Coloured pencils arranged in a star shape

Camp Creative–Fertile Ground for Creativity

It’s several days now since returning from a week at Camp Creative. This event, based in Bellingen, has something for everyone. Sixty different courses representing music, visual arts, writing, crafts, young people’s activities, dance, lifestyle, and voice. A remarkable time, as evidenced by the concert of performing artists who came together on the last night. This is a showcase for creative work in the areas of instrumental music, singing and dance. Some performers were first-timers, others more seasoned, all with their creative juices flowing.

I particularly like seeing the range of ages represented. Even in my writing course, the span was across several decades. Camp Creative is a kind of spontaneous, temporary community where the verve of young people is matched by the wisdom of the older generation, and everyone is enriched by the experience.

This is one of the things I appreciate about yoga too. It cuts across gender and age. Kids love yoga and love practising with their parents. Adult classes can include every age, as yoga is something everyone can do.

Shining the Light of Creativity on My Life

I have enjoyed writing since I was a child. In my later years I’ve been thinking more and more about writing a memoir.

So the course I enrolled in this year, Write Your Life Story, seemed particularly relevant. Of course, I didn’t get to write my whole life story. Long life necessitates a long time for the telling of one’s story. Part of the sessions comprised inspiring slide presentations and the reading of notes related to each day’s topics. Our instructor, Marcus Dabb, would then say, ‘Ready, go’, and with any luck something would come to mind. Finished or not, we would break into small groups to hear each other’s stories.

At first it seemed unimaginably daunting, but I think we all warmed to the story telling. Actually, we got to know and trust each other as the days went by. I looked forward to writing and reading, partly because I was coming to know and feel affectionate about the group members. At the end of the week, I felt sad about breaking up our supportive community. Right at the end, I was moved to sing my favourite song, May I Suggest (…’this is the best part of your life’), to the others. 

In another writing course I did at Camp Creative, our wise instructor, Carrolline Rhodes finished the session with these words. She describes some of the value I experienced in diving in deeply to tell my life stories. 

Writing…has brought me insights I would not otherwise have. The most important is that nothing transcendental ever happens as long as the road being travelled is level and straight. When life is without challenges there is no need to go beyond the known and comfortable.

When a writer is willing to be vulnerable on the page, he honours others’ vulnerability. He creates a space for openness and in doing so says that if he can do it, so can you.- Life Stories at Camp Creative by Carrolline Rhodes

Watch out for my forthcoming page turner 🙂 (Any working titles will be gratefully accepted.)