Camp SCRAP informs children about Creative Reuse

At Camp SCRAP kids from first through sixth grade are given the opportunity to explore the vast opportunities of creative reuse. Each day participants are educated about the fun and inventive ways recycled materials can be used in new and interesting ways.  For instance, one child took an old CD case and turned it into a bird feeder.  There are portions of the day dedicated to scheduled activities lead by staff members. There is also always allotted time for free building to allow the campers to let their individual creativity run loose with access to a craft supply wall that has loads of materials to reuse. Areas that are predominately showcased are Collage/Assemblage, Sculpture, Drawing/Painting, and Sewing.

SCRAP also offers many other educational creative reuse opportunities. Preschoolers to College students can schedule field trips to SCRAP for a unique and hands on experience with reducing excess by reusing materials.  Students will take away an informed vocabulary of this concept as well a true understanding of how important these practices are and how fun and creative this process can be.  These trips are easily customizable based on age group, number of kids, special needs or any other additional requirements. If a field trip is not possible to organize SCRAP will happily visit classrooms to give a one hour tutorial on the amazing benefits of reusability.

Every year SCRAP partners up with one local school that is lacking in art funding to donate reused material and crafts.  They also offer education and insight on projects and activities.  In turn each year’s highlighted school documents their artistic endeavors to further inspire education in the arts and in creative reuse.  Previous schools that have been involved in this program include Rigler Elementary, Whitman Elementary and The Ivy School.

In 1998 a group of teachers were desperate to find a way to avoid throwing away leftover classroom materials each year and decided to incept SCRAP. They originally brought these items to a Portland Public School’s resource space, A Teacher’s Space, for other teachers and administrators to use.  This didn’t prove to be impactful enough, so in 1999 Joan Grimm and group of her peers applied for and received a grant from the Department of Environmental Quality to open a resuse center for the whole community.  We, the ReBuilding Center, were the first to donate a space for them to operate in.  In 2013 SCRAP PDX redirected over 140 tons of usable material from the waste stream.  In other words, SCRAP not only rules, but they are the arts and crafts equivalent to ReBuilding Center!

For more information or to sign up for Camp SCRAP or to learn more about SCRAP’s vision and educational opportunities please visit

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