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CampWrite UNC - Katharine Griffiths

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Cause Description:
CampWrite UNC is a two-week creative writing camp that hosts both middle school and high school students. Our camp must exist because creative thinking must exist. Our core objective is to enhance the self-confidence of campers and counselors alike through the creative process. All counselors are deeply aware of the personal journey undertaken by all artists. An element of raw honesty is involved in successfully articulating something beautiful from the imagination; honesty to your idea, unimpeded and undecorated by bias or ego. This honesty must be communicated to your audience in the body of your work and be developed within yourself as a writer. After the idea is brought to life on a page (in poetry, prose, or playwriting), a student practices humility while reviewing others’ work and in accepting criticism of their own. These two transformative processes can work together to furnish an individual with a deep self-confidence that we believe has the power to alter the course of adolescence. Creativity is not something people grow into but something they grow out of, and we seek to foster originality and let kids who have harnessed or restrained that urge to create recognize, explore, and celebrate what a gift they have. A similar journey of self-reflection is required in the process of teaching, and in this way our counselors experience personal growth in tandem with their students. Campers will finish multiple projects, one of them chosen to be printed in a bound book that is free to campers and delivered later in the summer. Camp culminates in a final celebration of the students’ work, at which time their friends and parents will be invited to attend a reading to showcase the writing. Campers will graduate CampWrite UNC with a deep knowledge of the creative process and applicable writing skills. More importantly they will graduate with overall greater self-confidence and practiced familiarity with creative thinking through diversity in curriculum design. Finally, campers leave CampWrite UNC as part of a network of young, local writers (that they would have otherwise never met) able to maintain healthy writing habits and continue encouraging each other. CampWrite UNC lasts long past our last meeting.

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