Kreative Kids Camp Wrap-Up

With this, our final report, we look back at the challenges and successes of our 2016 Kreative Kids Summer Camp. They say hindsight is 20/20; and this is no exception! 

We embarked upon camp with many challenges, from staffing changes that delayed planning and process changes that limited opportunities for marketing, to an explosion of competing camps and a shorter summer school break that limited the number of sessions we could offer. 

The first weeks were, truthfully, worrisome - but, looking back at the whole picture, we prove that nothing exists in a bubble! Many different people helped to pull us through (and we hope we didn't forget anyone in our thanks). Despite the challenges, which will help us strategize for our next season of camp, 2016 was a great success.

 

Statistically, 2016 performed as well as 2015. The number of weeks and sessions offered in 2016 was 70% of those offered in 2015; we served 152 happy campers (74% of 2015) and filled 256 spots (66% of 2015)! Thanks to the support of grants and sponsorships, and our community, members, volunteers, instructors, staff and board, we exceeded our expectations. We fulfilled our goal of enriching the lives of children and families who would not typically have access to arts programs: single parents of low income families, grandparents raising young children, children of special needs, and children of areas in which there are no opportunities for arts. We at the Beach Art Center are proud to know that these connections will continue. Many of the families are in contact to look for year-round opportunities for their children, and we are introducing those opportunities as we open our regular season. 

A heartfelt thanks to all who support the Beach Art Center. We wish you a lifetime of creative experiences!

Kreative Kids Highlights 5 - Inspiration

With camp finished, doors closed for planning, and the big storm over, we've had time to think of how our Kreative Kids inspired us to broaden our horizons.

Parents were thrilled with the work of their children and expressed their enthusiasm about adding kids programs to our regular schedule. They were so happy about their kids' experiences that the also showed an interest in taking up art as a family activity!

Picasso said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Our Kreative Kids and their parents proved that point and we're now developing year-round family-friendly programs for our Fall season. We, too, are inspired and excited!!!

Kreative Kids Highlights 4

Since camp ended, we have been reviewing results, looking at ways to improve on our successes, and recognizing the people who made camp the success that it was. Success is only possible when there are good people contributing with a passion. In the last few weeks, we’ve thanked our instructors and our volunteers. This week, we want to thank the people who are the foundation of the Beach Art Center, our board members and our staff.

The Beach Art Center offers an amazingly broad menu of fine art programs, events and gallery exhibits for a little place with a little staff! One thing we can always count on here at the Beach Art Center is that our board members (who are also supporting members, accomplished artists or instructors themselves) have an unwavering passion about art, the enrichment that art brings to life, and the mission to enhance our community. The ladies pictured above - Lynda (Board President), Margie (Board VP) and Mary (Board Member/Instructor) - have probably spent as much time working through camp as any staff member would. All three were just a phone call away on a moment's notice, or just showed up in anticipation of needs (from set-up to cleaning, reception to service, or scheduling to office work) - these three were here ... and then there's Jeanette (Administrative Assistant extraordinaire) who worked many many more hours than anticipated to keep it all together. 

We've said it before - we couldn't have done it without everyone who helped with camp. A very special and heartfelt thanks to four very special ladies from the Executive Director.

Kreative Kids Highlights 3

Last week we promised to reveal survey results and comments about camp. Here we go...

Kids completed surveys and stories about their favorite things: meeting new friends was number one and anything messy and hands-on (like pottery, grouting, mosaics) was number two. Here is a representation of the words used most in our surveys:

  KID's FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT CAMP

KID's FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT CAMP

We asked the kids to rate their teachers, learning experiences, fun-factor, and artistic endeavors for each camp they attended. We're proud to say that kids felt really good about their experiences. Of a possible 4 points, teachers ranked 3.9, learning 3.7, fun 3.9, art 3.8. 

We also gathered some comments from kids and their parents or grandparents. Here's a taste of what they had to say...

Kreative Kids Highlights 2

After having weeks and weeks of whirlwind-like activity, it's nice to look back and reflect on some of the unexpected surprises we had during camp. For the past week, we've been working to compile facts and figures, analyze data, etc. etc. etc. 

Our new part time employee, Ayrton, has been pitching in on the after-camp clean-up, but has also been gathering and compiling records, creating spreadsheets, and contacting parents to arrange art pick-up. "Why", you may ask, "does this have anything to do with camp?" Ayrton came to us as a camp volunteer. We quickly knew we couldn't lose him, so we hired him!

Our volunteers helped to make camp the success that it was. Both Ayrton and Lilly came to us through the Bright Futures Scholarship program. The pottery studio was crazy with activity and was the most popular with the kids. When we wondered how and where we would find enough volunteers to assist with the ever-growing number of pottery kids, our long-time adult students showed up to lend a hand - a special thanks goes out to Monique for weeks and weeks of volunteer work.

With just one week to go, and parents begging for us to increase capacity (all the newly formed best friends just had to be together), another long-time member and student brings her granddaughter and asks if we can use help. The adult knows all about pottery, and the granddaughter learned at her side. Thank you Anna Marie and Isabella. Isabella stepped right in and did a wonderful job.

Of course we think our Kreative Kids are special, and our camp was special, but the participation of members and students and Board members who support us all year, their willingness to help, their love of the Beach Art Center - that's what really makes us special!

Watch for highlights next week when we'll reveal survey results and comments.

Kreative Kids Highlights

Last week, we were amazed at how much work our Kreative Kids turned out; so much that we knew we would be firing their pottery all of this week. We have so many projects we want to show off! Here are just a few...

 Two sisters created these beautiful vases after seeing a similar piece created by an adult student. We don't know who the adult is, but know she should be flattered by the inspiration.

Two sisters created these beautiful vases after seeing a similar piece created by an adult student. We don't know who the adult is, but know she should be flattered by the inspiration.

Joyce Scalzo, our long time pottery instructor, pulled out all the stops! The work of her students speaks to her love of exploring every possible technique used in creating with clay. Kids found their own passion as they worked with glazes, textures and techniques to create whatever they imagined from functional rice bowls to whimsical jelly bean servers to beautiful wall plaques. A very special thanks to Joyce and her ever-present assistant, Monique!

Week 7

This was our final week of camp, and while there is some sadness about not seeing creativity in action next week, we are thrilled to see the volume of work and the happiness this week! We had three very different camps, and the kids in each one produced so much wonderful work that we could hardly keep up with photos and comments. 

 Deb Vest's students learned how to make clay-mation movies and had lots of fun and giggles.

Deb Vest's students learned how to make clay-mation movies and had lots of fun and giggles.

 Joyce Scalzo's students were wildly creative with clay techniques that rivaled adults.

Joyce Scalzo's students were wildly creative with clay techniques that rivaled adults.

 Sylvia Shanahan's students went all out with fashion & fabric design and even created their own fashion design contest.

Sylvia Shanahan's students went all out with fashion & fabric design and even created their own fashion design contest.

Our Kreative Kids of Week 7 did so much work that we decided to feature a series from each class in the coming few weeks. Stay tuned, you won't want to miss it!

Week 6

Week 6 of Kreative Kids camp brings us to the home stretch of the final weeks of camp.  Some of our campers and instructors have been here week after week, others for just a week or two. We're amazed at the endless ideas and expressions of creativity here at the Beach Art Center! The new and the old continue to inspire each other to new heights of imagination...

With three very versatile instructors, students experienced much more than they expected. Deb Vest's students learned how to create mosaics and paintings, and learned how to turn ordinary objects into fun art with paint. Robin Quinn's students learned to build wind-chimes and objects with clay, and sculpted personal activity scenes from foil. Joyce Scalzo's students were encouraged to let their imaginations guide their learning; the worked in hand-building and wheel-throwing clay to build everything from Picasso plaques to bobble heads and everything in between. Can't wait to see what's created in week 7!!!

Week 5

Week five continued to highlight just how creative our "Kreative Kids" are! Our photography students learned all kinds of cool techniques and effects, while our pottery students learned to use unusual tools to create unique works of art. With the help of our wonderful instructors Dana-Lafita-Smith, Joyce Scalzo and Robin Quinn, students produced so much work that we even received a few to keep here for decoration.

Week 4

Week three of camp was filled with creativity, our campers made some items that the art center has never seen before. The lessons our teachers prepared were spectacular and showed off the artistic abilities of our campers! 

Today was the start of week four, we have seen many returning campers, but also some newcomers. The plan for the week is to keep our campers smiling with camps we haven't seen before this year. Our Kreative Kids summer camp teachers made learning fun, and easy for the kids. Thank you, Deb Vest, Joyce Scalzo, and Robin Quinn.

Week 3

Week two was well lived, with the help of students and staff, although its time for week three!

Week three of Kreative Kids summer camp was full of pleasant surprises and bright smiles. Some of the kids learned to sculpt, paint, and draw some of their favorite creatures, while others learned throwing on the potters wheel, and making dinosaurs and volcanoes! Our creative art journaling  class was wonderful; it showed the kids how to express themselves using free-form drawing, painting, and doodling.

We are so amazed with how the classes are going, we would love to thank our amazing teachers Mary Shusta, Sylvia Shanahan and Teresa Testa; but we're really, really amazed with our Bright Futures volunteers Lilli and Ayrton!  Lilli and Ayrton proved to be innovative and engaged in every way. We know they both have very bright futures. 

 Bright Future Volunteers, Ayrton and Lilli

Bright Future Volunteers, Ayrton and Lilli

Another Amazing Week of Kreative Kids Camp!

Our first two weeks of camp were a total success, thanks to our amazing artistic instructors: Mary Shusta, Pam Miles, Roberta Romeo, Teresa Testa and Warren Kenny. Camp was lively, and flowed brilliantly. We could not have wished for these first two weeks of camp to go any better!

 

This week, we welcomed our American Girl Doll lovers and pottery fanatics. Our students made beach themed items and accessories for their new best friends (their American Girl Dolls). Some of our pottery student learned to spin clay into beautiful cups or bowls, while others created their very own castles.

 

We are excited to see what our Kreative Kids do during our third camp week in Creative Art Journaling, Creepy Crawly Critters, or in the Pottery Studio: Throwing on the Potter’s Wheel or Dinosaurs and Exploring Volcanoes!

Camp has started!

 Visit the Beach Art Center website to see camps offered in the coming weeks.

Visit the Beach Art Center website to see camps offered in the coming weeks.

All the kids, and the instructors, had a great first week of camp. Looking forward to the upcoming weeks to see how our Kreative Kids interpret their imaginations!

Beach Art Center

2016 Kreative Kids Summer Art Camp - The grant award permits the expansion and enhancement of their Kreative Kids Summer Art Camp by offering a more diverse selection of camps taught by high quality teaching artists and to invest in new technology. The funding will support teaching artists fees for the expanded camps.