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Let’s Talk Camp! Your Guide to a CHAWSome Summer

June 20, 2017

This summer, CHAW provides a wide variety of summer camps including: Arts Adventures, Junior Arts Camp, Ceramics Institute, Shake It Off Dance Camp, Only Make Believe Theater Camp and String Fling!. Our camps include the right balance between creativity and recreation, allowing students to learn from professional artists while developing a community of friends! Art camps make the summer unforgettable as it provides children with an outlet to let their imagination blossom and to turn their creative skills into original and authentic visions. Camping at a facility that focuses on the arts, like CHAW, is an incredible experience that allows children to open their minds and hearts to all possibilities and aids them in learning how to better communicate and express their ideas. But most importantly, CHAW Summer Arts Camp is simply CHAWsome!

To learn more about CHAW’s summer camp program and answer any questions you may have, here is an interview with camp staffers Brian Washington, Education Coordinator, and Stephanie Morse, Program Coordinator.

What is your role in CHAW’s summer camp program and how long have you been a part of it?

BRIAN: My role is the camp director. I’ve been in that role for the summer camp for the last 3 to 4 years.

STEPHANIE: This is my first year on the programming side of the summer camp but for the past two years I have been a teaching artist here.

Why do you continue to come back?

BRIAN: What draws me back is that it’s fun! It’s a break from my normal work day throughout the school year. During the summertime, I get to be with the kids for the whole entire day and we get to go on field trips and that’s just the best thing. It’s a unique camp and it’s just a lot of fun. And I’ll keep on coming back for that.

STEPHANIE: What I really like about it is the energy of summer. The kids are super excited to be here and to make new friends. They try new things and experiment a little more than they would in their day to day lives and in school. It’s an exciting and fun time!

What has been your favorite summer camp held at CHAW?

BRIAN: I enjoy them all equally. However, one that stands out was maybe two summers ago. It was a passport camp. So, kids were stamping their passports and would go to different parts of the world each week. Each of the weeks had a different theme. When we went to India, a chef came in brought in all kinds of spices and we got to smell the spices and touch them and feel them. It was a very interactive camp and we invited different guests to come throughout the week.

STEPHANIE: I remember last year we had a science and exploration theme. That was cool because it combined science, which is viewed as very institutional and a study of yes or no answers, with the creative flow. They totally met and worked.

How did going to camp impact you as a child? 

STEPHANIE: There weren’t any kids my age in my neighborhood, so for me, camp was a way to make friends. It was totally a community thing. Making those bonds.

BRIAN: For me, camp was more enriching to what I did during the school year. It was a good balance for me to have more fun stuff for me during the summer and be not so structured as it is during the school year.

What do you think kids get out of going to an art specific camp versus going to a more traditional camp?

STEPHANIE: Instead of getting pigeonholed into basketball camp session two, I think the way our summer camp is structured is that you get to dabble in a lot of cool things. And if something doesn’t work out and you gravitate towards another thing, there is a space for you to do that.

BRIAN: And it’s called “arts” camp. Not painting camp or drawing camp. We have all the arts here and you get to experience that throughout your summer here.

How do you think the “arts” impact these kid’s lives?

STEPHANIE: Whether it’s painting or ceramics or whatever it is, the commonality is creativity. And even if they do not go on to become the next Picasso, they are encouraged and supported in their creative decision making and their process. It’s a really great place to experiment and find what it is that you are passionate about.

BRIAN: And one thing that’s exciting is that at CHAW, this may be the first time that kids are getting to do some type of art or some type of camp. They are going to be able to make new discoveries about themselves.   

We hope to see you at CHAW this summer. For more information on CHAW’s summer camp programs, check out: http://www.chaw.org/2017-chaw-summer-camp

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