Artistic Explorers is a 7 day summer camp for kids focused on musical theatre and outdoor education. Geared towards children aged 9 to 12, the camp will be held at the Mount Moresby Adventure Camp at Mosquito Lake during the summer break from August 23-30. The primary goal of the camp is for the kids to have fun. They will participate in hands-on activities such as art, dance, drama, choir, botany, canoeing, swimming, kayaking and tree-climbing, and ultimately produce a theatrical musical based on the HceLittle Shop of Horrorsa€ that they will perform on the 8th day of the camp on an outdoor stage located at 9021 Tow Hill Road. The Artistic Explorers Camp addresses Gwaii Trust objectives (ii), (v) and (viii), providing youth with important educational opportunities that promote artistic expression in an outdoor context where they can experience a connection to the land. Through the camp activities, the kids will gain self-confidence and tap their own creativity through participating in artistic production. By providing the children with positive role models and a variety of activities, each child will have an opportunity to learn new skills and develop their inter-personal and co-operation skills.
Tidal Elements Whole School Society (TEWSS) believes that an outdoor camp situated on a fresh water lake is an unbeatable environment for kids to learn, grow and be active. The MMAC location with its fleet of canoes, kayaks, dock, and its proximity to the forest and low tide estuary at Moresby Camp are the perfect location for open-air learning. It is important to strike a balance with indoor learning objectives such as creating sets and costumes, with outdoor activities such as swimming and paddling in order to maintain the Hcefuna€ aspect of working on a creative project such as a musical. With the formal guidance from the well-qualified TEWSS staff in art, drama, singing, dance, and sciences kids will gain valuable life skills. By working together towards a theatrical piece such as dEceLittle Shop of Horrorsa€ that unites arts and sciences kids will learn important tools for self-expression. Theatre teaches participants how to be effective public speakers, as well as organizational skills and patience. Knowledge of our natural environment will also be of great benefit to our children as they grow into adults and become the new generation of stewards of Haida Gwaii.
The Artistic Explorers Camp is open to all children on Haida Gwaii, but only up to 23 kids will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The camp director, Toby Sanmiya, and lead counselor, Calvin Westbrook, will oversee the running of the camp, ensuring that all the children are included in all camp activities and that all technical aspects and safety regulations are respected. The five remaining counselors and staff are well qualified and suited to their roles: Michl Koenig, Music and Drama Counselor; Etchi Zaleski, Dance and Arts Counselor; Charley Robertson, Music Counselor; Douglas Black, Assistant waterfront Counselor and Assistant Cook; Stu Crawford, Biology Counselor; and finally, Kiku Dhanwant, Head Cook.
The Tidal Elements Whole School Society has a history of providing outdoor activities and creative education for children in the Greater Masset area. Some of our recent endeavours have included a French language program called HceFrench for Fund€ which enabled the students to learn French in a natural way through shopping and cooking together and culminated in a French exchange program to Quebec. In 2011, TEWSS also hosted a one-week summer camp called HceArtists in Actiona€ that combined art, dance and bush skills.NceArtists in Actiona€ ended with a stunning art show and dance piece held at Christian Whitens Tluu Xaada Naay longhouse.
Even before the kids come to camp, the staff will be preparing for the final outcome of the performance. Michl Koenig and Etchi Zaleski will spend 3 days deconstructing the play, NceLittle Shop of Horrorsa and creating an adapted version better suited to the tight timeline designated for the camp. When the kids arrive at the camp, the music, lines, choreography and sets will already be pre-determined so that the kids can focus on their character development, voice, stage presence, and memorizing the dance routines. On the day of their arrival, the kids will be briefed on the objectives and goals for the play, and have an opportunity to read the script. The first official day of the camp the kids will choose what they would like to focus on, either Art and Music, or Dance and Drama. In the mornings we will have drama games that all the children and staff will participate in, and the kids will have opportunities on hikes and canoe trips to practice their songs and keep the bears away. In the evening on the final day at MMAC, the kids will have a dress rehearsal before the performance for parents on the next day up in Masset.
The Artistic Explorers Camp will provide kids with a safe, empowering experience where self-expression is encouraged. The remote outdoor setting of the camp will be a place where the kids will truly be able to create an intimate environment that nurtures their individual personalities and balances personal growth with an active, healthy lifestyle. By working together on a final performance the kids will create a memory that will last a lifetime and help to bridge gaps in our communities.