My memories of summer camp are a jumbled mix of Girl Scout camp, outdoor camping, Vacation Bible School while visiting my grandmother in Louisiana, and music retreats. I performed in countless silly campfire skits, learned how to cook in a Dutch oven, made random arts and crafts, and studied viola with master teachers.
Fast forward many years and here I am teaching summer camps. And I have to admit, it’s one of my favorite parts of my jobs. How lucky am I that a regular work day includes looking at art, making all kinds of interesting projects, and hanging out with curious, creative kids?
Summer camp offers creative freedom that might not always be possible in a school classroom. At camp, there are no grades or rubrics or tests. Instead, campers spend their time asking what if? how come? and I wonder…? and then testing their ideas with paint, paper, pencils, clay, glitter, and glue. Summer camp gives both teachers and campers permission to be a little goofy, experiment with materials in new ways, and flex their creativity muscles. And this kind of creative workout not only challenges our brains but also makes us feel good! Summer camp is also a low-stakes, safe place for trying something new. Even if a child doesn’t think of themselves as “artistic,” a camp about something they do love—like space or colors or animals—offers a pathway into new experiences, like trying out art materials and techniques as a means of expressing ideas and feelings.
I only wish I could have gone to the kinds of summer camps that we have here at the Dallas Museum of Art. We’ve got camps for kids who love animals, painting, superheroes, rainbows, Harry Potter, stories, engineering, and so much more. Find out more about DMA summer camps here or use some of our free tutorials and projects to design your own at-home version of art camp!
Promoted content provided by the Dallas Museum of Art.