— By LuAnne Moresco CRG Volunteer-
LuAnne Moresco has volunteered for over 20 years, hear about her memories of Camp!
I began volunteering at Camp Rainbow Gold in the summer of 2002, when I asked about a job that included children and the outdoors. At the time, there was just a camp director, office space, and storage in the back of the American Cancer Society building on Vista.
Knowing really nothing about this camp, I asked if I could volunteer in the art and crafts area. I learned that meant the Art Shack, and yes, I was interviewed and accepted! Over-the-moon, I managed to get some klutz press craft kits donated, and that was the beginning of the Art Shack favorite shrinky dink activity!
The Art Shack
The Art Shack is a huge tent that all the volunteers put together as a get-to-know each other activity. Years ago, it held a huge section of costumes and many rubbermade crates of art materials. Typically, you would find a clay sculpture section with colored modeling sculpty clays. Other art activities usually available were string art and beaded rings and God’s Eye knotted necklaces.
The Art Shack at Cathedral Pines, being centrally located, was often a popular social stopping point before meals, and sometimes most of the cabins would be sitting around in it. It was also essential in the making of cabin signs and welcome banners. Once all the campers arrived, the first activity everyone did together in the dining hall was to make their own sticker and picture montaged placemats, which the Art Shack laminated for the cabins to use at each meal! Art Shack also provided all the supplies for the counselors to make name tags for their campers.
I just love the pandemonium and energy of Camp with all the campers together. There were some very wonderful moments, like when an older camper sat down across form a younger camper who had the same kind of cancer she had. She reached out to encourage her, and told her that she too, felt overwhelmed by her treatment, but she could survive and even move past this. I was sitting there helping the younger camper with her beading project during this whole exchange and saw and heard how much the campers can give to each other.
When Camp Rainbow Gold started the Family Camp, it was at Cathedral Pines the first year, before moving to Camp Perkins. This was the first time we did foot painting at Family Camp- what a fun art project for the whole family! The canvases were each a precious memory of that moment in time for the family to reminisce and enjoy. That was also when the idea to do a Parent’s night was born, because it was obvious that the parents could also give each other the kinds of support and resources that few other people would understand. Just like the kids can do for each other, the parent’s night gives the parents a space to make those precious connections amongst themselves.
While Camp Rainbow Gold has changed considerably (like the Art Shack) through the years, it is the same at heart, and for that heart, I love Camp.