Off to camp

Shelby County Arts Council to offer summer camps for children once again

Written by Lindsay Dyess

Photograph contributed

This summer the Shelby County Arts Council’s summer camps are back offering fun-filled and educational ways to keep your kid’s creativity flowing.

In June the Missoula Children’s Theatre truck rolls into town ready to put on a full-scale musical performance in just one week.

In July teacher Edna Sealy hosts the Summer Fine Art Camps where students learn about a variety of artists and techniques to inspire their creativity.

These camps are a great way for students to immerse themselves in the world of art and culture while beating the boredom of summer.

Each summer the Missoula Children’s Theatre crew comes to town ready to share the love of musical theater with kids from all over the county.

One camper, 17-year-old Haley Carlisle from Columbiana, has spent over 10 summers participating in these camps.

This is a very special summer for Carlisle because she was recently accepted to Missoula’s Next Step Prep program in Montana.

This program is for students considering majoring in performing arts in college. It includes six weeks of acting, singing and dancing lessons.

Students attend workshops and classes that help them hone their skills and prepare them for the future.

Carlisle started attending camp when she was 6 years old after seeing how much fun her sister had at camp.

“The whole experience is fun for me,” says Carlisle. “But mostly I love how welcome everyone makes you feel and how the directors keep the week light and fun.”

Not only is MCT camp about the joy of theater, but it reinforces educational components like memorization and interpersonal relationships.

“I learned how to work as a team. This experience helped me get out of my shell and become more confident,” she said. “It made me realize I wanted a career in performing arts.”

The best part of camp is that there is no experience required. Campers are provided with roles, costumes and scenery and put on a full-scale production in only one week.

“Regardless of your skill level everyone gets to participate in the show,” says Carlisle. “Being able to perform on stage is one of the most fun things you could ever do, even if you don’t pursue it as a career.”

This year MCT camp will perform The Tortoise versus the Hare. Camp will take place from June 26-July 1 at Shelby County High School in Columbiana. Campers will perform the play on Saturday, July 1. Camp is for students entering first grade through 12th grade. Cost is $100 per camper.

With all her talent and camp experience where does Haley hope it will take her?

“I one day hope to be a performer at Walt Disney World and maybe even work towards Broadway,” she said. “Whatever I do it will definitely be in performing arts.”

In July the Shelby County Arts Council gears up for the Summer Fine Art Camps. This year’s theme is “Inspire. Imagine. Create.”

During these camps students ages 5-12 explore art and nature through clay techniques, sculpture, drawing, painting, collage, printmaking and music.

Students will learn about inspiring and driving their creative passions by studying artists Vincent Van Gogh and Alexander Girard.

Students will even have the opportunity to meet local and regional artists and learn about their art and processes.

Camp for students ages 5-8 will take place July 17-21 from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Cost is $125. Camp for students ages 9-12 will take place July 24-28 from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Cost is $195.

For more information and registration for all of our summer camps, call (205) 669-0044 or visit Shelbycountyartscouncil.com.

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