LEI offers in-person and virtual camps
As Lake Erie Ink (LEI) prepares for the start of in-person creative expression camps this summer, one cannot help but reflect back to last summer, when the idea of meeting in a physical space seemed impossible.
The story of LEI this past year is one of difficulty, as the entire organization scrambled to find ways to adapt.
Perhaps no one had to adapt more than Catherine Madison, LEI’s program operations coordinator, and mother of a first-grader. Looking back on the year, Madison noted, “I’ve had to find a balance of being able to manage work and also manage my daughter’s schoolwork. To be honest, it was driving me nuts.”
Despite the difficult year, Madison noticed moments of growth. “There’s been growth in our patience,” Madison said. “We had to grow and learn how to be patient with ourselves, with work, with our kids.”
After her daughter went back to school, Madison was able to come in to work, and feels more in control of her space and her career.
LEI found opportunities for growth, as well. Forced to create a writing space for youth without youth allowed in the space, LEI patiently adapted, creating strong, virtual programs (including a virtual Comic Con) and finding unique ways to get the community creatively engaged.
Now, LEI is coupling in-person camps with a series of virtual programs, taking lessons learned from last year and applying them to the future.
LEI is offering limited, outdoor creative-expression camps, finally bringing youth back to the Coventry PEACE campus.
Eli Millette works as the communications and outreach director at Lake Erie Ink, and lives in Cleveland Heights.