For the past two weeks, I have been a counselor at a theatre camp in our Friedman Art Gallery. We had the opportunity to work with children from the ages of 6 to 13, helping them grow as creative minds. We worked on all of the skills they would need to know in theatre: body language, voice, collaboration, cooperative storytelling, and so much more! They even got to write, produce, costume, and perform their own original scripts inspired by the art in the gallery!
I used to teach swim lessons in high school and I loved having the chance to work with little kids again. I love the way their imaginations work. They don’t have that sensor that so many of us obtain as we grow up and I love how anything is possible to them. I was thrilled to get to work with them in this kind of atmosphere where they get to use their minds to see more in the art than what is on the surface.
We broke the students off into groups by age. My group for week one included a 13 year old, two 12 year olds, and a 10 year old, all girls. They were fantastic! We gave the groups complete freedom for their performances and these girls knew exactly what they wanted to do. They created a modern-day Cinderella story entitled “Cindy Ella.” They came in the second day with a full script, costume ideas, anything you could possibly think of! On the Friday of the performance they felt so prepared and they did a fantastic job!
Week two came and my girls had other plans for the summer and three out of four of them didn’t return, so I moved into a different group. This group consisted of four 8-9 year old boys….there was A LOT of energy in that group. The boys weren’t as quick to compromise as the girls were. They had their ideas and they wanted to see them through. Luckily, we finally found an idea they could agree on and they put on a very entertaining show called “The Phantom of the Auditorium.” They all got to add in their different ideas for it and they had a lot of fun while doing it. Overall, I’d call week two a success!
I have to say, a part of me is very happy that camp is over for the summer. It takes a lot to be able to work with kids and I’m not sure it’s my calling. Still, I am very happy I had this experience. It’s been so long since I’ve had the chance to work with kids…and I think I have my fix for a year or two….Haha!