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GPI Writing, Drumming and Performance Workshops for One Common Unity Summer Day Camp

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It was an interesting and cool to organize the Youth Guerrilla Insurgency at One Common Unity’s Summer Camp.  In the midst of the week, I struggled, but came away truly rewarded by having had an opportunity to observe five amazing, yet different trainer styles.  I learned many new games and for the first time actually believe I am capable of leading a workshop.

Kristen and Joe both taught me about energy.  Although Kristen confessed to feeling a lack of energy walking into the workshop, you would have not known it by interacting with her.  Joe’s flow of energy kept everyone moving and simply having fun. Marguax’s smooth calmness and Shahid’s straightforward way actually quieted the 8-12 year olds for the only time in those 4 days as they wrote poems, short stories and random thoughts.  My favorite exercise from the writing was completing sentences such as Summertime means….I know we can…..etc.  Princess of Controversy kept them all “in the game” and had at least one come away talking about “respect.”  Here are some samples of their writing:

One day I will get older this is true.  I will get older and you can’t get younger because that’s impossible!

I know that we can work together.

I balled up the paper before this cause it looked somewhat like this one but they won’t let me ball this up.  I like to watch my hand writing cause sometimes I write so fast and I can’t even see my hand but that is why this paragraph is so messy.

Cool fool.   In summertime I become a gangster.

Rocks and old people go together like bread and butter.

I wonder why our paper is yellow.  It looks like someone pissed on it.

We did 75 minutes for 4 days doing rhythm work, drumming, writing, drawing and making shakers with stickers and crayons.  We learned that bowls of beans are ESSENTIAL for the future to avoid a hill of beans (ha!) to clean up.  Ft. Dupont Park Ice Rink in Anacostia was a dope facility– kids were having a ball skating in both OCU and other summer camps.  The kids were also roller-blading, theatre and academic work.  We did exercises where kids drew about how they were feeling, who they are and/or what they were enjoying from their days at the camp. (see some pictures attached) 1178_001.pdf   1177_001.pdf

At the end we asked them to say one thing they liked about themselves, one thing they wanted to change and one thing they liked//learned about our series of workshops.  More than half said they liked everything about themselves, few were looking to change – aren’t kids beautiful!!   As far as the Youth Guerilla Insurgency workshop they shared they liked drumming, learning about harmony and respect and dug the 5 minutes of free write.

Among them, I suspect there is definitely a guerrilla or two in the making.

1 Comment »

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    Props to Laurie for coordinating the GPI's participation!  This gig had her waking up at 7am to get through her day job, before enduring a 90 minute commute each way to Ft. Dupont Park…and she had to go back to the office afterwards — even on her birthday!

    July babies in da house!

    Comment by shahid — July 14, 2006 @ 3:45 am

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The DC Guerrilla Poetry Insurgency (GPI) is an anti-authoritarian, collaborative, pro-humanity artists' collective incorporating music, rhythm, spoken word, community and resistance.

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