Gettin’ My Craft On: Art as Shelter

Jul 13 2011

As I prepared today to write about Art as Shelter, what to my wondering eyes did appear? Ten brown ducks in their wet rain gear.

There they were, pleasantly sitting and pooping all over my Arts and Crafts porch, taking shelter from our less-than-stellar weather, and chattin’ it up in a safe haven.

It was genuinely precious, and, while it made me miss my little poopers at home, it also reminded me of the kiddos here at camp.

My main goal for the week, as I’ve told all the campers who visit me, is to teach them to put the lid back on the nail polish remover.  And that’s a lot harder than it may sound!

My secondary goal, which I haven’t shared with our campers in words (but sure hope I have with actions), is to provide a safe haven to kids who need it.  A place of respite.  A place of acceptance.  A place where grown-ups are interested in them, listen to them, and give them all of the camp-approved side-hugs they can take.

One of the most popular crafts this week, for reasons I don’t quite understand, is painting birdhouses.

It was a serendipitous craft; a deal I found at our local craft store.  Miniature birdhouses for $1 each.  Well, on my camp budget, it was a deal I couldn’t refuse.  So I bought acrylic paint at $0.89/bottle,

a slew of brushes for $4 total, and a bunch of birdhouses.

And the crowds went wild.  It was Paint Fest 2011.

But much more important than painting shelter for birds is being shelter.  So far, I’ve heard a lot of stories from kids.  Stories of triumph and stories of defeat.  Stories of joy and stories of insecurities.  And even stories from kids who just need to get out of the rain.

Eventually, my ducklings soak up enough shelter and bravely scoot back into the rain.

I bid them adieu and clean up the mess.

And I’m honored to do it all again tomorrow.