I was painfully shy as a child. I rarely spoke up in class and hated public speaking. I always wanted to try out for the school plays, but just lacked the confidence to put myself out there. So when my oldest did a stand-up comedy routine for his first grade talent show, I was beyond proud — and wanted to foster that creative spark.
So I turned to *the* place in Cincinnati for kids interested in the performing arts: The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. I’m sure you know The Children’s Theatre for its outstanding shows — but TCT also has camps and classes year-round to encourage kids to embrace the arts. Last summer, Julian was lucky enough to attend Camp Redbank’s Got Talent, an Exposure Camp that invited campers on a week-long tour de force of the performing arts.
TCT Summer Camp is accessible for kids of all levels and backgrounds; its camps are classified as “Exposure,” “Training” and “Professional,” with Exposure being a great, low-pressure place for kids to start. As its name suggests, Exposure Camp literally exposes kids to the performing arts, and Camp Redbank’s Got Talent featured performers of all kinds – the puppeteer and magician were Julian’s favorites.
Julian was in a group of other 6- and 7-year olds interested in the arts, and found a real place for himself at this camp. Over the course of the week he came home singing, dancing and full of jokes and magic tricks — and I delighted in watching his confidence grow.
The highlight of the week was a talent show, wherein each camper got to do a routine of their choice, which was recorded and posted on YouTube (parents were emailed a link; the videos were not public). The kids were all super excited about this, and Julian had such a sense of pride about his comedy routine being “on the Internet.” The kids did their routines individually, which made for a low-stress capstone to the week.
Of course, TCT Summer Camp also has many elements of the classic summer camp experience: the kids did crafts, played games and learned funny jokes and songs. The counselors were absolutely awesome — in particular, Mr. Kyle, really encouraged Julian’s love for comedy and acted as a kind of mentor for him. As a parent, this camp experience was really everything I could have hoped for – and more.
It may be March, but summer break is going to be here before you know it! TCT Summer Camp registration is open now, and there’s a great mix of camps for any interest and ability. I’ll be signing Julian up for another Exposure Camp this summer, and I know it will be a memorable and fun experience for my little comedian.