By: Zoe Oliviera
Having worked as a camp counsellor this past summer, we often encouraged our campers to think of ideas for creative programs. After being given a series of themes and ideas that only kids could think to combine with summer camp- robot fights, Candy Land, sky diving, The Simpsons, escape rooms, time travel, Harry Potter, pirates etc. – it became the job of us cabin counsellors to, some how, make it happen. No idea was too big, no concept too complicated. If it could some how be simplified and incorporated into games and crafts and scavenger hunts, we were going to try our best to see it through.
This led to a series of very creative and, ultimately interesting, activities. I’ve participated in Cowboy-caterpillar baking, helped save princesses from dragons, endured Jurassic Park themed creek walks, and set up Harry Potter themed evenings. There’s been fashion shows, pool-noodle sword fights, zombie apocalypses, futuristic-water themed campfires, and not-so-senior proms. It’s some of the weirdest stuff I’ve ever done, but also the most fun.
Which is why, in this time of social distancing and self-isolation, I recommend a similar approach. I’m not saying invite all the neighborhood kids into your living room and try to entertain them. I am saying you can bring some creativity to what I’m sure is becoming a very similar, daily routine at home.
The great thing about creative programing is that it can be whatever you want it to be. If you want an Italian night to make up for that trip you had to postpone, there’s no stopping you. Make some pizza with the kids, play soccer in the backyard, and enjoy a remotely Italian movie (setting or Italian characters count, in case you’re not into subtitles). This can be suited best to what you and your loved ones enjoy. Maybe you’re a board game fan; break out all those old game boxes, grab some cookies, make a pot of coffee and away you go. Perhaps sports are more your speed; make obstacle courses in the backyard with the kids, or plan workouts with your significant other. Try new recipes, watch new movies and tv shows, swap book picks with someone in your family. Build living room forts and have an indoor picnic. Do a movie marathon. Experiment with smoothie flavours. Make ice cream sundaes. Order take out and dress up to eat it like you’re at some fancy restaurant.
Creative programing is endless with possibilities, and the best part is, it can be as big or as small as you want it to be. Majority of us are stuck in the house; you may or may not already be sick of your daily home-body routine. I’m not saying throw scheduling to the wind and embrace spontaneity (unless that’s your thing, then by all means, carry on). But if there’s anything I learned at camp, it was that a little bit of optimistic creativity, even in small doses, can go a long, long way. I’m no expert, not by a long shot; it just seems like the world could use a little more of that right now.
By: Zoe Oliviera