A few stories from Campers and parents.
More to come. Click here to see stories from Dance Summer Dance
Moxy and Mom
To the Staff, Artists, and Young Leaders at Ross Creek Centre for the Arts:
We want you to know that we are so grateful for the work that you do. We are also so humbled and thankful for being afforded the opportunity to participate in the programming this past summer. I am certain that each person comes away from these kinds of experiences with their own set of new learnings and gifts. We just wanted to share with you how your work has impacted our wee universe.
Although Moxy was excited to come to camp, we both were a little bit nervous about the time apart. I am a single mother of a 9 year old who has never been away from family on his own.
This was a first time for us.
We were ready. Excited. But yeah… a lil nervous. (Ok mostly I was nervous.)
But right from the start we both felt very taken care of by the staff, volunteers, and artists. For us this was not only summer camp but a life milestone.
The first time away from family on his own.
My heart just feels so glad that he got to do this with the Ross Creek Summer Crew. Moxy loved his experience! I know this because of how he speaks of it. He came home brimming with stories from camp. He told stories about flagpole. He told stories about the songs and games he played. He shared how much he enjoyed the camp community. He told tales of daily desserts at camp. Oh and not just desserts but yummy food every day! He retold the play as seen from his perspective. He told fantastic stories of memories made like the night they got to sleep under the stars. He had stories about his creations and the workshops. And perhaps most endearingly, he told me of the friends he had made and would like to maintain.
I know he enjoyed his experience because he came home wanting to work at Ross Creek Centre for the Arts. He informed me that he could begin volunteering at age 14. I love how this is set up for the youth to participate as leaders! It feels attainable for a 9 year old. You all have inspired him!
I know he enjoyed his experience because he is planning for next year and trying to invite his best friend.
I know this experience had impact because he brought home the concept of using “roses, thorns and buds” as a way of debriefing our day. This is such a beautiful container to share feelings. We love it and are using it.
As the single mom of a young man I am always aware of what mentors are on my son’s horizon. During the summer, Moxy saw Eamonn and Macky outside of camp while shopping. They both made a point to say hello to Moxy. This seemingly small gesture is actually quite awesome. He was completely proud that cool young folks like you recognized him. This gesture made him feel connected to community and to our new home in Nova Scotia...He was asked to pick one activity outside of school he would like to take part in this fall and he said “anything at Ross Creek.”
Aaaaand he’s still singing the songs. I don’t know who she is… but I know that Aunt Numa has chickens; and they don’t sleep- no, no, no!
For my part I want to thank Annie for her generosity and spirit in the garden. What a true joy to come to the garden! The garden and the connection with the land is really a collaborator in making the magic happen at Ross Creek...
Finally, BIG THANK YOUS to Jessie and Chris. You should know that I have been moved to tears more than once by Ross Creek’s commitment to making programs accessible to all families in the community; without this we may have not been able to participate.
Moxy, I know, thinks of it right now as super fun and is just magnetized to the experience for all kinds of reasons that he doesn’t necessarily have any language for yet. But as his guardian, I can see from my vantage point the immense impact this kind of programming has on shaping identity, confidence, leadership and team building skills, and worldview; a worldview that peers into the possibilities, manifests magic, and celebrates the abundance in this life. I am most grateful for the exposure and inclusion in the further development of this worldview.
Moxy and I feel compelled to offer our hands and hearts in whatever capacity need for upcoming volunteer tasks and events.
I have written this letter from the heart.
We (heart) Ross Creek,
Please consider making a donation to allow us to keep our programs available to more families like Moxy's. You can donate through our website, as an e-transfer, download a form, or even donate securities!
Max at Camp
My 13yr-old son Max has been attending Ross Creek camps since he was five, both the March Break and Summer sessions. I cannot say enough about his experience at Ross Creek. It is a place where he has been allowed to express himself artistically and grow leaps and bounds as a person.
Max became an overnight camper at the age of nine. I was so worried when I dropped him off on that Sunday afternoon. Would he be homesick? Would he take care of and keep track of his belongings? Would he get along with the other boys in his cabin? Would he eat and brush his teeth and take a shower? It was a very long week. On Friday when we picked him up, I was met by a smiling boy who had spent five glorious days making art and making friends and making memories. Under the watchful eyes of Roxy and the camp counsellors he had taken care of himself beautifully! I was so happy and proud to see all that he had achieved.
Independence grows at Ross Creek. Creativity blossoms. Activity is key. A great deal of confidence is gained. The campers are exposed to young people in leadership roles and inspiration follows each of them home. Ross Creek is about games and campfires and sleep-outs under the stars. Every day has a theme. Mention Kangaroo Court to Max and watch him grin from ear to ear.
The instructors that Ross Creek attracts to each session are top-notch in their fields and incredibly generous when it comes to sharing their knowledge and skill with the campers – Max has learned so much. The counsellors and counsellors-in-training all bring a passion for the arts and a crazy amount of youthful, contagious enthusiasm. They have been mentors for Max, who in turn has been inspired by their example to become a mentor himself.
The fact that Ross Creek is a safe environment for children to be free to be whatever and whoever they want has been huge for Max. To the extent that my artist / actor / comedian now wants to become a Ross Creek volunteer, a counsellor-in-training and eventually, a counsellor. Those are amazing goals for a 13yr-old to have and I am eternally grateful to Ross Creek for helping nurture them. - Carmen, Camp Parent
Our Pal Joey
“My son Joey has been attending Ross Creek camps since for the last three summers and it has been the most amazing and supportive environment for him. He has trouble with camps where there are too many kids in relatively unstructured environments. Ross Creek camps have themes but also allow him to be an individual and express his creative and imaginative side with no pressure to do it exactly like everyone else. The staff have always been encouraging and fun and he keeps asking to go back every year! I am so glad we found Ross Creek. - Sally, Camp parent
Our Twins (Maeve & Sean) have been attending Ross Creek Art Camp each year for the past 6 years. They started as Junior day campers when they were 5 years old, and have both attended one or two weeks at Ross Creek each year, including overnight camps for the past 3 years. We live in Texas, but have been able to spend our Summers in Nova Scotia, and Ross Creek is definitely the highlight of the summer for both kids.
Maeve has really blossomed as an artist, enjoying all of the types of media she has been introduced to. She was really inspired by the fashion design camp this past summer, and has asked for a sewing machine and fabric to continue exploring this art form. Sean has focused his artistic passion on the film making and computer generated art.
Beyond the art, which is tremendous with the talented volunteers that lead the camps each year, the joyous, welcoming and true love that Ross Creek shows to our kids and their individual personalities is what brings us back to Ross Creek each year. Artistic kids sometimes have a difficult time fitting in normal social circles. Ross Creek embraces these differences and makes the kids feel special.
The Ross Creek staff have also inspired leadership aspirations in our kids. Both now have the desire and drive to become Junior Counselors at Ross Creek and take all that they have learned and give it back to other kids.
Summers in the Annapolis Valley are spectacular, but Ross Creek Art Camp is the best part of summer in the Valley. - Jeffrey