For the last two years, The Dragonfly Foundation has planned an managed a volunteer-driven summer camp for incoming 5th & 6th grade students. The mission of Camp Dragonfly (fka Camp Uplift) is to empower kids to spread kindness and compassion in their homes, schools and communities.
Last summer’s camp had such a positive response from our campers, parents and volunteers that we decided to continue and expand the curriculum, activities, and lessons, add new guests, and offer our second year of Camp Dragonfly. This year’s event was held the week of June 4-8, 2018 with 13 new campers and 7 returning campers. Based on the feedback received from those involved this year, Camp Dragonfly 2018 was another great success!
Guest presenters included speakers from other local non-profit organizations (May We Help, Circle Tail). Activities included improv, painting, jewelry-making, cookie decorating and STEM programming. Lessons about positive attitude, event planning and management, fundraising, public awareness and crowdfunding were also included. Teens/kids who have been involved with planning, organizing and holding fundraising events to help non-profits raise awareness and donations shared their experiences with the campers. These young presenters helped our campers as they prepared, planned and hosted their own event for Dragonfly that was held at the end of the camp week.
During camp our general theme was “Planting the Seeds of Kindness.” We wanted campers to be aware that simple acts (planting a tiny seed) can grow and the impact the world around them. Daily quotes, service projects, and activities that related to each day’s lessons further inspired campers.
Monday: “Kindness is contagious…pass it on!”
We discussed how our small kind acts and positive attitude can affect all of those around us. It can be contagious and spread to make the world a better place! We painted kindness rocks to bring a little smile to others.
Tuesday: “Remember, there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” ~Scott Adams
When we are kind to others it inspire others be kind. Campers made cards and notes to bring smiles and a little joy to our Dragonflies.
Wednesday: “When you are inspired by a great purpose, there becomes no limitations.”
Guest speakers shared their passions (engineering and fashion) to help others! The campers learned that doing something they love and enjoy can have great purpose, and that they can use that passion to create something amazing that might change someone else’s life.
The kids voted and agreed to bring in donations to Circle Tail. They collected more than 6 boxes of pet supplies (balls, treats, cleaning supplies)! Circle Tail was extremely grateful for these items and the support.
Thursday: “Let’s paint the whole world kind.”
We had a very creative day filled with cookie decorating, photography lessons and painting! Art, in many forms, was used not only to make the day more colorful (and sweet), but to demonstrate that talents can be used bring joy and awareness to others. (Art projects were shared at the end of camp.)
We discussed the importance of respecting people and our surroundings! As their kindness service project, campers chose to help clean up the Landing!
Friday: “When you are kind to others it not only changes you, it changes the world.” ~Howard Kirschner
We discussed how being a kind and loving person makes you a better, happier person while it also makes those around us happier too! We discussed the importance of demonstrating gratitude, and of saying thank you.
All of our campers worked very hard to make our post-camp event a great success!
As we were planning camp, this quote in particular inspired our planning:
“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal.
A goal written down with steps becomes a plan.
A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”
This is exactly what our campers did throughout the week!
SEE PART 2 HERE