Somehow, it’s already August 7th, and we find ourselves tucked back in the Redwood Grove at Westminster Woods for our season ending overnight camp. We’ve moved all over the Bay, rocked out at an Alien Rock Concert, traveled through the many worlds of Monsters Under the Bed the Ride, laughed ourselves silly during the Mirth-Quake, and so much more. Our full adventures have been documented on our Instagram page, but we’ve just been too busy building to keep up with the blog. We’re planning to publish a 2017 summer photo journal, so come back soon to see all our hard work this year.
So here we are at Overnight Camp! We’ve more than doubled in size since last year with a total of 29 campers and 8 Collaborators. We’re also running a Middles and Uppers camp simultaneously for the first time, so we’ve got makers from age 10 years all the way up to seniors in high school. Kids are working with their age group on their projects, but much of the day’s games, meals, and down time are spent as one big camp. With so many friends, siblings, former Junior Collaborators, and alumni in the mix, we’ve all rapidly become a little village and it feels like everyone has known each other much longer than one day.
Day One was all about getting to know each other. We believe vulnerability is at the core of creativity, and with the spaciousness of a whole week together, we can afford to spend the day giggling, asking each other questions, and taking in this beautiful land. We’ll be more ready to take the risk of sharing a new, partly formed, crazy idea when the time comes.
First up, we played Giants, Wizards and Elves, and we gotta say - we have a new favorite game. Think Rock, Paper, Scissors, played as a whole team and mixed a little bit with tag. After sharing our names, the tool we felt the most like that day, and our preferred gender pronouns, we split into our Uppers and Middles camps to dive a little deeper. In both groups, everyone shared a story about an epic failure as well as something that seemed doomed and magically worked out. Eggshells in pancakes. Smashed life-size models of BB8. Previous projects from camp that somehow came together. A play that only found its ending during the car ride to the tech rehearsal. What would you have shared?
Next up, we enjoyed an usually early dinner (5:00!). It’s a bit of an adjustment for us all, but the silver lining is that we get a nice, long evening session before the sun sets. Before heading off for an evening hike, we discussed our group agreements. We’ve got a few philosophies we like to share with the kids, but group agreements are always created collaboratively. In our Uppers camp, we handed them the reigns to facilitate their own group agreement process. In Middles, this week will largely focus on the challenge of bigger projects with more complex components. The Uppers are working on gaining independence from collaborator facilitation/input.
Finally, we enjoyed a short hike along with the first meeting of our small groups. All the campers will meet nightly to check in and reflect on the day. For our first meeting, we played two truths and a lie, as well as coming up with some questions we wanted our group members to answer about themselves. We called it a night at the end of the hike - tomorrow's a big day!