Camp Magic Training Weeks Where the fun begins with each program! 10 years ago, as Camp Magic began to develop and expand, we started our professional training weeks before each program. The weeks are jam packed and filled with first aid, a thorough run down of the space and how to effectively keep children safe, plus ongoing professional training that includes how to help children grow in all the skills areas that the camp provides. In addition, we like to really deepen our own experiences of the theme that is being introduced to the children through the weekly stories. This is activated during the training week through discussion, movement, music, drawings, rhythms, and exploration. And finally, two performances are created during the training that open up the camp week. Our 15 minute morning shows are Street Theatre style in the playground, followed by a 30 minute afternoon performance for the children before home time. This inspires and encourages the children throughout the week to then learn some of the things they have seen modeled by the artists each Monday.
We sit in circles on the floor for all meetings (during training and camp). This enables us to demonstrate movements and
games easily.
Drawing the story quickly connects the listener to visual landscape. We learn through the doing, just like the children! During our training for the fisherman theme in 2015, we spent one early morning out in the ocean with Balinese fishermen.
Being goofy and silly together is just one of the many ways we build up our team spirit. The world is filled with dance forms! Here we are learning traditional Balinese dance to integrate into performances. Movement and dance also helps build up our stamina for the weeks to come as effective facilitators with the children.
We work to figure out a lot of things some are just exploratory... While other times the exploration becomes pure performance. Our river theme prompted a trip to the Magic river of Malaysia. Basket Weaver Jillian Culey learned some new techniques
in Bali!
The process of performance is so deliciously intricate... And seeing it come to life in front of the children purely rewarding! Happy times together at the very end of an intensive training journey.
Professional training is ongoing throughout camp. Here is Jayanthi Siva teaching us Classical Indian Dance Mudras to tell a story with the children! This particular dance came together at the end of a training week based on an African story. These warriors inspired the children as you see in the next frame... The sticks became a huge favourite throughout the entire program that summer.
After only 7 days together the team is putting the final touches on an amazing cowboy dance opening show. The hoops are quite popular during our training... And are rarely used around the waist in our shows! We are often presented with unique challenges. Believe it or not, each spandex sculpture has two bodies inside.
Opening performances are just as much fun for us as they are for the kids! Everything we do during the training is done for the children and families... Afterall, it's all about bringing out the very best in each and every one.
Sometime we also participate in community outreach projects during our training weeks. There is no stopping crew during the program to continually create engaging moments for the children Training week all done, and we're just
yee-hawing in that moment before
Camp Magic Fun!
More pre-camp outreach programs... More opening performance silliness... More lifting our hands and hearts... ... to making a difference in each child's life
At Camp Magic, we learn, so the children can learn. We perform, so the child is inspired to perform. We listen, so that the child learns to listen.
And here's what the Crew says about their experiences...
Adam Mertens
Unicyclist, Slackliner, Performer (2 years of Camp Magic Fun)
“Unicycles, sombreros, hula hoops, juggling balls and yoga. One week of training transports you into the wonderful world of Camp Magic, where anything that you can imagine becomes reality and the imaginary lines between being a kid and a grown up disappear! Training week is an immersive opportunity to really appreciate the dedication and heart that goes into creating each and every Camp Magic program.”
Brooke Clunie
Clay Artist, Facilitator (3 years of Camp Magic Fun)
“A dynamic week of intense learning and growing!

Camp Magic staff training weeks are an incredibly valuable experience to share with the group and trainers. They gave me the tools and confidence needed to fully engage with the children over the coming weeks and importantly to connect with them and colleagues as a team.

The trainings taught me to 'play' again as a non-performer and to take this play to the children in a safe and fun way, and to give more to the children than I ever thought possible.

I've carried the instruction and guidance from the trainings with me into all areas of my own profession - from teaching my students to working with clients. Camp Magic training weeks taught me to truly engage and listen.”

Johnny Gillett
Storyteller, Mime Artist, Performance Director (6 years of Camp Magic Fun)
“Camp Magic's Training Week is a fantastic opportunity for the team to grow in three areas - as performers, as team members and as practitioners.

As performers, we plunge into the deeper levels of our art, we try new skills and we explore the camp's theme, creating unique performances under Katherine's direction, embodying its ideas and culture.

As team members, we begin a journey of discovery together. The week is an intensive series of days, but a time when we quickly get to know one another and bond together as a supportive unit, ready for the challenges of the exciting weeks ahead.

As practitioners, we grow in our understanding of the Camp Magic method. We experience all the elements of the program together and explore the expectations - sharing ideas, games and exercises.”

Olivia Shaw
Musician, Singer, Performer (2nd year of Camp Magic Fun)
“Immersive! The first week with the Camp Magic team was a time of open hearted self-discovery, which was crucial in building a thriving team dynamic. Every part of yourself was lifted into a new realm of challenge, expression, and creation, which brought forth such a magical energy that nourished us all throughout the summer program. Any previous feelings of self-consciousness, hesitation, or insecurity flew out the window once we assumed our role as team-player and facilitator in something that was way larger than our individual selves. It was a boat we all needed to rig and balance together. ”
Willy Badger
Juggler, Unicyclist, Actor (2 years of Camp Magic Fun)
“The week before the camp starts is a great bonding moment for the team. We get to practice our improvisation skills that lead to the opening performances for the kids. We also learn how important it is to stay on plan because the camp weeks are filled with amazing things that need to be done. Most of all friendships are made with the staff to help make it an enjoyable experience of a lifetime.”
Rita Superbi
Taiko Drummer, Actress (3 years of Camp Magic fun)
“I could sum up the training periods in 3 concepts Mutual Knowledge, Exchange, and Fusion.

Mutual knowledge is that meeting place where we remained open to each other, sharing what we knew, making ourselves available to one another. After that began, an exchange took place where people interacted with each other and created something completely new.

And then, we gradually began to build different skills together, and a unique result emerged... This was the fusion. Through this we understood that it is working together and helping each other that made the team complete!”

Kevin Hess
Musician, Singer, Performer (4 years of Camp Magic Fun)
“Training week was an absolutely phenomenal experience. Nothing quite compares to a challenging day of camp preparation! Spending the week together and getting those creative juices flowing really helped the other staff and I to come together as a team, and as friends. ”
Shaheen van der Schyff
Circus Flow, Performer (2 years of Camp Magic Fun)
“My most favourite part of training is the growth it offers to me as an artist. Allowing me the opportunity to expand in my own art and then to share it with the children.

The training stretched me creatively, physically, and emotionally. I was taken out of my comfort zone to evolve. It's a beautiful experience to have someone recognize something in you that you never would've known, and helped to develop and embody it.

And I love the energy of the training week the excitement! The foundation where we begin the program by becoming a team breathing and moving as one unit as we prepare for the children's arrival.”

Shouniez van der Schyff
Circus Flow, Performer (2 years of Camp Magic Fun)
“It stretches my being physically, emotionally, creatively, mentally and beyond. I love it for that.

I learned so many new skills during the training week. And I love these new skills that I otherwise wouldn't have known or had the opportunity to try.

Seeing myself grow through new ways of character development has opened my eyes, and pushed my boundaries when it comes to understanding theatre and the possibilities available to me as a performance artist.”

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