Monday, June 17, 2013

Preparing for Camp

I'm about to embark on my second summer of teaching summer arts camps for the City of Evanston. Yes, my off-season job is just as much fun as my opera job! My days will be filled with Mod Podge and pony beads and felt and glitter. Lots and lots of glitter!

I've found that Pinterest makes me a much more inspired teacher. I created boards for each camp I teach, and I started collecting images in October. Writing my curricula was a snap because I just worked from my boards and grouped the projects in a way that made sense, then clicked on the pins to get to the websites with instructions and supply lists. Last year I sat and stewed and tried to come up with ideas on my own, then do Google searches for supply lists. Thanks, Pinterest, for making me extra-awesome!

My boss invented the brilliant "Snacktivity", an edible activity that goes along with the day's lesson plan. Several of my Snacktivities for my camps contain Nutella, the delicious chocolate hazelnut spread that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that God exists and wants us to be happy. My Habibi has never had Nutella and doesn't understand my fascination with the stuff. He has come to the conclusion that I must be the heiress to the Nutella fortune, which is why I'm exposing my campers to the substance so that they'll beg their parents for it, thus expanding my Nutella empire. My Habibi is a very silly man.

Surprisingly, one of the most popular crafts with my campers last year was crocheting. Kids would come up to me every day and ask if we were crocheting that day. There was even a camper who drew a beautiful, colorful sign on the chalkboard that said, "I Love Croshay" (sic). I armed them with N-sized hooks (the size of a Sharpie marker) and light-colored yarn so they could see what they were doing. I taught them the importance of yarn tension. And I taught them to chain stitch. Some of them chain stitched -- just chain stitched -- for almost an hour! Two of my campers had their mothers take them to Tom Thumb to get yarn and crochet hooks of their very own. They loved the chain stitch! Personally, I think of the chain stitch as a means to an end. These kids thought crocheting chains WAS the end! This year I will teach them to Finger Crochet. They'll. Be. Ecstatic!!

Tonight is my Stitch 'n' Bitch at the Glenwood, 7-?. I hope to see you there! I'll probably be crocheting a red heart scarf for WomenHeart. Until next time my darlings, Peace, (radical) Love, and Yarn!!

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