Monday, September 16, 2013

The Inkstains Experience Through the Eyes of a Middle School Camper

Emma Roth

After another great summer, we asked a middle school camper to be a guest writer for the article, so here is a wonderful piece by Emma Roth about how cool it is to come to Inkstains.

Thunder crashed all around us like cymbals in the ears of the other percussionist as we ran to shelter in the library. When running for cover from rain, it is more likely to hear the words “get inside” or “my hair!” But, when running with members of the Inkstains summer writing camp based at the Eastern Michigan University student center, it is far more likely to hear “save the journals!”

On the first day of camp, we are given journals. With specific instructions to write. Just write. Whatever you want. Whatever comes to mind, whether it be related to a writing prompt, or what you had for breakfast. Then, we settle down and basically talk about writing and books. Amongst the anticipated jokes about The Hunger Games (Welcome to Inkstains. May the odds be ever in your favor) and Harry Potter, we actually start to learn more about writing, reading, and each other. Over the next couple of days, we play games, write, explore the campus, write, listen to speakers that come in, share our stories and poems (and put them into our camp blog), and then, write some more.

But the best part? Writing with peers. Peers who understand the feel of writing. Peers who understand embracing “nerdiness” and will always love your writing, long, short, sci-fi, fantasy, depressing poetry, whatever it is. And, of course, the other best part - the teachers. Ali and Sean are the English teachers I wish everyone could have; they are hilarious, serious, fabulous, and many more “ous” words. They know how to talk with you on your level without sounding like they are “babying” you. Also, of course, they know how to write! Really well, at that.

In the age of computers, instilling such a love for a journal that you would rather get yourself wet than it, in a Middle School student is...well, magic. That’s what happens at Inkstains. Magic. Inkstains is perhaps the best summer camp I have ever had the pleasure of attending. It is my hope that many more attend to keep that magic alive. Always remember, the pen is mightier than the sword (or lightsaber, or wand, or bully, or corrupt politician).

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