By Regan Kregness, development coordinator
On the first day of camp, children checked in; nerves and excitement abuzz. As they filed in to their classrooms, each one was given an empty bracelet and one bead.
As bracelets were handed out, staff member Ms. Raquel explained they would get a bead to add to their bracelets each day they were at camp. But these weren’t ordinary beads. They came in many different colors and shapes — including different animals, fun foods, and more!
Children had different goals for what they wanted their bracelet to look like; some aimed for color coordination while others wanted to have one of every different bead. There were so many possibilities.
Because of their varying goals, the children had to learn to negotiate which developed their communication skills. All were participating — 4K through 5th grade — and friendships grew between groups through the trading of beads.
When new children came to camp, they were given a bracelet and one bead. But it didn’t take long for them to catch onto to the trading and the fun beads brought them. Friendships formed quickly. And when some of the children saw their friends had fewer beads than them, they were inspired to give some of their own away so they could all grow a collection they were proud of.
And best of all, every child was able to participate. Because the beads and bracelets were given out at camp, no child had to purchase or bring anything from home to be part of the fun. We are grateful to all of our amazing staff, like Ms. Raquel who thought of this bead activity, who use their creative energy to make sure Wisconsin Youth Company programs are fun and full of growth for every child!
With support from people like you who support After School, this growth, creativity, and fun is possible! Through a gift, you continue to make stories like this possible. Donate today.