I never went to summer camp, but it loomed large in my childhood imagination, probably because so many of the books I loved involved camp in some way. It seemed my fictional friends were always having some kind of summer camp fun: tipping a canoe, going on hikes and getting bitten by bugs, being ostracized by everyone else in their cabin… wait, why did I want to go to camp so bad?
In my house, summer camp was edged out by helping my dad in the humongous vegetable garden that took over our whole backyard. In suburban Mississauga, we were growing rows of corn, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuces, onions, carrots, herbs—a veritable farmers’ market, all in our backyard. So, instead of picking a new best friend at camp, I picked endless rows of green beans, and endless buckets of stone out of the soil. Later, the garden itself was edged out by an in-ground swimming pool, an incredibly luxury in our family of six. That swimming pool stood in for summer camp and vacations to exotic places—we didn’t do any of that. Instead, we had glorious family swims, pool parties with our friends (the ones who weren’t away at camp), lazy afternoons reading with our feet in the shallow end. It was pretty great.
But still, there’s something about camp that just appeals to my inner nerd (and also to my outer nerd). And so, I’m delighted to be launching my first-ever camp: Tiny Empire Writing Workshop Summer Camp! Our inaugural session is this summer, from July 23 to July 27, nine am to noon. Kids have the option to bring their lunch and stay till 1pm (some parents find that easier for pick up than noon), reading a book, listening to a podcast with the group, or chatting about their projects. During class time each day, we’ll dig deeply into character, plot, setting, theme, and descriptive writing, using writing exercises, discussion, and examples from kid lit. A motivated kid could use this week to complete a novel, probably. At the very least, kids will get lots of experience with exploring elements of story, more facility with giving and receiving feedback, and a great week of hanging out with their peers, using their imaginations. We’ll go outside each day, too, to observe the world around us and talk about how to weave real-life details into our stories. It’s gonna be great. And no one will fall out of a canoe and have to walk back to camp in their wet clothes.
- What: Tiny Empire Writing Workshop Summer Camp!
- When: Monday July 23 to Friday July 27, instruction from 9am to noon, till 1pm if kids want to hang out and eat their lunch
- Where: My place, in central Halifax
- Who is it for: Eager young writers between the ages of 8 and 13
- How much: $200 per child for the week
Get in touch to enrol your young writer today!