Welcome to Week 4, everyone! Today marked the beginning of our camp session for 12-13 year olds. This morning was really fun – we got to see a lot of familiar faces and catch up with old friends, as well as get to know our new friends and fellow bookworms!
We started the day with some warm up activities to get to know each other a little better. We played Human Bingo, The Great Wind Blows, and Capture the Keys. We also did a short writing exercise to prepare us for discussion of The Beast of Cretacea. Using pages from the book, we chose certain words to create our own ‘found’ short stories.
We wrapped up our morning activities with a Mini Book Club. Campers circulated throughout the room and had the opportunity to talk about all five books for 8 minutes each. The discussion ranged in topics from favorite characters to confusing plot points.
After coming to a consensus about good camp guidelines, we went out for lunch and games in the nearby Joan of Arc Park.
After lunch, we enjoyed our first author visit of the week: Todd Strasser! He answered all our questions about The Beast of Cretacea and then talked to us about the structure of a story. In order to make it fun (and not like our standard school English class!) we all contributed to a wacky story about a love triangle between three characters: Jasmine, Fernando, and Bob. Everyone raised their hands to contribute a detail or a plot twist, and soon the story was taking on a life of its own! It was a fun and inventive way to explore familiar terms like “rising action” or “inciting incident” in a creative and hilarious way.
After the collaborative exercise, we took a group photo with Todd and then got our books signed! It was a successful first author visit and we can’t wait for more.
To wrap up the first day, we had some free time for reading and playing games. Dismissal time came quickly, but tomorrow will be a really special day: we have a field trip to Joffrey Ballet School and a visit from Nova Ren Suma!