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Category Archives: Summer Camp

What I Learned About Taking Photos at TAP Camp

by Erik Weasenforth, Marketing Associate VISTA

This summer, I developed my photography skills over eight weeks of Theatre Action Project (TAP) Summer Camp. As an amateur photographer, these simple tips can help a lot for someone new to photography and can be used for a wide variety of events.

1) Be prepared. Not only is it important to have a camera, memory card, and fully charged battery before the event, but you should visualize shots before they happen. I would often be able to pre-visualize shots based on previous camper practices where I watched their sequence of performances. At final share day I arrived early to pick spots I knew would be good for different shots (group shots, action shots, close-ups, etc.)

2) Work with what you have. I don’t have the most advanced camera, but I found ways to get great photos by getting close to the action, framing the composition strategically, shooting different perspectives, taking more than enough photos to have a large selection to choose the best from. These are things you can do with any camera.

3) Shoot from the hip. This is similar to shooting different perspectives, but in a different meaning. A lot of times early on, campers would get nervous in front of the camera because they either didn’t know me, were camera-shy, or any number of things. Sometimes I would switch from using the camera pin hole to the camera’s screen and hold my camera lower as if I was viewing previous shots. Then when a camper would get up and do something spontaneous and thought no one had a camera on them, I would get some of the funniest, most expressive photos of campers.

4) Be social. When someone doesn’t know who you are, even with the identification of your organization’s T-shirt, they are more reluctant to want their picture taken by you. But if you introduce yourself and chat with them, they will open up to you. At final share day I would talk to parents a bit to get to know them and their camper, what they enjoyed about camp. This was not only a great way to be social but helped me get great family photos.

To see photos from every week of  TAP Summer Camp, plus more TAP events go to our Flickr.

P.S. My first day of school memory happened in Kindergarten when I met one of my best friends by playing with Hot Wheels cars.

TAP Summer Camp: Playmakers Final Share Recap

by Erik Weasenforth, Marketing Associate VISTA

This past week’s theme at Theatre Action Project (TAP) Summer Camp, Playmakers, was a fun one. Campers put on a show with the help of teaching artists Noel Gaulin, Keri Boyd, and Freddy Carnes, and the parents loved it! Here are a few moments captured from Friday’s final share:

Left to right: Noel Gaulin put on a good show at camp, families enjoyed the final share, Keri Boyd reads The Giving Tree as campers perform a skit to it

Left to right: Campers sang and danced during a Cowboy Chris adapted play, campers put on a show narrated to The Giving Tree book, and put on fairy tale play.

This week is the last for TAP Summer Camp in 2012. The theme is Songs for the Stage where campers will learn songs and choreographed dances.

Playmakers Teaches Campers All Aspects of Production

by Erik Weasenforth, Marketing Associate VISTA

This week’s theme for Theatre Action Project (TAP) Summer Camp is Playmakers at both our Trinity United Methodist Church and Lakeway locations. During Playmakers, campers work together to put on a short, original play. Campers will learn about teamwork by experiencing all aspects of the production, from the set to the costumes to the performance. The magic of the theatre comes alive in Friday afternoon’s performance!

From the set to the costumes to the performance, campers learn all aspects of production at Playmakers.
Photo on far right by Carol Acurso

Being KIND at Camp

by Chelsea Gilman, Business Manager

KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND) was “kind” enough to visit Theatre Action Project (TAP) a couple of weeks ago and deliver a delicious breakfast of KIND breakfast bars and granola.  They also provided us with the proper toppings of fruit and yogurt for our granola.

The staff had the opportunity to hear a little about KIND bars, both the way they try to make all of their ingredients comprehensible to those eating the bars and the way they try to give back to the community.

We’re hoping to collaborate again with them soon. I was able to take a bunch of KIND bars to our summer camp and snap some shots of campers eating these healthy snacks.  Perhaps you’ll see KIND at more TAP events in the future.

Campers love KIND bars

For more information on our summer camps:

In Their Own Words

by Brian C. Fahey, TAP in the Classroom Program Director

Campers had fun learning about different countries through art, theatre, and dance- at All The World’s a Stage

Campers from  Theatre Action Project’s All the Worlds Stage Camp, which just wrapped up at the Circle C Community Center, shared their thoughts on summer camp.

What does TAP camp mean to you?

  • Having fun in drama class! – Cole, Age 6
  • Learning dances – Abby, Age 6
  • Writing every aspect of a play – Maverick, Age 9

What have you learned this week?

  • I learned about traditional Indian dance and stories from the Indian culture – Sophie, Age 8
  • How to put together a play. You have to make the set and you have to write the story. There has to be characters and there should be a problem. That’s what makes it interesting! – Eliza, Age 6
  • I learned about Zomo the Rabbit, a trickster from a country called Africa – Cole, Age 6

Why should other kids your age come to TAP camp?

  • They should come if they want to have fun!  – Cole, Age 6
  • They should come if they like costumes. We got to make ours.  – Kalen, Age 5

Summer Pageant: Exploring How our Food Grows

by Cassie Swayze, After School Programs Associate AmeriCorps VISTA

This Saturday is our annual Summer Pageant in the Park and my second year participating in the spectacle. Exploring the idea of How Our Food Grows, we added a few new books to the Theatre Action Project (TAP) library to teach students about harvesting, planting, and exploring a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons is a straightforward approach to growing vegetables from seed to table. Gail Gibbons’ books are always educational, beautifully illustrated, and well suited for any classroom of students. Eight groups of vegetables are identified using cheerful pictures and descriptions. This book was useful to our Summer Pageant in the Park classes as they chose vegetables to create for each season that will be presented at the event. The Vegetables We Eat is a valuable educational tool for students learning about growing, harvesting, and eating healthy food.

The Reason for Seasons by Gail Gibbons provides a simple explanation of why the seasons change, how seasons are different on other sides of the globe, different types of clouds, and much more! The Reason for Seasons is more appropriate for an older group of students than The Vegetables We Eat, but its illustrations are equally colorful and engaging.

Our Summer Pageant in the Park features work from nine schools and building large-scale puppets, costumes, and masks for 180 students is no small feat! A big TAP-tastic thank you to our After-School volunteers who generously donated over 80 hours this month in the classroom preparing for this event:

  • Lucie Cunningham
  • Katie Davis
  • Margarita Hutchinson
  • Chris Ledesma
  • Kat Townsend
  • Susan Reifsteck
  • Sweta Vakani
Join this Saturday, June 23rd for Summer Pageant in the Park at 10 a.m. Students will gather at the Sustainable Food Center Farmers’ Market Downtown to march in a grand procession of the year’s seasons, bringing all their puppets together culminating in a visual and aural spectacle. The public is invited to join the parade. The FREE family event will be followed by fun watermelon-eating and seed-spitting contests hosted by the Farmer’s Market as part of the Watermelon Festival.

P.S. I never went to summer camp growing up, but my favorite summertime memory was playing on the beach in San Diego with my sisters. We went every day all summer for twelve years!

Week 1 Summer Camp Recap: Adventures in Art a Blast from the Past

Campers learned about Greek Mythology by making masks and putting on a play for their final sharing

Campers learned about South Africa, making drums and putting on a drum march outdoors during final sharing

Campers learned about Egypt, painting scarabs

Campers drew the different countries they “visited” in their passports

TAP teaching artist Natalie shows locations on the globe

Volunteer Laurel Hunt having fun with the campers

For more information and to register for TAP Summer Camps: