Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Writing camp, creativity go hand in hand

Kids become published authors

Express Staff Writer

Does your child have a knack for non-fiction? A penchant for prose? Then Idaho Writing Camps might be a perfect way to scratch the creative itch and give voice to all the stories children have to tell.

A far cry from the traditional "today I swam in the lake," writing produced at most camps, this literary retreat offers children and youth in grades 3--12 opportunities to engage in creative writing adventures and to become published authors.

Sponsored by The Cabin, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and celebrate a love of reading, writing and discourse, this camp introduces aspiring writers to professional writers who lead small group sessions.

Budding storytellers use the natural world, cultural and historic sites, local environs and unique opportunities to start on a journey of imagination and inspiration.


Working in small age-appropriate groups, campers do a variety of projects. At the end of the session, children's work is published in a bound, take-home anthology.

Two camps are being offered in our area. "Word Play" for grades 3-4 will be held in Hailey at The Center Aug. 1-5. This camp will engage the senses and play with language as a path to writing imaginative poems and stories. Young scribes will visit nearby parks and commune with nature to jumpstart their writing. "Word Play" offers a morning session.

"Cabin Writers" for grades 5-6 will offer both a morning and afternoon session at The Center in Hailey, also from Aug. 1-5. This camp helps writers discover how art, music and nature, as well as their own inner voice, lead to stories and poems as individual as the author.

Morning sessions are from 9 a.m. to noon while afternoon sessions are held from 1-4 p.m. Cost before May 2 is $125. After May 2 it is $145.

Lastly, budding authors in grades 7-9 can take part in an afternoon camp at The Center in Hailey. "Urban Ink" will explore cityscapes, coffee shops, public art and natural spaces. Professional writers will help students create unique characters and a unique voice.

For a list of camps, some of which take place in Boise and Twin Falls, or to register, log onto The Cabin's website at The camp has been chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Top 10 Summer Arts Education program.

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