For Creative Game Camp we focused daily on the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5) and let its virtues be our guide. It was an amazing time! It seemed as though the virtues of peace, patience, kindness, and self-control just flowed through the group. They created a quality chess board, their own unique game with handmade pieces, a travel game box, played hours of Wall Ball, and Kickball.
Joy and goodness permeated our community. I'm really thankful to have the opportunity to spend time playing with and getting to know these kids better. I hope they gained a renewed passion for board games and team games to share with their siblings, friends, and families. We hope that parents and grandparents enjoyed a good game of chess, knowing that this classic game was handmade, piece by piece by their kiddos. A warm thank you to the participating families.
For our Safari Art Camp which included a visit to the Atlanta zoo, it was amazing to see the kids sit and make simple sketches of gorilla, panda, and reptiles. We were delighted to find out that Zoo Atlanta generously allows educators to borrow Cases For Conservation. Cases For Conservation are giant rolling boxes with hands-on activities and manipulatives for students of different grades. We borrowed the fourth and seventh-grade boxes, which included skulls of a wolf, orangutan, giant panda, gorilla, and several birds that kids were able to draw and manipulate.
From day one we invited the campers to use the space to the max, maker-space style. Although we had projects at hand, we encouraged the kids to be free, curious, innovative, and proactive with almost any material we had as long as it wasn’t a heat tool which require more supervision. Speaking of heat tools, one of our projects included wood burning and it was an instant hit even for younger campers.
One of our highlights included sculpting a safari animal and thinking about elements that make that creature a hippo versus a rhino, for example. The kids really became passionate about sculpting, using high-quality clay and asked for more. (An advanced sculpt-it clay workshop is in the works! Stay posted as this will be a great opportunity for kids to learn high school level wire armatures and standing figures!)
We did have a blooper in this camp. As we tried to get the kids prepared for our field trip, we learned of a technique using spray paint on t-shirts. Everything we read on it seemed so good but when we tried it, the outcomes were less than excellent. It was so scratchy and stiff, with a paint odor even after 2 washes. I appreciated their can-do, positive attitudes as we talked about the possibility of a failed project. Really any project can fail. We do as much research as possible. Sometimes we even make samples or troubleshoot through the mind of a 10-year-old but there’s always a chance that lessons or projects will be a flop. The kids took it in stride and some of them still loved and wore their shirts. They sure loved the chance to spray paint! This is a perfect example of “it’s all about the process, not the product.” The empowering experience and process of making stuff is so deep and important, even when the outcome or product may not show it. The art show at the end of the week turned out to be one of our best! Thanks to parents and student campers for making this an amazing camp. Here are some more pics.