Summer may go by fast, but the memories can last far beyond the season. Here are five DIY keepsakes to honor your favorite moments and share them with friends and family.
1. Make a Shadow Box
Your camper may come home from camp with arts and crafts, painted rocks, a name badge, warm fuzzies, and more. Such an odd assortment of memorabilia can be hard to display or save in a cohesive (and contained!) way. That's where a shadow box comes in...
Whether you choose to go the DIY route or purchase a base, a shadow box will help frame your child's memories in a way they're proud to display. When done annually, these boxes can tell a powerful, visual story of your little one's childhood for years to come.
2. Create a Scrapbook
Does you child come home from camp with a CD or flash drive full of photographs? Spend an afternoon going through them together (we promise it'll make for some good stories and laughs).
Putting favorites in a scrapbook can give kids space to process their experience and reflect—or a way to explore new modes of communication. If a scrapbook sounds cliché, know that it doesn't have to be. Instead, ask your child to make their very own comic book or graphic novel. Regardless of style, they'll have a fun new book to show off to friends, uncles, aunt, cousins, and grandparents!
3. Write it Down
For campers who prefer to write, journaling is great way to go. To make the process feel extra special, pick out a journal for the occasion or encourage kids to put together their own with loose leaf paper, yarn, markers, and a hole puncher.
Journaling can be fun for the whole family, too. Next year, think ahead and have campers journal while at camp while you journal for the week at home—when you meet back up you can share your experiences or letters with each other!
If traditional journaling isn’t quite their thing, writing a story, play, or script can be a fun take on capturing the camp experience.
4. Wish on a Star...or in a Jar
Wish sticks (or variations like these awesome wish flags) are a tradition at closing campfire—but you can create your own tradition with a wish stick jar at home!
When your camper has a dream, favorite quotation, goal, or wish, encourage them to jot it down on a popsicle stick and toss it in the jar. It’s a fun, simple thing that leaves you with a pick-me up when you need it, and lots to look back on down the road!
And don't shy away from using the jar as a family. It can be a nice, and valuable, reminder that there's plenty of room to dream and grow regardless of age or medical condition.
4. Play by the "Book"
Camp is a magnet for games of all sorts: riddles, rhymes, gaga ball, four square, ninja, the newest variation of hide-and-go-seek… The possibilities are endless (and a welcome break from regular screen time).
If your camper walked away with new favorites, encourage them to put together a book of games! It’s a fun way to reminisce and a tangible thing to reference when game details starts to fade. Say hello to awesome playdates and goodbye to the word "bored".
Note: If games aren’t your camper’s thing, the same can be done with songs!
Jacqueline loves nothing more than thinking outside the box and team spirit—cue never-seen-before icebreakers! By developing virtual and in-person learning opportunities for staff across the Network, she fosters collaboration near and far.