YOUNG WRITERS CAMP PHILOSOPHY
We in Young Writers Camp believe that young people can learn about themselves, others, and their world through the wonder of written words. We want to elicit from them the words that are within. We want them to weigh words and play with words and to be risk takers in their writing. To facilitate such writing, we follow three basic tenets stemming from current research and modeled on the summer institute of the South Coast Writing Project at UCSB.
Our first tenet is that writing is a process, a dynamic cognitive function that requires time and progression. We believe that prewriting stimuli prepare the writer to enter this process. The young author then creates a concrete expression of his or her thoughts and feelings in rough draft form. Responses from teachers, parents, and other young authors give the writer valuable feedback. Now the writer can evaluate what he or she has written to determine how to be more precise, clear, and engaging. The writer then can address grammar and usage, heading toward publication. The recursive nature of the writing process in a supportive community inspires campers to move their compositions forward with growing skill and confidence.
Our second tenet is that the environment for writing should be stimulating and enjoyable. Camp teachers provide a diverse variety of prewriting experience that include literature, art, field trips, professional writers, storytellers, artists, musicians, and local craftspeople. These stimulating activities lead our young writers to craft their own unique written responses. Because the staff of Young Writers Camp believes strongly that positive responses to writing encourage more and better writing, praise and encouragement are central to our program.
Our third tenet is that every young person is a writer. Within each camper lie ideas, feelings, dreams, and a unique cultural perspective. We want campers to express these images in many modes of writing that include journal entries, poems, stories, autobiographical sketches, and other genres. At our graduation, each camper shares published pieces and acknowledges the rewards of being part of a community of writers.
WHAT IS YOUNG WRITERS CAMP?
For over 25 years, SCWriP’s Young Writers Camp Programs have offered students an opportunity to explore the many facets of writing, regardless of their skill levels. Students participate in a stimulating learning environment that helps create a community of writers to give optimum support and growth.
WHO ARE THE TEACHERS?
SCWriP’s Young Writers Camps have a staff of outstanding, certified classroom teachers who have completed SCWriP’s month-long Invitational Summer Institute in Composition and Critical Literacy to become Teacher-Consultants. These Teacher-Consultants participate in a range of activities, including leading Young Writers Camp sessions and conducting professional development programs in schools and colleges throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, and Kern Counties. All Young Writers Camp teachers and staff members continually implement writing in their personal and professional lives.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
Young Writers Camp is a space for those who enjoy writing and hope to spend time developing and honing their craft. Writers of all skill levels are welcome, with the only requirement being that the students themselves must actively want to attend camp each day and be willing to maintain a positive, respectful attitude throughout. Our goal is to make sure that everyone involved is learning, having fun, and enjoying the process.