In the warm summer of 2014, area elementary students, grades 3-6, gathered at Missouri Western State University to attend the annual PLWP elementary writing camp. This year's theme was "Keep Calm and Write On!" They published an anthology compiled with their favorite writing pieces, and here is the letter form the campers and teachers describing the camp:
This anthology was created by the “Keep Calm and Write On!” youth campers during the 2014 Youth Writing Camp. The campers came from elementary schools all over the city of St. Joseph, grades three through six, who gathered at Missouri Western State University from May 28 through June 19.
On most days, about ninety campers gathered to write, reflect, respond to writing prompts and read alouds, and participate in other writing activities. We then shared our writing during open mic time and learned a great deal from one another’s work. Our teachers were very pleased to see us using the lessons we were learning about author’s craft as we wrote our stories. After open mic, we met in literature circles and discussed the book we had chosen to read. Reading the works of popular, current authors gave us a chance to study how professionals craft their stories. Break time came next and was an opportunity to relax, find inspiration, and make new friends. Following break, we reconvened in small groups for a variety of writing activities that have helped us to become better writers.
A special highlight of this year’s camp was the writing marathon we took to the Missouri Conservation Center located on Missouri Western’s campus. We enjoyed nature, learned about nature journaling, and discussed how to use our first-hand research to enrich any of the types of writing that we do. We explored three parts of the Conservation Center and learned that when authors write in new places, new ideas often surface.
Our anthology was created from a student-chosen piece from their writing journals. Many reflect lessons from the camp that began as mere ideas and eventually, through the writing process, blossomed into polished pieces. We are officially published authors! So please read and enjoy our writing. We definitely had fun creating it and we’re happy to share it with you now.
Keep Calm and Write On! Camp Staff
Director: Christie Leigan
Co-Directors: Ann Dotson, Mya Ezzell
Teachers: Elisabeth Alkier, Misty Burright, Rae Lynn Stroud, Robin Pettegrew
Keep Calm and Write On! camp was a cooperative partnership of Prairie Lands Writing Project, St. Joseph School District, and Missouri Western State University. For more information about our summer writing camps, contact Mya Ezzell, PLWP Elementary Camp Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) or check our website at http://www.missouriwestern.edu/plwp/youth/.