We just finished an indoor campout storytelling series that I’m really excited about sharing with y’all. I had been wanting to do a family fort night event ever since I started seeing posts like the one from Jbrary detailing what a fun and simple program it is. It just never seemed to come together, but there it sat on my Pinterest board, ready for the perfect moment. That moment came when we started talking about writing for the Georgia Council for the Arts Vibrant Communities Grant. After much discussion, we decided to do a storytelling series after-hours with an indoor campout theme. We had a few setbacks and changes with our storytellers, but I was so, so pleased with the end result.
Both programs were an indoor campout; the only difference was the location and the storyteller. We had both programs after hours and put up plastic tablecloths over the bookshelves for “tents.” We made s’mores mix with Golden Grahams cereal, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips, and each family received a craft kit to make their own campfire (I made a PDF of the instructions that I’d be happy to share if anyone is interested).
The first storyteller was Fiddlin’ Dan the Mountain Man. He used his musical instruments to tell stories, and the kids even got to try out some of the instruments at the end of the show.
The second storyteller was shadow puppeteer Hobey Ford. I am so fascinated by the art of shadow puppetry. In fact, this is what inspired the whole program concept, and why we called it “Stories in the Shadows.”
I really loved this program series. My favorite part was seeing the families interact with the library after hours. Something about seeing everyone snuggled up under our makeshift tents, with play campfires and flashlights glowing, reading to each other and being entertained by talented artists–that’s why I do what I do. I’m so appreciative of the librarians who shared the campout/family fort night idea, and of the support from the Georgia Council for the Arts Vibrant Communities grant for making it possible.