Skip to content
December 07, 2023

Times’ Young Authors Camp fosters creativity in students

CREATIVE CAMPERS CRAFT THEIR OWN STORIES — The Times’ four-day writing camp, new this year, was held August 1-4, 2022. The camp included activities such as a tour of The Times, old-fashioned typewriters, hand drawn selfies, the narrative writing process, journal writing, word fun with adjectives, parts of speech sorting, walking around town to record sights and sounds, figurative language review, Duck Duck Goose, and outdoor Haiku writing. The children received drawstring backpack bags with writing supplies, too. On Day 3, the students each received a thesaurus, wrote final drafts for their three projects, visited the Library for nonfiction research, and played board games. The children were excited to experience simple things like outside games, book selections, free journaling, and game playing. On the final day of the Taylorsville Times Writing Camp, Thursday, August 4, participants received a certificate of completion and celebrated with ice cream at the new splash pad in downtown Taylorsville. Pictured above, left to right: front row – Julianna Millsaps, Kristin White, Emma Clack, Athena Johnson, Alan Norman, Kamdyn Millsaps, and Candace Bowles; back row – Jovani Martinez, Charlene Carico, Danny Norman, Raeghan Keever, Jade Johnson, Rebekah Bowles, Ben White, and Jonas Wike.


The Taylorsville Times hosted their first Young Authors’ Camp, August 1-4, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon each day. The staff at The Times recognized the need for students to be immersed in print-related activities to motivate better writing habits and to possibly inspire would-be authors.

During the camp, participants had opportunities to tour The Taylorsville Times’ facility, take a walking tour of the town looking for sights and sounds to write about, visit the library for nonfiction research, and visit the new Alexander County Courthouse Park and Splash Pad in celebration of all of their hard work.

Each student completed writing projects in three different genres: narrative, nonfiction, and poetry. They then selected first and second choices for publication in The Times.

They were also exposed to various activities pertaining to Language Arts, such as sorting parts of speech, playing with figurative language, creating graphic organizers, and free journal writing. They were very fascinated with the history of newspaper printing and old-fashioned typewriters. One student asked, “How did people delete things on typewriters?”

SORTING IT OUT — One of the activities students performed during the first-ever Taylorsville Times’ Young Authors Camp, held August 1-4, was sorting types of figurative language (above). Campers also received writing supplies, toured The Times facility, and researched in the Alexander Library. Instructors Angela King and Hope Sharpe helped campers research and write narratives, non-fiction stories, and haiku poems. Their written work appears on Page 10A. Shown above, left to right: Candace Bowles, Raeghan Keever, Charlene Carico, Julianna Millsaps, and Athena Johnson.

Students were given their own “The Taylorsville Times” knapsacks stuffed with writing supplies that included their own “Reporter Notepads.” They enjoyed taking observation notes in these pads throughout the week. They also received two editions of the Kid Scoop News paper, a 100th anniversary edition of The Taylorsville Times, and a snack was provided daily.

The students will receive a free copy of the Times’ edition with their stories as part of a four-week gift subscription.

The staff at The Times was thankful to host 15 students this year and has received very positive feedback from students and parents. One student said, “I might want to be a journalist when I grow up.” Another one said, “I didn’t like writing before this camp, but I really like it now.”

Times’ Young Authors Camp participants, armed with pencils and reporter pads, toured downtown and took notes on their surroundings during one camp activity.

The Times’ staff is very appreciative of Rev. Paul Sink and the congregation of Taylorsville Presbyterian Church, who supplied a great meeting facility for this camp. Their fellowship hall was the perfect location, within walking distance of the library, The Taylorsville Times building, and the new park and splash pad. The students were also very thankful to visit the main location of the Alexander County Library, where their staff helped find just the right books for research.

The Times’ staff is hopeful to offer this opportunity again next summer and would possibly like to expand to have more participants.

When a community pools resources and works together, great things happen for kids!

Camp participants’ writings appear below.

Julianna Millsaps

Nonfiction Piece from Julianna Millsaps:

“Breeds of Horses”
There are four beautiful fast breeds of horses. The first is called Coldbloods. They like to be cold and wet. They live in Northern Europe.
The second kind is Warmbloods. They are 56 inches tall. They are hunters and hard workers.
The third strain is called Hotbloods. They are graceful and very beautiful. They live in the Middle East in North Africa. They are light, but tough.
The last breed of horses is Ponies. They are shorter than horses. They are tough and independent.
I like horses a lot. They are delightful and good-looking. They are fast creatures.

Raeghan Keever

A Nonfiction Piece by Raeghan Keever:

Dogs are some of the smartest and loyal animals. Augie, a dog, fit five tennis balls in his mouth. Norman holds the record for fastest 30 meters on a scooter.
Some good traits of dogs are they have the ability to learn new tricks. They can also communicate in different ways, like body language and even verbally. Another thing is they have emotion. If you look at a fish, it has dead eyes, but dogs have happiness. They can even be depressed. They also remember well because if they get lost, they can usually find their way home.
There are 75 million pet dogs in the US. It is proven that mutts have better health than pure breeds.
Dogs are truly amazing creatures.

Candace Bowles

A Nonfiction Piece by Candace Bowles:

Foxes are red, white, and gray. Red foxes are one of four species found in North America. Foxes are good climbers. All foxes share certain physical traits. Long fur and bushy tails are common to fox bodies. Foxes can hide very well. Gray foxes have gray fur banded by reddish-brown with black tips on their tails. Foxes are really smart. Kit foxes are the smallest species of foxes. Foxes are good hunters. Arctic foxes change colors in Summer and Winter to blend in with their surroundings. I love foxes so much!

A Haiku Poem also by Candace Bowles:
Good Hunting Experts
As Speedy as Lightning Bolts
Sleep During the Day

Charlene Carico

A Haiku* Poem by Charlene Carico:

Plants make up the Earth.
There are many different kinds.
They produce O2.
* Haiku poems must be written in a 5 syllable, 7 syllable, 5 syllable format.

Athena Johnson

A Nonfiction Piece by Athena Johnson:

“Facts About Rabbits”
Rabbits have a lot of facts about themselves. The English Lop Rabbit was a popular pet in the 1800s. Baby rabbits huddle together to keep warm and need to drink mothers’ milk for several weeks. Miniature Lop Rabbits are most active and playful in the morning and the evening. Netherland Dwarf Rabbits are not much bigger than a kitten even when fully grown. The Continental Giant Rabbit is the biggest rabbit breed of all. Rabbits are very cute and fun!

Jonas Wike

A Nonfiction Piece by Jonas Wike:

Prepare to go on a trip to Germany to learn about the language, and other things about Germany.
The German language has been around for a long time.
German Words:
English     |      German   |   Pronunciation
Mother           Die Mutter         (Muht-er)
Father            Der Vater           (Faht-er)
Pig                  Das schwein      (schvain)
Hello              Hallo                  (Hal-loh)
Thank You    Danke                (Dahnk-eh)
In Germany, Christianity is the most common religion. Religions in Germany: 36%, None. 1.7%, Other. 58%, Christian. 4.4%, Muslim.
Germany is located in North-Central Europe and covers 137,803 miles.
Facts About Germany: Capital City: Berlin. Population: 80,594,017. 75% City, 25% Countryside.
You should visit Germany because there are cool festivals and neat places!

Danny Norman

A Narrative by Danny Norman:

On a nice, hot day in summer, my family went camping. We went to the KOA to go camping. My brother caught six scaly bluegills because we were camping on the lake. I also saw slow Midland Painted Turtles and fast Northern Water Snakes. We also swam in one of their rivers. I love camping with my family.

A Haiku Poem also by Danny Norman:
I am a T Rex.
And I am hungry for food.
I live in a cave.

Ben White

A Haiku Poem by Ben White:

Bees come flower bush
Butterflies come flower bush
Blooming big, pretty bushes

A Narrative also by Ben White:
“My Grandma”
My Grandma fell and broke her leg. We did not realize until after an X-ray. My grandfather was panicked and worried. She was put in rehab. She tripped over my brother’s stool. My grandfather visits her a lot. She fell again and broke her ankle. She can come home soon.

Emma Clack

A Narrative by Emma Clack:

“Our Family Walk”
A few days ago, me and my family went on a walk down the road. On our way back, we saw a family of cats. We walked over to see if we could pet the kittens and one came to me. When we looked at it, we saw that it was sick so we took it to the vet at the Humane Society. The vet gave it medicine and said it would be better in two weeks.

Alan Norman

A Nonfiction Piece by Alan Norman:

“The Velociraptor”
The Velociraptor was deadly. It lived during the Cretaceous Period. It had one long toe and three short toes. Its size was five feet to 15 feet. A Velociraptor pack could take down a T-Rex. They lived in Canada and the USA.

Rebekah Bowles

A Nonfiction Piece by Rebekah Bowles:

Seahorses are very fascinating creatures. They can do many things, like curve to form a hook. There are about 25 different species of seahorses. They live in shallow, tropical waters. Other types are found in cooler waters. When they are born, they are about ½ inch long.
When they are older, they are about 14 inches. Seahorses do not swim. They just move about in a vertical or upright position. Unlike other fish, seahorses don’t have scales. Instead they have bony plates. Their plates are arranged in rings with tiny knobs marking the spots where they join together.
Seahorses have a bony outer skeleton. The male seahorses have pouches to carry the eggs. Seahorses are very unique creatures with their horse-like appearance.

Kristin White

A Nonfiction Piece by Kristin White:

“Great Danes”
Great Danes are enormous canines and they are great pets, but can be as tall or taller than you. They are protective beasts because of their bonds with their owners. 400 years ago in Germany, they wanted a fast, strong dog for hunting, so they bred for it. In Germany, they are still known as German Mastiffs. They are good pets to have.

Kamdyn Millsaps

A Narrative by Kamdyn Millsaps:

“My Birthday in Atlanta”
I went to Atlanta for my birthday to watch the Dodgers play baseball for two days. When we were at the stadium, I saw a homerun ball and I told the Dodgers person, “It’s my birthday!” He said, “When’s your birthday?” and I said, “It’s June 25, 2011.” He gave it to me and I was so excited!
On the first day, we bought drinks and popcorn and we also kind of got on the big screen. Those drinks were expensive!
The second day we sat in the homerun section, which was the day I caught the ball. At the end of day two, we packed up and left the next morning.
I hope to do this again. It was such an amazing experience! You should do it too!

Jade Johnson

A Nonfiction Piece by Jade Johnson:

“Why I Like Sloths”
I like sloths because they are interesting. Like, why do they have to walk on their claws when they are on the ground? And why do sloths have mold on their fur? I do know that they are brown. They are mammals and they have no tails. They are very slow to do anything. Sloths are upside down when they are in trees. These are reasons I like sloths and why they are interesting.
A Haiku Poem also by Jade Johnson:
Elephants Have Trunks
Their trunks are long and big
It helps pick up stuff.

Jovani Martinez

A Narrative by Jovani Martinez:

“A Day at the Beach”
One day in June, my family and I went to the beach in Charleston, SC and went crab fishing.
We had to be patient for them to come and it was really hot that day. One of the crabs was caught in a fishing line and I touched it and cut my finger.
The crabs we caught smelled really bad and there were a lot of baby crabs and hermit crabs caught in my net.
It was fun, but hard to wait!

Leave a Comment