Heads swaying, feet tapping, hand clapping. The kids had stopped their crafts and we were singing at the top of our lungs. We didn’t notice the Rock Hut campers, led by Rob, until they opened the Arts ‘n Crafts door and started to march down the stairs. Our voices seamlessly joined theirs in the round of Black Socks.
Rob led the Rock Hut campers into the craft room where we sat at the table. Still singing they marched around the perimeter of the room as we took a break from our crafts to sing along and marvel at the boisterous parade. They marched out, across the hall and into the drama room. As the counselor Amy, at the end of the line, passed my three kids, they each got up from their chairs, grabbed her hands and followed the Rock Hut campers, rather Pied Piper-like!
Craft time was over, I figured, so I took several minutes to tidy up our supplies. I washed paint brushes, replaced the beads and the gimp. I tied off the beaded bracelet and tucked it in my pocket along with the gimp bracelet. After I carefully placed Megan’s drying painting by the window, I then went over to the drama room to see what my kids were up to.
All the Rock Hut campers were sitting on the linoleum floor watching the stage. The campers Alex, Jeff, and Cameron were onstage with Rob. My daughters were sitting on either side of Amy and Patrick was sitting in her cross-legged lap. I sat down beside Megan.
“What’s going on?” I whispered to Amy.
“We are teaching the campers improv games.” Amy explained.
“Improv?” I asked.
“Improvisational theater. It’s unscripted skits. Just watch Anne. It’s pretty fun.”
Rob had finished explaining how the game of “Opening Lines” was going to be played by the three campers. Then he talked about the principle of “Yes, and…” in improv. He explained that a participant should accept what another participant has stated (“yes”) and then expand on that line of thinking (“and”).
“It’s a lot like brainstorming when you don’t shoot down someone’s idea. When you say “Yes, and…” you accept the idea, even if it is completely ridiculous.” Rob told us. “And you know what happens then, campers?” Rob looked around the room.
“No. What happens, Rob?” Amy shouted from the back of the room.
“Pure comedy gold!” Rob smiled. “OK guys. Let’s do this!” Rob clapped and the three campers stood ready. “Your opening line is…” Rob stepped forward and whispered in Alex’s ear. Alex groaned and rolled his eyes. The audience giggled in anticipation.
Alex wiped his hands on his shorts and then took a step forward, put his hands on his hips, popped a knee and with a falsetto voice said: “Which dress do you think I should pick for prom?” He held his hands up and tilted his head. Everyone burst out laughing. Jeff and Cameron both giggled and then shook their heads but hardly missed a beat as Cameron began to walk around Alex, arms crossed and then tapping his finger to his lip as if trying to make a difficult decision.
“Hmmmm…” said Cameron.
“Help me decide, you two. That’s why I brought my bestest girl friends with me to shop!” Alex said and threw his arms wide. Cameron and Jeff ran in toward Alex and the three of them hugged as they jumped up and down and squealed.
“It’s a tough decision Alexa!” Jeff in a high pitched voice as he broke from the group hug. “I really really liked the glittery dress.” He clapped his hands together.
“My favorite was the one made with Swan feathers. Oh yes please!” Cameron interjected.
I looked over at the kids. They were eating it up.