CROW Summer Camp much more than fun and games

Only one day into the 2021 Summer Arts Camp program, and already CROW’s Artistic Director and this year’s Camp Director, Melanie Heard is thrilled!

July 14, 2021 — At “Game-A-Palooza,” purple t-shirts have been passed out, neon colored graphic wall organizers are being created, creative and fun theatre skills are being taught, and jars of slime and puzzle erasers are being awarded to well-behaved kids who exhibit the kind of life skills that CROW strives to instill: hard work, dedication, energy, commitment, teamwork and more. 

“I am so glad that we are still here after COVID, and that we are able to provide these camps to our amazing CROW kids. My heart is so full of gratitude,” said Melanie Heard.

CROW (Children’s Repertory of Oregon Workshops) Summer Camps teach kids much more than just how to play a part. CROW works hard to create an upbeat, welcoming environment where all kids are learning and having fun at the same time. Curriculum is focused on teaching proper projection and diction, how to stay “open” to an audience, how to do voice, body and brain warm ups, and how to quickly pick up directions to a brand new improvisational game. Campers are challenged every single day, and they leave camp with a toolkit of new ideas that CROW hopes they will one day apply to their career path. 

So what does a typical CROW summer camp day look like?

“It’s super fast-paced,” says Heard. “During the four hours that the kids are in camp, performing arts education is interspersed with a whole lot of laughter. The kids don’t even realize that they are learning, but they are.” 

William Owens and Eryn Morgan are the “minions” for the first camp, or helpers who do just about everything from bandaging boo-boos to making sure that the kids show respect by picking up after themselves. These teenaged role models are an integral part of the program, and make a huge difference in how well the camp flows and how supported the kids feel.

“The littlest campers really look up to our minions,” said Heard.

CROW is grateful to the many individual and business donors and to the grant-makers who have made this year’s summer program a possibility after COVID, including Western Lane Community Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Siuslaw Educational Foundation, US Bank Foundation, Oregon Pacific Bank and Oregon Cultural Trust, to name a few. 

Although the two “Game-A-Palooza” camps will not be offering public performances this year, the Advanced Acting Program will be putting together a small, touring show, which will perform at several outdoor locations on the afternoon of Aug. 13. Stay tuned for more information.

For details on CROW, including how you can join the Encore sustaining membership program, follow CROW on Facebook or visit