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Author: Skunk Birkemeier

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Baking Batches of Smiles: Skunk Birkemeier ‘25 as Confectionery Artist at Skunk’s Signature Sweets in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Mar 07, 2023

The sweet scents of vanilla, honey, and lavender drift back and forth, mixing with the hot air of the kitchen. I take in the pleasant aromas of my creation, and I am eased. For in that one instant, the incessant feeling of weight lifts from my shoulders and I am renewed once more into the world. Excitement bubbles up from within my stomach as golden brown hues begin to develop, and I imagine the look of delight upon the recipient’s face as they bite into their favorite baked good. I imagine that same feeling of weight being lifted from their shoulders, and I cannot help but swell up with a flurry of both pride and joy.


A large majority of my earliest memories include baking with my grandmother in her kitchen. I recall I would always beg her to make her classic oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with me so that we could have tea parties with my stuffed animals, though I didn’t (and still don’t quite) enjoy tea so we had filled tiny play tea cups with chocolate milk instead. From that very young age, I foun

d such gratification in being able to provide for others in that regard–having the ability to produce saccharine coated acts of kindness. These very memories laid the foundation for my commission-based cottage goods bakery, Skunk’s Signature Sweets. With each and every baked good, I seek to bring a smile; I seek to celebrate all moments in life, whether small or large; I seek to invoke pure unfiltered joy, for even a fleeting moment.                                                   

Since the launch of my business in August of 2022, I have been met with the most outstanding support of the Antioch community, who I am ever so grateful for and happy to be surrounded by. I have been able to produce an array of baked goods such as cookies, brownies, cakes, cupcakes, and muffins through various commissions, and continuously expand my horizons. As a confectionery artist, I have been particularly delighted to improve my decorating skills with each and every order and take on new approaches and techniques in the decorating process. 


Not only have I been operating solely under commissions, I have also had the opportunity to host my first ever bake sale on February 14, 2023! On Community Day, I had traveled around campus attending various events and selling baked goods on a cart that Forest Bright was kind enough to allow me to use. This sale consisted of red velvet chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookie sweethearts, vegan sugar cookies, and dark chocolate brownies, all of which were decorated to fit the Valentine’s Day theme. Due to the success of this sale, I have plans for additional bake sales in the future. If you would be interested in attending future sales, or wish to commission me for your favorite baked goods, you can support and contact me via my business Instagram, @skunkssignaturesweets.                                                                           

To the Antioch College community: I thank you endlessly for your support, I truly appreciate each and every commission, it means the world to me to be able to spread joy in this way. Thank you, 

thank you, 

thank you.                   





Awakening the Spirit: Skunk Birkemeier ’25 at as Therapeutic Assistant at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills in Kimberton, Pennsylvania

Jun 07, 2022

For the past month and a half and for the duration of the spring semester, I have been working at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills for my first Antioch College co-op. In my time at the college, I plan to study psychology with additional interest in English literature as well as communications. I strongly believe that these topics coincide with one another and strive to explain the fundamental connection between these subject matters. My particular focus on psychology landed me in this lovely live-in therapeutic community for adults with developmental disabilities. 

Camphill Kimberton is dedicated to their mission of being an integrated community where adults with developmental disabilities live a life of dignity, equality, and purpose. In acting out this statement, Camphill provides a variety of workshops where residents and coworkers work alongside one another to accomplish tasks and creative projects which are either sold online at or crafted as personal gifts. At this website you can find products from fiber arts, teas and herbal blends from the herb garden, the weavery, and woodworking.   

 Among the products we sell are farm fresh dairy and produce. Using sustainable, biodynamic farming practices, these products are distributed amongst the village and sold off to private buyers and local businesses such as Kimberton Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. The community is sustained through our collective efforts, and our produce is quite honestly a joy to cook with, complimenting every meal wonderfully.

In addition to workshop assistance, I also tend to my residence house: doing various household tasks, cooking meals, and being present and engaged with the residents. In Pfeiffer House, I have been trying new lunch and dinner recipes as well as showing off my baking skills, which I thoroughly enjoy. My recipes have always gotten a stunning review from the rest of the house, but I think the showstopper thus far has been my apple fritters.

While cleaning, cooking, farming, and pursuing artistic endeavors, I have found time to express my passion for education. With assistance from the head of the Adult Education Program, I was able to reintroduce these classes and lead my own lecture. Within the luxurious library of Helios House, I taught a small group of residents and coworkers about the Lenapé, the indigenous people whose land we currently reside on. 

In embracing this community and becoming a valued part of it, I have been embracing various aspects of my own being. My time here has been transformative in a sense and in speaking to other coworkers, they seem to feel similarly. I believe this is in part due to the connectivity with nature. Disconnected from external pressures, the body and mind are able to connect, and the spirit awakens.

 To learn more about Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, visit their website at