Book Camp Life

Book Camp 2019, Saying Goodbye

You might not think book camp goodbyes would be too difficult, since we are all relatives and will see each other numerous times before next year’s camp. [Four of us live in the same house!] You would be right…and wrong. Book camp is so different from afternoons together, holidays, or birthday parties. It’s such a concentrated time of artistic trust and development that we can’t help but be both relieved and saddened when it ends. Yet, the kids believe that book camp will happen next year, and so they have this wonderful ability to wax over their sadness of endings with the joy of a new (albeit far off) beginning.

I carry a kernel of sadness a bit heavier. I expect next year’s book camp to happen. But I know it could NOT happen. That’s the curse of growing up and growing old: learning that far-off joyful new beginnings can be lost and lasts come when you least expect them. I don’t tell the children this because they have the right to discover such inelegant truths in their own times.

We eschewed healthy breakfast this morning in favor of a favorite local donut shop, What a Donut! There, the kids chose a breakfast protein and a sweet pastry. We sat at a long string of tables and I handed out today’s prompts. Our prompts were for drawing instead of writing: donut tools, donut people, donut homes, donut plants, donut animals.

Upon arriving home, we cleaned up and partly packed then settled into the fort for reading each opus. The kids asked me to read their works, which ranged from about 300 words to 4,000 words. They were each inventive and individual. We gave brief feedback after each reading and finished just as the grandparents arrived.

A few last pics, several goodbye hugs, and the nieces and grandparents whisked out the door. They returned moments later to retrieve one more item. Then they were off. And Book Camp 2019 ended.

I feel bittersweet. And it has only a little to do with all the massive sugar consumption this week. I feel such a deep hope that the kids each remember this book camp with fondness. Forgetting any hurts or disappointments or disputes. As for me, I store up all these things in my heart and long for our next book camp with excitement and wonder.

Book Camp Life

Book Camp 2016, Day 6

Hello, lovelies! Book Camp has seen its last nightly hurrah, and we go to bed exhausted, contented, and very blessed.

This morning, we began with a walk that took us about a mile and a half round trip. We gloried in a neighboring greenbelt rather than our asphalt art museum. After a quick refreshment of cantaloupe and vanilla ice cream (thank you, Grandma Bell, for teaching me to snack well in summer!), we began our writing for the day.
The kids each started at a point of importance in their stories and wrote in thirty-minute increments with twenty minutes of play time in between. We broke for lunch and dove into our last writing session in the early afternoon. Our last two sessions (not including two play sessions) involved me reading each story aloud to a blindfolded group of writers. After each reading, we circled the group giving praise and construction to build up our stories.

We wound up the evening with sandwiches, watermelon, and a very special treat: cake balls! Blue velvet cake balls! Not coated but rolled in this! MMMMMMMMM!!

We also finished a book together and cleaned up our scattered belongings. Not too bad for a day’s work, if I do say so myself!

And because I promised I would tell the world, we voted on our two funniest accidental art captures from yesterday’s exploration walk / slideshow:

Naked Lady Reclining


Donald Trump in a Convertible
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