Wow! What a wonderful first day of camp! It was almost as if the Thalia Studio were transformed into a magical parallel universe… hmm…
We began the day with some games that transformed our campers into Giants, Elves, and Wizards before engaging in some more traditional ice-breaker games like Get-to-Know-You Bingo. We spent the rest of the morning in our Mini Book Clubs where campers got to share with each other and the counselors what they thought of all of the books they read for this first week of camp.
Our fabulous teaching artist for the week, Matt Cody, then led the campers on a journey into a magical land just on the other side of an imaginary door we discovered in the Thalia Studio… Curiously similar to the magical land that the campers read about in our book of today: Legendtopia by Lee Bacon. We brainstormed in small groups what kind of obstacles might be encountered in this fantasy world and what objects around the Thalia Studio they could use to help them on their quest. There were a lot of creative answers, but most of them revolved around turning everyday objects into various weapons. I think the ogres in Legendtopia really stuck with our readers…
We had a lovely lunch at Joan of Arc Park where we ate picnic-style in the grass, read our books, played some card games, and had a rousing (if not a little confusing) game of Capture the Flag.
Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: our author visit! Lee Bacon was a super awesome guest with us today and he even gave us his highly coveted “Lee Bacon’s Tips For Being a Writer or Succeeding in Just About Anything Else In Life” (or… LBTFBAWOSIAAEIL for short). The tips are as follows:
2. There is a 99.9% chance you’ll fail along the way.
3. If you still want it after numbers 1 and 2, then proceed to 4.
4. TRY AGAIN!!!
5. Repeat until you succeed.
Lee revealed some of the ins and outs of publishing to us by sharing the different reproductions of his popular Joshua Dread series in all the different languages it has been published in! Fun Fact: Joshua Dread actually has, like, FIVE different names as a character- just depends on which country you find him in! In Mexico, he’s called Lucas D. In Germany, he’s still called Joshua, but his last name is Schreck!
Lee led the campers through a Mad-Libs-style writing exercise and constructed a whole new superhero/super-villain showdown! We came up with a super villain named Krumpf who has grenades for hands (… hand grenades you might say…), a super sense of smell and also a talent for running. Our hero was named Dementia and she had a special device that could turn hairbrushes into monkeys (super useful) and the campers were able to continue writing about an epic showdown between Dementia and Krumpf.
We finished out the first (amazing!) day by getting our books signed by Lee and playing some games together. We can’t wait to meet Rita Williams-Garcia tomorrow morning, the author of Clayton Byrd Goes Underground, and then take the campers on our first field trip to Penguin Random House’s Audiobook division in the afternoon!