CRS TIMES: CRS ’17 Week 6

Blog Sachems: Julissa (NY) and Bella (CA)

Photos by: Mallika (Journalism & World Affairs Councilor)

During week 2, campers learned how to express themselves through poetry. A group of campers when to Red Hook for a camping trip. The camping trip is discussed in CRS TIMES: CRS '17 Week 7. The week 3 blog post also contains a camping trip reflection, and the Week 2 & 3 video.

This Week's Instructions


  • Rest Day

Starlit Saturday:

  • Justin (NYC) - Astronomy
  • Daniela (Ecuador) & Una - Astrology
  • Alex (MN) - Visions of Heaven
  • Caro (Argentina) - Moon Cycles


  • Bonolo (SA) - Indigenous Games
  • Ade (NY) - Immigration
  • Jana (Palestine) & Karim (Egypt) – Arabic


  • Jordan (DC) - Public Debate Forum
  • Justin (NYC) - Physics
  • Elise (MN) - Scottish Dance


  • Bella (CA) - Poetry
  • Justin (NYC) - Aesthetics


  • Fidan (Azerbaijan) - Azerbaijan Dance
  • Ada (Turkey) & Remy (NJ) - Ballet
  • Meshi (Israel) - Workout


  • Alex (MN) - Canoeing & Kayaking
  • Karim (Egypt) - Logic Gates
  • Caro (Argentina) - Soap & Insect Repellent
  • Sonia (Poland) - Hair Dyeing
  • Kaitlyn (NYC) & Aikaterini (Greece) - Model United Nations

Poetry Corner:

Bella’s (California) Reflection On Her Poetry Instruction:

What are the basic “rules” of poetry? What defines a work of text as poetry? When I started writing poetry about two years ago, these were two of the bigger questions I had surrounding the craft. I attend an art school in California, where I study poetry and literary art. Because of how influential poetry is in my life, I want to share this with the campers and break down the idea that poetry is something that only “writers” can do.

Before my instruction, I was unsure of how to teach poetry. As such a vast art form, it felt nearly impossible to tackle all that I wanted to in the 90 minutes given for an instruction. I was also nervous that people would be bored, or unenthusiastic. I think, (at least in American schools) poetry is reflected as a very constraining type of art, which can give the misconception that it is not fun, or that there is a right and a wrong way to write. I really wanted to show my campmates that these misconceptions are not true and that anyone can write poetry and enjoy it. I chose two poems from two of my favorite writers, Dean Young and Patricia K. Smith.

We started off reading a piece by Dean Young and then discussed what we thought the piece was about. Inspired by the poem, everyone wrote for ten minutes, before we analyzed the next poem. Then, I gave a basic rundown of literary terms and structures in poetry, such as the types of poems (haikus, sonnets, free verse, etc.) and talked about enjambment, and use of language. To finish it all off, we wrote in silence for 20 minutes, gave feedback on each other’s work, and finally, we shared our work.

What was so special about this workshop was that after we read both pieces and writing their own poems, I had other campers tell me that they had never thought about poetry before the instruction and it changed their perception of what the craft is. As someone who can’t imagine their life without poetry, it was great to hear that other people were beginning to explore their love for poetry. I also wasn’t nervous while giving the instruction, which was relieving because, other than school, I do not have much experience teaching in a professional manner.

Maybe you feel that poetry is difficult, or that you cannot write well, but please believe me when I say that anyone can, as there are very few rules to poetry. What makes poetry unique is the writer's personal voice. Also, as a perk, after giving this instruction, I now have a group of people who I can lend my books too, and I am now less anxious about teaching things to others.


Anger - Jordan (Washington DC)

Anger likes to play dressup.

He likes to borrow love clothes.

To put on a mask and parade around spreading lies.

He likes to fiddle with happiness.

And play games with joy, game, he too often ends up winning, leaving the players broken and destroyed.

He is best friends with chaos and disaster

He likes to blind the broken hearted

Singing symphonies of “I love you’s”

Comfort and countless count out to play

And walls start to come down.

Vulnerability takes center stage.

All you see is love, a soft warm glow

But little do you know that

He wants you

To break down your walls just to make fun of what’s underneath.

And then he too will take off his mask.

And as he does, his friends, embarrassment, regret and sorrow sit and watch.

They replace safety, happiness and love and when he is done and through you are left to be consumed by the darkness that is loneliness.

You are left searching for a light anything to fill the void.

So you let him in again.

The raging fire keeps you warm

And even though you know you’ve been burned.

Caution is thrown to the wind, because your one track mind sees his fire as a warm glow.

You project love and allow yourself to forget.

Anger likes to play dressup.

This Weeks Projects

  • Lean To
  • Time Capsule
  • History Mural
  • Trails
  • Gym Stage
  • Picnic Tables
  • Songbook Project
  • Ladder to the stargazing tower
  • See Saw
  • Wilhelmina Bathroom Shelves