Monday, July 18, 2011

Hazy Days of Summer

Summer Camp is here! Six new girls were braving the July heat to come create with me this week. I had butterflies in my stomach as I waited for them. I only knew one of the girls this time around, the rest found me by word of mouth. I was excited to meet them and get our day started, but I knew it would be different from the winter session when we met every Saturday for two hours. This is four days, for five hours each day. So we have lots of time to fill. What if they weren't having fun? What if after 30 minutes they wanted to go home? YIKES. Suddenly I was scared. But then I heard a hello from the front porch. I went to the door and there was Madison and her little brother and her mom. And right behind her came Mary and her dad. And then Ava and Lindsey and Abigail and Hayleigh. They were all here ready to get started. No more time for butterflies, we had to jump in and go!

We started with our belonging circle. I asked them to tell me about their families as I was wrapping the yarn around their wrists. They told me the names of their siblings and their parents and their pets. Then I told them that we were linked together and we all belonged in this circle, in this group of girls and artists and we were going to have a great week together. After we cut our yarn and tied our "bracelets" on, we went back inside the studio and started working on our first project. Earlier this summer I was at the beach with the daughter of a friend of mine. She told me that she had seen the Judy Moody movie and Judy had created a
list of dares for herself, to make her summer "not so boring". So we took plain clipboards and we painted them and decorated them with glitter and duct tape and the girls wrote
challenges for themselves to achieve this summer. Mary wants to climb a tree and hold her breath underwater, Ava wants to try not to fight with her brother for one whole day and learn to do a round off, Madi hopes she can dive off a diving board and she's going to try not saying any word with the letter A in it for a day. Hayleigh wants to go to the beach forever (I'm going with her!) and Abigail wants to read 20 books--in just a day! They wrote the dares on duct tape and stuck them on the clipboards. I explained that when they had completed each dare they can peel it off and add a new dare.

After finishing the clipboards, the girls started working on their art journals. We sanded the pages of the board books and started layering paint. Lots of heat from the hair dryers furiously working to get the paint dry made us thirsty and sweaty! We took a break and went outside under the tree to have some water and a snack. We talked about our su
mmer vacation plans and the fun things we had already done. Then we got back to work. More layers of paint. Lots and lots of paint. I had the girls choose pages they wanted to create patterns on for the backgrounds. They used sponge brayers and stamp pads and a variety of brushes to get great textures. Hayleigh was incredibly focused. She made some beautiful flowers on one of her pages. They were my favorite color--orange! And Lindsey was thrilled to find out that a mistake (too much paint on the brush that dripped on to her cover) actually turned out to look really cool. Ava was my fastest working artist, she completed a bunch of pages, even adding some colored tape and some flower embellishments to them!

Before the day ended we ate lunch and talked about school, their favorite parts and not so favorite parts, and what they are looking forward to in September. The funniest moment of the day came when I took out my lunch--sardines. I wish I had a video tape of their eyes as round as saucers in complete disbelief that I was going to eat those little fish right out of the can! After lunch we made some fun flower necklaces and barrettes and played a round of musical chairs. And suddenly it was two o'clock and their parents were at the door to pick them up. I realized the butterflies had not returned and no one had asked to go home after 20 minutes. They had a list of dares to keep their summers exciting, and they all left with smiles on their faces. I had a great first day and I hope they did too!


  1. i have waited all day for this.
    so happy to see the room filled
    with good stuff.

    you make me proud.

  2. Oh how I wish to be 9 again. Soooo happy to read this and can't wait to read again tomorrow. Xoxo

  3. Wonderful stories Amy! Enjoy the week. The girls are growing and learning so fast, it will fly by.

  4. Not sure why this brings tears to my eyes ... i really hope my girls can join you some day :)