Our Camp Intern, Claire Newfeld, took over our blog to tell you about her experiences at camp!

After interning at Theater Camp I was insanely excited to work at Hip Hop Camp. Unlike Theater Camp, Hip Hop Camp is only one week and the showcase is much different. Rather than being a traditional performance, each camper chooses an element of Hip Hop (Graffiti Arts, Deejaying, Breaking, Beat Making, or Emceeing) to focus on. They then shared what they have created with community members, who roam the rooms of Nelson Fine Arts Center, visiting each of the elements. I served as an artist assistant for the Graffiti Arts workshop, which gave me the opportunity to spend time with all the children rather than just a few. In class, campers created their own graffiti names (some of my favorites include Demise, Shorty, and Pynapple) and practiced writing them in a variety of styles. Many campers took a lot of convincing to even open their sketchbooks on Monday, but by Friday they had chosen Graffiti as their element concentration and were creating huge artworks on posterboard, proudly showing them off to visitors. This happened for many children in all concentrations, and their journey was a beautiful thing to be a part of.

For me, the campers’ progress is the most rewarding aspect of camp. Although camps only last a week or two, the change is astonishing, and many campers open up even more if they attend more than one camp during the summer. Veteran volunteers and staff members have told me that children who have been coming to camp for years have come leaps and bounds from where they started out. Hopefully this is something I can witness when I come back to camp in following years. The children aren’t the only ones who have changed because of camp. I started out questioning how much I really wanted to volunteer at camp, and here I am, just a few weeks later, eagerly waiting to return for another year. 

Click here to listen to the beats the campers mixed while at camp.

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