Little Middle

Every summer, the Folk School offers Little Middle Folk School, an opportunity for youth ages 7-17 to discover Appalachian culture and take part in hands-on programs in dozens of arts and crafts..

Little Middle will take place from Monday, June 17 through Saturday, June 22 this year.

Registration for Little Middle opens Tuesday, April 9 at 11 a.m. Eastern Time.
Cost: $215.00

How to Apply for Little Middle

NOTICE: There are NO local discounts for Little Middle. If you need housing during Little Middle, please contact our Registration department.

Step 1

Visit Configio and Create An Account

Configio is our new online registration system for all Folk School classes. Visit the registration portal and register for an account using your email address. You will receive a confirmation email once your account has been created.

Step 2

Apply Children as “Participants”

Within your accounts menu bar, choose “Account” in the top navigation menu then “My Account.” In the dropdown menu, select “My Student / Participant” and then choose “+ Add New Participant.”

It is important to note the number of “participants” you add to your account must equal the number of Little Middle tuitions in your cart when checking out. For example, if you add three children now, you need to register all three children for Little Middle to complete your order.

Step 3

When Registration Opens, Enroll Your Littles and Middles

We will post a link on this webpage taking you to the Little Middle Configio listing when enrollment opens. You will sign in to your Configio account and choose the number of children you want to sign up for Little Middle. Please keep in mind that you are only allowed to register four students in total.

Step 4

Process Your Order and Checkout

Once you’ve registered all participants, proceed to Checkout. Your order is not submitted until it has been processed and you have received a confirmation email with a receipt.

Step 5

Choose Class Preferences & Edit Guardianship Information

After paying your total Little Middle tuition, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to edit each participant’s profile. There, you will be able to choose the classes that your Little or Middle would like to take and you can update their guardianship information.


*NOTICE – Please keep in mind that classes are not filled on a first come, first serve basis. You will be notified of your child’s class schedule prior to the start of Little Middle.

2024 Classes

Classes for Littles

Animal Masks – Instructor Susannah Thompson
Design and make your own animal mask. Will your creature be goofy or serious?  Ferocious or sleepy? Realistic or imaginary? Once your design is ready, bring your creature to life using cardboard and paper-mache. 

 Books, Boxes & More – Instructor Ida Palmer-Ball Decorate your own beautiful papers and turn them into cool, handmade books and boxes! 

 Fun with Baskets – Instructor Pattie Bagley
Let’s make some baskets! Have fun creating three or four baskets with all different colors. Make some with wooden bases and some with the base woven.  

Let’s Get Muddy! Make Clay Critters – Instructor Leigh Ryan
Want to make a majestic bird soaring through the sky? Or a chomping shark or a wiggle worm burrowing underground? Join us for a super fun class transforming squishy, shapeable clay into all sorts of cool creatures. Learn how to use your hands (and maybe a little bit of water) to mold and shape the clay into your favorite bugs, birds, and more. Add special details and bright colors to make your creations come alive!

Magic! – Instructor Tom Payne

Entertain and amaze others with close-up magic using cards, coins, rope, rubber bands, and other common objects. Learn the secrets to making things seemingly vanish and reappear. 

Make Your Own Fun & Games – Instructor Sherry Kaskie
Make and decorate a unique hula hoop. Have fun creating your own game of bingo and add your personal touch by embellishing the box to store it in.

Marvelous Mosaics – Instructor Jeannette Brossart
Mosaics are an ancient art form in which small pieces are put together to make new patterns and pictures. Create multiple marvelous mosaics that will build your skills and allow for creative inspiration! 

Native American Arts – Instructor Billy Whitefox
Enjoy stories and crafts of the Native Americans of our area, including making a walking stick, spending time in nature and more.

Nature Explorers – Instructor Allie Dudley
Build forts and make friends with plants in the woods around us! We will camouflage ourselves and learn to move like animals while learning about our neighbors in the forest. 

Painting – Instructor Ashley Johnson
Learn a variety of painting techniques and the basics of painting with watercolor and acrylic. Each day will be a new project, such as painting a colorful landscape, splatter painting and painting insects. Also, experiment with stamp making with acrylic paints.  

Puppets – Instructor Claire Ritzler

Create your own character and make a moving-mouth puppet. Learn tips and tricks for how to bring it to life. Participate in storytelling and perform to music. 


Recycled Art: Critters & Crafts – Instructor Shari Shifrin
Take everyday things you have around your house or in the trash and repurpose them to create animals and fun crafts. Using a variety of techniques, make trash into treasures such as bottlecap snakes, flying fish, and more. 


Tie Dye, Ice Dye, and Colorful Clothing – Instructors Jess Kaufman & Daisy Taylor
Make tie dye, learn to ice dye, and transform your clothing with over-dyeing techniques. Learn patterns like spirals, bullseyes, ladder folds, fireworks, diamonds, and arrows, and use YOUR favorite colors. Make your perfect T-shirts, socks, pillowcases, and more! Maybe even make some bonus gifts to give as birthdays or for holidays. Plan to get messy and have fun. 

Wild, Wooly, Wet Felting – Instructor Katrina Stone
Ready for some good clean fun? Transform sheep wool into felt with soap, water and your hands and feet! Make flowers, acorns and critters, such as snakes, bugs, and birds!  Also, learn how to “paint” with wool to make pictures. 




Classes for Middles

Appalachian Dulcimer & African Gourd Drumming Instructor Lorinda Jones
Want to experience the rhythms that influenced the roots of our American music?  Explore the soothing sounds of the dulcimer strings and the percussive beats of gourd drumming.  Music will be taught by ear; no prior music experience is required. Students are welcome to bring other instruments to class.   

Baking is Science! Instructor Krista Margies
Wonder why some cookies are crispy and sugary while others are moist and chewy? Come learn the fascinating science behind some of your favorite sweet treats, including cookies, cinnamon rolls and ice cream. 

Basket Weaving Instructor Bev Larson
Have fun learning to weave a basket! Traditionally, the round shape of the melon basket got its name from the shape of a melon. Add your own creative twist to this traditional style, by choosing a bright color to weave your basket with. 

Blacksmithing Instructor Julie Clark
Learn how to light a coal forge that you will use to heat pieces of steel to a blistering, red-hot temperature. With one hand, use tongs to hold and remove the hot metal from the forge. With the other, hold a hammer to pound the metal into various shapes on the surface of an anvil. Each forged piece will be hung on a bar of steel creating a magical, musical wind chime. 

Clay, Smoke and Fire! Instructor Judy Robkin
Dive into the incredible world of clay. Learn the foundations of handbuilding while creating both useful and decorative pieces for yourself and to give as gifts. Finish your pieces with glazing and firing techniques that add color and design to your work. Come play in the mud! 

Design, Fire, Admire Instructor Lynn Ann Miller
Learn the basics of kiln fired enamels. Apply vibrant colors of powdered glass to copper. Create a treasured gift for yourself or to share. 

Exploring Pastels Instructor Ann Dodys
Enjoy this hands-on introduction to drawing with soft pastels and your fingers! Soft pastels look like sticks of chalk which make brilliant colors that you can manipulate on the page in fun ways. Also, explore composition, value, and perspective within your creations. 

Flip-Flop Quilts Instructor Nancy Hinds
Make a quilt that is super cute on the front and the back! Using a sewing machine and a variety of fun fabrics, end the week with a completely finished, lap-sized quilt. 

Make Your Own Treasures Instructor Terry Hale
Create our own jewelry treasures! Learn to measure and cut wire, then form it into beautiful bead and stone jewelry using professional techniques. 

Morris Dancing Instructor Nick Kelischeck
Have lot’s of fun learning a dance style from jolly, old England. Enjoy live music as you hop, skip and jump around with big sticks! 

Nature’s Pretty and ScarrrY Thing Prints Instructor Pam Beagle-Daresta 

Design and create your own printing plates. Depict your favorite things from nature, including anything from hearts and flowers to skulls and snakes (or both!). Print on paper and on a T-shirt if you bring one (white will print best). 

Teen Weavers Instructor Colleen Casey
Play with dozens of beautifully colored and textured yarns, then watch patterns magically appear while you weave. Learn how to thread a loom and weave projects you will treasure for years to come. 

Wonderful Wood Instructor Steve Cook
Turn a piece of wood into your very own special creation. Learn how to make a variety of fun projects that you can finish and decorate in your own style. Make some gifts for your friends or family, and some fun things for yourself. 

Wonderful World of Fiber Art Instructor Emolyn Liden
Explore multiple aspects of fiber art through knitting, spinning, dyeing, and needle felting. Learn how to get started on projects such as a headband, scarf, or washcloth. Experience using a hand spindle, spinning wheel, hand cards, ball winder and more. Get an introduction to reading knitting patterns and return home with a solid foundation for continuing your explorations with fiber. 

Little Middle Folk School will take place from June 17-22, 2024

Little Middle will take place from Monday, June 17 through Friday, June 22 in 2024. Registration will be available via Configio, our online class registration system. Be sure to register early, as these spots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Space is limited and we usually reach capacity with a waitlist.

Before registration opens, create your Configio account and add children as “participants” so you can register as soon as applications go live.

Applications will open Tuesday, April 9 at 11 a.m. Check this page for more information!

Create an account on Configio

Fun for adults too!

For families interested in coming to the Folk School as a group, there are several opportunities for adults this week:

Volunteer for Little Middle
Apply as a volunteer and help assist our instructors in delivering this special experience to kids.

Enjoy the Folk School
Bring your unfinished craft projects and gather with new friends to share ideas. Nestle in a rocking chair and read a book. Explore nature trails and our historic campus. There are many ways to relax and rejuvenate in these mountain surroundings.

Explore workshops at Olive’s Porch

In town for Little Middle? Visit downtown Murphy and check out a new Folk School experience, Olive’s Porch. The location at 27 Peachtree Street features classroom space, a retail shop showcasing the work of Appalachian artists, and a studio space dedicated to the Artist in Residence program. Named after the school’s co-founder Olive Dame Campbell, Olive’s Porch features short workshops focused on traditional Appalachian crafts, music, dance, and community topics designed for locals and visitors. We also host a variety of discussions, demonstrations, artist markets and other community events.

Visit Olive's Porch

Little Middle: News & Stories


Little Middle 2024

Every summer, the Folk School…


Help Foster a Child’s Learning and Creativity

For only $173, you can help foster a child’s learning and creativity. By providing a scholarship for our week-long Little/Middle Folk School, you can help kids learn about Appalachian culture and explore fun and educational art and craft classes.


Socks and Sweaters: Expand Your Knitting Horizons with Margaret Radcliffe

Margaret Radcliffe is teaching two Knitting classes next month at the Folk School: My First Sock (Feb. 28 – March 2 / Weekend) and the Easiest Sweaters in the World (March 2-8). Come learn new techniques to take your garment knitting to the next level (or the first level if you are new to socks and sweaters). I chatted with Margaret about Knitting, the Folk School, and what it is like to write about Knitting. Enjoy our interview!


Two Blacksmiths are Living at my House

The following is a post by local blogger, Tipper Wilson Pressley. Visit Tipper’s blog, Blind Pig & the Acorn about all things Appalachia.


Jan Recaps Little Middle 2010

The Folk School recently completed Little Folk School and Middle Folk School–“Little Middle” or “L/M” as it looms on our planning calendars.  There were 284 students: 156 Little (age 7-12) and 128 Middle (age 13-17), mostly locals, in 26 classes with 30 amazing teachers and a 37-member volunteer crew.

Locate & Contact

Please contact our Programs Department for more information around Little Middle.

The John C. Campbell Folk School

Programs Department

1.800.FOLK.SCH (365-5724)

Mailing Address
One Folk School Road
Brasstown, NC 28902

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