motivation, productivity, summer camp

Preparing For An Art Camp My Way

Spring break is next week, and so is the Noctiluna Spring Camp! As you can imagine, this is a busy week for me.

As with most jobs I do, preparing for a camp has it’s own pattern, so here is an insider’s view of what I normally do in the week before I run a camp:

Transcendental Lesson Planning Marathon

I always leave the lesson planning until the last week (a habit I picked up in college).  This is a tried and tested format that has it’s own wisdom to it. I decide on a day to plan lessons, then on that day I shut myself in my work room with a cup of tea and background music, get into research mode, and write shiny new curriculum in a trance-like state for hours without a break. I’m so absorbed that I can’t even hear the phone ringing until I’m done. Trust me, it just works better this way.

Turning My House Upside Down

Gathering supplies for an Art camp is no small feat! Things have moved since the last camp, sometimes they can migrate right out of my house! Also, Art camps aren’t just about art supplies, you also need cleaning supplies, medical supplies, books, games, snacks and protective clothing (yes). This is normally the time when you will be able to hear me shriek “I need an empty milk carton, a beach ball, talcum powder and a dust mask!!” across my driveway, while dragging an old bed sheet and tennis rackets to my car. My neighbors have given up trying to guess what I’m doing.

Clean Out My Local Library

Yet another reason to visit my local library. During my planning-trance I also put every possible book related to my projects on hold at the library. Right now, I need to pick up a stack of books on butterflies, color, and Fauvism, and let the librarians eyeball me suspiciously. Did I mention how much I love libraries?

Major Weather Freak Out

Two words that strike terror into every teacher’s heart: INDOOR RECESS. Aaaaaghhh!
Summer camps are great because of the fact that they take place in the Summer when sunshine and good weather are usually a given. Not so with Spring camps, no, no, no; Spring is a time of great stress and uncertainty. Right now, it looks as if next week will be wet and chilly, which means less outdoor breaks, which means incredibly wriggly children, and the need to find different ways for them to expend energy, which leads to….

The Last Minute Target Run

There is always something I need at the last minute for my camps; sometimes it is art related, but more often it is Band-Aids, or tissues. Right now, I’m thinking that I need to buy some indoor sports equipment: skipping ropes, hula hoops, a basketball etc, because of the impending sogginess. There is ALWAYS a reason for a last minute run to the stores.

Have THE Talk with my daughter

“Honey, when you are in my camp, you have to remember that I’m your teacher. Behave the way you would with your school teachers…blah, blah, blah” Hopefully it will sink in this time.

Deal With a Babysitting Crisis

Why do I always have a childcare crisis just before each camp? Why? The four year old’s spot at preschool/kiddie camp/babysitter always falls through right at the last minute for some reason. Anyone interested in babysitting on Monday morning?

Plan Lunches like a Robo-mom

I make a very obsessive, color coded chart with lunch and three snacks for each member of my family (including myself) for each day of the week, so that I’m not expending valuable, groggy, morning minutes figuring out what goes in who’s box. Just look at the damn chart, and stop thinking!!

Take on one Extra Task That I Couldn’t Possibly Finish

Yep. I did plan on printing shirts for the Spring campers, but it isn’t looking likely right now. Hmmm, maybe I can just squeeze it into the next three days?? We’ll see.

About Author

Artist, Educator, Parent, Small Business Owner, Big kid from a big city, in a small town.

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