I think we all love the romanticized idea of summer. It takes us back to the days of our youth; being out of school for summer; going to camp; chilling out in a neighbor’s pool; staying out late to watch the moon come up, roasting s’mores, and camping out. Those were carefree days of sleeping in, having no responsibility, and no deadlines.
So what happened? We grew up! We went to college; got jobs; raised families; acquired mortgages, car payments, and student loans. We became our parents. Stress pretty much blanked out that little voice inside our head that keeps screaming, “But I’m still just a kid and I want to play, too!”
And why shouldn’t you? This summer, indulge your inner child and sign yourself up for big kid camp. Give yourself permission to learn something new or build on a skill you already have. If you are a teacher, use this as an opportunity to observe others’ teaching styles.
If money and time are an issue, look locally for a class that may compliment and expand on skills you already teach. This will give you a really big bang for your buck: It increases your marketability, gives you a potential tax deduction, recharges the teaching juices, and gets you out of your structured classroom rut. Check out local museums, galleries, colleges, arts centers, etc.
If your checkbook is bountifully blessed and a real sleep-over camp is possible, pack up the car and hit the road. There are amazing educational, social, and cultural experiences to be had at some of the better and lesser known art schools around the country. Some of my favorites are in the lush forests of the Southern U.S. Locations like historic and geographically-rich Gatlinburg, TN, Young Harris, GA, and Brasstown, NC, are home to renowned schools like Arrowmont, John C. Campbell Folk School, and William Holland School of Lapidary Arts.
I call these, “summer camp for adults.” The rooms are adequate, not fancy. Food is good, not gourmet, and there is plenty of it. Scenery is breathtaking and abundant! The air is fresh, clear, and clean. If you are not a hiker, you will regret it. You will not believe how quickly a one-week stay will fly by.
Studios are well lit, abundantly stocked, and open to students most all hours of the day and evening. Instruction is superior! Most teachers are college instructors grateful for a break from the rigors of academia and a few blessed months in the cooler climbs of the south.
Go camping! Invigorate, recharge your creative juices, and turn back the hands of time.
Until next time…..