Overnight Dance Camp! It's the phrase that has my kids jumping for joy. Our summer plans turn around the camp's schedule because missing it is unthinkable. It's a week of fun, discovery, dance, theater, friendships, and hard work too.
We wake up at 7:30 and run, run, run to get ready because breakfast is at 8 and after that, it's 3 hours of intense workouts, breathtaking leaps, relaxing yoga, and a group dance to dazzle the parents with when we come home.
Then it's improv time!
The kids wait for it with bated breath because they get to create their own unique choreography in mixed age groups in the space of 5 minutes and then present it too overwhelming cheers and applause.
Exhausted but delighted, the campers devour lunch and have a bit of a break to play cards, read, or hang out and play outside. At 2 pm, the cards, balls, and books are put away, and we are off on the adventure of the afternoon: waterslide, or zipline, or archery. You name it, and we've probably done it at some point.
Next, come the skits!!!
And they are my absolute personal favorite. At the beginning of the week, all the kids are divided into 4 teams with older, more experienced campers chosen as counselors. Almost every day, the teams are assigned a theatrical challenge, such as creating a team cheer, fashion show, or movie parody. Each evening they gather to work on their skit and then present it to the judges (teachers and parent chaperones). It's amazing to watch the children learn how to interact with different age groups, to see the older kids taking care of the younger ones, and the youngsters step up and make their ideas heard. Each skit is unique and full of kind-hearted quips and humor.
On the last day, we have the Olympics! It's a friendly sports competition with a rope pulling and sack jumping and water balloon fight. No one escapes dry, and everyone leaves happy. There are extra points awarded for team spirit and general sportsmanship, so even as we compete, they keep friendships at the forefront. In the evening there's a campfire with s' mores, songs and hugs.
The morning we leave, we sign each other t-shirts, load into the bus and start dreaming about next year's camp even before we arrive back from this one!
By Irina Lib
Picture in a Dream - Hand painted pottery, glass, and home decor. www.pictureinadream.com