Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Youth summer camp starts and there’s plenty of drama

Posted by Kimberly on July 24, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
July
24, 2007, page 4 (716 words)

Pictures provided by Victor Garnier 

Keeping the concept of Books Alive 2007 well and truly alive and kicking, is the third instalment, the summer drama camps.
Having begun yesterday, the camps will provide entertainment and education for children aged 5-14 years old.
There will be two sessions over two weeks, from July 23 till August 3 and then again, from August 6 to August 18, with the children also grouped into either ages up to eight, 9-12 or 12-14.
Children will have the opportunity to perform what they’ve learnt on August 4 and 18, depending on which session they belonged to.
Mr Victor Garnier, producer within MACWAC Productions, the group behind the summer camps, along with IIUM, believes the children are guaranteed to come out of the sessions with a different outlook.
“First of all, they’ll take away lots of fun. And secondly, they’re going to take away many things from the different departments,” he said.
“We tend to see a lot of boosts of self-confidence, especially through drama. For the simple fact that you work with their voice and their body to express themselves. That tends to really open them in the two weeks when the camp happens.
“We get children that come to the camp with a body-shape that would suggest that they’re kind of closed onto themselves and then they would finish the camp open, talking to lots of people, being more confident,” he said.
The campers will be grouped into four different cultures, according to the format of the story being worked on.
“The way the story works, is we look at four cultures; Bali, Mozambique, Russia and India, so we used those four cultures and countries to locate some of the scenes in the play.
“Which gives us excuses to explore and learn more about different cultures, listen to more music from different parts of the world and being to understand more about these places,” he said.
Having begun for the first time in Macau, last year, this year’s camp sees some slight adjustments.
Still keeping the structure of five departments, such as music, drama and dance, this year it’s more about team-building.
“That’s why we have eight groups, that will move together from class to class.
“So everybody’s taking the same amount of classes, with the same group all the time,” said Victor.
These classes will culminate in the performances on the two Saturdays, where “we do a presentation in which the kids actually perform the story they’ve been working on and they exhibit the different pieces of work that they have built in the different departments.” said Victor.
MACWAC have been running these summer camps in Taiwan for a number of years now.
This year, the children will be undertaking art classes, drama and dance classes.
“We work with one story for the camp and through that story, analysing that story, we find the material with which we’re going to be working,” said Victor, with the children finding the material themselves.
“We just propose little exercises that gives them a way to explore the story and understand more about it,” he said.
While the drama department works on physicality and text analysis, the music department will focus more on sound, particularly on voice and rhythm.
“For two reasons; we all have a voice, sometimes under-developed and it’s one of our primary means of communication so it’s important to feel confident about it.,” said Victor.
“And then rhythm because it’s basically the same as any other instrument, where it’s pretty much rhythmic and you don’t work with melody and harmony, which are more advanced concepts.
“But you are still working on musical concepts and it’s usually easier for younger children to grasp and enjoy,” he said.
There are about 100 kids that have signed up for the camp, which, according to Victor, is a little more than was expected.
“I think it has to do with the fact that we have been promoting these programs and out-reaching a lot to the community, so a lot of people got to know and see,” he said, adding that they will work with groups of fifteen children.
There will be no disappointment for the pre-school generation, as their turn at summer camp will come towards the end of August.

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