Maybe your child regularly practices his or her acceptance speech for the Academy Awards–or maybe you have a child who just likes to occasionally brush up on his her acting skills–or maybe still you have a child who is merely curious about exploring the world of theater. Whatever your child’s level of passion, summer camp is a place he or she will thrive. Although there are many camps that specialize in the arts, even traditional summer camps often foster healthy theater programs that put on multiple shows throughout the summer. It’s not difficult to understand why theater is such a beloved tradition at virtually every summer camp. Camp itself is an environment that encourages children to shed the self-consciousness that may hold them back in other more formal settings and to try new things, act silly, explore interests.
But it’s not just the summer camp environment that makes camp theater programs ideal for aspiring young artists. Many summer camp theater programs also offer outlets for exploration behind the stage in areas such as costumes or stage and set design. By being able to be part of the process of piecing together a show from both in front of and behind the curtain, some children actually find that their real passion isn’t necessarily as part of the cast but part of the crew. Children also learn to understand the importance of working together. Putting on a theater production, whether it involves the entire camp or just a few people, is a cooperative effort.
The team spirit quality of this encourages participants to support each other makes summer camp theater ideal for anyone who might want to explore theater as a new hobby, or children who like the idea but aren’t quite sure how they feel about being on stage. Summer camp theater programs tend to place the emphasis on the importance of being part of a production rather than being the star. Although there are many elements that may seem separate from the outset, the final product is the sum total of all of those efforts added together. Summer camp itself breeds a sense of togetherness, so perhaps it’s that sense that makes theater perennially a popular summer camp program.