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Summer Camps

Calling All Campers! Summer 2014 Registration is Open


Calling All Campers! Summer 2014 Registration is Open

Summer 2014 GotG Red Playground

    TMWFI logoWe are delighted to offer three different camp  options this summer. Parents can team up to form their own camps using our on-demand camps format. Interested? Please fill out an"On-Demand" Camp Inquiry interest form here.


We are proud to be offering our unique brand of creative writing excursions to campers during 4 different weeks of the popular East Bay camp, Girls on the Go!

Camp 510 Logo  New this summer! Camp 510 has invited us to bring our creative writing to their summer party during the week of July 7th.

To register for Camp510's "Process is Everything" Week featuring Take My Word for It! (July 7-11, 2014), click here.



Camp Round-Up 2013: Writing & Art Camp in San Mateo

Campers at our private "Take Flight!" camp in San Mateo learned about the art of flying, Amelia Earhart and composed a letter that Ms. Earhart may have written. (Click on each writing sample to read a larger version.)

Sometimes, inspiration comes from far away places.

As a part of the art program, campers learned about creation, observation and revision.

On a “gallery walk”, the group looked at dioramas done by fellow campers. Instructor Angela asked the campers to point out interesting elements in other people’s work – be it paper folding, colors or layering. Afterwards, when asked if anyone wanted to work more on their own piece, all campers raised their hands.

The campers began mapmaking after discussing Amelia Earhart.


One of our favorite moments of a session is hearing young writers read their work. Click on each photo to see a larger version of each author presenting to the group.



Camp Round-up 2013: 18 Reasons

In our camp at 18 Reasons, the "Found Treasures & Scavenger Hunts" morning group hunted for words and then made "found" poems. Click on the photo of each poem to read a larger version.

Our afternoon group's theme was "What a Mystery". In our "What a Mystery" curriculum, kids learn how to compose a compelling whodunit story. The campers also constructed stories with secrets as the centerpiece. Here are some brief excerpts.

Arlo wrote on the prompt "Create a suspenseful scene".

“I thought I heard something, somewhere in the house. There it was again, a creak, from upstairs, directly above me. Now a note from the piano. Am I hallucinating? Abandoning my movie, I took a flashlight and headed upstairs.

“Fi,” I heard as I freeze.

“Fie…Fo…Fum,” I continue walking, I must be hallucinating.

The stench of rotting flesh stops me.”

Ben wrote on the prompt “It was missing…”.

“It was missing. On a planet, billions of years away, a ball of energy that held us together, supplied us, and kept our people alive had gone missing. Our council thinks it was stolen by a planet close to us that had almost been killed after using up all their natural resources. Our planet is dying now, without the aura. I am a soldier, I have been fighting for years now, protecting us survivors against the citizens turned into zombies that have been framed by the aliens to terrorize the survivors.”

Owen wrote on the prompt “It was missing…”.

“It was missing and I knew someone had stolen it. I knew it was gone as I entered my bedroom. I bolted out into the night to search for my Shadow Amulet. I had an idea of who would have taken it. Later in the night I arrived at the asylum, everything had gone haywire. I could hear unhuman screams coming from inside.”

Nicky wrote on the prompt “It was missing…”.

“That night it was very hard for Michael to sleep and when he did he felt as if someone was closing a door right in front of him. The next morning when Michael woke up it was eleven o’clock. He was late for work. He hurried out of bed and rapidly got dressed but he noticed something was missing. The glove was gone…”

Nick wrote on the prompt “It was missing…”.

“Bang! Bang! Were the sounds that I woke up to. I went back to bed thinking something fell in the bathroom. I woke up, turned the lights on and realized tht the diamond watch that was passed through the family for decades was gone I went downstairs and the windows were shattered. “

Miles wrote on the prompt “I cheat on almost every math test…”.

“My family is considered intellectually gifted. Me, on the other hand, I suck at math. I feel really out of place in our family. My younger brother can do more complex math than me. So I got tired of being made fun of so I started cheating on almost every math test that I take. My parents finally started to notice me. One day I got caught cheating on the last test.”

Dash wrote on the prompt “I can read minds”.

“Kate Contraire could read minds. At first, she had only been told she had an amazing ability to detect patterns. But as she grew older, she noticed an increasing ability to know what other people were thinking. It had started out as noticing an idea that wasn’t hers. But as she started paying more attention to those feelings she noticed that people were talking about these unknown thoughts. She had told no one about this ability.”

Harrison wrote on the prompt “It was missing…”.

“It was missing. The money, the safe, everything. Wait! I better tell you who I am before I tell you about the bank. I am Kurt Brown, The Magic Man as you might say. I am a wizard. I float around in a costume saving people, and tying up the bad guys, but this case was so cold I couldn’t find the bad guys. They had covered up evry scratch and fingerprint.”


Elliot wrote on the prompt “Create a suspenseful scene”.

“He thought he heard someone in the house. It was one of those light footstep noises that repeated for a couple seconds and then stopped. His dad was at work and his mom wouldn’t be back from shopping for another 45 minutes, and besides, she would have called his name if she were home. Who was it? Could a stranger have picked their door lock? Could it have been his friends knocking on the door? He felt a shiver down his spine thinking about the couple robberies in the area. Could that be happening right now? Just then he heard his cat crying.”



What's Up with Girls on the Go Camp?

Our theme for the week of August 19 - 23 was "Magical Realism". We started off on Monday by defining Magical Realism - stories where things appear ordinary, except for one strange and wonderful magical element - one that's often hidden and only known to some of the characters. We talked with the girls about books that they had probably read or heard of  - Coraline, Charlotte's Web, Alice in Wonderland - and asked them to think about why these stories would be included in the category of Magical Realism.

Their assignment: to ponder what kind of magical element they would want to feature in a story sketch and to think about it during their travels. We furnished them with some suggestions such as: What if hidden messages were written on the underside of leaves? What if mysterious music emanated from man hole covers? What if you had the ability to read people's minds whenever you boarded a bus or BART train?

On Wednesday we introduced the concepts of character and conflict, antagonist and protagonist and encouraged them to consider how their element of magic would fold into their story.

By Friday, most of the girls had a detailed idea of their story's structure and had developed a main character and an antagonist. We finished Friday's session by letting them draw detailed maps of the worlds they came up with. Some of them completed a prologue to their story as well. Oh, and we also fit in some word games and a round of "Exquisite Corpse"!

There were some really unique and creative ideas including a world where a young girl can travel back to the time of the president appearing on any bill in her wallet, and a world where cats, when they walked through their cat doors, entered another dimension!

Thanks for signing up your daughters for Girls on the Go!  Please ask them to tell you about the fantastic worlds they created.


Our theme for the week of July 15 - 19 was "Found Treasures and Scavenger Hunts"!

Here are a few of the pieces from TMWFI and Girls on the Go camp this week!

In this writing activity we asked the campers to write about things they've lost:

Julia's "What have I lost?"

My mom's mom to cancer

My 4th uncle to a heart attack

My dad's dad to a sudden death

A friend I knew since 1st grade because

she's moving to Singapore

My fear of death

My fear of heights

My (now dead) goldfish

2 pair of ice skates

My 1st cello

My 1st piano

8 of my baby teeth

A lot of lead pencils


My 1st - 10th birthday cake

My long hair


Olivia R's "Lost Things"

1. Words I have been hurt


2. A friend

3. My sadness

4. Some earrings

5. My fav. shorts

6. My fishes

7. My fav. dress


Elizabeth's "Things I've Lost"

Aunt Esther

Childhood innocence (due to middle school)

Friends and enemies

Wheat tolerance

About 8 earring backings

My willingness to believe

My nail biting habit

My dad's camera case

2 soggy, muddy, disgusting blackened (though originally white)

Socks lost to gilli's grove

A pair of white chords- accidentally

Washed with blue underwear

Clothes that I've grown out of

A 4 year old light blue fleece

All of my baby teeth

A whole lot of hair bands

My love for the Beatles (when I saw

What Paul McCartney showed up, botoxed

At the Oscars


"Take My Word For It!" Partners with Girls on the Go for Summer Camp!

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"Take My Word For It!" Partners with Girls on the Go for Summer Camp!


This summer we're thrilled to collaborate with Girls on the Go to bring a "Take My Word For It!" creative writing focus to 3 Berkeley camp sessions in July and August! Campers will be travelling with pencils in hand drawing their writing inspiration from their adventures.



Make sure to register for one of the following dates!


Ages: 9-13 Location: Berkeley Times: Basic Day: 8:00-4:00, Extended Care: 4:00-6:00 Prices: Basic Day: $360/week, Extended Care: $420/week


- Schedule for the week of July 15-19 -

Monday July 15:  We will begin our morning with a writing workshop in Oakland. Afterward get ready to rock climb at the Great Western Power Company.

Tuesday July 16:  First we’ll take a Precita Eyes Mural Tour in San Francisco. After we work up an appetite, we’ll enjoy some Papusas.

Wednesday July 17: Our second writing workshop for the week will take place in Berkeley then we’re off to San Franisco where we will eat lunch and have some ice-skating fun.

Thursday July 18: Swim Day at Lake Anza, Tilden Park, Berkeley. We will take an incredible hike from the bus stop down into the park.

Friday July 19:  We will head to Playland-Not-At-The-Beach in El Cerrito for some carnival and arcade games. Then we will have our last writing workshop for the week in Berkeley.


Girls on the Go offers field trip camps in the Bay Area camp where girls can explore, learn, and share in a fun, respectful environment. Campers learn about travelling by bus and BART and see a variety of Bay Area locations!


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Day 2 of Bedtime Story: Creative Writing & Art Camp at Classroom Matters

The Art Edition:
The students are excited about writing and illustrating their Children's books and so am I!
On Monday we looked at books and  different illustration styles, tecniques and mediums artists use. We experimented with different tecniques and materials exploring pencil, sharpies, and watercolors. Students learned how to incorporate illustration into letters by creating  their name as flowers, animals and patterns. The campers all received newsprint sketchpads and spent the end of the day sketching ideas for their book characters. On Tuesday we continued exploring different art mediums so each individual can choose a material they enjoy using the most. We got tempera paints out, learned how to mix colors and created paintings. We also made bold oil pastel drawings on black paper. Students pulled out their sketchbooks and we practiced drawing faces that show different emotions. I've been talking to the campers individually and working with them to develop their character and background art and some of them are already sketching illustrations for their book.
-Laurie Croft, art teacher
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The Writing Edition: Bedtime Story Excerpts

Tyler- My character’s name is Bob, and he lives on a farm.

Adrian- My character is fat kid named Poncho and his challenge is the Super Taco Grande Mucho Gigante.

Arielle-My character’s name is Saddy, and he is a blue sphere.

Diego- My character’s name is Bob-John-Joe-Jack and he can fly.

Simone- My character is a little boy named Tommy and he gets lost from his family.

Amira- Mine is about a boy named Carmu who dreams of being a farmer.

Jiana-My character’s name is Cleo and she lives in a cave.

Dante- My character is a kid named Jimmy Bean who lives in Mexico and his parents work at Mexicano McDonalds.

Milagro- My main character is named Shirley and whoever makes her mad in the story falls into mud.

Fatima- My character is named Speedy-Deee and he is a dinosaur who can outdrive the police, in a sports car.

Sophie- My character is a pig named Scooey that goes to Piglet High School.

Alicia- My character’s name is Payson. She is a swimmer and she is an Olympic gold medalist.

Grace- My character’s name is Graffiti Can Sam, and he is a can of spray paint who goes out and paints stuff.

Emily- My character’s name is Amanda Bobbleton, who does not want her baby sister to be born.

Lucas- My character is a kid named Freddy, and he lives in a casino in Las Vegas.

LyLy- My character’s name is Emily Roberts and she has a magic teddy bear that takes her to different places in her dreams.

Aaron- My characters is Mader and I am still deciding what he’s going to do but it has to do with movies.


Sophia and Milagro


Diego and Adrian


Simone and Emily






Giana, Alicia, and Amira


Lucas, Grace, and Dante