Contrary to contemporary belief, children love to learn. Maybe you just have to trick them into it. Kids are unapologetic enthusiasts about anything and everything, from Italian mathematicians to political cartoons from the 70’s.
This week’s campers have an eclectic knowledge base, that’s for sure. They like facts, which is what makes them perfectly at-home in the journalism camp. Going in, I anticipated journalism being a harder concept for kids to really get behind, compared to fiction or poetry. What I learned the very first day of camp, however, was that I’m an idiot and these kids are going to rule the world one day. They weren’t scared of it at all. They were intrigued. Journalism was a challenge to them.
Like I said, maybe you gotta trick them into wanting to learn. Journalism is a prime example of that, because the kids were absolutely smitten with the user-generated aspect of it. Even more so than other genres, journalism has the potential to be framed by the writer’s own interests. Each kid started the week with picking their own “beats” to focus on and their choices were inspiringly unexpected. One seventh grader chose historic preservation as her beat, another chose grapefruit, which was endlessly entertaining for all parties involved.
Each kid considered themselves experts in their beat, without question and without worry. They’ll take that confidence with them, hopefully, when they grow up and never lose their child-like enjoyment of grapefruits and Italian mathematicians. Either way, they’re going to be amazing writers.
And that’s a fact.
-Ashley, camp intern from The College of Idaho