It was a week long camp that took place at school in the mornings. Each day we worked on various theater skills including acting, singing, dancing, and set design. Each morning also included a mini lesson taught by one of our high schoolers on topics like back stage etiquette and theater vocabulary. Our high schoolers filled the roles of directors, choreographers, music directors, and scenic artists as well as shoe tie-ers, snack passer-outers, hug-givers, and all the other jobs that come with working with kids.
We only do two shows a year at our school and we do not give our high school students opportunities to direct, so I loved to see their creativity and talents shining through as they worked with these excited learners. It was fun to see who excelled at handling a large group of kids and keeping them focused and interested, and who patiently worked one-on-one going over the same lines or notes until they had it just right. I heard our big kids be encouragers and cheer-leaders and promise to be right there if anyone forgot a line or wanted someone to sing with them. They well deserved the the trust and admiration they earned from of our young thespians.
Throughout the week, they were working on Pirates Past Noon: Kids, a Magic Treehouse musical. They learned songs, sang solos, learned dances, wore costumes, and painted a set. It was a lot to do in a week but the kids were excellent workers (fueled at times by popsicles in our hot auditorium!). On Friday evening, parents and friends came to see the performance. It was a great evening. Parents were impressed, kids were thrilled, high schoolers were proud, and everyone had a great time. Our headmaster asked that we perform for the school body once the year started, which we did.
All of this happened a number of weeks ago but I am still seeing the lasting effects. Our elementary kids are still singing the songs, but that doesn't surprise me. But I am also seeing confidence in our young thespians when they stand with their class in front of the elementary school for memory time. I am hearing clear articulation and loud volume when practicing Bible memory in the classroom, and I am seeing more excitement about the upcoming Christmas program than I have seen in a while...and we've only had one year of camp. We've had little kids, parents, and big kids all express excitement about the camp next summer. They are excited for the fun of the activity, but I'm excited to see the confidence and skills that our kids will learn after a few years of summer drama camp.