This camp was structured to approach a different topic/task each day: Puppet Building, Characters and Comedy, Stories and Surprises, Twists and Tech Tweaks, and finally Show Day! Elements that were suggested by students – for example, impromptu lunch hour concerts, or TikTok inspired dance breaks, were incorporated and became beloved moments of our days. The participants were eager to share their work, open to being asked to deepen their vocabulary or express their feedback on particular activities, and marvellously generous in the sharing of virtual space.
Perhaps the greatest takeaway for the facilitators and the participants was the realization that a multi-disciplinary arts approach – using dance, music, visual art, storytelling, camera work – is an exceptionally powerful tool in facilitating group engagement and collaborative process despite the challenges presented by virtual learning. The exercise of group listening and turn-taking, in manageable increments, with scaffolded opportunities being provided for both learners who like to do things very quickly and their more deliberate, detail-oriented counterparts, meant that kids and facilitators alike were able to remain in positive and creative throughout our 9 hours of online group work.