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Travis: Granddaughters get creative
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My Macon granddaughters are still with me this week. This week they and my two Covington granddaughters are attending Art Camp on the square at the Southern Heartland Gallery.

My Macon granddaughters usually sleep at my house, and they are early-risers. I mean before 7 a.m. risers. We get up and eat breakfast, sometimes making doughnut runs in pajamas. (They are in pajamas, not me. Grandmama cannot be trusted to pick out just the right doughnut.)

Then we pack all four lunches. The art students leave the gallery and walk to the square park to eat lunch.

The lunch menu remains the same for everyone for all four days. Two drink boxes (it gets hot in July); ham and cheese (two get bread with that, and two just want the ham and cheese); a bag of chips (there is always a serious discussion over who gets what chips, as I buy a large bag with individual bags of various kinds of chips.

I can’t buy just one kind of chip; as sure as shooting someone would not like that kind); a fruit cup (grapes will do in a pinch, but they really like the fruit cups that come with their own little fold out-spoons); and cookies. (Nobody eats everything, but you can count on everyone eating the chips and the cookies.)

Once we are packed and have eaten breakfast and are dressed, we get in the golf cart and go to pick up the Covington contingent. (Depending on who has spent the night with whom, the Covington contingent changes daily). Once all four are more-or-less pressed and presentable, I get to drop them off on the square and go home and collapse for a little bit.

But then I usually have to do a load of laundry. My, but granddaughters can use towels! And then I make some kind of preparation for the evening meal.

At 2 p.m. they have to be picked up. I get them on Monday and Wednesday; and my daughter gets them on Tuesday and Thursday, when I’m at work in the afternoon.

I have great admiration for the artists and their teenage helpers who organize and direct this camp. I am worn out just getting my four prepared to go to camp. They have to teach the class of young children for over four hours. And there are a good many more than four in the class.

If you have never sent your children or grandchildren to the Arty Art Camp offered four different weeks during the summer by the Southern Heartland Art Gallery, be prepared. They will come home with three or four projects each day. And not many of the projects are small.

If you see us coming home from the square around 2ish, you will see four children singing and talking and waving pictures and other projects.

No, it’s not a gypsy caravan. Although it seems like that with loads of art paraphernalia, a fouresome of excited children and one grandmama all packed into one golf cart.

Sure, it would make more sense to take the car and store things in the trunk. But a rule of thumb with grandchildren is never to travel by car if you can get to where you are going in the golf cart.

When we take the two granddaughters back to Macon, the look on my Macon daughter’s face (she is more of a throw-awayer than a keeper) when she sees all the artwork is a mixture of pride and dismay. I can see her mind furiously trying to decide where she can put all the artwork.

It is also amazing what things the artists will find to use to create the art. Buttons, bottle tops, tab tops and more are used to create 3-D art.

The children will come home with several completed canvases, some even framed. One year each child had a copy of the Mona Lisa with each individual child’s portrait in place of Mona Lisa’s.

I know my grandchildren will soon be, or soon think they are, too old for this camp. It has become a tradition they look forward to each year, and I will be sorry when they do get too old.

Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be reached at