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Monday, July 16, 2012

Soccer & Arts Camp participants learn how to write memoirs with 826 DC

Brittany with the memoir she wrote!
Have you ever written a memoir?

How about a memoir in six words?

The campers from Marie Reed Elementary asked themselves the very same thing during a writing workshop last Friday, during which they learned the importance of expressing themselves through written word.

The afternoon workshop, facilitated by staff at 826DC’s Museum of Unnatural History, gave campers the opportunity not only to write their own memoirs, but also to illustrate and share them with the rest of the group.

First, 826DC staff laid down the rules: memoirs were to be six words, and they were to explain something about each person’s personality.

Then, they provided an example:

“I am really down with Batman.”

And finally, they gave the green light and the writing began!

DC SCORES kids rose to the challenge, came out with some great memoirs, and had a lot of fun along the way. Examples included, but were certainly not limited to:

“The army helps keep us safe.”

“I love my beautiful small rabbit.”

“I love reading in the room.”

“I go to DC SCORES every day!”

Besides writing workshops, Marie Reed campers have been busy with many other things, most recently a clinic hosted by Street Soccer USA (SSUSA) and a week of African dance led by DC native Ama Payton.

Most campers reported that the dances take time to learn but are fun to perform.  Soccer coordination staffer Muwiri explained that the dances are Senegalese coming-of-age celebrations. She introduced me to a few campers who could tell me a little more about their experiences.

I first talked to Cindy, age 10, after hearing she was a great dancer. When asked why she was so good, she explained that she is a fast learner, but also that she enjoys dance because “dance is a fun thing to do with friends.”

Brianca, age 9, said that “African dance has been easy,” because she danced at her old school, and that soccer has been her favorite camp activity so far.

That said, the campers aren’t the only ones enjoying dance.

I talked with DC SCORES alum Raul, a camp counselor working his second Soccer & Arts camp.

“Some people see me as a lazy person because I’m sitting around a lot,” he said. “I actually enjoy dancing. Since it requires moving around and different movements of the body, that’s why I like it.”

Last week marked the halfway point of camp at Marie Reed, and campers and counselors alike have enjoyed themselves. Campers still have much to look forward to, as they continue to hone their soccer skills and explore new types of art before camp wraps up on August 3.

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