The children seated around the table at the Aiken County Recreation Center in Graniteville were deep in concentration.
Garrett Minnifield, 10, a fifth-grader at Hammond Hill Elementary School in North Augusta, wrapped a piece of red yarn around two Popsicle sticks that had been glued together in the shape of a cross. Clearly, he had made the God's Eye Christmas ornaments before.
"I learned how to make these in elementary school," Garrett said. "Most of the time I try to sell these to get something nice for my parents for Christmas. Right now we're making these to put on Christmas trees."
Garrett was one of the children at last week's Christmas Camp, which was sponsored by the Aiken County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.
Tandra Cooks, the recreation supervisor, said the county has offered the two-week holiday camp for a number of years.
"It's an outlet for parents to have so the children don't have to stay at home," she said. "Of course, they enjoy it because they're playing all day."
Drey Drummings, 14, a ninth-grader at Aiken High School, likes to spend his camp time on the basketball court.
"I hang out with friends," he said.
The recreation center serves the breakfast, lunch and a snack to children at the camp. In addition to crafts, activities include games and watching movies.
Domerious Allsbook, 8, of Aiken, listened to instructions from Garrett as he wrapped green yarn around his Popsicle sticks.
"It's my first time making one," Domerious said.
Gavin Corbin, 10, of Harlem, a fourth-grader at Euchee Creek Elementary School, carefully measured a piece of yarn with a ruler.
His 7-year-old sister, Amber, a second-grader at Euchee Creek, took time out from the activity to turn a few cartwheels and dance to music playing in the background.
Amber said she was ready for Christmas.
"My momma got us a big, big present, and we're excited, so we're going to open it on Christmas Eve," she said.
The best parts of Christmas, she said, are "getting presents and spending time with our family."
Reach Betsy Gilliland at 648-1395, ext. 113, or email@example.com.