Day 10 Presentations and Last Day
The time has come on this memorable summer day for the end of UNCG Young Writer’s Camp of 2014. I would like to congratulate everyone, to elementary group all the way to the High school students, as well as the caring and supportive faculty members who made this year a moment to remember. When I asked the students how they felt about their last day of camp, they were really sad. One student said “I had so much fun. I can’t believe it’s over.” Another mentioned “I don’t want to leave! I wish it lasted the whole summer!” There were students who had smiles on their faces. “I’m happy not because it is the last day. I’m happy because of all the fun I had and I’m going to share my book today!” By the look on their faces, I can see they really enjoyed these two weeks and the camp was really benefited to their education. I made new friends and gained more writing experience.” “I learned to write more professionally.” “There are many kinds of kinds of writing styles in the world. I never know that better until I came here.” It helped me be more creative.” “The camp showed me different way to write stories.” “The classes were more open and all the teachers helped me, giving more opportunity to learn.” “I gain new skills which will be useful in the future.”
The students have come so far on their writing and their presentations but they were really nervous at first. “It’s my first time in front of an audience.” “I’m nervous but excited.” Luckily their families were there to cheer them on, taking pictures of their young author and the staff clapped in honor of the students’ hard work and the joy they brought to camp. Some students presented their flipbooks, others showed their homemade illustrations, read a section of their novels or used Voice thread to narrate their story. One student gave out cookies for her class during the presentation. A perfect way to end the two weeks of camp.
I am really going to miss everyone but this was an amazing experience and I am glad I was part of it. To me, the camp was a complete success and I hope the students will come back next year. Maybe next year, I’ll come back to help out. One thing is for sure, the camp reminded everyone that writing is an important part of our daily lives. My advice to young authors everywhere: Never stop writing, doodling or imagining wondrous creations. Write them down in a notebook, read every day, research, explore, do improvements, ask a friend for opinions, put the finishing touching, sign your name and then share it with the world. Most of all, be proud of it because you did it, it was your voice, your work shining beyond the darkness, your story. From the words of C.S. Lewis, author of the book series, The Chronicles of Narnia, “You can make anything by writing.”
This is Melissa Moreno, UNCG Young Writer’s Camp of 2014 blogger, signing off.
On Thursday, Andrea Spencer was the camp guest of the day. She is a Copywriter & Speech Writer for UNCG, as well as an occasional fiction writer. It is important to do what you love and let your work shine. For Andrea, she was inspired to become copywriter after seeing a one at a career fair. Now her job is to create advertisements and promotions to spread Spartan pride and get people interest in joining UNCG. Copywriting requires “a lot of storytelling”, love to write (of course), have an ability to ask multiple questions, conduct interviews, detect the smallest and crucial detail, brainstorm, be a problem solver, be a good listener and convince the public to buy a product or go to a location. In a way, the purpose is to get people to think the way you are thinking. As for a fiction writer, she currently working on her first novel and read part of chapter 1 to the students of the camp. The Promise of Water, a story of a brother who traveled to Lake Superior in search for his twin sister, but is also in a journey to find himself. Andrea advises all future writers to “exercise the brain with different types of writing” and find a “comfort zone” to visualize your thoughts. “Don’t be afraid to try all kinds of writing” and “listen to the voice inside you.” She does this job because she loves to writes and it is really fun. When a job is fun, in a way, you never work at all.
As for our campers, they are preparing to present their work tomorrow. After two weeks of brainstorming, drafting, editing and illustrating, the parents, staff and other students will finally see what our young minds have created. Everyone seems excited forFriday and can’t wait to demonstrate their work. Some are pretty nervous of presenting but they don’t have to worry. The purpose of the camp is to help students embrace their abilities not only to write but to speak out their ideas and be the leaders of tomorrow. And they will not be alone because they will have the whole camp and their families to support them. From me to the readers, UNCG campers, or anyone with the anxiety to stand up and speak, remember whether in a page, picture or a speech, your voice matters. Just go out into the world, follow your heart and just be you. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
One of the most well-known, creative, visual and colorful forms of writing is the art of animation. Today, Brad Lambert, an animator, film maker and professor at High Point University, visited the camp to discuss some of his works such as creating online shows for Pancake Mountain, short films, documentaries, and even works for hire for TV shows, movies and trailers. Writing, in general, is an important part in entertainment. It starts out with an idea and research from books, internet searches and newspapers. After writing drafts, scripts and storyboards of what the story is going to be and look like, programs are then used to assist in finishing the final sketches of the characters and setting, have actors do the voices, edit the timing and finally put it all together. That is the secret behind our favorite shows, movies, commercials and coming soon trailers. During a young age, Brad wanted to make comics since he enjoyed drawing. As he grew, he used his skills in art, as while as in writing and history, and applied them into animation. During his visit, he presented a short film he made about rhinos, in which they are in a musical band and were singing why “Rhinos Rock.” He also presented his draft on his latest project about a man who became an outcast due to his beard. Stories don’t only have to be on paper. The main purpose of writing is to bring stories to life, so the audience can truly see. Most our movies and shows were inspired by books, comic and historical events like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter, The Amazing Spiderman, The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, Freedom Writers, Forest Gump and Titanic.
According to Brad, “when writing for videos, try to think visually. Try to show it, not tell it.” Most of our students have already added pictures to help visual their stories. Others are doing comics, power points and even creating their own illustrations to provide a clear image of they want the readers to see. The students have really connected with the writing world, learning grammar and spelling corrections along the way. I believe they are starting to understand there is more than writing sentences on a page. Without writing, the world would not have history, children’s books, bestselling authors, blockbuster movies, vivid and emotional description of “TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood”. I would not even be doing the blog right now. The camp is excellent way to get young minds interested in this art.
Though the day began gray and wet, that didn’t stop everyone from brightening up the room with their enthusiasm and smiles, excited for another week at UNCG Young Writer’s camp. One ran straight for the door, quoting “I want to get started right away.” Two girls had stylish shirts with the phrase “Go Far”, which in a way, reminded me the camp’s purpose of encouraging our next generation of writers to exceed their limitations. For our morning activity, Mark from the high school group and Amy, the UNCG education professor who organizes the camp, read passages from the book, Poetry Matters by Ralph Fletcher. After discussing the literary devices, such as personification, rhythm and word play, of “At Grandma's House” and “The First Time”, the students were asked to write a line for a poem. Then they passed their papers down to their partners so they can write the next line. When the activity was over, three students volunteered to read their poems. It was the perfect way for them to practice reading aloud to a crowd. Some poems were about their dogs while others were about the soothing feeling of a summer breeze.
As for their Melon Project books, the students are doing a spectacular job with their editing. They are adding sounds, illustrations, colorful fonts, interesting facts from their research or from their imagination. According to a confident young writer from the camp, he advised that his story “is going to be the best cause I made it myself.”
Another UNCG official visited the camp today named Janet Allard, professor of Theatre and Playwriting. Plays are another version of telling events, conflicts and descriptions through acting, using vivid characters and colorful scenery on a grand stage. To demonstrate the power of drama, she asked a volunteer from the audience to pretend he dropped a dollar and the other volunteer would find it and give it back. Though it was a good performance, it was missing the ideal components of a play such as the conflict, resolution and something extra to make it a show to remember. After discussing crazy ideas, like car chases and man eating tigers, to improve the scene, a few more students volunteered to be lawyers and a judge, while the rest of the audience were the jury and witnesses. In a way, it became a mini version of Judge Judy, with people objecting, saying, “Order in the court," lawyers defending their clients and the judge pretending to be using a gavel. The students were truly using their imaginations to bring the scene to life.
So far, the first week of camp was a huge success. According to some of the students I interviewed, “the camp is a fun place because we get to meet authors, share our stories and use the computers.” Another one said “I love the teachers and mentors here. They explain everything to me, give me tips and websites like VoiceThread, ToonDo and Popplet to help me with my writing. They’re the best!” “Awesome! Great! Amazing!” said a trio of friends. “I get to do things I could never do at home or at school.” “They should do the camp every year.” “I feel like I am reaching my expectations and developing my own sense of style.” Mostly everyone has finished typing their piece while others are half way done. Just a little more editing and maybe a few illustrations and funny voices to add, but they are excited for next week. From the words of a first time student, “I can’t wait to come back next year!”