By Christine Van Bergeyk
And he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze. Exodus 35:31-32
At the beginning of July, we offered a Creative Arts Camp here at SBC. We had just over 40 kids from SBC and our community come and play with us for 4 days, each having a chance to try a variety of different creative expressions – Dance, Musical theatre/storytelling, creative crafts and fine arts/watercolour.
As the facilitators brainstormed as to what our vision for the week would be, we decided on the theme ‘Creating with the Creator’. With this as our focus, we were led to the idea of “playing and imagining with the children” and letting that form the majority of our time together. As a teacher I was amazed at what we were able to come up with together. Not only did we have a lot of fun, but the ideas that came were sometimes quite brilliant and wonderful.
We also decided that we were not going to focus solely on performance in our workshops. We wanted to free ourselves and the kids from any pressure to “produce something” during our time together. So, it came as a bit of a surprise that on one of the days, during our snack break, Mrs. Chelsi our dance instructor approached me and said that the kids really wanted to perform the dance that they had created.
I cannot tell you how much their dancing touched my heart. To see this group of 10 kids, grades 6-8, of different shapes, sizes, and abilities - all equally participating through dance with all of their hearts - It was a beautiful thing to behold.
I was also amazed to see how the fine arts component captured the hearts of the kids. Even some of our most rowdy boys were seen huddled over their creations (for much longer than we expected) taking great pains to make it just how they wanted it to be.
It was so fun to see the kids bringing up their beautiful crafts that they made during their workshop with Mrs. Bonnay and Delaney. Even though they were essentially making the same thing, using similar materials, the final projects were totally different. So beautiful!
One of the things that I wanted to communicate to the children during our week together was that we are creative beings. End of story. We were all created in the image of the most beautiful Creator and we reflect that image. We do not create independently but rather, we create with the Spirit of God who hovered over the earth and created every living thing.
Thankfully, most children still believe in their own ability to create, not questioning or pressuring themselves. But sadly, we as adults have forgotten – forgotten how to play, how to think outside the box, and forgotten who we really are.
Many of us believe that creativity is only for the special “talented” few and that it is a luxury that we don’t have time for. But, as I read and delve into this topic, I am beginning to understand the impact of this loss - not only for us individually, but as a collective. And, I am just beginning to understand our need for play, for creative expression, and time to let our imaginations go wild. Yes, even us adults! And sometimes we need to look at our children to remember who we really are.
So, my thoughts have been percolating…and I think it’s high time for a creative camp for those of us over 18. Who’s in???
Creativity anyone? Creativity? Anyone and everyone!