Book Camp 2020, Day 9

We’ve had some conflict. I thought that taking the weekend off might help disrupt the conflict and give us a reprieve. Selfishly, I wanted to work on Book Camp all weekend, because I didn’t have a job to do.

We took the weekend. And Monday was disastrous. More proof that no good deed goes unpunished.

Book Camp was quite nearly canceled yesterday morning.

Not hyperbole.

After group and individual counseling, it became clear that each camper wanted Book Camp to continue. The question was, what were they willing to do to make it so.

Today has been calm. Some key changes have been made to the structure of Book Camp, the schedule, and the expectations. It has been a scramble. But I think there is value in making it to the end.

I think if Book Camp had ended yesterday, each of the campers would have made the end the biggest memory of camp. I think each camper would have taken home negative feelings, maybe about themselves.

Seeing it to the end, I think, enables other memories to take precedence. It allows them to feel good about making it through. It helps them see the value in the struggle.

This morning, the campers sat around the fort dreaming of the actors who might play the roles of the characters they’ve been writing all camp. They laughed and they argued without animosity and they debated. They munched on cheese balls (the food, not the people), and they drank the somewhat satisfying somewhat harsh Ginger Ale Bold. It was refreshing to see them loose and liking camp.

If not for pandemic, how much would look different? The kids would be draining the last drops of summer before the start of a normal, anticipated school year. They would be exhausted from time with friends and time at day camps and a week each with grandparents. They would be well vented. They would be well ready for a change of pace.

But we are in pandemic. And it has infected everything. Even Book Camp.

This is your reminder that however much stress you feel in this pandemic, the kids feel it too. They feel the worry, the financial stress, the stress of being in one spot with the same people too long, the stress of not going out with friends, the stress of the future being unexpected.

It’s Tuesday, and the week feels like camp is winding up. It’s easier on easy days when people get along and have recently aired their frustrations.

These last six days of Book Camp, we are doing a practicum of publishing. We have an editor, an art director, a marketer, a publicist, and an intern. The intern refills the snack bar and helps people with their task lists.

We made good headway on the group write, and we even took a little break to plan for next year. That was FUN!

The remainder of the day not devoted to “Cells at Work” on Netflix, was given to creating a map artifact for their story, developing a marketing plan, editing, and choosing font classes.

A solidly good day. After a string of less than great days. And I am thankful.

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