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With the overarching theme of creativity and cultivating creativity in children at the forefront, camp directors, educators, and counselors began to examine and define the important factors of the arts and crafts program. These inquiries and findings culminate into three sub-themes: Operating an Efficient Arts and Crafts Program, Defining and Recognizing the Value of an Arts and Crafts Program, and integrating Art in ALL Parts of Camp.

Operating an Efficient Arts and Crafts Program

Develop Their Creative Ideas (Part I)

Camping Magazine

May 1947

“No one person can carry on all available craft projects in one camp during one summer. The camp director must keep in mind what part of the crafts are to play in his camp program. Are they to be a part of a large creative program or just busy work to keep campers happy? He must then hire his counselor and allocate funds accordingly.”

Every child likes to make things—or did until some adult discouraged him, told him he was too messy or that his work was no good. One of the most discouraging things is failure; it mustn’t happen in camp. But remember also that something that looks like a failure to you may be an experience and a thing of pride to a child. Don’t put your standards out of his reach, but keep them high. Children’s work must be childlike. Help keep it that way, but make sure the projects you have planned will meet the age and experience level of your campers.

Develop Their Creative Ideas (Part II)

Camping Magazine

June 1947

“Success in the craft house, as well as the camp as a whole, depends on how well all plans are made ahead of time. You must be several jumps ahead of campers at all times. Their success depends on your interest in them and their projects. Enjoy their experiences with them, and the results will take care of themselves.

How to get MORE from Your Craft Program

Camping Magazine

May 1950

“Working facilities and time allowed for crafts on most camps’ daily programs are definitely at a high level. Usually, too, there is high camper participation in crafts as they are offered. This was indicated in a recent survey of hand-craft programs in a representative group of summer camps made by the writer (Eleanor Tinsley)  in obtaining data for a master's thesis. However, it was also indicated that these programs were lacking in efficient operation. Directors and counselors expressed desire for help, particularly in mechanics of operation, securing adequate counseling staff, obtaining good resource material, and program planning.” 
 

“...with increased interest in handcrafts over the nation in the last few years more colleges and art schools are now offering work in the crafts. To achieve a truly creative handcraft program in camp it is often desirable to find counselors from the group of college or professional school upperclassmen or graduates with majors in applied design or related art, and some course work or experience in handcrafts.


“Campers can best learn about design by being exposed to examples of good design in the craft shop.” 

Basic Craft Principles

Camping Magazine

February 1952

Principles Rated Essential: safety, “head crafts counselor should be specially trained in crafts,” senior campers (14+) should be allowed to choose their own projects


Principles Rated Desirable: intermediate campers (10-13) should be able to choose their own projects, native craft materials should be used in crafts program, craft facilities should be available during ‘free periods,’ craft periods should be scheduled by age groups, crafts counselor should be same-sex of campers, junior campers (6-9) should be able to choose their own projects, crafts materials for entire season should be purchased before camp opens, power tools should be provided for senior campers


Principles Rated Useful: campers should be permitted to attend crafts only with same age group, power tools should be used by crafts counselors, awards should be given for satisfactory work in crafts, use of commercial craft kits have a place in camp, craps should provide some amount of materials at no direct cost, power tools should be provided for use of intermediate campers


Principles Rated Unnecessary: power tools should be provided for junior campers

Determine Craft Shop Needs

Camping Magazine

November 1952

“It would be most unlikely that the camp director, in beginning to check up on equipment and supplies for the next camping season, will be intimately acquainted with the details of all areas of the camp program. In the matter of equipment and supplies, the craft area is a mass of names confusing to anyone who is not working closely with it.”


“The counselor’s final report of the summer work should include in narrative or outline form: 1. Percentage of participation of total camp enrollment in crafts 2. Use of craft facilities by other camp activities 3. Popular projects—general success in carrying them out 4. Unpopular projects—possible reasons for unpopularity 5. Suggestions for improvement of bullying and fixtures, additional equipment, staff, reference material, etc.

May 1947

June 1947

May 1950

February 1952

November 1952