Living Life

Jesus, Me, and the Kitchen Table


on June 26, 2014


Ok, so the title could be confusing… is it think (about) camp, or is a camp about thinking? Well, it’s kind of both! For the last two weeks our Education Service Center (Region 8) where I work as an eduction specialist, has been hosting our first ever THINK CAMP.   The whole idea of the camp is for students to engage in activities and learning based on their interests.  For 2 weeks we have had about 130 students from 5th to 8th grades. give or take few,  to attend camp from 9-12 each day.  

Before the camp began these students took an interest survey to tell us which kinds of things they were interested in learning about.  Some of the areas that emerged were hunting and fishing, sports, culinary arts, fashion design, photography, and technology.  Students were placed into initial groups based on their selections.  Next, we as staff members chose a group to oversee according to these areas of interests.  We have a very talented staff! And some amazing students!  

Now you would think that we had all of our activities lined out for the 2 week period, right?   Wrong!  WE actually only planned the first day.  After that it was mostly in the students’ hands as to which direction the camp went for their group. This is kind of nerve-racking for me personally because I had no idea what we were going to do with these kids, and worst of all, what if they ended up being bored? I wasn’t afraid of losing control of the “class” or anything like that, I was afraid we just didn’t have enough planned to hold their interests. I surely didn’t have any clue what to do with fashion design, but it seemed like a neat thing to learn about and help with… so here we go! 

Day one the kids divided into their groups and everyone started getting to know each other a little better and we started finding out what they wanted to do, which direction they wanted to go.  I don’t think anyone came up with a day by plan.  Rather, one thing led to another, or you could say we just took it a day at a time.  

Image   The fashion design group adopted the name First Class Fashion Design and there are mostly girls and one guy in the group.  The staff leaders are Connie Rhymes and Nancy Folsom, two of the most fashionable ladies I know!  The girls were interested in clothing and modeling, while the young man’s interest was in art.  The community stepped in and we were able to borrow some beautiful formal dresses, scarves, purses, and other clothing items such as jackets and dresses.  A retired professional model came in and worked with the girls on posing in outfits and how to walk during a fashion show.  The girls tried on different attire and practiced posing and walking.  Not only that, but they kept a journal about their experiences.  In the journals they wrote a little about themselves, their families, which kind of fashion design career they may want to pursue, and added pictures of themselves modeling the various fashions.  The beautiful Region 8 facilities really gave them a place to “strut their stuff” so to speak! 

But what about the guy in the group? Well he is an artist in the full sense of the word.  From day one he stunned us with his talent for drawing people. He has captured the faces of all the girls in our group and has also drawn a picture of an abused child. It is captivating. I think he could capture just about anything with a little paint, a brush, and a canvas, or a pencil and sheet of paper for that matter! 

The class also designed cards using designer papers, die cuts, and embellishments.  This gave them another angle from which to explore fashion.  Other avenues they explored were various vocations related to fashion such as a career as a set designer, which several of them expressed an interest in doing.  They didn’t know about these careers until they had a chance to explore a website which tells about these various careers.  

Tomorrow, the last day of the camp, the students will have a real fashion show complete with lights, cameras, and action!  We have used a wing of our building and set it up with a runway with lights.  The girls will show off their style and modeling ability.  They will change clothes several times during the fashion show.  All of their work will be on display as well for the community to see.  The young man’s artwork is hanging on the walls for all to admire.  So he is not left out at all.  A video of the groups adventures while at Think Camp will be playing during the fashion sow as well.  

Another neat aspect of the camp has been the interaction between the groups.  The photography group, known as SnapHappy, has been learning about photography from one of our own staff members who is himself a photographer. They have been taking pictures of the other groups’ activities, and along with the technology groups are making a video of the whole camp.  That’s going to be neat to see too!

 So it has been a productive and fun past couple of weeks.  It’s been neat to see how the groups have explored their interests and have put together a final showcase.  Tomorrow each group will showcase their activities for the week.  Should be awesome to see! 


2 responses to “THINK CAMP

  1. Judy Ziola says:

    What a talented group! Thanks, Dawn, for sharing!


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