Camp and Creativity
Creativity is the most unrestricted form of self-expression. The ability to create something from personal feelings and experiences can reflect and nurture children’s emotional health. Creative experiences can help children express and cope with their feelings. Creativity also fosters growth by providing opportunities for trying new ideas, and new ways of thinking and problem solving.
When we think of activities that encourage creativity, we often think of artistic endeavors. While the arts and music are definite creative outlets, creativity is also found in science and play. Creativity is about generating outcomes that are original and of value. Creativity focuses on the process of forming original ideas through exploration and discovery. According to Carolina A. Miranda of Parenting.com, “divergent thinking is an essential part of everyday life, whether it’s navigating office politics or devising a new social-media network”.
Howard E. Gardner, professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard University considers creativity one of the five “minds” or ways of thinking – along with discipline, synthesis, respect, and ethics – that will be essential for young people to succeed in the future. In today’s world, children are at a disadvantage when it comes to engaging in the creative process. Games and activities that were once based on imaginative thinking now have step by step instructions on what the outcome should look like. Take a box of Lego’s for example. What was once a container of interlocking blocks to design whatever the imagination could dream up, now has clear cut instructions on how and what to build, taking away from the creative process. Mark Runco, PhD, Director of the University of Georgia’s Torrence Center for Creativity and Talent Development believes we all have creative potential. “Our job as parents and teachers is to help kids fulfill it”. At Iroquois Springs we offer a variety of opportunities for children to develop their creative and critical thinking potential by providing a wide range of creative materials and experiences.
Camp exposes children to creative work by providing at atmosphere in which unique and creative work is valued. U-Build-Itis a great example of a program we offer that allows kids to be creative and use their imagination. Campers use critical thinking when making Penny Boats out of tinfoil and discover just how many pennies they could load onto the boat while keeping it afloat. Campers come up with creative solutions when participating in the Egg Drop, as they work together to figure out the best engineering to prevent the egg from cracking. We take old computers, deconstruct them, and create Model Robots. These activities, along with woodworking, wearable art, kitchen stadium, rock band, digital media, film, rocketry and performing arts all allow our campers to express their creative sides.
Camp encourages kids to use creative thinking, and creative thinking skills are essential for success in learning and success in life. Developing the capacity to be creative can enrich lives and help children to contribute to a better society.