This past summer, instead of focusing solely on my photography, I got some ‘real-world’ experience. It isn’t what you might be thinking. I was shown the world from the eyes of an ‘inner city’ Milwaukee child between the ages of 7 and 17. I was working at a summer camp, teaching campers Arts and Crafts and learning from them as well.
I was to create and implement a variety of programs for the campers. Things that are interesting and will keep their attention and will ultimately teach them something. This I found to be a challenge as my background is not in education. But what better way to learn than to simply jump right in.
I planned making smaller crafts with the younger kids and working more on group projects with the older ones. We got creative together turning old milk cartons into Mancala boards and using found stones in nature as the beads to play with. We attempted to be a ‘modern-picasso’ when we cut out parts of magazines and glued them onto cardboard to create Picasso inspired abstract portraits. And during the last week, I was able to teach campers how to make grass headbands and weave in flowers. As well as creating a big, fun mess when I taught the youngest campers how to throw clay on the wheel.
These projects are something I have done already, so it seemed like no big deal to me as I was instructing them, but when I brought out the clay for the 7 year olds their eyes lit up and we created a tea party complete with clay pancakes and cookies. Or when I saw the older ladies wearing their grass/flower headbands for the rest of the day. I loved giving them something physical to take home from camp, for if they didn’t learn a valuable life lesson from me, they undoubted learned something life-changing from camp. I know I did.
CWM for life.