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Introducing the "Shining Stars" Program

Hey Swamp Bloggers!!

Hope you're having a great start to your Monday!!

If you haven't heard the news, there will be a Performing Arts Academy this Summer during camp's break week! This academy, called the "Shining Stars" Program, will be a week that focuses on the performing arts, while incorporating some of your favorite activities from Camp Swamp. Here to answer your questions about it are Carrie Kelsey and Sherwin Mackintosh, the directors of the program!

**1. What is the shining stars program? **
"Shining Stars is a Performing Arts Academy for students who are really serious about discovering and developing their talents. It is also a growing experience for students who just want to be more comfortable in front of others, whether it's delivering a speech or telling a joke. Designed to help students have a rounded education in singing, acting and dancing, Shining Stars helps to train students to be a "triple threat," while instilling in them a sense of gratitude for their God-given talents."

2. What is your own (Carrie and Sherwin) background in performing arts?
(Sherwin and Carrie both have a long history in the performing arts- too long to list in this blog!)
"Sherwin has performed on Broadway, Carnegie Hall, and Madison Square Gardens, and he has taught Performing Arts to students who now are performing around the world. Carrie danced and sang in some of New York's biggest performance venues and learned from some of the best. She was also a choreographer at University of Florida. Sherwin holds a Masters degree from New England Conservatory, and Carrie holds a degree from New York's prestigious Columbia University. Together, they were some of the original founders of an extremely successful performing arts academy in Florida where they worked together for nine years."

(And, that is just some of their accomplishments!)

*Carrie Kelsey and Sherwin Mackintosh

**3. What kind of roles will there be? Do I have to be a performer to go? **
"There will be a wide range of roles including featured roles in acting, singing and dancing. There are no small roles and every student will be given an opportunity to excel in their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses. You do not need to be a performer to attend! If you have any interest in the Performing Arts, Shining Stars will provide a safe environment for you to learn more and develop your talents."

**4. How will you combine the camp experience with the performing arts? **
"We are going to be busy! We will have classes in singing, acting, and dancing and will also rehearse for our showcase at the end of the week. We will also have free time to enjoy all that the Swamp has to offer."

*Carrie's Show Choir

**5. Why did you decide to call the program “Shining Stars”? **
"The name comes from Philippians 2:15 where it talks about us becoming "children of God" where we "shine . . . like stars in the universe as you hold firmly to the word of life." We want students to be able to develop their talents in a Godly, safe environment and for parents to feel good about these special gifts that these kids have been given. Shining Stars is designed to help our students shed a little light in the Entertainment industry where there can be so much darkness, and to be able to stay strong spiritually while they are doing that."

**6. What are some of the exciting things in store for drama lovers? **
"Drama is all about telling a story. We look at Jesus, the master storyteller who could captivate an audience of thousands with just his voice, weaving a story that they could all relate to and learn from. We allow students to explore their own storytelling abilities in learning monologues, scenes and even writing their own stories. There will be Drama! But we try and keep it all on the stage.

We are very excited about the faculty that we're putting together and look forward to students being able to learn from them not only about their talents and careers but also about how to use their talents for God. We're also excited about the changes that the Swamp will undergo for this week of Camp. We are bringing in staging, lights, sound, costumes and props to transform the cafeteria into a theater. We will also be using different spaces around campus for our classrooms."

Wow, thank you to Carrie and Sherwin for answering questions about this exciting opportunity! Stay up to date with the Swamp blog for more information and a video about the "Shining Stars" Program coming soon!

Until Next Week!

Much Love & Respect,

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