For those of you who have expressed interest in hosting an art camp of your own, the following is a quick recap of my lessons learned along the way.
1. Start small. If you think you would like to have ten attendees, invite five! For your first time hosting, keep the number of participants to a minimum so that you will not feel overwhelmed. Petunia only invited two friends, and there is really no need to be that conservative, but we took into consideration that Peanut would be participating and she is only 2. Had Peanut not been with us, I think 5 would have been the perfect number.
2. Be realistic about time. I originally told the mothers of the girls that the camp would be from 10-12 each day. I'm not sure if I was afraid of committing to a stretch of time and then not having enough activities for the girls, but 2 hours was not even close to enough time. If you will be working on sewing projects or projects with many steps like the bound journals, you will need at least 4 hour sessions to not feel rushed. Between breaks and end of the day swimming, the girls were with me for a good 6 hours each day. Similarly, we only planned this camp for three days, but in the future, we will definitely plan for four days.
3. Let paint dry overnight. If there is painting involved in a multi-step project, like the journals, schedule the painting for the end of one day and the next step in the painted project for the beginning of the next day so you can be sure the paint is completely dry. I thought that lunch break would be enough paint-drying time and had a moment of panic with my hairdryer to speed the process. Luckily, the girls were none the wiser. ; )
4. Don't be afraid to go for it. For the most part, the projects we worked on were very involved: sewing a purse when none of the girls had ever sewn before, combining print making and book binding into one project, but with a big effort, you get a big result. That is what will set your camp apart from arts and crafts that your participants may do at school or at home.
5. Make it special. Think about how the participants will bring home their beautiful creations. Package them up nicely at the end of the day so that when they present them to their families it will be an event.
6. Have fun! If your campers make an adorable purse, you make one too! If not, you'll wish you had.
I am thrilled that so many of you have been inspired to host an art camp of your own. As always, I am happy to answer any additional questions that you may have. Just ask in the comments or drop me a line. Also, if you have any tips, tricks or great projects for me, let me know about them!
For details on each day of camp, follow the links below.