Plays, skits and campfire shenanigans are a huge part of what makes sleepaway summer camp so special. Theatrical productions at camp not only provide some excellent entertainment, they also introduce kids to new interests, boost self-esteem and teach a lot of important lessons on how to work as a team.
Whether creating some crazy stage makeup, writing funny dialogue or getting into character for their role, theater encourage kids to free their imaginations, coming up with new ideas and developing their creativity. As Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Whether your youngster has already starred in the class play or is just taking that first timid step out onto the boards, camp provides a lot of excellent opportunities to hone acting, singing and even choreography skills. Many camps have seasoned theatrical professionals teaching drama classes, offering opportunities to learn the many facets of putting together a production. Campers not only act in plays and skits, they also write, direct, design and build sets, operate stage lighting and take charge of props.
Putting together a play is an excellent way to learn team work. Each person has a vital part in pulling off a successful production, from the star of the show to the stage manager and the chorus. Kids learn how to listen to others, cooperate, brainstorm and respect opinions that may differ from their own while rehearsing, performing and going over feedback. Everyone has a role to play in reaching a mutually beneficial goal … in this case maybe a standing ovation! Being a good team player is a skill your child will find useful from elementary school right up to the workplace.
Theater is a great venue for building self-esteem and confidence. Overcoming a fear of auditioning or speaking in public is a huge step for many kids and trying out for or being in a play is a great way to gain confidence in speaking to an audience. Of course, not everyone yearns to be in the spotlight, but there are so many other ways to excel in theater; kids can find they have a knack for writing cool dialog, designing costumes or finding just the right hilarious prop for that goofy cowboy in the skit.
Getting the Message Across
Plays at camp can be just plain funny or they can carry a message. Whether they're about homesickness, bullying or friendship problems, plays and skits can be a great way for youngsters to work out common problems they may have at camp, at school or at home. Young actors, writers and audiences can gain a lot from sharing the message of something as simple as a camp performance. Also, by coming to understand their characters and roles, theater helps young people gain empathy and understanding.
Camp is the perfect place to try a new venture like acting, as a good camp will be a non-threatening, supportive environment where everyone is encouraged to participate and try new things. A child who may balk at getting out there and trying out for a role in a school production may feel far more comfortable taking part in a comical camp skit.