A search for truth at VAMPY

For more than a year, campers and teachers waited for VAMPY – and 2022 again proved it is worth the wait. It has been great to be back with our students in the Nazi Germany and the Holocaust class, watching them interact and engage individually and collectively while also focusing on the lessons we can draw from the study of World War II and the Nazi era.

One of the most specific lessons that we work on together is the importance of truth. This understanding is built through readings, class discussion, lecture, research, and various videos and video clips. The idea of truth is also reinforced through our students’ work on three major projects: a mock trial of Adolf Hitler with both a prosecution team and a defense team; a 6-foot by 9-foot mural that will join the impressive collection of murals from past years; and a play about Anne Frank that seeks to inspire hope despite the most awful of circumstances.

The student-created mural is always a product that stands out for how well-done it is, the students’ creativity and exceptional talent, and the message that each one uniquely conveys. Though all the murals have a related message and reflect truth, this year’s class didn’t want to simply have an honest message; the students wanted the mural itself to be about the subject of truth and the value of truth and reflection about the events of the past and how they ripple into today’s global environment. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This year’s mural emphasizes faces, pictures, and quotes from different eras all related to a simple message: Truth matters.

— Jonathan Vaughn, teaching assistant