Take a Vacation to Learn Something New

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By Sheryl Kayne

Take a Vacation to Learn Something New, JC Campbell folk school, the three tomatoesMy sister-in-law Cheri knits gorgeous sweaters for her grandchildren. Beverly makes photography memory books for her granddaughters, documenting their greatest adventures of growing up. Annie talked, planned, designed, and dreamt quilting. She described “her” quilts in such detail, I was convinces that every inch of her home was covered in beautiful, hand crafted quilts, but that wasn’t quite true.

“I wanted to learn quilting and realized I wasn’t going to do it unless I separated myself from my daily life to focus on learning the skills I needed,” said Annie. “I read about the John C. Campbell School of Folk Art in a magazine, called them, and signed up. They have cabins, campground, and a lodge. The price includes all of the classes, housing, and delicious meals with wonderful homemade breads. It was heavenly.”

Take a Vacation to Learn Something NewThe school is located in Brasstown, North Carolina, a tiny mountain town in North Carolina that’s not too far from Georgia or Tennessee. Name any handcraft you can possibly think of and you can learn how to make it at this school, which began in 1925. Blacksmithing, beading, basketry, broom making, banjo picking, arbor sculpture, cooking, cabinetry, doll making, enameling, quilting, furniture, and woodworking are a few of the 800 classes offered. Housing and meals are provided for an easy weekend escape or longer getaways for travel groups, couples, singles, friends, and intergenerational family reunions.  Rand McNally Atlas named Brasstown as a “Best of the Road” destination in the westernmost corner of North Carolina in the Appalachian Mountains.

“Every day for two weeks I went to the quilting shed,” remembers Annie fondly.  “I had to bring my own sewing machine. We pieced by machine and then quilted by hand. We worked solidly all morning and broke for a wonderful communal meal, and then worked through the afternoon and broke for dinner. The experience took on a very satisfying rhythm, and I learned in the most relaxed way, in a beautiful mountain landscape surrounded by lovely people and nice conversation. I made a wall hanging with three large squares in an intricate pattern that hangs on my wall and brings me great pleasure.”


What do you want to learn how to do? Let me know what interests you and I’ll research and write about an Immersion Travel trip for you.  Personally, I’ve become a very happy Tea Party catering Nana for my granddaughters, all under age four. Hmmm, I am sure I can find a lovely location I have yet to visit with training to become a pastry chef.

John C. Campbell Folk School (One Folk School Rd., Brasstown, NC 28902; 1-800-365-5724; fax 828-837-8637; www.folkschool.org; info@folkschool.org; rates vary with accommodations, meals, and length of stay). Follow Sheryl’s new website at www.SherylKayne.com.


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