Story Power Camp Day 1 7&8: Sweet Beginnings

Hello! I’m Emily, and I’m an intern at LitWorld this summer. In the fall I’ll be starting my senior year at Barnard College, where I study English and education. I’m originally from Westchester, New York, but I love living in Manhattan! I’m thrilled to be interning with LitWorld this summer, doing work that combines my love of reading, writing, and education.

Today was a big day for us—the first day of our Story Power summer camp. We’ve spent the last few weeks preparing for the camp in countless ways: we’ve brainstormed, researched, collaborated, danced, played games, and, of course, spent lots of time writing. After all that preparation, we were more than ready to begin. After some introductory games, we head inside to start reading. 

We spent part of class reading the inspiring children’s book 14 Cows for America, by LitWorld's Story Power award winner Cameron Agra Deedy. The book takes place in Kenya, and explores Maasai culture, emphasizing the essential role cows play in their society. The Maasai were so moved by the tragic story of September 11, 2001 that they gifted 14 of their precious cows to America. 

We read the story slowly, taking time to really consider the importance of the gift, and to admire the beautiful illustrations. We spent quite a bit of time talking about the significance of cows to the Maasai people. As Deedy says in her book, “To the Maasai, the cow is life.”

After reading that weighty line, we talked about the things that “are life” to us. Answers varied, with the most popular topics landing somewhere around God, mom, school, and books. This was a moving and inspiring discussion, and one that bodes well for the rest of camp! 

- Emily H