Culture Dose: Art Camp for Big Kids

Head to the islands to unplug, chill out and get your art on.

Happen to be free October 11 through 14? Feeling the need to get away, relax and tune into your inner artist? Great, then we’ve got an idea for you. Sail away to Doe Bay Resort on gorgeous Orcas Island for a long weekend with new friends at the Art Camp for Big Kids. Seattleite caught up with camp founder Lori Stone of The Joy Guild to get the scoop on the upcoming island retreat.

Seattelite: What was the inspiration behind these Art Camps for Big Kids?

Lori: Adults need play time as much as children. Perhaps we even need it more because of our demanding schedules. And, because we are creatures of habit, it’s very easy to slip into a routine in life where creativity and expression are low on the priority list. After spending years at a summer arts camp for children down in CA and watching how much the adults cherished the time there, as well, I realized that we needed a “camp for big kids.”

S: Can you describe a typical day at the camp?

L: We do our very best to offer lots of activities while keeping days relaxed and free of outside distraction. The days start at a reasonable hour…letting people sleep in, if needed. There are 3-4 workshop-style classes or play activities per day mixed with free time and open studio for people to come in and create something new at his or her leisure. You also get a chance to explore the area of the beautiful and casual Doe Bay resort. Participants can choose to relax with a massage during free time or jump into outdoor activities like kayaking or hiking.

S: What types of campers have your enjoyed this event in the past, and what do they take away from their long weekend?

L: Campers have ranged from age 24 to 64. We cater to any adult that needs a break, both men and women. Participants work in a range of fields…some in the arts, but mainly from across corporate, government, and non-profit roles.

(Read campers’ testimonials here.) 

S: How does the beautiful and serene setting complement the overall vibe and aim of the event?

L: Getting away from the hustle and bustle allows us to stop, take a deep breath, and begin to relax. The resort of Doe Bay on Orcas Island sits on the water, with majestic views and nature right at your fingertips and the beauty of Moran State Park next door. Being in a quiet, safe space allows participants to create from and connect to a space within, not distracted by daily interruptions. It’s a great way to clear mind clutter.

S: What kind of arts do campers participate in, and are all skill levels welcome?

L: All skill levels are welcome, and we encourage those who are new to art or think they “can’t draw.” We hear that all the time, and creativity is about more than just drawing someone’s face or hands (one of the most common misconceptions about what it takes to make art), Our workshops rotate through all kids of artistic media from painting to textiles to papercraft, and they are designed to give people a taste of each art medium. Open studio is available each day should anyone want to explore a project further.

S: In today’s hectic world, why do you think it is so important for us to take time out to pause, slow down, get creative and tap into our inner child?

L: As grownups, we are bombarded with responsibilities day after day. Reconnecting to our playful, creative selves allows us to be more thoughtful in our work, see the world through wider eyes, and refresh our desires. Creativity and expression open doors that allow us to act on our daydreams. Simply getting “off the grid” for a weekend has restorative powers that remind us to slow down and enjoy what life has to offer, rather than watching it pass by.

Read details about the retreat and register here. Reduced cost tickets available through 10/9. (All photos courtesy Lori Stone.)