Rare Artistic Opportunity

Weekly Photo Challenge: For this week’s challenge, show us something that stands out from the everyday.

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Footprints in the Sand: Painting on canvas with a brush and feet.

It’s a rare opportunity when parents are able to send their children to a week-long arts camp without shelling out even one penny. Yet, they were afforded that possibility this week through Mission Church, a Christian community in Appleton, WI. Since 2013, children in the area are able to come to the church during one week in August to dance, work with wood and clay, make cakes and drums, play games, paint, draw, eat snacks, have fun and commune with their God. When they are done for the day, a brown bag lunch is ready for them. At no cost. Arts Camp is supported by private donations, the church, and the goodness of community and volunteers. This year was quite the undertaking as enrollment increased from just under 200 children last year to 320 this year. I think the word got out that this was the place to be for children to create their own rare, one-of-a-kind masterpiece in a safe and welcoming environment.

Having survived served as a volunteer this week in visual arts, working with 23 second and third graders, I feel both worn out and blessed. Worn out because I’m not used to so much running and small people energy; blessed because it was an amazing, inspiring week surrounded by little faces that I am going to miss.

I may have to raise my hand again next year…

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24 responses to Rare Artistic Opportunity

  1. Dan Antion says:

    What a wonderful opportunity for the children, and how nice of you to volunteer, Mary. I remember summer Bible camp. I don’t remember all the things we did, but I remember the people who volunteered. I didn’t understand that they had to give up vacation time to be there. As I read this, I am even more grateful to those people. Good job.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      There were many retirees or stay-at-home moms who helped out. A few of us took vacation. I had wanted to be involved since the first year and I finally decided to jump in this time since I didn’t have anything else planned this summer. It was a wonderful experience, although at times I wondered what the heck I got myself into. The people that have volunteered in years past told me I would be exhausted by the end of the week, but that it would be a good exhausted. They were right!

  2. Laura says:

    That looks like so much fun, they need a day for adults. And I am sure the campers were very happy to have you volunteer.

  3. loisajay says:

    This warmed my heart, Mary. Such a good thing–for all involved. And I am so sure you were exhausted! Where do the kids get all this energy?!

  4. This looks like so much fun, I wish I could have come too! The art activities look amazing. Kudos to you, M-J for giving up holiday time to volunteer. As someone who works mostly with 6-7 year-olds, you have both my congratulations and my sympathies. 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Having no children of my own, I was a little bit tentative at first. But, my word, those kids found a place in my heart. Especially Ava, who was such a free spirit. I had to hold back the laughter when she told me she was going to marry the neighbor (I’m assuming a boy close to her age). It was a fun group of kids and lots of fun projects.

  5. joey says:

    That is fantastic 🙂 I’m glad that’s a happiness for you, for parents, for lots and lots of kids.
    When my kids were little, they all enjoyed VBS. I don’t recall ever going myself.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I never went to an art camp or bible school during the summer. I may have liked that, especially an art camp where you can paint and draw and get messy all week long.

      • joey says:

        I would have loved an art camp, too. 🙂 Are we too old to go to art camp? I’d like to do those things where you go with a friend and drink wine and paint!

      • bikerchick57 says:

        I thought about painting with wine too, but I don’t know what I’d do with the art work when I was done with it. Goodwill? 😏

      • joey says:

        Oh no, I’d hang it 🙂 Mmhm 🙂 Who cares? It’d be a nice souvenir!

  6. joannesisco says:

    Being left to supervise a group of young children strikes terror in my heart. Any one who willingly gives up their vacation time to do it for a week is mighty special.

    It looks like there were so many fun activities for them to do … and you had fun too. Bonus!!

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