08/12/2013 02:11 pm ET Updated Oct 12, 2013

Children Proud of Their Work Anywhere in the World

I just returned from Ethiopia and there are so many rich and intense images in my mind. I attended the first day of day camp at the WWO Academy on July 30. Classrooms were filled with eager, chatty children. Two kids were always with one counselor for the entire day. I was struck by the view in Art and Crafts... yes, there is no 's' for Art at Camp Addis. In my opinion, this is very original.

I could see the tall person seated in the middle of two little persons as I gazed out at the class. The colored paper was distributed on the desks and pens, crayons, scissors and glue sticks were strewn. The art teacher in the front of the class was giving simple instructions about the project for that day. The children were asked to create a picture about their favorite activities at camp and school, e.g. dancing, acting, playing football, eating, sleeping, dreaming, singing, going to school. They were all chirping and moving the materials on the table and soon there was cutting and pasting.

The counselors were helping and chatting too. There was music from a little jam box. Every so often the teacher would greet them to see how they were doing and they responded back loudly. They sang a lovely camp song as they entered and left the class. The busy bees were well-behaved and focused on their work/play.

When the work was completed, they were asked to come up to show the class their art and to talk about what they had created. I loved their little voices quietly detailing their complex dreams and their proud tones were not lost on anyone. Each child, though quiet, was very focused on the art they created and the play that they enjoyed. Their faces were beaming as their work was hung on the walls around us.

Does this sound like something you have done in your life? Or is this something that your child has done in his or her life? Well, in fact, this is the magic of camp... playing and showing and sharing and celebrating your individuality and creativity. That is camp in a nutshell anywhere in the world. It is how children feel good about themselves. They have the right to this feeling