Writing Camp.

When I tell people Edie is going to writing camp, they often misunderstand me and think we’re sending her to horseback riding camp.  And they like to share stories of their camp days with me.  No, WRITING, as in the Charlottesville Writing Center.  As in, she’s writing stories. 
Edie is alot like me – she’d rather spend her summer curled up with a book than doing swim team  or anything that requires a good bit of physical activity.  Our neighbor runs the writing center and when I heard about camp, I thought it might be something Edie would really like.  Last summer was her first summer to go and she loved it.  We noticed a difference in both her reading and writing abilities after her attending, as did her teachers at school.  She requested to go again this summer and so last week she did just that.
There they are on the first day of camp.  It was held in one of the art galleries downtown.  There was a mystery theme this year – it involved a missing painting and the writing center supplied a few prompts for the kids, like a list of suspects complete with mug shots and rap sheets.  Each story had similar elements – like a letter to someone and a mention of an enchilada, but the talking cat and superhero piranha were definitely creations of their own.  The kids were detectives and their stories were solving the crime.

The last day of camp, parents are invited to a reading.  The kids were encouraged to come in detective costume, and after convincing Edie that she really didn’t want to wear my long camel hair coat on a Virginia in July 90+ degree day (not to mention it’s really too long for her), I managed to talk her into her Picasso dress – after all, she’s undercover investigating art theft, yes?  Because no, I was not running out to buy her a trench coat and she would definitely be more undercover as an art fan than she would in a trench coat anyway.

Last year’s reading ended up on one of the local TV stations and included an interview with Edie.  While she didn’t get that kind of glory this year, she still thoroughly enjoyed camp this year.  She definitely is engaged and inspired the entire week.  This past spring, she started making books for us – collections of her ideas, stories, poetry – self published, one of a kind treasures.  And she has her own blog.  That was something we felt we couldn’t say no to, because of the creativeness of it, but we did have our concerns about internet safety.  So, it’s one of those super top secret blogs, one you have to be invited to view, one you have to have a password to view and mama gets full approval of who gets to see it.  (Pretty much anyone she wants to share it with, as long as she has your email address to send you the invite.).  I never cease to be amazed at her creativity.   The next few weeks of her summer are designed to foster and encourage that – she’s doing a week of camp at the Cooking School and then a week of art camp. And then, she’s doing three weeks at Camp Lachlan, because sometimes we all have to leave our comfort zones.  It will make her a better writer, yes?

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