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Kids Press Reports in on the National Storytelling Festival

It may have taken them some time, but the wait will be well worth it: Kid Press, a special press corps made up of reporters from a local Girl Scout Troop, has filed their stories about the National Storytelling Festival. With hard-hitting interviews, performance and book reviews, reports on the Jonesborough scene, and other candid moments, this edition, while short, offers something for everyone.

A little background: During the National Storytelling Festival, two troop volunteers, Randi Dark and Kate Strickland, brought scouts from Girl Scout Troop 978 in Johnson City, Tennessee to experience the Festival as part of “Project Kid Press.” Before the Festival, the girls spent their weekly meetings discussing interview techniques, learning about the tellers, and mapping out their schedules as part of a media/reporting badge.

Today, they share their stories.

Penelope James, 10, on Willy Claflin

I’m Penelope. I went to the National Storytelling Festival and interviewed two people, Willy Claflin and Samara Huggins. Willy Claflin always preforms with a puppet moose and Samara Huggins just got out of high school and won first place out of 310,000 people in the Poetry Out Loud contest.

The name of Willy’s moose is Maynard, he told a story called Stupid Jack, which was very funny.  I asked Willy how he got started in storytelling. He said that on Christmas morning a truck came through his living room and everybody wanted to hear the story. Lastly, I asked him how many times have you done the Storytelling Festival. And he said 13 times!!

Next I interviewed Samara Huggins first I asked her have you ever embarrassed yourself and she said yes sometimes I get the words wrong. She allowed me to share one of my poems about my Dad. She said she started writing poems by using shapes. I loved hearing all the stories and poems.

This is Penelope James with Kid Press. Thank you. 

Sarah George, 11, on Carmen Deedy

I loved the Storytelling Festival. Carmen is very funny. The way she tells her jokes and acts like her characters is so realistic and hilarious! The truth, and how funny it is, is amazing. She sang a song about food in Cuban. Carmen also told stories that happened in Cuba.

Pandora Yarber, 7, on Bil Lepp (written by Randi Dark, Pandora’s mom)

I am fairly certain that Dori is Bil Lepp’s biggest fan. She bought his book, King of Little Things, because that was her favorite story at the Festival. She felt super important being part of the Kid Press, with her media pass and notebook. In fact, she didn’t hesitate to use that to her favor when she saw Bil Lepp at a gas station after the Festival. She watched him go into the bathroom and made me wait for him to come out so she could talk to him again! She heard his name on NPR the other day in the car and is now insisting we go to West Virginia to see him. She wants a Bil Lepp scouting badge. So, in short, she’s got a bit of an obsession! 

Alexandra Campbell, 9, on Ghost Stories and more

I loved being in Jonesborough at the National Storytelling Festival. My favorite storyteller is Bil Lepp. He makes me laugh so hard! Especially when he tells about Wally climbing up the rope in the gym and hiding in the rafters and would not come down. I also liked Megan Wells. She talks about a lot of history in her stories and history is my favorite subject. Everyone here is so nice and happy to just be hearing stories. I think that we need more of that in the world. Also, I love the candy store called the Lollipop Shop. It was fun getting candy with my friends.

The ghost stories were really good. There was a full moon out which made it seem even spookier. We spread out blankets and all snuggled up together to keep warm.