Keeping Camp Alive

In the three hundred and fifty-odd days of the year when camp is not in session, we wish away the time by pulling near whatever random past camp memory bubbles up. While relying on memory is a standby, it often fails to capture the essence of all the facets of the camping experience.

Keep those camp memories alive with these great archive projects.

Instead of hoping to remember all the fun and energy, why not add a camp archive project to your program offerings?

These can be scheduled for activity or arts and crafts time, as a whole-camp activity, or to select groups with a keen interest in preserving camp memories for future generations. Not only are the products of these activities excellent tools for reflection, some can be used in future marketing campaigns to show the value of camp to parents and potential campers.

1.     Camp Scrapbook

Materials: scrapbook(s), scrapbook pages and page protectors, scrapbooking and/or arts and crafts materials, photos

When thinking camp scrapbook, think simple. Scrapbook pages can be made by individual campers in 15 minutes. Have campers personalize a photo with a quotation, slogan, or short blurb about what camp means to them. Or invite cabins to create a cabin page. Sports and other activities can also create a page detailing their successes. Staff can create a page of reflection on their experiences. If traditional scrapbooks are too small for your group, three-ring binders are a cheap solution.

2.     Camp Collage

Materials: photos, poster board/foam board, adhesive

If photos are readily available during your camp session, a collage is one of the easiest and least expensive options. Possibilities include creating a photo collage of the entire camp or individual groups, cabins, activities, orientation, arrival and departure days or special camp events. Laminate or frame collages to preserve them, and share them with future groups by displaying them on easels.

3.     Camp Quilt

Materials: vary by option

Camp quilts are a favorite in terms of whole-camp involvement and simplicity of implementation. If you’re fortunate enough to have a volunteer or staff member willing to sew together the pieces, you’ll be able to make an archive that will be cherished for years. These can be used as wall hangings in offices, dining halls, and other common areas.

Two camp quilt ideas:

Fabric Squares: Have each camper create a picture of camp on a fabric square using permanent markers, fabric paint, puffy paint, fabric markers, or fabric crayons. Remind campers to sign their square.

T-Shirt Quilt: If extra camp T-shirts are available, have each cabin or group sign their name to one shirt using an option mentioned above. Ask someone with sewing skills to quilt the shirts together and display.

4.     Camp Pennants

Materials: permanent markers, felt/fabric/vinyl pennants (one for each camper and/or staff member), rope or cord long enough to accommodate all pennants.

Pennants fill the bill where a camp quilt is too large an undertaking. Like fabric squares, pennants can be customized with a name, bit of artwork, slogan or general interpretation of camp. Secure pennants to rope or cord via heavy-duty staples or other method. Display pennants in camp offices, drape over windows and walls for upcoming camp sessions, hang on fences and around pools for a festive touch. Pennants are durable and store easily.

5.     Camp Handprint Banner

Materials: large strip of butcher or Kraft paper or solid fabric, non-toxic poster paints, disposable plates, permanent markers

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