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Make prints while the sun shines

[In clipped English accent] "Good morning Camperinos. Willy Watkins here, broadcasting live from Camp Wildfire Radio. It's 9am and this is your wake up call letting you know that activities will commence in precisely 30 minutes."

And so begins our day at the award winning 1950s style Camp Wildfire - adventure camp by day and music festival by night.

For the athletic there is sport and for the creative there is craft. And that's where i printed that comes in. Sun prints, cyanotypes, blueprints - call them what you want - the sun was shining, my hands were stained bright blue (long story) and we were ready to show some curious campers how to use the sun to make beautiful prints onto neckerchiefs (woggles not included).

Remember sitting in class and your teacher announces that lessons will be outside today? Yes? Well, you can pretty much imagine the scene then as we set up a nature table of feathers, interesting bits of bark, flora and fauna and 20 eager adventurers settle themselves in the forest (mind the pine cones!) which is to be our home for the next few gloriously sunny days.

After a few fun facts about sun printing the class split up to explore and collect just enough leaves and flowers to create a design for their neckerchiefs. Once back they arrange their finds onto the pre-treated fabric and parade to the sun where they leave them for the sunshine to work its magic.

Cue field trip style quiz. It's time to find out who was listening to those fun facts at the start of the lesson…

6 multiple choice questions later and an "I like sun printing because..." decider, the winner is announced and presented with a very special sun printing activity badge to add to their collection. But who cares about quizzes? Everyone’s a winner when it comes to printing and it's time to bring the neckerchiefs back into the shade and wash the chemicals off to reveal the ethereal beauty of nature.

Smiling and "wowing" we hang the prints from the trees to dry and set up for the next batch of intrepid explorers.

Thanks for having us, Camp Wildfire. See you next year!

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