Written by Allison Woitte, URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy counselor
I have never worked at a camp in its first year of opening until this past summer, but I would imagine that all camps endure flexibility-demanding situations. What I am not as confident about is that any camp could thrive off those situations, creating, originally unplanned, programs that campers want and need. One of those programs was the Creative Writing Minor, which was initially only established for the first session and was recently announced to become one of the newest majors at URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy.
I am beyond proud to have had a hand in designing the curriculum for the minor, which was one a great moment of flexibility on part of the leadership team. Writing is an integral art that is often overlooked. I think this is because there is no performance, but also because it’s not often considered important for students to become writers until high school. Even then, mostly students are taught to write argument or analysis. Meanwhile, creative writers lay dormant, waiting until they have the rare option to develop their skills.
At camp, campers created stories that would never have been written outside of CAA, and campers were able to express a portion of themselves that can only be released with a pen. With only the minor, campers were able to experience the workshopping process, by editing, writing in new forms, and receiving a break from the extroverted camp life. As a major, Creative Writing will allow campers to create works that are dedicated to themselves and true reflections of the art that they’re proud of. In addition to all that the minor was, the major is an opportunity to allow campers to be writers of the heart.