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For those who've caught the writing bug, there's no cure. So, why not feed that creative fever within a special environment: Cardinal Creativity Camp. This workshop for writers entering grades 7 through 12 will run June 12-25 from 9AM to noon on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University. The cost is $90.

This year's camp coordinator, SVSU English and chemistry major Noah Essenmacher, is the new editor-in-chief of the SVSU student newspaper The Valley Vanguard and a teaching assistant at Delta College. During the regular school year, many high school and middle school students who are passionate about writing don't get the extra support they'd like in that area, says Essenmacher, who hopes they'll take advantage of this opportunity to write short fiction and poetry with guidance and inspiration from camp mentors. He and other SVSU alumni and student instructors who are also accomplished writers themselves,Tyler Germain, Robbie Pieschke, Amelia Glebocki, and Corey Stroik, have planned a lineup of self-selected activities meant to be very different from what students may have already done in school. One of these activities is a specially arranged visit to the Marshall M. Frederick's Sculpture Museum, where campers might be inspired by the work of this nationally known creator of monumental figurative sculpture, public memorials, and fountains. Another resource will be a packet of materials designed to perk campers' creativity anytime.

After writing feverishly, sharing their work among themselves, and writing some more, the campers will select their best work to be published in a print anthology. Campers, even those who are a bit shy, will get the chance to hone their speaking skills in a sharing and caring setting at week's end when they'll read selections of their writings to friends and family in that most writerly setting: the Starbucks Coffee House on campus. Remembering his participation in the 2009 camp, Essenmacher, said, "The best payoff was having campers' parents come up to me afterward and tell me about their dinner table conversations about how much their students had enjoyed the camps."

In the future, camp organizers, including faculty sponsor Tim Kenyon, hope to find sponsors to underwrite the cost, making it more affordable for all participants.

For more information, contact Pat at 989-964-7022 or Sharon at 989-964-7142.

© Jeanne Lesinski, 2010