Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose

The start of Art Camp Week 1 has been hectic to say the least. Even though nonviolence training consisted of long days and lots of sitting down, it was almost the opposite with the arrival of the campers. I felt like I rarely got to sit down and even if I was sitting down, I was always on ‘counselor mode.’ Or at least I tried to be. Art camp was a blast, I loved getting to know the kids and doing arts and crafts with wonderful people by my side.

It was like that camp counselor job I’ve always wanted except a lot better because I felt like I wasn’t necessarily being dictated by a gazillion rules I tried to remember while simultaneously trying to be myself and have fun with my campers. The theme of the first week was Dinosaur week and unfortunately/fortunately, the theme along with a few other activities were the only things that we kept from Karan and I’s original schedule plan.

As much effort as we put into Google searches of age-appropriate, paper-cutting crafts, I was so pleased with how we all worked as a team to revamp the ideas and turn them into things that each station group could get excited about. Even from personal experience, I knew that following someone else’s plan had a way different execution style than following a plan that I had helped create on my own. By changing around a lot of the activities, the dinosaur theme became this sort of craft fair potluck where everyone contributed what they were best at and then we all feasted delightfully from a week-long table of excitement and passion.

On the last day, the campers had the opportunity to experience a step back into a homemade Jurassic Park. But don’t let the word “homemade” fool you because when the counselors and junior counselors took a tour after all the campers were finished, we were screaming our heads off at the raptor exhibits and hanging streamer vines that kept us on our toes throughout the children’s wing. It was so awesome. And to think, we would have never had any of it if we wouldn’t have kept an open mind to other ideas.

After exhausting my voice from screaming and clenching my stomach from laughing so hard, I was reminded of what art camp is really about. Through all of the activities and preparation, it was all for the campers to come and have a place to call fun. Even the camper who might have started with the roughest of mornings ended their day jumping around on the stage to Verge or Spark . Even the counselor who came in with a mere 4 hours of sleep could be caught leading a dance at the front center of the stage during the afternoon assembly. Apparently Art Camp was for the kids, but I really think it was for everyone.

Andeulazia Hughes-Murdock ’18