What makes MAD Camp so special from an outsider’s perspective.
I was fortunate enough to spend time with the Music and Drama Camp at Shrine Mont during their last two days of camp. Despite the deluge, the first day was filled with smiles and LOTS of songs. I arrived during the Final Show rehearsal at the Happy Pavilion and was right away moved by their professionalism and talent.
I spoke to most of the MAD campers during a free time period and learned more about the camp as a whole.
I was particularly moved while speaking to the three seniors, Lynn, Leah, and Morgan. They would be turning 18 in the following year and were aging out of being campers. (Can you imagine loving a place so much you go until you actually have to age out to leave?) I asked them how they felt about the end of their time as campers. Leah, who spent eight summers at MAD camp, said it was really bittersweet. After a hectic year of taking the SAT, studying for her drivers test, and touring colleges she was excited for the break MAD camp had always provided her. Lynn, who was wrapping up her seventh summer, agreed. She said that her fellow campers were more of a family to her – and that she hoped to return one day as a staff member. Lynn is not alone as 2/3 of the staff at Shrine Mont is made up of former campers.
Summer camp is an invaluable experience. It gives young adults a range of tools to promote physical and mental wellness while building relationships that last a lifetime. Add the element of Music and Drama that MAD Camp has for kids with a passion for the arts and it makes for a very unique and emotive experience. It is such a special experience that 90% of these campers are returning! These folks are likely to spend many consecutive summers together preforming, laughing, and growing during the most formative years of their lives. When asked about mixing the element of camping out in the mountains with theatre and drama, Hunter, who is spending their fifth summer at MAD camp replied “What’s summer camp without a musical?!”.
Spreading the good news of Shrine Mont Camps into the Valley of the World.
The View from the Mountain is written by a rotating cast of staff writers and contributors.