Camp Roadless’ Performing Arts Summer Camp

By on July 24, 2011
Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if it were a musical?

Michaela Chatman doesn’t, and the children joining her this summer won’t have to wait to long to find out either.  While traipsing through the hills and forests in Mt. Haruna in Gunma Prefecture, young campers will sing, dance, and write in an intensive summer performing arts camp just for kids!

“I love teaching young children about performing arts and exposing them to the outdoors," Chatman said. “There are all types of summer camp programs, but I believe it is important to nurture a child’s love for the outdoors and combine it with the academic skills children learn through art.”

Chatman brings years of experience in education to the program for the young thespians.  She has been teaching and working with young people since 2003. She wrote her first play when she was just in the fourth grade.  Since then she has been hooked and has directed fashion and talent shows, poetry festivals, and even a fairy tale extravaganza for young children from New York to Tokyo.  

This year, the Performing Arts camp will be held near Mt. Haruna at the Abseiling.Me campsite, owned by Patric Spohn. According to Chatman, this campsite allows campers to try the flying fox (zipline), go river trekking, play in waterfalls, and other traditional camp activities.

The program is especially supportive of timid campers.

"It gives them confidence,” Chatman says. “This camp is not just about playing outdoors. Through performing arts, we teach them the fundamentals of public speaking, teamwork, and we help build their self-confidence and independence. This camp is also great for children who speak English and/or returnees. Most of our current sign-ups are bi-cultural children who speak English.”

Students dance, sing, practice improvisational movement, and participate in poetry writing workshops in the 3-day residential program.

Chatman said she has learned to challenge children to step outside their comfort zones and stretch their imaginations. She believes that imagination is the key to innovation and that can be explored and taught through the arts.  

The camp will be held for 3 days/2 nights (for ages 5-12) from July 31-August 2.  Enter to win one free 3-day session value ¥50,000 by clicking on the yellow box reading “Enter to win” at Registration does not mean you are required to attend.

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