Friday, January 23, 2015

My Time Helping Lead a Musical Theater Activity at Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times

'Students' and 'Professors' of Musical Theater 

In the third weekend of January, 2015, I had the rare opportunity to help lead a musical theater activity at Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times. This Winter Camp was a specialized program designed for teens (ages 15-18) in all various stages of cancer and their siblings. The name of the weekend was 'Academy of the Arts' and campers were 'students', activity counselors were 'professors', and all of the students chose a 'major' where they spent a couple of days working towards the goal of either showing an art project they created or perform something they've learned and rehearsed by the end of the weekend. 

Rehearsing for Musical Theater
Musical Theater was just one of the activities that the students had to choose from (other examples were woodworking, visual art, choir, music ensemble, dance, film, etc.). Our activity had 8 girls that had signed up, and we set out to have them rehearse a musical number... a mashup of sorts of Rent's 'Seasons of Love' and Pippin's 'Corner of the Sky'. It started off with the cup song made famous by 'Pitch Perfect' but set to the beginning of 'Seasons of Love'...then it led into the full song of 'Corner of the Sky' with some girls having solos, duets, etc., and ending with all singing, and then we had an a capella refrain of the beginning of 'Seasons of Love' again, with all finishing in full voice. 

Rehearsals were fun and hard work at the same time. There were all
Performing 'Seasons of Love' set to the beats of the 'Cup Song' 
levels of experience the girls brought to activity, and their determination to make sure that it came off sounding good, looking good, and that they felt confident about it was so great to witness. Amazing how much they achieved in just 8 hours of time (4 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday) including learning the songs, staging, lines added in for dramatic affect, etc. 

Part of the Musical Theater Performance
We were very proud of the finished product, the enthusiasm, and most especially, the crowd reaction and supportive encouragement the girls felt from the audience. This is just one experience Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times offers. We have spring and fall family camps where children ages 8 and under can go to Camp with their family unit over a weekend. The summer is just for campers ages 9-18, with five different sessions to choose from. 

We're always looking for more volunteers to bring their awesomeness and selflessness to Camp, providing good times for campers with cancer and their siblings...starting with a summer session (when we provide training to newbies). I'm the volunteer coordinator, and can give more information if you'd like. Also, links are below if you're inspired and interested: 

Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times Website
Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times Facebook Page
Camp Volunteer Information and Online Application 

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