Banner with Dragon Camp Logo and Camper Characters
Cate Shepherd, author of the award-winning memoir Emotional Orphans, will soon
release the Young Adult novel Dragon Camp. Check this blog weekly for
information about the Dragon Camp project along with behind-the-scene previews
of the story's illustrations by Doug Jennings.
Dragon Camp Store






12 August 2016

Follow with Care

Raif's built a highly-honed defensive and alert system during his troubled young life.

Trying to sneak up on him is unadvisable. The Dragon Camp novel explores his journey toward hope and redemption.

Thank you for following along with us as we prepare Dragon Camp for print. As we move ever closer, become introduced to the Dragon Campers in our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Raif the dragonas viewed from the back as he looks at you from over his shoulder



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Art teaser of Final Dragon Camp Cover Design elements that includes stylized rampant dragon ghosted against a burnt woodsy sky with pine tree outlines in the foreground.
2 August 2016

Teaser

Not to give too much away, but Cate and Doug wanted to share a sneak peek of final cover elements from the Dragon Camp Novel.

It's not a true spoiler but you can see we feature some of the wilderness surrounding Dragon Camp where second chances and last hopes are possible.

Even if you like the prototype cover featured on our Sample, we're confident you'll enjoy the final version. Have a taste of the Dragon Camp story with additional preview art in our 35-page sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







22 July 2016

Imagining Doodles

As we continue work to finish the Dragon Camp novel, Doug has a behind-the-scenes sketchbook page to show you.

The photo on today's blog is of the original black and white art for the illustration that appeared in our previous blog about Molly the Dragon that you can see again here.

In creating the sketch, Doug remembered how he would make little art doodles on his school note books. He imagined what kind of doodles Molly might make. Do you enjoy making doodle sketches in the margins of note books?

You also might be able to see how the ink sketch was slightly modified and colorized for the version we featured weeks ago.

And if you haven't done so already, you can learn more about Molly and the other dragon campers in our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Photo of original Sketch Art of Molly the Dragon surrounded by notebook doodles




Art of Dragon Camp members in front of a Rainbow background.
13 July 2016

Celebrate!

Dragon Camp is about nothing if not tolerance and equality.

We proudly advocate full acceptance and support of the LGBT community and celebrate during this Pride Season.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to work on finishing the Dragon Camp novel. Soon we'll have the rest of the story to complete the intro of our 35-page sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







30 June 2016

Juggling Act

One of the goals of Dragon Camp is to help campers learn to manage goals, tasks and personal care.

This "Juggling Act" can be difficult sometimes. But using the GRAPES daily guidelines can help the young dragons to keep their eyes on each ball at the right times in turn.

Check out the GRAPES worksheet and then get a preview of Dragon Camp story in our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Sketch Art of Nate the Dragon juggling with 5 balls in the air








17 June 2016

The Little Dragon That Started it All

We're plugging away to get the Dragon Camp book ready to publish!

In the meantime, it's fun for us to take a visit back a couple of years ago to one of our first posts about a little dragon named Max.

We're re-posting that picture today in celebration of how we all have small beginnings and how the promise of those beginnings never leaves us.

There will be more sneak peeks ahead besides our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of bored baby dragon Max




Sketches of Molly the Dragon with different expressions
7 June 2016

Expressions Sketch!

Cate & Doug are working hard to finish the Dragon Camp book!

The final draft is being put into a book format with the illustrations.

Doug has a little time to give you a peek of his latest sketches of Molly.

For a refresher of her back story, see our 35-page sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







1 June 2016

Game Answers to last week's challenge!

Did you match the emojis & the personality traits to the Dragon Camp characters?

Here are the answers:

On the move on ground or air -Nate

Looking cool to help hide fear -Raif

Aims to serve and to please -Max

Likes to blend-in or disappear -Phil

Fun and pranks at every chance -Sammie

Peace and quiet of home is the safest place -Molly

If you got four or more correct, you're a true Dragon Camp fan!

And if you haven't already, check out our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Dragon Camp characters Max, Phil, Molly, Raif, Nate and Sammie with their personality emojis




six colorful emojis.
23 May 2016

Game Time!

Hi, Dragon Camp buddies!

Just for fun, match the emoji's with one of the personality traits below. Then match both personality and emoji to the Dragon Camp character that it describes the best!

(Answers in next week's post!)

On the move on ground or air

Looking cool to help hide fear

Aims to serve and to please

Likes to blend-in or disappear

Fun and pranks at every chance

Peace and quiet of home is the safest place

You'll get lots of hints from our 35-page sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







15 May 2016

Mentors

We've been so excited about how close we are to bringing the Dragon Camp novel to completion that it's been too long since we've mentioned some important supporting characters.

Mrs. Cleerheart and Mr. Yuni work miracles in the lives of the dragons they mentor. Each has unique seasoned skills for encouraging and guiding every troubled young dragon who enter the camp gates.

You'll get a hint of the vital role they play in our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Dragon Camp Counselors Mrs. Cleerheart and Mr. Yuni mentoring young dragons




Art of Max the Dragon imagining his Super Hero Alter-ego.
8 May 2016

Super!

With this week's post, Doug entertained the question, "Of our Dragon Camp characters, which one would be a fan of Super Heroes?"

Although Phil is a writer, he might not be into the comics-based heroes as much as artist Max. After all, Max often imagines how he might burst out of his "mild-mannered" shell to be a hero for the campers under his care.

But as you'll find in the Dragon Camp story, heroes come in all shapes and sizes. See if you can detect some heroic stirrings as you meet the young dragons in our in our 35-page sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.








28 April 2016

Our Latest Video!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

We hope you like our second promo video for Dragon Camp!

Our 35-page Dragon Camp Novel Sample is still available on the document sharing site, ISSUU.COM!

Click the sample and ISSUU.COM icon or find it HERE.

And, as always, please share the sample and our first video with your friends and fellow Dragon Camp fans!

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.




Photo of a spread from the Dragon Camp sketchbook featuring drawings of dragons Molly, Nate, Phil, Sammie, Raif and Max.
23 April 2016

More Sneak Peeks

We don't want to give away any spoilers in our weekly posts here on the Dragon Camp blog. But every now and then Doug leaks some sketches that might hint at some plot points that we have yet to reveal.

So this week's sketchbook glimpse just MAYBE could have some such leaks. But don't let Doug know we told you!

Of course the best intro to the story has been officially released in our 35-page sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







18 April 2016

Pep Talk

In a special sneak peek at a pivotal part of the Dragon Camp story, Raif is coached by Max between rounds in the boxing tournament that proves to be a titanic struggle to fulfill his dreams of becoming a boxing champion.

You might recall we mentioned Raif's training in an an earlier post. And we also recount how Raif incorporated his training into his wellness goals.

This is a preview of the possible redemption Raif might reach after the tragic events of his life revealed in our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Max giving a pep talk to Raif at the dragon boxing tournament





Animated art of a revolving wheel depicting three baby dragons
9 April 2016

Whimsical Wheel

We hope you enjoy our animated design of baby dragons on a turning wheel.

Just a bit of whimsy as we round out the week and invite you to revisit our many previous blog posts which include several animated images over the past year or so.

We appreciate your interest and hope you have been enjoying our posts. Feel free to share your enthusiasm for Dragon Camp with friends and pass along the link to our 35-page sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







2 April 2016

Some Saturday Morning

"I imagined what if our Dragon Camp friends were part of a Saturday Morning Cartoon Show?" That's the question Dragon Camp illustrator Doug Jennings asked himself lately. It's also what inspired the art featured on this week's blog post.

You might recall we featured an initial sketch of this idea on an earlier post. But this week he refined the concept art.

Compare this cartooning art with the style of his current illustrations in our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Cartoon-style art of all the Dragon Camp friends





Art of Molly and Phil the dragons making eye contact across the messy Dragon Camp dining hall
25 March 2016

First Sight

Who would have thought that, across the messy, raucous Dragon Camp dining hall, two young dragons' eyes would meet and make a lasting connection?

Despairing Molly saw little hope on her first day at the camp as she walked through the doorway to the dining hall. And Phil was hoping to be his usual invisible self, staying out of everyone's way in the opposite corner near the supply closet.

Read more about their first encounter at Dragon Camp in our 35-page sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







19 March 2016

Sketchbook Sneak Peak!

We have a peek into Doug's sketchbook this week. On this page, he's made some concept sketches of Sammie, one of the younger dragons at Dragon Camp.

Sammie's emotions run hot and cold at a moment's notice. But she can be the life of the party and a loyal friend. Even Raif develops a soft spot for this spunky little mischief maker.

You'll get to know a little about Sammie in the preview of the Dragon Camp novel in the in our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Sketchbook page drawings of Sammie the Dragon



Art of Raif the Dragon sitting with hand over mouth





11 March 2016

Mixed Signals

While talking with the troubled young dragon Raif, Dragon Camp Counselor Mrs. Cleerhart noticed his body language gave conflicting signals.

He sat with confident swagger, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees, taking over his space. But frequently as he talked and often as he listened to Mrs. C. talk, his hand would cover his mouth.

Mrs. C. knew this meant he was trying to keep back words he wanted to hide and also he was not believing in what he heard her say.

Having been betrayed many times in his life, Raif had trouble trusting and confiding in others. Would he learn to trust and accept help during his stay at Dragon Camp? His future depends on it.

Meet Raif and the other members of the Dragon Camp family in our 35-page sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







3 March 2016

It's World Book Day!

Do you have a favorite place to settle in and read an enthralling book? We understand how Phil the Dragon feels nestled among the shelves of a good library!

We're reposting this sketch of bookworm Phil in honor of World Library Day! We look forward to when we finish Dragon Camp so it can be in your shelf of books to read.

In the meantime, you can use your favorite digital device to see a preview of the Dragon Camp novel in the in our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Phil the Dragon reading a book on top of the Library shelf



Dragon Camp Map illustration





26 February 2016

Map Progress Preview

As we get closer to the publishing debut of Dragon Camp, Illustrator Doug continues to work on the visual aspects of the story

This week, we reveal a preview of the finished draft for the Dragon Camp Map.

You might recall a earlier version that we posted over a year ago HERE.

It is still a work in progress but the details are becoming more fine-tuned.

We'll continue to keep you up-to-date as we bring the Dragon Camp Novel to completion.

So when you are reading our 35-page sample, you can see on this latest map where the story begins!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









20 February 2016

Happy Anniversary Dragon Camp Blog!

It's been two years since we began the Dragon Camp Book blog! To commemorate, we are reposting that first entry from February 2014.

You can see there's been some changes to the art since we displayed that first sketch of Max, Molly, Raif and Phil.

Thank you to our faithful blog readers! Author Cate and Illustrator Doug are intent on having the final published version of Dragon Camp ready this year. Scroll down to see all our previous posts these past two years.

And, of course, get a preview of the Dragon Camp novel in the in our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Dragons (l-r) Phil, Raif, Max and Molly



Color-alternating animated gif of a paper valentine dragon snowflake





12 February 2016

Valentine Wish

Dragon Camp author Dr. Cate Shepherd lives in Southern California while illustrator Doug Jennings makes his home in the Upper Midwest.

"Since snow is in the weather forecast here for Valentines Day, I made a fitting tribute to our readers," Doug explains.

Doug hopes you like his custom Dragon Valentine Paper Snowflake. "To make it more fun," he adds, "I made the photo animated with changing colors."

Whatever climate you find yourself in this weekend, both Dr. Cate and Doug wish you a Happy Valentines Day!

Know that we at Dragon Camp have hearts filled with gratitude for you who take the time to follow our blog and its updates.

In the Valentines Day Spirit, we want to point out that there are a couple of characters you'll meet in our 35-page sample (Molly and Phil) whom, you'll discover, begin a romance.

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









5 February 2016

Sammie and Nate

"Two peas in a pod" is a good phrase to describe these partners in crime.

Sammie and Nate spur one another on to mischief whether it's food fights or snooping around off-limit Dragon Camp areas.

Will their friendship last through their stay at Dragon Camp? How much trouble with they be able to get away with?

You can see some of their initial antics in the in our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Dragons Sammie (Orange) and Nate (Blue)



Art of Dragons Raif and Phil standing side by side
29 January 2016

Raif and Phil

Until you see them standing side-by-side, you might think Raif and Phil look alike.

But when they share the same space you will be able to tell Raif is older, bigger and more purple in color than Phil, who is indigo blue.

Their physical differences only hint at the vast chasm between their personality types.

Raif is all action; a fighter. He's relied on brawn and coordination to survive.

The gifted writer, Phil, has depended on his mind and an uncanny ability to find openings for escape.

But both dragons have a keen sense of observation and excel in reading other dragons (and people).

Get to know Raif and Phil a little more by checking out our 35-page Sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









22 January 2016

Max Sketches

Dragon Camp illustrator Doug Jennings wants to let his sketches do the talking this week as we focus on Max.

BONUS: There are also hand-written captions alongside the sketches of Max in Doug's Dragon Camp sketchbook!

Click on the photo of his sketchbook spread of Max to see a super-sized version and read all the notes! ----->

You can learn more about Max in our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Photo of the sketch book spread showing various drawings of Max the Dragon



Art of Raif the Dragon's Pterodactyl Tatoo
15 January 2016

Totem

Along with his eyebrow piercing, Raif displays a stylized tattoo of a pterodactyl on his left shoulder.

This bit of psychic armor is a special symbol for the young, troubled dragon. It represents primal power.

At Dragon Camp, Raif learns ways to strengthen his inner reserve and overcome the underlying uncalmed feelings of helplessness that plague him since childhood.

Raif is the first character you meet in Dragon Camp as you'll see when you check out our 35-page Sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









9 January 2016

Melancholy

That's a word that people have used in describing Molly: "melancholy". She often looks a little sad when she thinks no one is watching.

Sensitive and painfully hesitant to speak or reach out to others, this young dragon stayed home from school too often.

Her school counselors required she enroll in Dragon Camp as a last resort before being expelled.

They might have noticed her doodle art on school assignments that revealed artistic potential and creative strengths.

You can learn more about Molly in our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Drawing of Molly the Dragon surrounded by her doodle art




Art a Dragon egg Hatchling with adorned with a 2016 banner
31 December 2015

Happy New Year!

Dragon Camp Author Cate Shepherd and Illustrator Doug Jennings wish you a Wonderful and Happy New Year full of health, love and prosperity!

To publish the final version of Dragon Camp is our goal for 2016! We are so thankful for you & hopeful that you'll enjoy and be encouraged by it.

Stay tuned for exclusive and fast-breaking Dragon Camp News on this blog throughout the coming months.

To start the year out right, share the love for your favorite Dragon Camp characters by telling friends about our 35-page Sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









22 December 2015

Happy Holidays!

Such a wonderful time of the year! A time of reflection, sharing, gratitude and joy.

Dragon Camp writer, Cate, and book illustrator, Doug, wish you a delightful and blessed Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thank you to all who have responded to our 35-chapter Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

We are deeply grateful for all our friends and family during this bright and wonderful season. And we look forward to the exciting developments for the Dragon Camp book in 2016!

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2016 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2016 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Drawing of Dragon Camp Sign with Christmas Lights. Hand Written Merry Christmas and Happy New Year greeting.




Early Art of Phil the Dragon
18 December 2015

Runs Deep

Doug explains this early sketch of Phil the Dragon:

"I imagined Phil as having an expression that's always hard to read. He keeps his emotions close to his vest while observing everyone around him. That's what makes him a good aspiring writer." The artist adds, "I gave him a buttoned down shirt to reflect his suppression of emotion. In the final art of Phil, I decided to give him a t-shirt which would be more natural for a camp setting."

But as you'll see in the Dragon Camp novel, Phil has strong emotions deep underneath his placid, calm (and somewhat sullen) exterior.

You can get an early read on Phil and the other members of Dragon Camp in our 35-page Sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









11 December 2015

Like Concrete

Juvenile Detention only hardened Raif. His future prospects look as bleak as his past full of bad breaks and failure to control his fire-breathing.

But something in Raif sparked some dim hope in the mind of his case worker. "Maybe, just maybe, Dragon Camp will turn him around. It's his last chance."

Get a sneak peek at Raif and the other Dragon Camp crew in our 35-chapter Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Police Mug Shot of Raif the Dragon




Art of Max the Dragon
4 December 2015

Paying Back

Max survived his own missteps as a fiery baby dragon with the help of mentors and caring counselors.

He knows that if it weren't for the help he'd been given, his story would be different --and not in a good way.

As a counselor at Dragon Camp he hopes to help others like him who just need someone to care and encourage them. But what happens when he feels he's not up to the task?

Will Max's crisis of confidence derail his ability to help the young dragons at Dragon Camp?

Get to know the beginning of Max's story in our 35-page Dragon Camp Sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









26 November 2015

Thanks!

We have so for which to be thankful! This year has been one of good progress on the Dragon Camp book.

We've had valuable input from initial readers of early drafts.

And, of course, we have you, our blog readers! With each post you read, we appreciate your interest and moral support!

We wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Doug has shared a page from his sketchbook this week showing a more cartoony version of our Dragon Camp crew :-D

In our 35-chapter Dragon Camp novel sampler, you'll get a good feel for Dr. Cate's story --and more illustrations!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Sketchbook on desk showing cartoon drawing of the Dragon Camp crew






Art of Sammie the Dragon with image of a Roller Coaster in her mind as she tires of her emotional extremes
20 November 2015

Roller Coaster

Sammie's impulsive behavior can climb the heights of fun to the heat of anger to the top of hilarity to the depths of boredom and despair.

Sometimes she gets tired of this roller coaster. Especially when it's a lonely ride.

At Dragon Camp will she respond to the environment of acceptance and opportunity for second chances? Will training in mediation and reflection help her?

You will see what choices she makes and the consequences that follow as her Dragon Camp adventures unfold.

Get a glimpse of Sammie and her Dragon Camp cohort in our 35-page Dragon Camp Sample:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










13 November 2015

Nate's Dreams

Note: Along with applying bold colors, Doug used a thick brush technique for this week's sketch of Nate. ^_^

When Nate is not riding his skateboard, he's thinking about riding his skateboard.

The counselors at Dragon Camp understand that many young dragons thrive on physical motion and activity.

By learning to channel and master his high energy, Nate will thrive and make his skateboard champion dreams become reality.

You get an intro glimpse of Nate in our 35-chapter Dragon Camp novel sampler!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Drawing of Nate the Dragon done in heavy brush strokes with bold colors





Animated image of the Dragon Camp characters Phil, Molly, Max, Raif, Nate and Sammie
6 November 2015

Roll Call!

We're showing pictures of the young dragons in our story. Watch the animated graphic as each one's name is displayed.

Cate and Doug look forward to when they can present the finished novel. In the meantime check out this earlier post with our dragons' baby pictures!

And please spread the word about our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










30 October 2015

Safe & Happy Wishes!

You will be likely to have lots of little visitors coming to your door this weekend: Classic monsters and witches as well as princesses, super heroes and other pop-culture characters!

We at Dragon Camp wish all our trick-or-treating friends a safe and Happy Halloween. Be sure to watch over your little dragons!

And remember our 35-chapter Dragon Camp novel sampler is available for reading as you count your trick-or-treat candy!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Animated gif of Pumpkin carved with the Dragon Camp logo surrounded by faces of the Dragon Camp characters





Illustration of young dragons, Molly and Phil, watching a scary movie
23 October 2015

Scary Movie!

Lots of young dragons like the thrill of a good scary movie. Molly and Phil are no exception.

Dragon Camp author Cate Shepherd explains to KPBS reporter Beth Accomando how horror films often help those who experience trauma to process their emotions from the harrowing event.

Listen to this the insightful podcast that examines the 2014 horror film "The Babadook".

And don't forget to check out our 35-page Dragon Camp novel sampler:

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










16 October 2015

More News!

Dragon Camp Sample image with ISSUU.COM Icon

We are re-posting our Dragon Camp Promo Video to help us announce our latest news.

Our 35-page Dragon Camp Novel Sample is now available on the document sharing site, ISSUU.COM!

Click the sample and ISSUU.COM icon or find it HERE.

And, as always, please share the sample and our video with your friends and fellow Dragon Camp fans!

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










9 October 2015

Preview Special

It's exciting for us to see our many months of work begin to fall into place in our special preview of Dragon Camp!

The 35-page, 7-Chapter sample is available for you to read and glimpse illustrations of your favorite characters.

Read the preview sample HERE.

Feel free to share the link with your friends and tell us how you like it by emailing us at: dragoncampbook@gmail.com

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Photo of Dragon Camp sketches under fanned-out pages of the Special Preview





Graphic of Dragon Camp Novel Sample cover and pages of content
1 October 2015

Great News!

We are happy and excited to announce the release of a 35-page, illustrated sample of the Dragon Camp novel!

You can enjoy 7 chapters of the story of young, troubled dragons who are given a second chance. But at Dragon Camp there are no guarantees and many trials to overcome.

Read the free sample HERE.

And let us know what you think at: dragoncampbook@gmail.com

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










25 September 2015

Brick Break

Doug combined his love of Dragon Camp and LEGOs to create a special little buddy for our post today!

He retro fitted an alligator kit which had mostly green bricks. So you'll need to look closely to see claws and wings ^_^

We hope you're having a wonderful beginning to the Fall season.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Photo of Dragon Camp inspired LEGO Dragon Build



Stylized Dragon Camp Logo & characters' faces drawn in chalk on a block of slate
20 September 2015

Clean Slate

This Dragon Camp drawing on a block of slate is Doug's way of expressing how the young occupants of Dragon Camp -each with mistakes and difficulties in their pasts- are looking for a "clean slate" from which to start anew with their lives.

We hope you'll enjoy their stories as they strive to learn, grow and overcome difficult impulses to make something wonderful out of their lives.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










14 September 2015

Honing and Refining

Cate and Doug have been making progress on getting Dragon Camp ready to publish. Refining the story and pictures to be the best it can be for our readers is a top priority for the Dragon Camp creative team.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy some behind-the-scenes early art from Doug's sketchbook of Nate, our favorite skate-boarding dragon!

Stay tuned for more updates soon to come on Dragon Camp!

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Sketchbook art of Nate the Dragon which includes skate-boarding shots





Art of Dragons Sammie and Molly socializing while sipping smoothies
4 September 2015

Social Time

Sammie and Molly are totally different. Outgoing Sammie can hardly sit still. Meanwhile, Molly is often painfully shy.

In the Dragon Camp Social Skills class, they and the other campers learn how small talk can help ease social situations.

Another thing that helps is sharing a few moments over Dragon-berry Smoothies!

And if you haven't already noticed from the last few posts, "Socialize" is the "S" category on the G.R.A.P.E.S. daily wellness journal sheet that all the dragons use at the camp.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.











28 August 2015

He Does 3 Sets of 12

Phil is not exactly the athletic type. He'd much rather read, write or day dream than take time out of his day for regular exercise.

But he agreed to demonstrate the push-up jumps (however begrudgingly) that Mr. Yuni taught him as part of a daily fitness routine.

His favorite part of his regular exercise? Writing about it on his G.R.A.P.E.S. Journal worksheet.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Animated gif of Phil the Dragon doing push up jump exercises (foreground) and writing in his journal.





Art of Max the Dragon enjoying a moment at Weiki Weiki Waterfall
21 August 2015

A Moment of Pleasure

Max's duties as a counselor at Dragon Camp can keep him pretty busy.

Whether it's making sure the campers under his care get to yoga class on time, providing a listening ear, or even helping out in the camp kitchen with meal clean-up, his days are always full.

But he's learned no matter how hectic his schedule, even just a moment of pleasurable escape can recharge his mental and spiritual batteries.

One such escape is to spend at least a few minutes watching and listening to the cascading water at beautiful Weiki Weiki Falls near the camp.

Sometimes, he and other counselors can even cool off their weary feet as they wade in the shallow pool under the falls.

He still fills in a daily G.R.A.P.E.S worksheet to keep track of such regular healthy practices.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.











14 August 2015

Accomplishment

Helping young dragons gain a sense of purpose and accomplishment is important at Dragon Camp.

For Raif, this has meant training for boxing competition. Mr. Yuni and Max have been helping him train and reach his skill level goals.

Raif keeps track of his progress on his daily G.R.A.P.E.S. worksheet. Click here to see a sample G.R.A.P.E.S. worksheet from an earlier Dragon Camp Blog post.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Sketch of Raif the Dragon during boxing training.



Art of Molly the Dragon relaxing
7 August 2015

Breathe Easy

All Dragon Campers are given time and space in their daily schedules to . . . breathe.

More specifically they are taught to take a break at some point in the day; to relax and refresh.

Molly can be timid and fearful. As she has been practicing relaxation techniques she has learned at Dragon Camp, she has learned to free her mind from anxious thoughts by focusing on only on her breathing.

Set in the pristine wooded landscape of Dragon Camp, she learns to give herself space to be free from thoughts that are worrisome, judgmental or frantic.

Later in the day, she will write a short description of her relaxation experience in her daily G.R.A.P.E.S. Journal page.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.











1 August 2015

Gentle With Self

At Dragon Camp, counselors help campers who have suffered from years of negative criticism and bullying. They train these young dragons to be gentle with themselves.

Doug made a quick Post-It Note sketch of how Dragon Camper Sammie might practice what she's been taught. Notice she doesn't sweep her mistakes under the rug. Rather, she acknowledges when she's failed and looks forward to opportunities to do better.

For another example of gentle self talk, click here to see the sample G.R.A.P.E.S. worksheet from an earlier Dragon Camp Blog post.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Sketch of Dragon Sammie practicing gentle self talk





Art of Max just after being hit with a water balloon by other dragon campers
25 July 2015

Picnic Ambush

It's another Summer-themed sketch of Dragon Camp kids!

Max has been ambushed with a water balloon during the camp picnic by Raif and his accomplices Sammie and Nate.

While Phil and Molly watch, Max is about to do his part to keep the excitement going.

He still has two water balloons of his own to use in good-natured retaliation.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









17 July 2015

Playing Favorites

Who is the dragon camper that you like the most? Is it bad-boy, troubled teen dragon Raif? Or maybe you most like creative, artistic Molly? Perhaps you identify with athletic Nate or his partner in crime and mercurial jester Sammie.

If you love to write and are a people watcher, you probably like indigo-skinned dragon Phil. But then again, what is not to like about conscientious, reliable Max who has overcome his own difficult past.

We'd like to know which member of the Dragon Camp crew is your favorite. Send us a message at our Twitter site. Or like and comment on our Dragon Camp Facebook page. We'd love to hear from you.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of all the Dragon Camp crew: dragons Sammie, Nate, Phil, Molly, Max and Raif.





Art of Mrs. Cleerhart pointing to a poster that lists Dragon Camp Rules
10 July 2015

Dragon Camp Rules

This week's blog sketch imagines an orientation meeting where Mrs. Cleerhart lays down some basic rules for campers to follow at Dragon Camp.

Do you recognize some of them from previous blog posts? "Gentle Self Talk" and Being Social come from the G.R.A.P.E.S worksheet.

"Know Your Cool Zone" alludes to the Dragon Thermometer.

And you probably recalled "Use Your Bubble" from the art of baby Max enjoying his space.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









3 July 2015

Video to Share

It was a lot of fun to make this little promo video.

If you've been reading our blog over the last year, you might recognize some of the scenes.

Seeing them appear in the video along with music helps to give a hint of the story that ties the characters together.

We hope you like this little video taste of Dragon Camp. Please share it with your friends!

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







screen capture of Dragon Camp Twitter home page
24 June 2015

It's Sweet to Tweet!

Dragon Camp has a Twitter account!

Follow us on Twitter @dragoncampbook. We always announce the latest posts and news.

And often we retweet links to interesting articles we think our friends and fans would find useful.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









19 June 2015

Warm Ups

Since the beginning of this blog, Cate and Doug have promised to give some "behind the scenes" glimpses of the ongoing Dragon Camp creation process.

This week, Doug shares a couple of pages from his Dragon Camp sketchbook. On this spread are quick marker drawings of Phil, Molly, Max and Raif (on the right). You can see a little stand-alone sketch of Raif's pterodactyl tattoo as well.

"I will often do random marker sketches of the young dragon characters as a warm up," says Doug.

"The sketches may or may not lead to any art that will be used in the book but they keep the creative juices flowing."

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Photo of pages from the Dragon Camp Sketchbook showing loose marker drawings of dragons Phil, Molly, Max and Raif.



Illustration of Dragons Raif and Max
12 June 2015

Unlikely Friendship

Dragon camper Raif and Camp counselor Max are not natural allies.

You'd think their different backrounds and life events would lead them down vastly different paths.

But at Dragon Camp they've found they share certain struggles.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









5 June 2015

Summertime Fun

On the South end of Arrowtail Lake, near Dragon Camp, is Ember Beach where dragon campers can enjoy the water.

Nate is his usual rambunctious self as he challenges Raif to a splashing contest.

Sammie laughs in delight as she paddles around in her inner tube.

Molly is amused at all the watery commotion as she and Phil build a sand castle.

Phil is making mental notes that he'll use when he makes the day's journal entry later.

Camp counselor Max is on life guard duty but he'd rather playing in the lake with the others.

While he can't join in on the fun, he can at least make sure everyone adheres to the beach rules.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Illustration of Dragon Campers enjoying a day at the beach while Max is Life Guard.



Illustration the Dragon Emotion Thermometer
29 May 2015

Dragon Thermometer

Dragon Camp author, Dr. Cate Shepherd, has developed numerous tools to help her young psychotherapy patients understand steps to help the healing process. One such tool has been featured in the Dragon Camp story. After Max's first fire-breathing incident, his counselor shares with him the illustration of the Dragon Thermometer.

     "Green is the cool zone," She explains, "That's when you are calm and relaxed, and you're using the smartest, most creative part of your brain."
     Max examined the image.
     "This is the yellow zone. As you can see, this dragon is getting upset and starting to lose control."
     Max crinkled his face scales.
     "And this is the red zone. When a dragon reaches red, he is no longer in control. His primitive lizard brain takes over. That's the least smart and most aggressive part of a dragon's brain."

The Dragon Thermometer helps a person to understand how to be more aware of one's emotions and, therefore, is the first step in being able to manage them.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










22 May 2015

Peril

Sammie's boredom motivated her to sneak away from Dragon Camp to the surrounding wilderness.

What she hoped would be a fun little jaunt became a terrifying crisis when she lost her footing near the raging waterfall.

Catching her foot on a branch, she cried for help. But the sound of her voice was drowned out by the rushing water.

If only she had stayed at the camp!

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Sammie the dragon terrified as she has caught her foot on a branch and is hanging upside down above a raging waterfall.





Illustration of Phil the Dragon writing in his notebook
15 May 2015

Scribe

Known for his disappearance acts, Phil would admit that he shuns the spotlight.

Yet he's a dragon who loves to write. And is a keen observer as he peers out from behind his cloak of invisibility.

The Dragon Camp staff encourages Phil in his craft. His journal is a refuge where he clears his head by jotting down thoughts, observations and wonderful stories.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










8 May 2015

Aikido Lesson

No one was more surprised than Molly when, in Mr. Yuni's Aikido class, the petite, artistic dragon toppled the bigger, taller Raif in one move.

Raif recovered quickly and all the young members in the Dragon Camp class learned never to underestimate someone based on appearances.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Raif the dragon lying on the floor of Aikido Class after having been thrown my Molly who watches in surprise as other dragons and Mr. Yuni look on.





Illustration of Nate the Dragon building a wooden ramp as Dragon Camp coach, Mr. Yuni, supervises
1 May 2015

Building More Than A Ramp

Before Nate came to Dragon Camp, he was used to getting in trouble for his out-of-control energy and his explosive temper.

But the Dragon Camp staff understood that he needed a positive outlet for all that energy, and some help with learning to stay cool when he was frustrated.

Knowing Nate's love for skateboarding, Mrs. Cleerhart and Mr. Yuni conspired to help him build his own skateboard ramp in the middle of the camp gardens. He worked away day after day and poured his energy into the project.

While he crafted his ramp, Nate also crafted a new sense of accomplishment.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










24 April 2015

Stray Dragon

Max feels terrible that on his first day as Dragon Camp Counselor, he lost track of Phil, a camper who tends to blend in and "disappear".

While searching for Phil in the wooded area surrounding the camp, he is tempted to berate himself. Fortunately, he has done enough G.R.A.P.E.S. worksheets to know how to be gentle with himself and not fall into negative self talk.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Max the Dragon worriedly searching for a lost camper in a wooded area.






photos of Max Bubble T-shirt in adult and child sizes and of the Dragon Camp Logo Mug from the Dragon Camp Store
17 April 2015

For Dragon Camp Fans of All Ages

This is the perfect place to announce that we've added some new items to our Dragon Camp Store!

Besides some Dragon Camp Logo mugs and bags, we now have the classic "Max in His Bubble" design available on T-shirts for all ages.

Every baby dragon needs a safe place to relax and stretch. Max's cute expression as he enjoys his bubble says it all. You can read more about this on an earlier post here.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










9 April 2015

Unguarded Moment

When Raif first arrives at Dragon Camp and exits the back of the Police Patrol car, Max catches a rare, unguarded glimpse of him.

In spite of Raif's tough exterior with his eyebrow piercing and pterodactyl tattoo, his initial expression, if only for a nano-second, reveals his vulnerability and the edge of fear.

His probation officer confides in Max that Dragon Camp is Raif's very last chance to turn his life around before he will be sent to adult detention.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Raif the Dragon looking anxious in an unguarded moment









Art of Raif and Max the dragon reading the book EMOTIONAL ORPHANS.
2 April 2015

Valuable Counsel

Max wants to understand the needs of troubled young dragons so he can be the best Dragon Camp counselor possible.

"I know an excellent book for you, Max." Mrs. Cleerhart advised.

"Really? What is it?" Max trusted Mrs. C's counsel and was eager to follow it.

"It's the memoir of a young therapist. Her experiences could give you wonderful insights," she explained. "We have a copy in the Camp Library. It's title is 'Emotional Orphans'."

Just hearing the title was enough for Max. He already felt a ping of resonance with those words and immediately checked "Emotional Orphans" out of the library and began reading it.

You can obtain a copy as well. Click here: "Emotional Orphans" to link to the Amazon site where you can look inside the book and order a copy for your self.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









27 March 2015

A Look at the Sketchbook

This week, Doug let us take a sneak peek at the sketchbook he uses to help develop his art for Dragon Camp.

Meanwhile, Cate has been working hard on the final draft of the Dragon Camp story. We're very excited at the progress being made!

Do you recognize any sketches from the art that we've posted on the blog lately?

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Photo of Doug's Dragon Camp Sketchbook on desk with scattered sketches









Art of Raif and Max (teen dragons) on a road trip.
19 March 2015

Road Trip

Raif and Max head out in the loaded Dragon Camp truck. With Max's help, Raif has been training for the Dragon Boxing Tournament for months.

Now, with provisions supplied by Mrs. Cleerhart they hope to arrive at the competition on schedule. But before they get there they'll find they have a stow away hiding in the back.

Sammie will make the Boxing Tournament event even more interesting than either Max or Raif expect.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









13 March 2015

Fresh Start

"Tomorrow is a big day." Mr. Yuni, director of the camp, had been training Max all week. Five feisty dragons would arrive in the morning, and Max was their new counselor.

Max poked at the fire with a scorchbark branch.

"We have some impulsive pups this summer, and in these drought conditions we can't tolerate any fire-breathing."

Startled, Max looked over at his new mentor. Twelve years had passed since the school fire but that still wasn't enough distance. Max wished he could wipe that shameful secret from his memory forever.

Dr. Sear hadn't told Mr. Yuni about the school fire when she recommended Max for the camp counselor job. She figured Max deserved a fresh start and, besides, that was a long time ago.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Illustration of Max the Dragon with Camp Counselor Mr. Yuni at the camp fire







Art of Molly the dragon hiding in bed as school bus stops outside her window
6 March 2015

Chronic Absence

Molly's mother stood in the doorway with twitchy, scrunched up forehead scales. "Aren't you going to school today?"

"I don't feel well." Molly grabbed her stomach and moaned.

"Okay. Well, you get some rest, dear. When you're feeling better, I'll make us some tea." Her mother smiled. She liked having Molly at home to keep her company.

Molly rolled over in her bed and buried her face scales in her pillow. Mr. Purvin said if I missed any more days, he'd kick me out. But he can't punish me for being sick. She went back to sleep.

About an hour later the phone rang.

"Hello?" Molly's mom answered. "Yes, Mr. Purvin. She's not feeling well. What? Suspended? But she's sick."

Molly's gut clenched. Now she really did feel sick.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









27 February 2015

Drastic Measures

Sammie got a little wild when she was bored. The final straw for the Principal of her Middle School was when she climbed to the school roof and took off her clothes. Then she made rude comments and faces when he demanded that she get down from her perch.

Security officers were called and escorted her to a grey truck with the words Dragon Camp on the side.

Sammie stared. "Oh well", she mused. "It can't be as boring as school."

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Illustration of Dragon Sammie on top of School Roof, sticking out her tongue







Raif the dragon, resting on his bunk in Juvenile Detention
20 February 2015

Difficult Beginnings

Raif is an orphan, and his fascination with fire and fighting got him a ticket to juvenile dragon detention.

But one caring adult sees the good heart and potential in Raif, underneath the bad behavior.

Will Raif respond to the offer of a second chance?

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









12 February 2015

Dragontines

Dragon Camp is a serious place where youth confront their fears and develop their characters, but it is also a place for fun, mischief, and even romance.

For Molly and Phil, forming a new attachment might be the best medicine of all.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Illustration of Dragons Molly and Phil with Valentines surrounding them


Phil the dragon on top of the Library stack shelves enjoying a good book
5 February 2015

Creative Solitude

Phil likes to hide.
While the other dragons play and socialize,
he prefers to lose himself in the zone of creativity.

In the quiet of his own imagination,
Phil enjoys friends and worlds of his own design

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









29 January 2015

Exciteable

Nate loves sport. School bores him, but he can get super excited about wrestling, skateboarding, and just about any game that involves physical contact. His energy is boundless, and he has all kinds of talent.

But sometimes Nate gets over-excited and accidentally hurts someone. He doesn't mean to. He's just swept up in the moment.

Being a high intensity dragon can be hard. Can Nate learn enough self-control to be safe at school?

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Illustration of Nate the Dragon holding the broken horn he accidentally tore off a friend in a fight







Dragon Camp Campers selfie-like picture in front of the main lodge
22 January 2015

A Place for Second Chances

Many young dragons are sent to camp mainly because they've been misunderstood, and had a hard time telling adults what they needed.

Dragon Camp provides structure, education, and abundant opportunities for young dragons to explore their talents and chase their dreams.

Mrs. Cleerheart and the other staff work hard to see the unique potential in each pup, and to treat everyone with respect and appreciation while they face their individual challenges.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.









15 January 2015

Dragon Success Stories

Max was one of the lucky dragons. In spite of his troubled beginnings, he found kind mentors who helped him rise above his limitations.

At Dragon Camp, Max hopes to enlarge the circle of success to other young dragons who have similar challenges.

Looking past their faults to meet their needs is just the beginning. Can Max's success be replicated in these lives? Will Max falter in his own quest to prove himself?

Stay tuned...

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Illustration of Max the Dragon holding a leadership medal






>

Color character sketch of Needles, a malevolent red dragon face with background sketch of Raif and Needles boxing
8 January 2015

"Needles"

As promised, we bring the latest news about Dragon Camp to this blog --and that includes some Exclusive Previews!

Doug has been working on character sketches for all the chapters. This week we reveal the look of "Needles", an ominous character that appears later in Dragon Camp. Who is he? Why does this boxing opponent look familiar to Raif?

Will Raif's hopes for a boxing championship be dashed by this scarred and scary-looking dragon?

The good news is that Cate and Doug are doing their best to finish the Dragon Camp book and, if all goes well, you'll be able to find out before the end of 2015.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2015 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.






30 December 2014

All Things New

Every day is a new start at Dragon Camp. As we welcome 2015, we look forward to the exciting opportunities ahead.

And we welcome whatever challenges may come, knowing that they make us stronger.

With warm, thankful hearts, we hope you have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Dragon Camper Faces on Balloons surrounded by confetti with a Happy New Year Greeting





Holiday wreath featuring all the Faces of Dragon Camp Members surrounding the Camp Logo
23 December 2014

Peace to All

This Holiday time, please know of our appreciation for your interest in the Dragon Camp project. We wish you all the best for a Joyous Holiday Season and a Happy, Prosperous New Year.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.








17 December 2014

Holiday Reflection

As the flora and fauna around Dragon Camp slumbers through the long nights of the Winter Season, and Campers have returned to their respective homes for the holidays, Mrs. Cleerhart and Mr. Yuni constitute the staff and caretakers of the grounds.

It's a time of reflection, rest and appreciation for the past year's accomplishments and lessons learned. Mrs. C's aromatic steaming tea is in abundance.

And Mr. Yuni keeps a welcoming log burning in the Camp Lodge fire place.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

photo of Dragon Camp lodge fireplace with burning log, steaming tea and Camper photos on the mantle





Faces of Dragon Camp Members surrounding the Camp Logo
11 December 2014

Value

One of the core foundations underpinning Dragon Camp is of the value of each dragon and the hope of healing from adverse experiences.

Dragon Camp staff are trained to nurture, encourage and guide campers into a life where they can flourish and thrive.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.








4 December 2014

G.R.A.P.E.S.

One of the real-world inspirations for Dragon Camp that Dr. Cate has used with both children and adults is the Daily Dragon G.R.A.P.E.S Journal sheet.

G.R.A.P.E.S. is an acronym for the daily points of self-care: Gentle with self (no-negative self talk), Relaxation, Accomplishments, Pleasure, Exercise and Socialization.

The purpose of the G.R.A.P.E.S. Daily Journal is to help people in recovery learn about Self-Care.

Daily Self-Care and self-regulation can prevent things from getting out of balance.

Dragons who grew up focused on "surviving" or on taking care of a needy parent, often did not learn to take care of themselves, or even that they deserved to be taken care of.

We've posted a sample below of how the Daily Dragon G.R.A.P.E.S Journal sheet can be used.

Sample G.R.A.P.E.S worksheet

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.






26 November 2014

Giving Thanks

From Cate on the West Coast and Doug in the Mid-West, on behalf of all the Dragon Camp crew, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

We have a lot for which to be thankful. This includes all the great support and interest we've been getting this past year regarding the Dragon Camp project.

Look for lots of news about Dragon Camp to come in 2015.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

photo of Dragon Camp characters





Art of Raif's body floating in a river
21 November 2014

Adrift

Dragon Camp tells the stories of young dragons who grapple with unique abilities and challenges. It's about a place where they can be nurtured yet trained to focus their strengths to build confidence in their accomplishments.

Raif has been through a lot in his young life. Abandonment, juvenile detention, bullying, all have taken their toll. Dragon Camp is his last hope. Will he be able to rise above his challenges? Or will he sink lower into the depths of desolation?

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.








14 November 2014

Happy Place

Nate is a natural athlete with an abundance of energy, but sometimes he channels these gifts into picking fights and defying authority instead of playing.

At Dragon Camp, Mr. Yuni helps Nate design and build his own skate ramp!

Now, when he has free time, he's happy on his skateboard, defying gravity.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Animated gif of Raif with smoldering and flaring nostrils





Art of Sammie in the woods
10 November 2014

AWOL

Bored and dejected, Sammie decides to explore the wilderness outside of the camp without permission.

Preoccupied with her own frustration, she doesn't realize the danger she faces in the unfamiliar terrain.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.








30 October 2014

Fire Breather

Raif has a secret. When no one is watching, he likes to sneak off to out-of-the-way areas near the camp to incinerate bushes.

Fire breathing at Dragon Camp is against the rules. Will Raif's illegal habit lead to a disaster? Stay tuned.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Animated gif of Raif with smoldering and flaring nostrils





Monotone Sketch Art of Molly
27 October 2014

Space to Grow

Molly's tendency to retreat from hard situations can make her seem like someone who doesn't have much to offer.

But at Dragon Camp, she finds the respect, refuge and nurturing that she needs to discover her talents and the confidence to blossom into an amazing artist.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







17 October 2014

Comfy Chair

Mrs. Cleerheart's Art Studio is a favorite place of refuge for Max to de-stress from his duties at Dragon Camp.

Max loves to relax with a cup of Mrs. C's wonderful hot tea and sit in her studio's comfy chair as he looks over the drawings he had made of friends and campers.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Animated gif of Max in Mrs. C's Comfy chair





Art of Mrs. Cleerhart
11 October 2014

De-coding

Dragon Camp Counselor and Art Instructor, Mrs. Cleerhart listens with empathy to Max as he vents his frustrations after an especially trying day with trouble-making campers.

"Our job is to de-code their behavior and figure out what they are trying to tell us," she finally says.

Max's ears perked up. "De-code?"

"The trick is to see through the fault to the need," she explained. "Each of these youngsters has developed their own self-protective armor. They've all been hurt in different ways, and they don't want to be hurt again."

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







3 October 2014

Master of Illusion

One day at Dragon Camp when Mrs. Cleerheart saw a dragonfly light on Mr. Yuni's shoulder, she gasped, "It's your totem!"

Mr. Yuni listened while she explained dragonfly magic.

The Master of Illusion, she said, the dragonfly wears masks and disguises to hide the truth about himself.

Mr. Yuni smiled. He was a private man and not about to reveal the secrets of his soul. But Mrs. C. was right about one thing. Mr. Yuni liked disguises. He often pondered the proverb, "'Tis of great benefit to appear less wise than you are."

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Animated gif of a dragon fly





26 September 2014

Navigation

Arrow Tail Lake, Weiki Weiki Falls, Ember Beach, Trails and Cabins are part of the setting of Dragon Camp. Doug sketched an early map of the camp similar to the one that Mrs. C gives first-time camper Molly to help her feel more welcome.

The final version of the Dragon Camp Map featured in the book will highlight the exact places that are crucial to the story. "It will be fun to follow the characters on their adventures as you see on the map where they take place", Doug explains happily.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Photo of an early sketch of the Dragon Camp Map





Art of Mr. Yuni and Max at the Waterfall
19 September 2014

Stillness

Summer days at Dragon Camp are busy and full, and dragons need down time for balance and recharging.

Nature is a powerful source of rejuvenation, and the refreshing waters of Weiki Weiki Falls provide the perfect place for Mr. Yuni and Camp Counselor Max to take a much-needed break.

A swim in the deep pool near the falling stream helps to soothe and calm weary minds and scales.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







11 September 2014

Dragon Tags

On Max's first day as Camp Counselor, Mrs. Cleerheart gives him a set of mysterious dragon tags with secret messages on the back.

As his learning experience unfolds, the messages will be revealed one by one when he most needs them.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Dragon Tags with mysterious writing on each one





Animated Gif of Max scheduling his week
5 September 2014

Choosing Battles Wisely

Dragons are fighters and sometimes have hot tempers, so they need to learn to channel their fire in positive ways.

Mr. Yuni* will often train talented youngsters to compete in the boxing tournament at the summer Dragon Games --where anything can happen!

*Shown here sparring with Raif.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







29 August 2014

Centered Mind

At Dragon Camp, students learn a calm, centered mind can accomplish far more good than an agitated, fragmented one.

In his daily yoga class, Mr. Yuni* teaches young dragons how to use their breath to calm their fiery spirits and relax their tense muscles.

With the peace and clarity that comes from a quiet mind,
dragons can think better, heal better, and create better.

*Shown here meditating at his secluded shelter in the woods.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Mr. Yuni meditating outside his hut in the woods.





Animated Gif of Max scheduling his week
22 August 2014

Structure

Sometimes our intense, creative dragons feel overwhelmed by all the details of life and don't know where to begin.

The DC counselors help each dragon get organized with their own unique schedule and routine. Bringing a little order into the chaos makes the impossible possible.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







14 August 2014

Treasures

Just like in the old-time legends, baby dragons love their treasure.

Being surrounded by their favorite things in their own secure place helps provide them with the refuge they need to recover from overstimulation.

At Dragon camp, although we can't exactly duplicate the space the dragons have at home for the treasures, we try our best to accommodate them on a case-by-case basis.


Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Max enjoys the secure feelings he has when in his own space with his favorite treasures.





Animated Gif of Max listening to music
6 August 2014

Dragon Tunes

At Dragon Camp, the counselors work hard to help dragons control their behavior without using behavior drugs.

With a little patience and understanding, young dragons learn to soothe themselves by taking slow, deep breaths, and enjoying some quiet time to listen to their favorite music or read a good book.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







30 July 2014

How to Care for Your Dragon

Dragon systems are highly sensitive, which makes them vulnerable to feeling jarred and disrupted.

Dragons do not like surprises. They cannot tolerate bright lights, loud noises, or intruders in their bubble.

Approach your dragon gently. Let him know what to expect. Allow him plenty of time to make transitions, and don't make any fast moves.


Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Max cowers outside door where inside is his surprise party





Animated Gif of Max taking a cooling Bath
22 July 2014

Cooling Off

Our dragons are sensitive little creatures, easily overstimulated and overheated.
Sometimes when they get too hot, it's hard to cool down.

But Mrs. Cleerheart discovered a secret weapon: water!
When an agitated dragon sinks into the soothing cool of Lake Arrowtail, his feisty fire melts away.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







17 July 2014

Air Time

Nate isn't really the artistic type. And he's too young to compete in the dragon boxing tournament with the other guys.

He doesn't like to talk about his feelings, and he gets bored in class.

Nate likes to express himself on the skateboard ramp. That's where his heart can really fly.


Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Nate the Dragon skateboarding off a quarter-pipe ramp






Molly painting on a Canvas and Easel
10 July 2014

Finding the Treasure

At Dragon Camp, the counselors do their best to look past the rough edges
and find the treasure in each young dragon.

When Molly was given a chance to relax and express herself,
she discovered an amazing talent inside!

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.







3 July 2014

Archival Sketches

Today Doug has posted some VERY early Dragon Camp sketches of Baby Max before any stories or final concepts. Do you recognize sketches that later became finished art?

"The main thing that inspired me was the description of Max by Cate. I focused on aspects of his personality and sensitivity", Doug said.

"In the upper left sketches Max is doing things that help him be calm: A soothing bath, Music and more."

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Early sketches of Baby Dragon Max





30 June 2014

Dragon Dreams

Every dragon in camp has unique talents and dreams. Sometimes all they need is a patient friend to help them achieve their goals.

After ten years in Dragon Detention, Raif had learned not to get his hopes up. Life in a detention cell can kill off a dragon's dreams.

But there was one thing Raif still wanted to do. He wanted to fly.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Art of Raif flying with wings Spread





18 June 2014

Summer Romance

Phil had always been a loner, with one of those melancholy streaks that so many artists seem to live with.

But when he saw Molly, he knew his lonely days were over..

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Phil holding hands with Molly






Sammie and Nate get into a brawl in Social Skills Class
13 June 2014

Sammie and Nate

With Nate's hot temper and Sammie's impulsive intensity, dragon camp classes are never dull.

Constantly squabbling or skateboarding, these two are like siblings who can't get along but can't bear to be apart.

Here they are disrupting Mrs. Cleerheart's social skills class with a brawl.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.



4 June 2014

Decoding Dragon Secrets

As a brand new Camp Counselor, just out of Dragon School, Max had a lot to learn about helping young dragons.

Mrs. Cleerheart gave him a mantra: "See through the fault to the need." She taught Max how to look past prickly dragon armor to find the hurt hidden underneath.

It was hard sometimes! And Max got frustrated and took things personally. Some of the dragons provoked him, and others just ignored him. One of the boy dragons even called him Maxine.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Max the new Dragon Camp Counselor




Raif in boxing gear, flying dragon, waterfall illustration
31 May 2014

Where the Action Is

There's always plenty of excitement at Dragon Camp: boxing and Aikido matches, waterfalls and rapids, illegal fire-breathing....even flying!

And when those feisty dragons can't find enough adventure in camp, sometimes they go exploring new territory.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.





27 May 2014

How to Heal a Baby Dragon -- Part II

Step 2: Be a good mirror and cheerleader for your dragon.

Baby dragons, by definition, are fiery and not-so-regular.
By the time they get sent to a doctor or a camp, they've usually heard a lot of negative feedback.

At Dragon Camp, criticism is not encouraged. Dragons are sensitive and eager to please, and when they are criticized, they get scared and shrink down inside their scales.

Being a good mirror means helping your dragon to see all of the things she is doing right, and praising her when she tries to do better. Help your dragon to see her gifts and talents and strengths, and give her opportunities and support to develop them.

When a young dragon sees her goodness and success in your eyes, she learns to believe in herself. And when you expect great things from her, she begins to believe that she can achieve them.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Four Happy Baby Dragon Faces
Max the baby dragon with bandages
23 May 2014

How to Heal a Baby Dragon

Step 1: Get to know your dragon

Every dragon has a story, and they need to tell it to someone who cares.
Never underestimate the power of one caring adult in the life of a young dragon.
Listen to your dragon's tale and try to put yourself inside his scales.
What must it feel like to be this dragon in this story?

When you think you kind of understand, check it out to see if you are close.
When your dragon tells you how he feels, you should say, "Of course!"
This helps him to be friendly with his feelings, and to not think he is a damaged dragon just because he is different.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.





19 May 2014

Helping Dragons Heal

Mrs. Cleerheart had an old friend named Dr. Sear who was passionate about helping misunderstood dragons. Over the years, Mrs. C and Dr. S had saved many students from Dragon Detention.

Dr. Sear did not believe in telling baby dragons that something was wrong with them, and she disapproved of the way behavior drugs were dispensed willy nilly to feisty dragons.

Dr. Sear believed in the power of understanding and encouragement. And when misunderstood, discouraged young dragons were sent to her for behavior modification and dragon drugs, she took the time to listen to their stories.

Dr. Sear discovered that the disruptive behaviors of baby dragons contained hidden messages, and she used her best intuition to decode each behavior and find the secrets inside that revealed what each dragon really needed.

And when frustrated dragons felt understood and got what they needed, the outrageous behaviors mysteriously disappeared.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Dr. Sear illustration with Dragon Thermometer graphic
Mr Yuni teaching Yoga to Max
15 May 2014

Mr. Yuni

Mr. Yuni, the Director of Dragon Camp, is also Boxing Coach and Yoga Teacher.
He lives in a small hut in the woods where he retreats for meditation twice a day.

In Mr. Yuni's yoga class, young dragons learn how to calm their fiery spirits with deep, cool breathing.

They also harness their power and energy by learning to clear their minds and focus.

With Sammie and Nate in the class, it's not always easy to focus. Especially when Nate is in one of his silly, farty moods.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.


Mrs. Cleerheart in her studio
9 May 2014

Mrs. Cleerheart

Mrs. Cleerheart teaches art, and also the art of life. The heart of Dragon Camp, she nurtures the uniqueness of each camper with a calm and patient spirit. And when accidents happen, as they sometimes do, her gifts for the healing arts restore balance and wholeness.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.





2 May 2014

T-Shirt News

Special Post from Illustrator Doug J.: I got a first-hand look at one of the Dragon Camp
t-shirts from our store
. I'm very happy with the quality! Cafepress (our shirt vendor) has a great return policy & customer service as well as weekly discount codes. And soon, we'll be offering designs with our characters, starting with Max! Stay tuned!

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Dragon Camp Logo on a brown shirt




26 April 2014

Raif's Story

Full of charm and bravado, Raif is an orphan who was sent to detention for cheating, stealing and fire-setting. His probation officer hopes that Dragon Camp will give the troubled teen dragon a chance --and it would most likely be his last.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Raif has charm but is a troubled teen dragon


Phil profile art with Phil writing in tree hideout.
17 April 2014

Phil's Story

Phil is a loner, a daydreamy dragon who seems to wear a cloak of invisibility, disappears from class and slips through the cracks. One of his favorite hiding spots is in a special tree where he works on his writing.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.



10 April 2014

Nate's Story

Nate is an energetic, aggressive boy dragon with a short fuse who was sent to camp for getting into fights at dragon school. He is shown here on his skateboard -a favorite pastime.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Nate loves being on his skateboard



3 April 2014

Molly's Story

Molly is a shy, sensitive girl dragon who is afraid of almost everything, especially school, and prefers to hide out at home with her mom (Shown here hiding in her bed).

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Molly hides in her room



27 March 2014

Dr. Cate's Baby Dragons

Baby Dragon Line-up

I've been specializing in the treatment of children, adolescents, and families since 1986,
and I've maintained a private practice since 1995.

During the past few years, an increasing number of young children have been referred to me
for medications to make them easier to manage in large, understaffed classrooms.

"His teacher says he needs medication. Her school counselor says she has Bipolar Disorder.

The nurse says he has ADHD."

Hmm.

As I talked with these children and their parents,
I noticed a pattern: they were all sensitive, creative, and gifted.
And most of them were introverted, which made it tough to tolerate a noisy classroom all day.

But none of them had the mental disorders that had been diagnosed at school.

As we learned about coping strategies and self-regulation, and worked with parents
and teachers to customize each child's environment, I found myself using dragon metaphors.
The little ones loved this.

"You're like a baby dragon who has special powers and abilities that the regular reptiles don't have.
When you are older, it will become easier to manage all of that energy,
but it's a lot to contain in your little body right now.
We're going to help you learn how to cope with these gifts until you grow into them."

These families and teachers did a great job of adapting each child's environment to better insulate
their sensitivities and meet their needs.

The school behavior improved quickly, and most of the families only came to see me a few more
times before they graduated.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.





21 March 2014

Sketch Leads to Inspiration

In the Spring of 1980, Doug drew this portrait of Cate,who was busy drawing her own portrait of a small flower in the Indiana woods.

Not long after that, Cate moved to California to chase her destiny and Doug moved to Chicago to pursue his dream of a career in art.

This drawing hung on Cate's wall for 32 years before she and Doug reconnected long distance via email. As they renewed their friendship and shared their creative work from the three decades that had passed, they felt inspired to collaborate on a new creative project.

Then, in the Spring of 2014, the same drawing inspired scenes of Max and Phil, drawing in the woods of Dragon Camp : )

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Doug's Sketch of Cate









14 March 2014

Sammie's Story

Sammie: a wild, impulsive little dragon who was sent to camp after she ripped off her clothes, ran around the school yard naked, and tried to jump off the roof! (Shown here during a food fight).

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Sammy the dragon's profile art









7 March 2014

Widening the Story
With More Characters

Early in the development of the Dragon Camp project, Author Cate Shepherd and Illustrator Doug Jennings discussed ways to depict a variety of characters besides Max who would be attending Dragon Camp.

In a fun collaboration, Doug made drawings of four unique baby dragons. "I just wanted to show each little dragon had its own distinct personality." Doug explains. "I had no other back story in mind when I made the drawings."

It's only when Cate saw the art of the baby dragons that the associations and characters came to life with their own individual origin stories. More to come as we introduce these winsome characters.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










1 March 2014

Max's Bubble, part 2:
Practical Steps

Dr. Sear went to visit Max's parents and teachers. She explained how Max needed some help with making a bubble around him to shield his sensitive scales from stress. And how he needed challenging projects to work on when he was all done with his regular work.

Max's teacher made a fort in the back of the classroom where Max could go to cool off or to work on his art.

At home, Max's dad made him a small cave to retreat to when the other boys were being too noisy and rambunctious.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










26 February 2014

Max's Bubble:
Creating a Safe Place

Dr. Sear helped Max understand how his needs were different from some of the more regular dragons. Every day, Max needed some time in his private bubble to relax and de-stress from all the noise and stimulation of the dragon classroom.

___________

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.

Image of Max in his Bubble









21 February 2014

Desk Fire Incident

One day Max became very frustrated in dragon school. Before he knew what had happened, he was in the red zone. Lizard brain took over, sparks flew from his baby dragon nostrils, and his desk caught fire.

After that incident, Max's teacher sent him to a dragon doctor for behavior modification and dragon drugs.

But Dr. Sear was was no ordinary dragon doctor. She showed Max the dragon thermometer, and taught him all kinds of tricks for keeping his cool at school.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










12 February 2014

A not-so-regular dragon

Max is a highly sensory, creative, intelligent young dragon who can easily become either bored or overstimulated in a regular dragon class. When bored, sometimes he gets into mischief to entertain himself. And when overstimulated, his dragon systems can heat up quickly.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.










12 February 2014

Meet Max the Baby Dragon

In collaborating with Cate on the Dragon Camp book
(before it was titled Dragon Camp) we (artist Doug and Cate)
initially focused on a baby dragon named Max
based on a composite of young patients from Cate's experience
as a psychotherapist.

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.











10 February 2014

Max has overcome his own challenges as a young dragon. With the support of understanding mentors, he has learned to control his fire breathing and to best utilize his talents. But does he have what it takes to be a Counselor for other troubled dragons at the notorious Dragon Camp?

Dragon Camp Story (c) 2014 by Cate Shepherd
Illustrations (c) 2014 by O. Douglas Jennings
All rights reserved.