by Anura Guruge
Yes, there is a difference, IF you CARE.
This should be the correct labeling.
Teischan’s (13) own work, on her own initiative
— because she was bored and fed up.
She is the ‘queen’ of mandalas as a quick search of this blog will testify.
What she did create at ‘Camp’.
Yes, we are profoundly disappointed. It was a waste of her time and she resents it being squandered. We feel bad that we subjected her to this charade.
I am hoping that this post will help other parents.
Yes, we accept some of the blame. It never occurred to us that this might be mainly Day Care as opposed to a bona fide Art Camp. Mea culpa, and yes, of course, I am kicking myself.
The July 22 – 26, 2019, Kimball Jenkins Summer Art Camp that Teischan (13) attended was but common or garden Summer Day Care with the thinnest and haphazardly applied veneer of art.
That was the problem. Basically gloried day care, run in the main by a group of energetic and enthusiastic teenage volunteers and miniscule adult instruction — and zero adult inspiration.
Yes, we (both) went in Tuesday morning and tried to tell Ryan Linehan, Managing Director, that we were expecting MORE art instruction — given that she had had zero on Monday. He and another ‘adult’ assured us that this would change and that the first day was different. Not so. Well, it rained on Tuesday, and in addition to their lengthy recess and lunch breaks they had to watch Ratatouille (the 2007 movie) for 90 minutes! Well, I can assure you, that Teischan did not learn any art per se from watching that movie. She was bored out of her mind!
Yes, let’s get time mismanagement out of the way because that too tells a sorry tale. It clearly says 9am to 3pm. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday we were already in Chichester (well on our way back home) by 3pm! They were letting the kids out at 2:40pm. On Friday, I was told, that they sat outside, doing nothing — NADA — since noon. This is inexcusable. I am, as you might have worked out by now, livid. I don’t care about the money. I like supporting the arts. So, I can think of it as a donation to Kimball Jenkins. But, as some of you know, money is not what I (nor Teischan) value the most. It is time.
Money you can make, money you can get, money you can borrow. Not so with time. And that is what Kimball Jenkins robbed from Teischan. Luckily, for all, my time was not wasted. I had a ball exploring disused railway tracks, visiting museums, climbing Mt. Kearsarge and exploring lakes. If Kimball Jenkins had wasted my time, as they did with Teischan’s, I would be picketing the place with a huge sign that said “This Place Is A Scam“.
Here is my thinking. If you send a kid to ‘Computer Camp‘, ‘Archery Camp‘, ‘Destination Imagination (DI) Camp‘, ‘Swim Camp‘, or ‘Math Camp‘, you have a EXPECTATION that they are going to get some meaningful instruction on computers, archery, DI methodology, swimming or math. So, with ‘Art Camp’, especially a ‘Multimedia Studio Week’, we expected that she would receive some instruction and some INSPIRATION. That she would meet some artists that would inspire her.
Click to ENLARGE.
I do NOT want to be unkind. So, I will not even paraphrase the descriptions of what we heard and, to be fair, what I also saw.
Let’s just say that the MINIMAL adult exposure Teischan received at Kimball Jenkins mirrored the Estate — old, faded and large. There was no inspiration, no motivation, no joie de vivre. Bluntly put it was depressing! A shame.
Though I have never lived in Concord, I have actually done a fair amount of volunteering in Concord, first at the Planetarium (ages ago) and more recently for the ‘Multicultural Day’. There is one thing I know about Concord. Concord (and surroundings) is full of very talented, very committed, very decent folk who love to help others. I am sure if Kimball Jenkins could have found a ton of great adult volunteers who mesmerized the kids and inspired them to greatness — and it would not have cost them a cent and they could have held onto the $12,000 or MORE they were making a week to pay the inhouse staff.
I spoke to a lady whose daughter attended ‘Art Camp’ 14-years ago. She lives in Concord. Without me even getting a chance to say anything, she said: “I hear things are very different now. They used to get artists from all over to come and show the kids various new forms. They even had a lady from Afghanistan that showed them embroidery. I hear that they don’t do anything like that anymore”. Damn right. Damn straight. They don’t do anything like that … anymore.
We learnt our lesson.
It was a sham. C’est la vie.
I feel BAD for the kids that need Day Care right through the Summer.
Check Category ‘Art’.
by Anura Guruge