By Hannie Tishkoff (IB staff ’18)

At a camp called Farm & Wilderness, it is easy to think that creative arts may get left out of the spotlight. As Creative Arts (CA) head this summer at Indian Brook, I was delighted to discover just how essential arts and crafts are to the fabric of Indian Brook.

As CA head, I acted as the protector of the secret glitter stash, peddler of friendship bracelet string and encourager of the decoration of all things with googly eyes. From themed banquets each session to interdependence day and fair, creative arts is where a lot of the life-changing camp magic gets cooked up. From a distance, it’s easy to see cutting paper and sewing costumes as featherbrained splash and giggle type activity, but up close, it becomes really obvious how profound this kind of amusement really is.

Creative arts is a place where campers thrive, playing with materials and ideas autonomously. They are able to discover their creativity, collaborate in meaningful ways and solve artistic problems often in a self-directed way. Although I gave suggestions for projects, it was campers who inspired everything we did from making bookmarks to a dynamic imaginary world of shell people. In a senior apprenticeship on giant puppet building, 3 campers spearheaded a community parade of giant (15 foot tall!) puppets they collaboratively constructed throughout the session.

We embarked on a procession from the waterfront to the main lodge while almost a dozen campers helped us carry the giant puppets made from recycled materials and scrap fabrics. Moments like this captured what art-making at IB embodies:  a do-it-yourself enthusiasm for creation in the name of community building.


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