My brother stopped by the other day for a porch chat. (Porch chats are starting to be really normal now, aren’t they?) We both have kids starting college in the fall, and my brother said how grateful he is that his son Drake can write. Essays, applications, whatever he needs to write, are easily within reach. Drake grew up coming to writing camp. He liked to play soccer and was a black belt in karate. Writing wasn’t his “thing,” but my brother is a team player and thought his kids should support my camp. The by-product of this support is Drake actually became a writer.
How did this happen? How does one week of summer writing camp “create” a writer? Emily and I have asked ourselves that question many times, because Drake’s story isn’t unique. Throughout our 15 years of writing camp, we’ve heard this story over and over. Here is why it works:
At writing camp, we give young writers permission to be creative and play with words.
There is no grade. Writers improve their pieces because they want to.
Writers receive direct feedback on what they are doing right so they can do it again.
They leave the experience calling themselves a writer. They approach future writing tasks with zest and confidence because, inside, they believe they can. This confidence feeds into effort. This effort feeds into improvement. A little at a time, they grow into writers.
Camp isn’t going to look the way it has for 15 years, but the essentials remain the same. We are going to be about the business of building young writers and providing for your writer the best summer writing experience in the country. Camp starts in two weeks. We look forward to seeing your writer there! Carrie and Emily