Camp Heroes- healing after loss

For the third year in a row, we have had the pleasure of collaborating with Cornerstone of Hope, a grieving center for children, teens and adults, and other artists from Ancient Path.  Cornerstone of Hope creates camps over the summer for children dealing with loss and Camp Heroes takes place in our neighborhood and ends with a performance at the end of week.  As an arts-based camp, the kids spend their time having art therapy interventions with counselors from Cornerstone and learning to dance, drum and sing in our time with them. This year, Britton (AP artist and friend) not only taught drumming and song, but had the kids experience the recording studio by recording their voices for narration that was used in the final performance.   The theme was based on the movie “Inside Out” and proved a helpful theme in using art to express emotions.  Each child had the opportunity to play with props and explore movements related to each emotion.  Not only did they enjoy these activities, but were brave in expression and brilliantly creative. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say the week was difficult and at times stressful.  When working with children who have suffered much and are too young to know how to properly express themselves,  certain behaviors can show up which make creating a production quite difficult.  But, as we continue to learn, when we meet them where they are at and also challenge them, amazing things happen. We see transformation and healing and confidence grow.  By the final day of their performance, they surprised themselves (and us quite honestly!).  Not only did they learn a lot of new material in only a few days, but they performed it with pride.  The look on their faces as they took their final bow was a priceless moment.

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