Today was the start to our Oakland-based summer camp with the theme "Inside-Out". All week, our seven campers will be exploring who they are on the inside vs. who they are on the outside through creative writing activities and art.

Today, we wrote lyrics, poems or stories about a time when we felt judged for our outside self, or how we appear to be on the outside. Our inspiration was a song by singer-songwriter, India Arie who wrote a song called, "I Am Not My Hair". Here's a link to the lyrics:

Here are excerpts from lyrics written by Alistair and Sydney:

Alistair -

"I'm popular, I know it's true. No matter what they tell me, I won't be blue. I have friends, the friendship won't ever end. They always think I'm a geek, a nerd. But I tell you, I'm like a nest full of birds."

Sydney -

"I'm just a girl on a mission, I'm just being myself. You're not going to change my way. I love to sing and dance and you can't do anything about that."

We also began creating our "Suticases of You" using pizza boxes! We started by making collages on the exterior of the boxes with images that reflect our "outside" selves, or our personas.

Here are some examples:

Madelena suitcase
Isabelle suitcase
Sydney suitcase
Claire suitcase

Our Art afternoon started with a paint exploration: mixing , painting, rolling, stamping and scraping paint to make covers for our art sketchbooks. We later added pages, punch-holed them and used a twig and rubberband to attach.

We started our Mask project by going to the backyard  where  we blew up balloons, attached them to bases and used plaster tape and water  to "paper mache" the balloons to create mask bases. Tomorrow I'll cut in half our balloon shapes  to make a one half mask base where we'll add details to create our personal "persona" creation and by Wednesday, our masks will be dry enough to paint.

At the end of the day we talked about the writing exercise, "I AM NOT MY HAIR"  song that was explored in the morning and drew a crazy hair-do in our sketchbooks.