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story.lead_photo.caption Max Dunnaway readies the clay to be molded into a rainbow animal sculpture. Photo by Carter Mulvihill / News Tribune.

California Parks and Recreations held its third annual art camp this past week at the Proctor Park pavilion. The camp was available to kids in grades K-5th. The camp's instructor was Melissa Gerhart, who has helped with the camp all three years and will be the new art teacher at High Point for this coming school year.

The camp was divided between grades K-2nd and 3rd-5th. The younger kids had the theme of "Under the Sea," while the older group's theme was "Space." Some of the projects for "Under the Sea" included making sandcastles and treasure chests, working with clay, and using watercolors to create an ocean scene.

"My favorite thing about doing this is just seeing the kids get so excited," Gerhart said. "It's different than being in a school setting because the kids get more freedom here, and being outdoors, they're really more excited to work and everything.

"The kids just really get into it and I get to know them a lot better than in a normal classroom."

For Gerhart, the primary emphasis of her instruction at the camp was getting the kids to try new things. One project for the older group was to make art using only recycled materials.

"Every day I try to get them to work with a new material," Gerhart said. "Just to get them to try new things and explore and try to go outside their box and use different things they wouldn't ordinarily think of."

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