Friday, July 13, 2012

one time at sports/art camp...

When I gave Julianna the choice of which camp she wanted to participate in this summer she emphatically chose Salem Sports Camp for Kids.

She was so excited about going the first day.  Of course, that was the week that the 100+ degree temperatures started.  The camp was half a day (4.5 hours) and it was very well organized.  There were small groups and snack and lunch was provided every day.  Each camper got a cool tie-dyed t-shirt to wear each day as well.

The counselors told the kids the rules the first day during "circle time" and told them that they would pick one or two people each day to award gold medals to (they had an Olympics theme this year).  The first day someone got a medal for being brave when she didn't want to go in the deep pool and another kid got a medal for drinking a lot of water.  That first day Julianna's group went swimming, practiced t-ball and tennis and by the end of the week everyone had a medal.

Throughout the week the younger groups of kids also played tennis, basketball, soccer, t-ball, and went swimming daily.  The older groups got to do archery, lacrosse, and golf in addition to the other sports.  Julianna was very interested in archery after she saw the equipment being set up the first day, but it was only for the older kids so I told her that meant that she'd just have to go back for a few more years.

I know she learned a lot about taking turns and making friends and the basics of working as a team, which are all important skills for her to learn.  But one of the things she learned that tickled me the most were the words to a half dozen silly camp songs.  She came home every day singing some new little ditty and even though I didn't know half of them it still made me smile to hear her singing songs from summer camp and it made me remember the fun of childhood summers.  She's still singing these songs (and telling silly stories the counselors told her) three weeks later.

I'm so glad she got to go and I'm even more thrilled that she had so much fun that she can't wait to go back next year.


More recently Jules got to attend Reynolda House Summer Enrichment which we kept calling "Art Camp" for whatever reason.  We were blessed to receive a scholarship for her to attend this camp and I tried to impress upon her what an honor it was to be able to go so she was excited to say the least.  My sister and I went to this camp almost thirty several years ago and we were probably even more excited for her to attend.

If you're not familiar with it, the Reynolda House was the home of two generations of the famous Reynolds family (RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company and the namesake of my high school).  The house now serves as an art museum and the grounds and gardens are a well-used, but beautiful historical part of our community.

Every day at camp Julianna would have a different art teacher leading her small group (the teachers rotated).  They would go on a little tour of part of the estate and would study some of the art they encountered along the way.  They would have a snack and then work on an art project.

At the end of the camp week the children all had five different pieces of artwork that they were able to bring home.  There was a reception and art exhibit for friends and family and Julianna was so pleased to be able to take us on her own little tour of the house.

Of course she was fascinated with the bowling lane, swimming pool, "ice cream parlor," and shooting galley. Mama was more fascinated that she learned so much during this week.  I was really amazed.  She came home talking about gazebos to sit in and "admire the beautiful surroundings."  She's talked about hats with birds and fur on them.  She's been holding up her fingers to frame whatever it is she is looking at at the time and saying stuff about what's in the foreground and background.  She's told us all about how an old pipe organ works and learned about art techniques with oil pastels and water colors that produce different effects on paper.

Now we have five new art pieces to find a place to display here at home and we have a little girl who's even more interested in art than she was before, if that is even possible.

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