One of my fondest memories of growing up a Baptist kid is of going to summer camp at the lake. We would learn new things, make new friends and have new experiences. There were always missionaries there from other countries who came to show us what they had been doing. The one problem about camp was I can't remember anything specific. I wasn't much of a diary/journal keeper. I was an awful writer for sure. I did like taking pictures, but I don't think I ever took a camera to camp. So all of my camp experiences are faint memories that float through my brain like dust in a sunbeam. I can see them, but can never capture them.
For this reason, I have created a memory book for Caitlin to take to her first year of church camp. I don't want her to walk away from her time at camp and say, "Yeah, it was fun." Only to have me ask, "So what did you do? What did you learn?" and receive the response..."I don't remember."
Below I have documented the process I went through to make this book, so in the future when my darling daughter says to me, "You never did anything for me," I will open my saved blogs and photos and say, "Oh really?" Just kidding - no teenager would EVER say a thing like that. Would they?
It started with an autograph book I found at the grocery store in the clearance bin for 75 cents. I couldn't help myself. I bought it thinking there was something I could do with it. I did figure out that I could remove the cover by rolling the spiral through the holes . I made sure to put the spiral back so the rest of the pages wouldn't get misplaced. (That would happen in my house.)
After I did my ATCs in tissue paper, I realized I could just as easily cover this in tissue paper, but there was one step necessary before I did. I would have to gesso or "white out" the words so that they wouldn't show through the tissue. This is one of my least favorite things to do only because I have to wait for it dry before I can move on.
After hiding the writing, I began layering the different colors of tissue paper, tearing each piece to give it a more irregular look. I especially liked how the blue and pink would come together to form purple just as if it was paint. I continued layering the paper until I reached the bottom. At which point, (after it dried - remember my least favorite part) I trimmed the excess paper off, glued some patterned paper to the back and repunched the holes I had covered.
Then the fun part came, choosing the stickers and such to go into the book. (I have boxes and envelopes of doodads and whatchamacallits that scrapbookers from SIStv have kindly sent to me as prizes and sometimes for no reason other than I asked.) I knew it would need a name tag in case she misplaced it at camp - expect the best, but plan for the worst. :-) And being the absentminded girl she is, I also included a place for a schedule of her daily activities.
I put tabs for the different sections and even gave her a pocket with notebook paper to hide her secret thoughts. (I had to punch holes in that too to get the spiral to run through it.)
There are other sections for other thoughts, her top 10 favorite things about camp and a place for her to get addresses of any friends she makes.
When I finished all the elements, I pulled the spiral back out of the book and stacked the cover and the pages they way I wanted them and wound the spiral back into the holes. I even attached some yarn and ribbon for bookmarks.
I hope that she uses the book. I hope it makes her experience at camp worthwhile and memorable. I have put off sending her to camp for many reasons that many of you already know. It is my prayer that these things have resolved themselves, and she can handle being away from home for an entire week without incident.
Note: You can click on any image for a larger/clearer view.