Academic Year Information

Country Camp offers three trimesters of academic year programing for elementary school students (K-7). We are currently accepting inquiries about the 2023-2024 school year. Please email our Director Janet Schlapkohl with questions or to request an application form.

Our unique curriculum integrates dramatic re-enactments of social movements and historic events (with a focus on marginalized voices and populations) into core courses. Country Camp students are either Independent Public Instruction (IPI) or are enrolled in the ICCSD Homeschool Assistance Program (ICHSAP).

  1. IPI: This option does not require a child to register with the Iowa City School District (ICCSD). Instruction is supervised under Janet Schlapkohl’s teaching license and using our curriculum. Janet has a Master Teacher license with the State of Iowa and her folder number is available upon request.
  2. ICHSAP: This option requires a child to be enrolled with ICCSD as a homeschool student, but the instruction takes place at Country Camp using our curriculum. This option requires periodic contact with an assigned ICCSD homeschool assistance teacher. ICHSAP students have the option of taking the annual basic skills exam. They also have the option of attending ICCSD programming, but we do not currently encourage students to attend public school programming as we are limiting potential COVID-19 exposure.

Academic year programming runs from 8:30am-3:30pm M-F. We will generally follow the ICCSD calendar but will not observe ICCSD early release days or teacher in-services.

About Our Instructors

Janet Schlapkohl (she/her)
Andrew Wilkes (he/him)
Cole Hotek (he/him)

Janet Story Schlapkohl

Janet is a teacher, playwright, actress, and Director of Country Camp. She has over forty years of teaching experience, from preschool through university students. She is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Iowa, teaching future teachers. Writing commissions include: UI Labor Center, UI Iowa Women’s Archives, UI Human Rights Center, Center for Worker Justice, Theatre Masters, and the AFL-CIO. Her work has been performed in LA, at The Road Theatre, Chicago, New York, Tennessee, and across Iowa. In 2002, she founded Combined Efforts Theatre, a non-profit organization for performers with special needs. Education: MFA in Playwriting and MS from the University of Iowa, BS in Biology from Iowa State University. She has been the recipient of the Theatre Master’s award, Visionary Playwright’s award, the Isabelle Turner Human Rights Award, the Richard Maibaum Award, the Human Rights graduate student award and the Finkbine Award for Human Rights.

Janet will be the supervising instructor and also teach several classes.

Andrew Wilkes

Andrew Wilkes is a proud Iowa City native. He graduated City High in 2010 and the University of Iowa in 2014. After graduating with a BA in Theatre Arts he moved to Seattle started working at Seattle Children’s Theatre (SCT) and Sweet Pea Cottage Preschool. He taught with SCT in gen Ed and special Ed classrooms and taught theatre in American Sign Language to residents and community members of a Deaf Women’s shelter. Andrew also collaborates with Ease Drama in Beijing to reach theatre and English internationally and lead workshops on Play to groups of parents and teachers. 


2022-2023 fees for academic year programming are $200/week per student (with a sibling discount of $175/week per sibling). Fees are pro-rated according to the number of days of instruction. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. We anticipate a slight increase in fees for the 2023-2024 school year.

Courses Offered

Country Camp curriculum is very unique. Core areas (math, language arts, science, art) are integrated using dramatic re-enactments of social movements and historic events with a focus on marginalized voices and populations.

Dramatic Writing
Play formatting (ten-minute play)
Screenplay formatting (ten-minute screenplay)
Persuasive Essay
Fiction Writing
Writing an Event Report
Adapting a Story
Spelling (based on the root – Greek, Latin, etc.)
Spelling (grade-level appropriate)
Regional Folk Tale Comparisons (America)
Regional Fairy Tale Comparisons (German, English, Russian, French)
Reading and Retelling
Partner Reading
North American History with an emphasis on marginalized populations
1400s-1780 Indigenous Nations, Colonialization
1780-1800 Workers and Women
1880-19148 Immigrants, WWI
1920-1941 Farmers, Great Depression, WWII
1945-1975 Social Movements, Vietnam War
Stage Terms
Staging Basics
Vocal Exercise (outdoors)
Set Design, Simple Construction
Animal Husbandry
Basic Care (goats, chickens, pigs, cows, calves, sheep)
Veterinarian Visit
Basic Anatomy (comparative anatomy)
American Sign Language
Basic Math, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division (long and short)
Mathematics for Construction (measuring, marking, division)
Charting and Graphic Science (rainfall, temperature, barometric pressure)
Mathematics for Engineering (geometry)
Atom and Molecular Structure (creating a model)
Basic Chemical Equations
Periodic Table of the Elements
Acids and Bases
Chemistry of Living Systems
Mammalian and Vertebrate Anatomy
Pond Systems and Wetlands
Basics of Binomial Nomenclature
Medicine and Health (nutrition, first aid, cellular metabolism)
Prairie Life
Compatible Plantings
Beneficial Insects
Basic Plant Structure (leaf, stem roots, bulbs, tubers, runners, flowers, fruits)
Arts and Crafts
Patterns in Nature
Replication and Design
Creating Natural Dyes
Knitting and Crocheting
Basic Drawing (pencil)
Resistance Wax
Beginning Sewing (hand and machine)
We ask parents to purchase a ukulele for their student.
Physical Exercise
Running Games
Use of the Play Structures

Hours and Location

Academic year programming runs from 8:30am-3:30pm Monday through Friday. Students can be dropped off starting at 8:20am. School ends at 3:30pm and there are not currently any after school programs available.

Directions to the Farm: Take Highway 1 to the southwest of Iowa City towards Kalona. Take a left on to Maier Avenue (gravel) which takes an S curve and winds past a small subdivision (on your left.) At the first intersection, take a right onto Osage. We are the only property on the road. Past our property, the road becomes a level B road.


What to Bring

Please bring:

  • a mask
  • a healthy lunch
  • a healthy snack
  • a labeled water bottle (does not have to be fancy)
  • weather appropriate outdoor apparel
  • (optional) your own sunscreen and bug-spray
  • a ukelele
  • your school supplies
  • your chore boots
  • any necessary medications

Please remember that anything that your student brings to Country Camp will be their responsibility. We will help with collecting items, but they will be playing and running about on a large acreage and items may be mislaid. Do not send items of value.

In addition to lunch, please send your child with a snack for afternoon snack time. Fresh water is provided at the acreage. We are not a nut-free camp. Email us if you have questions.

Students should wear sturdy, washable shoes. Please no flip-flops or Crocs. Children will be outside and around farm animals. Students must wear clothing that allows for movement. Clothing should be of no pecuniary consequence. Our projects are often wet and messy, and might include paint, sand or mud. Do not send your child in a high maintenance outfit.

Our Policies

We enjoy the diversity of our students and their families and operate under the guidelines of non-discriminatory policies for public facilities and organizations. Children at camp are respected as individuals. We know there are individual needs and if you have any concerns regarding your child, please contact our Director. We encourage open dialogue between the students, guardians/parents and staff about issues and concerns. It is very rare for a child to be asked not to return to Country Camp. We do, however, reserve that option.