I spent all last week at Girl's Camp heading up the crafts - - I thought it was pretty early to have camp, but hey, now I can share my tips and tricks with you who are still planning crafts for camps this summer.
- Mark your calendar - - I've known I was in charge of crafts for several months, but I always figured I'd focus on it as it got closer, assuming it was in June - mid-May I realized that it was only 2 weeks away! I had a momentary freak-out day, then whipped things into shape.
- Order materials early - - some places (er, fabric.com) take a while to ship and it'll make you nervous to cut it close. When you plan for supplies, it's nice to order in bulk (and cheaper!) than trying to track down 100 of something in the store.
- Keep track of all your receipts
- Prebag EVERYTHING! - - I learned this from the gal who helped me last year. Each craft needs to have it's supplies all in a baggie ready to go. Then you have a baggie at each place as the girls come in. This is SO worth doing!! Passing out supplies or having them grab supplies as they come in just doesn't work well. Prebagging is probably my number 1 tip for you! I saved my bags from last year and reused them, so that's another trick.
- Camp Shirts - I learned this from one of you last year! I got ahold of the camp shirts and make them extra fun for Kate and I - - I used iron-on vinyl to make the sleeve say "Camp Crafts Rock" - they were a hit!:
- Plan!! I had 2 crafts for each day, and I will share more about each craft in later posts, hopefully today. I had 2 Pinterest boards - one for ideas that some of the youth camp leaders voted from (they got to pick the crafts) and then a board of the final choices. Here's my outline from what I did: (Monday was set up day so no crafts, and Friday was take-down day, so no crafts)
Last year's ideas with links:
- camp journals
- embroidered theme
- washer necklaces
- no sew braided headbands
okay, back to my list of tips and tricks....
- Make your crafts beforehand - make sure you know how to complete the project, how long it took you, if you had all the materials and tools needed, etc.
- Tools - Keep in mind that you'll need things like scissors, tape, hot glue guns, wire cutters, etc. If you have extra money in your budget after buying craft supplies, buy tools. Last year I bought 10 scissors and 10 glue guns, which was nice because this year I already had those on hand.
- Teach a Skill - - I like to think that the girls can learn while they're crafting. Last year I had them hand-embroider the theme because I thought that every girl should have to hand embroider at least once in their life. This year I had them use a drill for the hole in the keychains - you wouldn't believe how many girls had never held a drill before. I think every girl should know how to use a drill.
- Instructions - - I gave verbal instructions, but they need more than that. At each table there were a couple of sets of printed instructions for the girls to follow.
- It'll Happen - - somehow something you think as common sense won't be. They're teenage girls - they think differently. They had to drill through 1/4 inch of wood. I put a board under them that was about an inch thick. I asked Trevor if I needed 2 boards under them - he's all "no way they would go all the way through" - but yep, several girls did. Of course. Another - -I had scissors out for cutting yarn during the wire art. I lectured "don't cut the wire with scissors" - next thing ya know, 2 minutes later a girl brought up a pair of scissors she broke cutting wire:
- Candy - - everyone want to munch while creating, right? The girls are no exception - provide candy that won't make things messy (avoid chocolate) - I had Starbursts and Jolly Ranchers. As they came in there was candy on the tables. I would tell them to put the candy in their mouth (so they won't talk) and I'd give a brief intro about the project of that day.
- Clean-up - - make cleanup easy by providing paper plates for messier projects, then throw those away. Have each girl clean their own area.
- Survey - - I had a big poster on the last day and encouraged the girls to add a tally mark to their favorite craft, along with a section for them to write down craft suggestions.
- Have Fun! The girls think crafts are awesome (mostly) and so they'll think you're awesome. Be up on your pop culture knowledge so you can wow them - - one girl bent her wire into "yolo" - I thought it must of been her nickname, but she explained to another girl that it meant "you only live once" - and then my assistant Kate pipes up out of no where "you know, that's the tattoo that Zac Efron has" - we were all stunned with her knowledge - I had to look it up on the spot and showed the girls - she was right... (see it on his hand...)
Anyone else have any tips or tricks for planning crafts for a large group?? Feel free to leave a comment so we can all hear it!