Artistic expression is valuable beyond words. It is soothing and sometimes cathartic for the artist. It is inspirational and sometimes thought-provoking for the viewer. Art provides a glimpse into the human condition that is not always understood but is consistantly valued.
We purchase art to hang on our walls or put on our shelves. While our sofas and side tables might be swapped out without much thought, we agonize over what art stays and what goes. Most of the time it stays. We can’t get rid of it because it means too much… often because it was made by our children.
Parents seldom knowingly throw away a piece of their child’s art. These little paintings, sculptures, nick nacks, cups, trays, and compositions are placed in appropriate places around the house and in my house are NEVER moved. My mother kept my yellow ceramic elephant, my brother’s brown monkey, my sister’s carved wooden box… and LOTS of other treasures from our camp days. As we moved into houses of our own we would be given select items as a housewarming gift, much to the delight of all.
Art is valuable, it is worthy of the amount of effort required of the artist (who always works very hard to get it just right). Art is so valuable, it is seen as a savy investment category. At Greystone, we too recognize the value of art and the value of sending good art projects home with the girls. Our fine arts program is massive… much bigger than most camps, much better staffed, much better equipped… because we want to support the girls in their efforts to speak in a different voice.
Some of the campers already know that they are good artists. They come to camp with skills that are well developed and, for those campers, a break from their art might be exactly right. Camp is a place to do new things, so they focus elsewhere. For others, they find their time in the studio to be relaxing and inspirational… and these little artists are proud to make art at camp- their talents appreciated and understood by a community that they love.
Some of the campers have no idea they are good artists. They take an art class out of curiosity and find it connects. The realization that they can “speak” in this way is an epiphany and for a counselor to mentor such a camper is moving in a way that is hard to describe. The entire camp celebrates in their newly discovered artistic gifts, but counselors most of all.
Yesterday we celebrated ALL of the great artists of camp in our Art Show. The pieces this year were even more impressive with the shorter program time available for them to complete their vision. Typically, an artist would double down on a class (taking it every day all session) but this year the only extra effort was found in an occasional club time. Despite the shorter time to work, the works were every bit as amazing as always. The passion and technical talent were evident, the expression pure. These are treasures meant to be kept for generations!
We also had our Archery Tournament (Congratulations Victoria M.) and Riflery Tournament (Congratulations Julia-Burdick G.), both traditions that are as storied as camp itself. Winning a tournament is a HUGE deal at camp and we celebrate their talents accordingly. We even had a camper/counselor Lacrosse contest which the campers won handily. It was a fun day.
Today we look forward to another HUGE artistic expression… a drama production that will involve every single camper in camp. It is going to be epic- beginning at Flag and going till call to quarters, in multiple locations with multiple surprise twists. The whole camp is giddy with the nervous excitement that comes before a big show. Sure to be a Mic-Drop, exclamation point moment in camp.
Thank you for your continued interest and support of our camp. You should know that the counselors had an opportunity to contribute to our Great Day Scholarship Fund last night. An astounding 85% of them decided to donate a portion of their summer wages to help campers come to camp in the future. Every year our greatest contributions come from our wonderful Alumnae, who contribute generously as a part of their yearly charitable contribution plan (it is tax-deductible). The Head Staff, Directors, Counselors, and even sometimes even Maintenance workers also generously contribute. The fund is approaching $1,000,000 after ten years and we could not be happier. We believe in this work. We see the impact that camp has and we are committed to seeing that work continue.
We hope you will notice the value of your investment in camp. That when your daughter comes home you will marvel at her poise, good nature, helpful spirit, kind demeanor, and spiritual maturity. We know that her smile will fill your heart. We know that when she gives you that little ceramic elephant or painting of a remembered window scene you will display it in a place that will always take you back to this sweet moment in her life.
Parents join with counselors and all of the Greystone team in celebrating these precious girls.
Keep Safely, the memories that we share.
It rains most afternoons now that the temperatures are a more normal 85 degrees. Just as the heat builds to an uncomfortable level, the clouds build and the wind picks up… and a 20-minute shower cools things off. Delightful.
Our desire is to meet the financial need of every camper who wants to come to camp. We believe that The Lord draws this community together every year and it is our job to facilitate that gathering. Our capacity to meet this need is limited, the Great Day Fund was established to bridge that gap.