By Abby Maeir, Artist-in-Residence
I love introducing campers to tactile projects that build skills and confidence and that are also relaxing and fun to do in a group. Everyone works at a difference pace and I love to see campers master a new skill set even when they initially think they won’t be able to do it. And something that always warms my heart when I’m working with kids at camp – while they worked side-by-side on their own projects, I often saw campers helping each other when needed.
This summer I led a macramé workshop and it was a lot of fun. Campers started out making macramé keychains, a great way to learn basic stitches. Then they took those basic stitches and created beautiful wall hangings. They chose the stitches, the length and width of each row, etc. Every participant infused their project with their own creativity and made it their own. Several campers asked to take materials with them so they could continue to work on their projects in their cabins or sitting by the lake.
The Atzmayim vocational participants tried something new – cyanotype nature printing. The results were amazing. They designed their own prints with words, phrases, icons, symbols and natural components like leaves, sticks, grass, and pine needles. We took the prints outside to “bake” in the sun for 20 minutes and let the magic happen. The sun turned everything blue except the words, symbols, leaves, etc.
What a joy it was to be at camp this past week and help campers learn new skills for creative expression.