Why I Love Being A Theatre Camp Counselor
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Why I Love Being A Theatre Camp Counselor

It's honestly the best job in the world.

Why I Love Being A Theatre Camp Counselor
Fröken Fokus

My first experience with summer camp was when I was in the fourth grade. My mom asked me if I would want to sign up for a Theater Camp during the summer. I loved singing and dancing so I figured it would be a fun time. I didn't realize at the time that acting would tap me on the shoulder and whisper in my ear "This is what you're supposed to do with your life."

My second experience with a summer theater camp was last summer only this time I wasn't a camper. This time I was a camp counselor. I remember during training orientation how nervous I was. Theater camp is such an important event in a young actors life. Going to theater camp literally brings out the "acting bug" in children, and for some whispers in their ear "This is what you're supposed to be doing." How was I going to get these kids to love theatre as much as I did?

On the first day, I met all the kids, which was super overwhelming. I had them all stand in a row, say their names, and sing "Happy Birthday." This was the hardest part of my job. I had to cast these little munchkins in roles that could possibly alter their attitudes towards the theater. If they got a lead, maybe it'll inspire them to pursue this for life. If I cast them as a tree, maybe it'll make them feel less than what their talent actually is. It was so terrifying. I eventually cast all the kids and I was so surprised by how happy all of them were. That's when I realized that that's what theatre is all about.

It's not about how large or important of a role you have, it's about telling a story and expressing yourself in a way that is completely special. These kids were so excited to just perform! It didn't matter to them what part they were cast in. All that mattered was that they got to perform on a show and entertain people. Once I realized this, it made my job even more worthwhile. The kids were excited to contribute their ideas on where they think they should stand and how they should say a line, and I let them add their own flare to the show.

However, the most rewarding part of my job was when they actually performed their play. There was a little girl named Annie* and for the entire camp, she would not say her line. She only had one: "Let's go and find help!" She would pull me aside and say "I really don't want to say my line." I eventually learned she was just stage fright and didn't want to speak in front of a crowd. It made me a little upset that I couldn't coax her out of her fear, but I understood for a five-year-old it would be a little scary. So I just let her not say her line if she didn't feel like saying it during the show.

When the show day actually came, I became completely stunned. Annie walked on stage and said her line while her friend Molly* held her hand. When they came off stage I told Annie how proud I was of her. Annie said, "Well, Molly said she would hold my hand while I said my line, and you always said that theater brings people together so we thought it was a good idea." I told them it absolutely was.

This is one of the main reasons why I love my job. If I could have an effect on just one camper, that's all I need to get me by.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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