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art, Travel, wellness

Gratitude Amidst Grieving

I have been feeling pretty despondent over the past couple of weeks, and it has been difficult for me to cobble together even the tiniest of positive posts lately. After a period of hibernation, and greatly reduced productivity, I finally got myself back to full steam at work yesterday. I did this by focusing on the glimmers …

art, summer camp

What Happened At Camp – Week 4

Normally when I say a post is going to be short, it doesn’t turn out that way. This is because brevity has never been something I’m good at (just ask my husband). Today, however, after spending a whole morning trying to get my computer to play nice and failing miserably (apparently Macs need their Sundays off), and …

design, productivity

Parenting, Working, and Not Working

I am more thankful than usual that it is a Friday, this week has been nothing but an uphill struggle. First of all, there was/is the dark, dank weather, the howling wind, and the general feeling that Dementors are floating about in my neighborhood. Then, seeing as it is Springtime (can you sense my sarcasm?), my nine year old …

BUSINESS SKILLS, inspiration, wellness

Staying Motivated After Snowzilla

It is tough staying motivated when you work from home. Often schedules get gooey and the line between work and home life is not really a line, more a series of dashes and smudges. Being productive requires a lot of pep talks in front of the mirror, and a decent amount of self control. Sometimes it’s easy …

design, screen printing

Spring/Summer T-shirt Musings

  I write this just as we are all hunkering down for a big storm. I’m surrounded by legos, unfinished puzzles and socks (exactly how many pairs a day do my kids wear, and why do they keep taking them off??). Normally I’d be scared of the impending cabin fever, normally I’d be drinking tea …

books, inspiration, wellness

Favourite Things This Winter

Aaah bitterly cold January, only marginally more bearable than February, the month of Mockolate kisses, cabin fever, and dread. As you can see, winter has never been my favorite season, but I’m getting slightly better at dealing with it; you might even say I’m slowly warming up to it. See what I did there? A bit of seasonal …

art, summer camp

What I learned at Summer Camp – Part 2

Last week was my favorite week of Summer Camp so far. This is because the theme was Bauhaus.  I am obsessively in love with the Bauhaus art movement; it’s influences can be seen everywhere today, from IKEA furniture to the abc tv logo, and even Apple computers. Bauhaus stripped art down to it’s basic principles and focused on …

art, summer camp

Hitting Refresh

It has been waaaay too long since I last blogged, and here’s why: 1: I really haven’t felt like I have much to write about, and I just don’t do that whole ‘writing for the sake of writing’ stuff. It would bore you to death. 2: School is out, my delicious munchkins are home, and when …

art, education, summer camp

10 Tips for Running a Summer Camp

I have been running camps for four years. I’m no veteran, and four years may not seem a very long time, however, in those four years I have learnt a lot, and my camps have grown a lot. This list of tips addresses issues big and small, and I hope it helps any individuals out there …

art and design, education, family, inspiration, kids, learning, obstacles, operate by interruption, parenting, small business, summer camp, teaching, working from home

The Anticamp

You know, and I know, and those other people over there know, that I have spoken and written at length about the ups and downs of running a tiny one woman business. Well talk about ups and downs – last week certainly had it’s share of both!

To start off with, I ran the smallest, most minuscule, pea sized camp that I have ever agreed to run.
I generally have between six and ten kids in a camp. However, enrollment was really low for my first week of camp this year- only four children were signed up. So I called a meeting (with myself), decided that four was the absolute minimum amount that I could run a camp with, and happily continued with my planning.

The downs…

On Monday morning, a parent called to cancel – her child was not art-inclined, it seems. Oh dear – suddenly, I was running something that was very un-camplike. It was the Anticamp.

Three kids.
Any teacher, or parent worth their salt knows that three is definitely not the magic number. Two kids is fun, camaraderie, and hours of secret swapping. Four kids is a close-knit unit, an exercise in team building.  Three kids is backstabbing, bloodshed and tears. The problem with three, is that no matter what, one child is always left out. I could see hours of conflict resolution unfolding before me….

…then, to my horror, I discovered that my four year old was running a fever, ack! It will suffice to say, I choked back a tear or two.

Luckily, I have a very supportive husband.

Now for the ups…

I was actually pleasantly surprised. Yes, it was hard work at times keeping the three kids motivated, and cooperative, but we actually got some great work done, and had a lot of fun along the way. We got to do things that we would not have done with a bigger group. We spent longer on projects, and improvised more with our work. Every afternoon we drove to a local playground, and at the end of each day we had a water fight. The kids actually got on pretty well.

What did I learn?

Well, I learnt a lot about all the different ways in which insects can kill, maim, and be killed.  I learnt more about Pokemon than I wish to know. I learnt that elementary school kids cheat when playing board games with adults, they call it “leveling the playing field” – hmph. I learnt that a good game of Piggy in the Middle is the best bonding exercise for three kids, and finally, I learnt to always expect for the best.

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