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Take My Word For It! Creative Writing Camp: Sondra Hall, Director

June 23, 2010

From time to time, we interview camp directors to get their tips for parents in planning summer for their kids. I exchanged emails this week with Sondra Hall, Director at the Take My Word For It! Creative Writing Camp, a unique creative writing and art camp.

With so many camps available, how do you find the right camp for your child?

There are different approaches to this.  You can either help them delve deeper into a current interest or expose them to something totally different. My bias is towards indulging their creativity!

What questions should a parent ask a camp?

What is the size of the camp, or how many kids will be in the group of campers my child will be with? Is there another parent I may speak or email with whose child has gone to this camp before? What is the background of the counselors and instructors? Do they have training in their field?

Many children are in camp most or all of the summer. Any tips to prevent camp burn-out?

Try to take a week and share hosting camp with another family. Go on fun, local outings with a small group of kids who are neighbors and/or friends from school. Moms and/or dads from each of the families would have to take a couple of days off of work to make this happen, but it’s a break from regular camp and allows parents and kids to spend time together.

How should parents prepare kids for camp?

This depends on their age. But the best advice I can give is to be up front about what they can expect; provide a description of what a typical day will be like, and invite them to give you honest feedback about how it’s going.

Please tell us what is special about Take My Word For It.

Take My Word For It! is unique among summer camps in that it provides instruction, encouragement and support to children interested in testing out or improving their skills as creative writers.  Camp is fun, but also focused.  Students explore how writers come up with their ideas and learn how to create spicy, interesting writing.  Through the process, kids try their hands at writing their own complete manuscript, whether it be a children’s storybook, a travel brochure or mystery.  Take My Work For It! gives kids the opportunity to travel anywhere their imagination will take them

Take My Word For It! is a small program, and we provide a lot of one-on-one attention. We challenge the kids to think of themselves as writers and artists, to trust that they have something to say and show. And they are given the opportunity to share their work with family and friends in a final exhibit and reading at the end of each session.  We think it can be very exciting for them!

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