Weaving Traditional Camp Basketry

Camp BasketWeaving camp baskets is a traditional arts and crafts activity just about everyone enjoys at Rockbrook. Over near the fiber arts cabin we call “Curosty,” there’s a nice stream flowing by, and it’s there that girls often work on their baskets. It’s a really nice spot to sit and soak your feet on a summer afternoon, but also, the water is important for the basket weaving. To bend and weave the wicker (cane, reed, or grass) fibers, it helps to soak them in water for a while. This softens the fibers making them more flexible for weaving.

Basketry is a truly ancient art. Native people around the world have been making baskets for as long as anyone can remember. Near us at camp, the Cherokee split oak baskets come to mind as a good example. Our camp baskets may not be as elaborate as these, but the girls at Rockbrook are continuing this long tradition of basket making in the mountains of North Carolina.

Camp Tie Dye Crafts Forever

Tie Dyeing Shirt Camp Craft ActivityIt just wouldn’t be camp without a new tie dye t-shirt! In one of our camp craft activities called “Hodge Podge” we learn how to make the coolest shirts by folding, twisting and binding plain white t-shirts with rubber bands (lots!). The goal is to get creative with the patterns you make crinkling the shirt. Maybe a fan shape, a spiral, or a bullseye would work. Then with squirt bottles of different color dyes, you add colors to certain spots for even more variety. It pays to think about which colors are next to each other since the dyes soak in and blend a bit on the shirt. After leaving the shirts overnight, it’s so much fun to unwrap them and see how your design worked out. You can imagine that camp girls gather quite a collection of shirts over the years!

Want more info about tie dyeing as a camp craft activity? Here’s a “how to tie dye” page.

Learn to Knit at Camp

crafts with girls knitting

Can I learn how to knit at camp?

You sure can!  In fact, knitting has become one of the crafts at camp girls are really enjoying.  You might think it’s old fashioned or something that only your grandmother would do, but knitting is really cool!  And it’s not that hard to learn.  With some basic pointers and a little practice you’ll be able to make a simple scarf, or even something more difficult like a hat.

The younger girls particularly like using the “Nifty Knitters.”  These are special round, handheld looms that make knitting tubes really easy (there’s one on the shelf in the background in the photo).  They are a fun way to see how knitting works and to make quick progress on a project before moving on to using knitting needles.

Knitting is one of those great crafts girls can easily do at home.  It can easily become a life-long activity to enjoy for years to come.

Fun Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts ActivitiesHere is one of the arts and crafts activities the girls enjoyed this summer at camp.

Can you tell what it is?  Pine cones tied to a branch with string— it’s a mobile.  What’s fun is using different sized pine cones and then arranging them with different lengths of string.  When the stick has more than one branching part, even better!  This kind of craft activities is really like making a sculpture.  It’s putting three-dimensional objects together to end up with some cool art. One girl turned her mobile into a bird feeder by adding some peanut butter and birdseed to the pine cones. Functional art too!  Arts and crafts are always fun at camp.

Take a look!