Tradition!!!!

No, this has nothing to do with my excitement over the fact that Topil will be starring in “Fiddler on the Roof” in Cleveland next summer and I have every intention of going…it has to do with the importance of tradition in programs for children, especially when they only happen once a year.

Last week I was a counselor at my church’s VBS. We have this fantastic program called Heroes Camp which was created at our church and is now used all over the state. This year someone new is in charge of the program. While she did a wonderful job she made a lot of changes to the program that really changed the overall feel of Heroes Camp.I was working with the older campers and they were always questioning me as to “why we aren’t doing things the way we did them last year?” These kids only come to this program once a year but it makes such an impact that they remember every detail of what we did.

Now I could go on about my opinons of these changes (some good some bad) but I am NOT here to bash anyone’s creativity.

I am going to make a point about how I use tradition. In the case (since it is what I am stuck working on for the rest of summer) of Truassic Park Adventure Camp at the museum.

This is the fourth summer we have done this program. I created it from the ground up and I am happy with the result. Every year we have the same themes “Dinosaur Day, Nature Day, Fossil Day, and Adventure Day” and we always have a reptile show, mock fossil dig, some sort of activity in Vier’s Ditch, a fossil talk, and use the playground equipment in the park (zip-line, water balloon launcher, giant slide, swamp maze, etc…)Then all the crafts, snacks, and other projects are new each year.

Co-workers and family members will sometimes question why I repeat so many activities every year. Won’t repeat campers get bored?I think they think I am getting lazy…lol!

I see their points, however, since Truassic Park Adventure Camp happens once a year the kids actually look forward to these activities. I hear things like “Are we going to dig for fossils this year? That is my favorite!” and “When are we going to go to the creek?” So I guess if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…if it keeps on working….it’s a tradition.

Now the fact that we are having Miss Katie’s Famous Campfireless S’Mores is another story…I am running out of snack ideas for Adventure Day…..

Kids and the value of crafts

So while at work I am researching frog crafts online for the “Awesome Amphibians” programĀ I am doing at the museum on Saturday. I was looking on the DLTK website for ideas and I found an interesting article.

It is about how to do a craft with a young child. So often I feel like when the kids come home from my camp with their crafts, the parents are a little unhappy that the crafts aren’t “pretty.” All the crafts we do at camp the kids make 100% their own. Sometimes we will pre-cut the pieces or help them glue things together but it’s always their own project.

This article boosted my morale and I’ve decided to make a slide in the camp parents slide show about why we do the crafts and projects we do.

With kids and crafts, it’s all about imagination, creativity, and developing skills not whose paper butterfly is the prettiest.

I must get back to work but please check out this great article:

http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/mefrog.html