National Art Experience


To highlight the creativity of our youth, every year Camp Fire National presents the National Art Experience. Youth are asked to use a different medium each year, this year the medium is paper.

The purposes of the Camp Fire National Art Experience are to enable youth to explore art as a career or hobby and to encourage their creativity. Young people in any Camp Fire programs — such as summer camp, enrichment classes, classic club, or teen service and leadership — may participate in the National Art Experience. Participants have the option to choose from several activities, which may be completed individually or as a group.

Camp Fire has been conducting the National Art Experience (formerly National Art Competition) since 1973. This experience recognizes and encourages creativity, excellence, and innovation in the arts. An art experience provides a special opportunity for youth to be creative and receive recognition for their efforts. This project was designed with rules. Judging guidelines are similar to those of art experiences held annually by the American Crafts Council and related professional art programs.

The Camp Fire National Art Experience provides encouragement for individuals to pursue art as a career as well as providing an avenue for youth to explore new interests, ideas, self-expression, and their sparks. Artists should be encouraged to express their own ideas and to persist with their work until it is exactly the way they want to present those ideas.

The objectives of this experience are to help youth:

  • Increase personal creativity.
  • Increase competency in, and learn the appropriate application of, the art medium.
  • Gain greater self-awareness (for example, a sense of identity and self-esteem).
  • Become more aware of and reflect on their sparks.
  • Become more aware of different cultures.
  • Make choices and plan sequentially.
  • Experience a range of art forms.
  • Develop skills and find outlets for personal expression.
  • Consider related careers and lifetime interests.

Each participant will be provided with a National Art Experience certificate of participation for youth who submit entries.

It is not mandatory, but if you wish to enter into the National Art Experience competition, Camp Fire Samish is providing prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners by age group! To enter into the competition, circle ‘YES’ on your ENTRY FORM.

Groups will be separated into the following age/grade-levels:

Kindergarten – 2nd
3rd – 5th
6th – 8th
9th – 12th

With permission, entries will be shared on Camp Fire Samish’s social media platforms. To grant permission, circle ‘YES’ on your ENTRY FORM. Camp Fire Samish will be hosting a virtual art show after the competition to display everyone’s artwork! You can also share your artwork on social media using the hashtags #CampFireSamish and #CampFireNAE and tagging @campfiresamish and @camp_kirby.

The judging process encourages creativity and excellence. Adults who are skilled, practicing artists themselves are able to recognize and appreciate a creative sense in an artist of any age and at any level of eye-hand coordination. Camp Fire Samish allows each judge the freedom to determine the kind of recognition that will be given and the number of winners.

Judging Criteria (in order of importance)

  1. Originality of design and the creative expression of the artist’s idea.
  2. Overall composition—line, color, balance, and design.
  3. Appropriateness of materials and techniques used to carry out the
    creative expression.
  4. Skill in executing the selected techniques.