May 6, 2009, 11:58 AM
Creating a camp experience that’s as appealing to parents as it is to campers is no easy feat. The majority of campers are looking for non-stop fun, while parents are looking for an enriching experience. Is it possible to bridge these two ideas, and how can you do it without feeling like you’ve compromised one aspect or the other?
Guest Post: Differentiating your Camp with Culture, Neil Intraub
One approach is integrating culture into your existing program. Many campers have never been to a live performance, let alone a Broadway show. Besides the joy of pure entertainment, there are many lessons to be learned from the performing arts – whether it be dance, theater, puppetry or some combination thereof. Besides exposing them to the arts, they’ll see team building in motion, and the underlying skills and attitudes that foster a cooperative spirit: focus, agreement, trust, and communication among other things. These are the same ingredients essential for team-based camp endeavors, whether that is tug of war, a game of softball, water skiing, relay races or capture the flag.
Camps that don’t have the resources to put on a production themselves can turn to a number of companies that bring theater-quality performances to you. Professional dancers, singers, mimes and acrobats can transform your camp into Lincoln Center for an afternoon, introducing your campers to art forms they might never be exposed to otherwise.
Educator Jerome Bruner defined play as the development of ‘mastery’. Let’s expose our campers to the ‘masters of play’ and watch the effect trickle down. So, Camp Directors, bring in the dancers, the puppets, the theater folk & musicians. Change the culture of your camp to include the team building effects of culture.
You may even find that it’s cheaper to bring in a performing arts company to perform a show or two for your campers and staff, than taking everyone bowling.
Article courtesy of:
Neil Intraub / [email protected]
For a free quote on bringing a theatrical production to your camp, call 212-529-8068