Cultivating Imagination in Adam Cleary’s Summer Writing Camp

On June 10, Session 1 of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Summer Writing Day Camp kicked off. Now in its 37th year, the camp has provided an opportunity for youth to develop basic writing skills and participate in a full and vigorous recreational program. 

“Our focus with the camp is to provide a creative outlet for kids in writing,” stated Adam Cleary, instructor in the Department of English Language and Literature and director of the camp. The camp consists of youth, aged 8-18, who, over the course of two weeks, develop their creative ideas into writing. “Campers are given access to English faculty who are there to provide them with guidance–to instruct them and help build upon their ideas,” Cleary commented. Campers can expect to participate in recreational activities too, helping stimulate their imagination and further develop their physical and teamworking skills. The University’s 2,600-acre campus provides an expansive setting for activities like swimming, softball, and nature exploration. Towards the end of the session, campers compile their writing and publish it into a book that when finished, they get to take home.

“At camp, kids get a full range of experience from making editorial decisions to layout and design. Writing camp is an inclusive and a fun environment for any kid and it provides empowerment of imagination and language.” The only requirement for admission to the Writing Camp is the desire to learn to write well. Session II will begin on Jul. 8.

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Adam Cleary


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