by Sarah van Winkle
I have had the honor and privilege of being a part of Arts Camp since the very beginning. The very first year of Arts Camp, I participated as a camper in the Visual Arts 5/6 track. Some of my fellow campers included friends, Justin Luz and Julia Cross, with whom I am still friends with today. Our track emphasis was digital media arts and our infamous teacher, Matt Maszczak led us on a week of digital media-related activities and adventures. At the end of the week, our track had filmed and produced a short video starring PT Star and Matt as the Crocodile Hunter (corny accent and all) which was featured at the Friday Night Showcase.
One of the unique things about Arts Camp is the involvement of the arts in the lives of young children. There is something for every type of child! From the performance-based tracks of Drama, Dance, and Musical theatre; to the hands-on, cut, draw, and paint tracks of Visual Arts and Creative Craftsmanship and the newer tracks exploring the Culinary Arts; every child can participate in something that interests them.
Back in 2001, my 11 year old self was drawn to the track that used video cameras, computers, and editing software. Today, at 22 years old, I am a Graphic Design major and I still find cameras, computers, and editing software just as intriguing. My friend Julia will be graduating with a degree in Graphic Communications from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Justin has spent the last couple of years traveling the world working in print and film as an actor/model (Zoolander, anyone?). There is something very special about the three of us being exposed to the media design world at Arts Camp eleven years ago and now presently pursuing careers in similar fields.
The exposure to the arts aside, one of the things about Arts Camp that never ceases to amaze me is the intentional outpouring of Christ’s love that comes from the volunteers and staff of Arts Camp. For one week, children from all over the community, regardless of their circumstance, can come and experience the love of their Savior and come to know him by name. The value of being Christ to young children is eternal, which is why I am overwhelmed with gratitude for Arts Camp, the vision behind it, and the sacrificial volunteers and staff that makes it happen every single year.
2011 was a rough year for a lot of us involved with Arts Camp. The loss of friends, relatives, and immediate family members has left a lot of us feeling the painful sting of earthly death. One thing is for sure, the all-consuming joy that comes from knowing the Lord, even in seasons of loss, is our strength.
From a former camper, now teacher—to the Arts Camp staff:
I want to say thank you for this camp and the opportunity be a minister of love to children as well as be ministered to by “…your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:3
I look forward to spending a joy-filled week with you.