What can a Map be?

“Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it.” ~ Jon Bon Jovi

Dear Friends of LEAPS,

What might a children’s map of the Langlais Preserve look like?  Susan unfurled an enormous canvas that covered the tables kids work at each day. She asked kids to list from memory every 3-dimensional work of art they remembered along the paths. They came up with more than a dozen, and then added the buildings, the “mural,” and the huge tree they sit under to their list.

Next kids set out with journals to map the trail. One girl commented, “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.” Some started over multiple times in order to find a way to fit everything on their page and accurately represent the relationship between sculptures. It was a tough assignment. But no one gave up.

When campers returned to the studio they came together and set a cork on the canvas to notate where each sculpture stood. Then they began the task of creating each of Langlais’ works in miniature.

Their enthusiasm for this project was palpable! To chunks of wood kids added paint; some decorated with fabric or patterns. All that was left was to paint the canvas and let their imaginations go.

When kids began the oversized map they knew that anything could happen. As they progressed, something magical occurred. From the initial concept came something entirely new.  Together they transformed their map into a GAME!

COLOR gave their creations and their trail life. With original game pieces and a consensus about how to play the game, they tried it out.

 As we map out our lives we have opportunities we never anticipate. We have roads from which to choose – or designs, in this case, to realize. Where are these children headed? As a collective, they’ve demonstrated what they can do. For the rest, we’ll just have to wait and see.
We’ve loved watching them set their imaginations on fire!
Nancy, for the LEAPS Team, Susan, Cynthia, and Morgan
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3 thoughts on “What can a Map be?

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