy seeing how they interact with each other,” he said. One child had a cast on during this year’s camp and they were afraid he was not going to get to participate, but he continued with the camp. “He has been able to come into his own. He has really done well and he has gotten his confidence,” Raz said. Bike riding is important; it helps the environment and is healthy. Bike Day Camp improves development, discipline and the importance of safety. The campers were able to ride away with new skills and memories from the...

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Young Chef Day Camp Gave Campers a Sweet Week

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 in Stories from The Patch | 0 comments

This summer, The Cabbage Patch hosted its first ever cooking summer camp. Each morning, participants in the Young Chef Day Camp prepared a meal for that day: and their cuisine, included dishes from Italy, China and India. Young Chef Day Camp allowed campers to make decisions, use problem solving skills and involve a lot of subjects. Reading, vocabulary, science, health, art and nutrition were all part of the cooking process, which made learning fun. The camp kicked off with cooking breakfast food such as eggs and apple strudel muffins with Leslie Ellis. Throughout the week campers also took field trips to 610 Magnolia, The Comfy Cow and Schimpff’s Confectionary. At 610 Magnolia, the children and youth enjoyed a day of fine dining.  Edward Lee, Chef and owner, also winner on the Food Network’s Iron Chef and a fan favorite on Top Chef Texas, Season 9, gave the campers a tour of 610 Magnolia and then treated them to a three-course meal. “Their three-course meal included corn soup, chicken, green beans on top of potatoes and had chocolate mousse for dessert. He then kindly provided signed menus made especially for the Cabbage Patch campers,” said Elizabeth Smith, Recreation & Youth Development Specialist for The Cabbage Patch. At the Comfy Cow on Frankfort Avenue campers got a tour, complimentary sundaes and had the opportunity to ask co-owner, Tim Koons-McGee questions. At Schimpff’s Confectionary campers got a tour of their candy museum and got to see Red Hots and chocolate made. On “Italian Day”, the menu prepared included meatballs, parmesan garlic bread and rainbow salads. The children made their own meatballs and cut the veggies for the salad with chef volunteer, Mary Wheatley of On “Chinese Day” the menu included a chicken dish, fried rice and almond cookies. In addition, on “Indian Day” campers learned about vegetarian and vegan cuisine and then cooked chickpea curry, mint chutney and a rice dish. Campers finished up their week with a cake decorating lesson and made chicken nuggets from scratch.  Young Chef Day Camp was hands-on and results oriented, so at the end of the week the campers whisked away with valuable skills in following directions, working with their peers and a sense of accomplishment....

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“Some of the Most Engaging Years of My Life”

Posted by on Jul 4, 2013 in Alumni Stories, Stories from The Patch | 0 comments

Vernon Wolfork began attending The Cabbage Patch as a 15-year-old in 1994. “It is hard to believe the amount of programs I did in the relatively short amount of time I was there,” he said. “I started off just roaming the halls, playing pool, and going on canoe trips. But my first summer, someone saw potential in me. I was hired on the Fun Club staff: my first job with my own paycheck. After summer, I became involved in the High Adventure Club, Patch Poets, Teen Club, Drama Club, Photojournalism program, and others.” Vernon’s involvement in Drama Club and Photojournalism Program allowed him the experience of performing in the Kentucky Center for the Arts and to spend a summer at a WKU in the photojournalism program. Vernon went on to attend WKU, UofL, and then became an Army AH-64D Helicopter Pilot. Today, Vernon is a Captain in the U.S. Army. “Outside of my family I tended to be a wall flower. Once I started getting involved with The Patch, I had to come out of my shell,” Vernon said. “I was put in leadership roles, and expected to make judgment calls on the spot. The Patch fostered a sense of accomplishment, not because of the recognition but because it was contagious. I found as I did better my peers stepped up with me… I was not alone in failure or success.” Vernon described The Cabbage Patch as the epitome of a “Melting Pot.” “The history is as rich as the future I came to know—some of my most engaging years as an adolescent. The history was not just in the buildings or the photos but in the stories of the mix of families that went and continue to participate there,” he said. “The Patch fostered a sense of accomplishment, not because of the recognition but because it was contagious. I found as I did better my peers stepped up with me… I was not alone in failure or success.” “I can look back on my years there and wish I could go back and do it again because it was such a great time,” he said. “However, I have found a way to keep ‘Winning in Life’ even away from The Patch. I have become actively involved in giving other children a chance to experience what I have through camping, tee ball, reading clubs, and mentor­ship. I have two sons of my own, two nephews, a niece and 100 soldiers I am responsible for. I make it a point to demonstrate the skills I learned while at The Patch, whether it is cooperation skills learned during High Adventure or organization skills and patience from trying to round up 15-20 first and second graders for a field trip.”...

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