I have assisted in a couple of workshops and camps in the past but a lead?? This was my first. I love to draw and paint. I have used my gift of art as a stress buster, as a way to express my happiness, as a way to suppress my anger. But never had I thought that sharing it with a group of children who naturally love to draw but have had little experience, would give me so much pleasure.
It was three days of art camp from 10am to 12 pm. And since it was my first camp as a lead I had asked for a maximum number of 7 students with a minimum age limit of 7 years.
I was also assisted by Kristle who also happens to be my best friend for all purposes.
It could not have got better than that or so I thought.
So yes. 3 days and 3 different themes.
Day 1 was FUN WITH PENCIL.
Day 2 was FUN WITH PASTELS and
Day 3 FUN WITH WATER COLOURS.
Let’s start with Day 1.
Day 1. 12th April 2017
I was really nervous. My first lead and I really wanted it to be a success. And at the end of the day it was not about doing what I love to do. It was about developing that love in those children as well.
Children were informed prior that they have to pay 20 Rs for the entire Art camp. Initially it looked as if there won’t be much participation because they did not look so keen on paying 20 Rs and coming for an art camp when they are used to a free library program. But to our surprise 8 children showed up on day 1 and guess what?? They actually paid. Some who had not carried money went home and got the money. That in itself was a victory. Their interest in learning art took away half of my nervousness. Remaining half of my nervousness was taken away by Krystle as I was nervous about handling them for next two hours.
We had fun with alphabets. Albert Einstein had once said “ LOGIC CAN GET YOU FROM A TO B BUT IMAGINATION CAN TAKE YOU EVERYWHERE” and when it is a child’s imagination there are no boundaries. And we were dealing with 8 minds here filled with imagination. And just like that alphabet A soon lost its original identity and was turned into a standing man or a light house or a party hat. The fascination could be seen on their faces. They were excited about the next alphabets and what they could draw out of it.
I was not able to concentrate on all at once. They were all at once calling me MISS! MISS! I did not know what to do. Krystle realised the situation and despite not knowing how to draw a straight line without a ruler she actually sat with them and helped some of them draw. It was much easier to deal with them thereafter. And to keep a bunch of children interested in the art and not hitting each other or doing mischief is a huge achievement in itself right? Well I did not face much problem there. They were very much engrossed in the pencil art. I knew I had achieved something when we were able to complete our tasks despite there being no electricity and almost everyone was sweating profusely in the summer heat.
Day 2 13th April 2017
It was time to have fun with pastels. When we walked towards the library we could see the children already waiting for us. We were greeted by them all. We could see that the children actually enjoyed Day 1 as they tagged along with them more children who participated. Once we entered we divided the group into 3 based on their age. There were all together 13 children today. They all took their respective papers and sat in their places. I thought them pastel shading for flowers and fruits. That was our first activity of the day. I just had to show them once and they all could do it very easily except for the youngest group.
We had some difficulty in handling them as we had prepared ourselves to teach 8 children and we had to teach 13 of them. The younger ones were being a bit loud while asking colours as they were sharing colours. But then Krystle went into her Krystle mode and told them that they can use any colour for the fruits and flowers and gave purple colour to little Sannaullah. Little Sannaullah came to me and said “Miss Krysle miss koh pata nahi Orange orange colour ka hota hai, woh muje purple colour marne ko bol rahi hai” I laughed. The innocence on otherwise naughty Sannaullah’s face melted my heart. I searched for an orange colour and gave him. They did excellent shading. Next activity was pastel merging and pastel carving. Where we drew our favorite character. The brand ambassador of our organisation Mr. Bookworm. We had fun drawing him. I had to show them so many times that drawing him is now my favourite pastime. We finished in time. Children would not only show active participation on the camp activities but also would wait till after the session and help clean the place.
Day 3 -15th April 2017
Fun with water colours. This was the last day of our Art camp. And yes we had more participation. Now over all total number of children participating were 18. Which was more than any one of us had expected. We were to use water colours today. They were all excited to work with water colours. But the idea was not to use the brushes at all. Here also I used their imagination. We did the tube colour impression. Which would give us different patterns and they would have to look at the pattern that they had formed and tell what they felt it was. Anjum said hers was a butterfly where as Kashish said hers is a bee and Saba said hers were animal eyes. They had lot of fun doing it. Then we did the blow patterns. Where they had to put wet colour on the paper and blow over it with a straw. They made flowers and also stars. Palak made a galaxy with different colours. Then we did finger painting and hand impressions. I took the hand impressions of all the participants with different colours on a white paper, cut it and stuck it on a trunk I had drawn on a white chart paper. Which now serves as a source of different story altogether of the Art camp 2017 on the wall of Chimbel library to which they are personally connected.
After finishing all the decided activities the children were sad that the art camp is over. It made me feel both sad as well as happy. Sad because it was over happy because it showed me that the children really loved the camp. We cleaned the area and children told us that they loved the activities we did and that they learned a lot. And we left with a smile of satisfaction on our faces.
These three days have not only given me a different experience all together but it has developed a different kind of connection with the children of Chimbel. A connection I cant explain. A connection that is at a different level altogether. A connection which I will love to develop more and more with in the coming years. Ask me how I felt when Gayatri asked little Kashish ‘What do you all get in the Bookworm library?’ and she said ‘ we got a new Art teacher’. The feeling cannot be expressed in words.