Friday, June 17, 2016

Art, Theatre and Photography Camp 2016. Done!

I love Art, Theatre and Photography Camp. 

It is a hard four days, but so worth it! The kids have a great time and the parents are always amazed at what we are able to produce from the campers in such a short amount of time.

This year's theme was "Broadway Battle."

We had 116 campers spread out over a morning session and an afternoon session. That is a LOT of kids. Especially when close to 30 of those kids are 3 and 4 years old! 

We also have a dozen or more teenage volunteers. We couldn't run the program without them, but they add a level of "drama" to the camp as well. :)

Here is a panorama right before we started the production. All of those orange shirts... yeah, that's a lot of bodies to manage!

Over the four days, I probably took close to a thousand pictures. No kidding.

Below are a few of the highlights from the art portion of camp!

I LOVED working with the kids on their paintings. Given that they had only about 45 minutes total to work on them, I think they did great! Their paintings were done over three days.

(Sidenote.. Bleeding Tissue paper is the WAY TO GO if you want a really cool, cheap and easy background for a watercolor painting!)

We also screenprinted. Of course we did. I guess that's my signature event! It is messy and crazy and the kids LOVE it.

Look at Kylie's concentration. The memories.

And how can Lexi be this big? 

They also made scratch art. One of the workers mentioned that he couldn't believe that the kids were willingly without a fuss painting black over their drawings and "ruining" them. I explained that the kids have learned over the years to go with the flow! 

(Sidenote.. making your own scratch art is fun and messy. scratching off the black is REALLY messy..)

We also did weaving. I changed to weaving with pipe cleaners this year. Less mess. And they can create a 3d weaving project. It was really fun!

And there you have it.

Another year complete. My take away this year is the realization that one of my goals for the kids is the gift of artistic surprise and to be willing to experience new things. My goal each year is to push the campers out of their comfort zone and force them in a fun way to try new things. Even if it means utter failure in a project. I try to get them to understand that the PROCESS is the goal, NOT the product!

This isn't an easy task. These kids expect their work to be perfect. They are not used to being told that "failure" is actually a win. And this is the reason we have to have events like this camp. So much of our kids lives are wrapped up in "doing things right" and working toward a perfect product. This mindset ends up freezing the kids mid-project and I have to work with them to just keep going. You would not believe how many projects are thrown in the trash as soon as camp is over, not by the parents, but by the kids. Sadly, they have bought into the lie that unless it is perfect, they don't want it. And I'm talking about 4 year olds!! Ouch.

So my gift to the campers is the opportunity to explore and create in a safe place that is not tied to a test a grade or an expectation. My mantra that I say over and over is the only failure is refusing to try.

And I know it's working. You just have to look at these kids faces!

Want to see more photos? Check us out on facebook.