Lauren Reynolds spent part of her summer at The Oxbow School arts program in Napa, Calif.
Why did you choose to participate in a summer program or go to overnight camp?
I am an artist and I wanted to attend a dynamic summer program that would really allow me to concentrate on my artistic interests and hone my craft. For most of my life, I went to a traditional summer camp.
How did you decide which program was right for you?
I chose The Oxbow School summer arts camp because of its incredible reputation as an dynamic arts program and because I was going to be attending the semester school. I wanted a new experience and one that would allow me to make art all summer. I participated both sessions of camp, four weeks in total, and I loved it all!
What was a typical day in the program?
I’d wake up, get ready (put on sunscreen!), and then head straight for the dining hall! The chefs make the best food. After breakfast, we started the day in the studios. Our days ranged from more structural events and “classes” in the first week to independent work time for our Final Projects in the second week. The day would end with fun all-camp activities and time to hang out with dorm-mates. Time at Oxbow moved quickly and everyday brought a different experience and something to look forward to in the next day.
What was the most memorable moment of your summer?
For the first week of the summer session, we experimented with the different mediums and then the second week we worked on our Final Project. This artwork was then showcased in a camp gallery show that attracted quite a large crowd. For me, the most memorable part of my summer was standing in front of my work at Final Show and getting to engage with people and talk about my work.
There is something unique about the Oxbow environment. It offers a time for meditation. Working on my art and taking time to slow down and think about my life in the golden warmth of the Napa sun is something that I will treasure forever. If you are interested in art at all – you do not need to have any experience or skill – then you must consider Oxbow.
What advice do you have for teens looking at summer programs or camps?
My time at Oxbow made me a new and stronger person. I grew so much and I learned more about myself and what I wanted to do with my life then I could have ever hoped. I also met amazing friends with whom I am still in contact. I am now attending a prestigious art college in New York City and I am leading the life that I have always wanted to. I attribute most of my success to my experience at Oxbow. The best advice I can give is that getting out into the world and being apart of an opportunity like Oxbow is the best thing you can do for yourself. Take the first step, you never know what could happen!