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Henry and his grandfather Tyson Woods talk about summer camp.

Count down till school’s out! Kids all around the area are looking forward to lazy summer days, journeys to new places during family vacation and grand adventures at summer camp.  

Camp is as much a part of summer fun today as was the swimming hole generations ago. 

Camps provide the opportunity to make new friends and learn advance skills in areas of interest. Central Christian Church of Dallas (Disciples of Christ) realizes the importance of camp experiences for all kids, whatever their family circumstance. Central is hosting again this year a summer drama camp.  The camp is free to Central members and friends as well as to those who are interested in theater arts but may not have family funds for luxuries like summer camp. 

Central has been a long time supporter of the arts.  Former Central member, the late Ed DeLatte, founder of The Dallas Repertory Theater at North ParkCenter formed “The Westside Players” and the troupe put on numerous plays through the years on the fully operable stage in the church fellowship hall. 

The summer camp is taught by the talented staff of the DallasSummerMusicalAcademy under the direction of Kevin Cook and Ty Lawrence. 

Last year’s production of “The Jungle Book” was a huge crowd-pleaser when it was presented on-stage in Central’s fellowship hall the last Sunday following camp. 

This year “Honk! Jr.,” a heart-warming celebration of being different, will delight the audience with its memorable score and witty charm. 

You almost have to see these kids and instructors in action, from the beginning of camp to the end, to realize exactly what has been accomplished in two short weeks. 

Some of these campers have never been on-stage before but they have learned lines, song, dance, cues, voice inflection—elements of musical theater.  But most of all they have had fun and they’ve built self-confidence. 

“Learning to perform in front of an audience is an advantage to everyone because it builds confidence, poise, self-esteem and teaches the ability to ‘to think on one’s feet,’” Cook said.

Ten-year-old Payton Archer will be back for her second year of camp.  Payton had everyone roaring with laughter as she sang, “I Wanna Be Like You,” and did the Monkey Dance in last year’s performance of “The Jungle Book.”  Also returning this year is Annie Simmons.  Annie is bringing her best friend to share the experience. Loryn and Mandy Ninesling are coming back for a second year of camp. Repeat business is the best form of advertising and confirmation that Central’s drama camp is a fun camp to attend. 

In an interview last Sunday afternoon, seven-year-old Henry McCollum stopped enjoying birthday cake and do-nuts with his granddad, Tyson Woods, long enough to disclose his excitement about the upcoming camp. This is his first experience at camp and at drama. Henry is looking forward to attending camp with one of his good friends, Darby Davis. With only a couple of weeks left before camp begins, Henry did share that he is a little apprehensive about the stage performance that will climax the two-week camp. 

Having watched practice last year, one of the remarkable skills of the talented group of instructors is their ability to put kids at ease and help them work through “stage-fright” so they can give their best performance and feel good about themselves. 

What about Central’s members—some of whom are grandparents or even great grandparents?  What do they get from hosting the drama camp?  They get to go to camp again.  Volunteers are on-hand to be a part of the general excitement and help with signing-in, water bottle distribution, snack time, etc. 

This is just one more way Central Christian Church expresses true community and reaches out to make a difference. 

Come visit.  Located at 4711 Westside Dr., Sunday worship is at 11 a.m.    

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