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Campers learn life lessons while painting mural at Eliada Home

When someone tells a story about kids painting on a building, graffiti often comes to mind. But, there's some summer campers who are painting with a purpose on a horse barn at Eliada Home. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

When someone tells a story about kids painting on a building, graffiti often comes to mind. But, there's some summer campers who are painting with a purpose on a horse barn at Eliada Home.

The kids are using brushes in hopes of leaving a lasting legacy. They are using the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains as their inspiration to create a mural with a message. Their canvas is a horse barn at Eliada Home in Asheville.

But the project is about more than art. It's a hands-on project that teaches, teamwork, tolerance and acceptance. Counselors hope the kids make the connection that like paint harsh words can leave a lasting impression.

"Well, I guess if you want to use a painting metaphor, it gives them an opportunity to see the marks they leave. Because a lot of kids are really quick to blame other people and not take into account, oh, it doesn't matter who did it, it matters that the person who's being affected by the words I'm saying, it's leaving a mark on them. And the person doing it may not realize it," camp counselor Jeff Swartout said.

The kids are also learning a lot about art. Willow, who's a local artist, and Jeff are teaching them different techniques, like how to create the illusion of depth and how to blend colors.

The campers said they look forward to the future when they can re-visit Eliada and say, "Hey, I helped to paint that, and I'm proud of our contribution to the campus."

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