Tag Archives: Summer

How to Improve Your Improv

“Improv. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But when it does, it’s like open-field running.” -Robin Williams

Improv is one of the many classes that we offer here at AstroCamp during the summer. To an outsider it might just look like a bunch of silly games, but improvisational theatre is a unique art form that mixes comedic acting with acute listening and reacting skills. Improv is hard to do well, so for those of you interested in taking it as a class this summer, here are a few essential tips:

Listen

Improv is a social art, and listening to the other actors on stage is crucial. Everything else revolves around this. Knowing what everyone else is doing and saying is the first step to being good at improv.

Always Say Yes

During a scene with other people, the goal is to continuously add things to the situation. And nothing stops this faster than somebody saying, “No.” When you deny an idea that somebody else added, you stop the momentum and take everybody out of the moment.

So say “Yes” instead. You don’t literally have to say the word, but accept what the other people in the scene are doing.

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Say Yes, And…

Not only should you accept what other people are adding to the scene, you should also be adding to it yourself! Give everyone else something to work with, and give them a chance to build off of you. The scene should always be evolving.

Share the Spotlight

Often times, it’s tempting to be the person in the front, saying all the jokes and getting all the laughs. But if you aren’t giving the other actors their time to shine, too, then you’re doing something wrong, and those laughs will quickly fade. Instead, find ways to have a back-and-forth with the other people on stage to keep the scene going. If all the actors are sharing the spotlight equally, the audience will be way more engaged.

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Let the Scene Play Out…

A lot of games will require “tagging out,” where one actor replaces another or will be in charge of changing the direction of the scene. Don’t be too quick with this. Let the scene play out a bit before you jump in.

…But Don’t Let it Fail

On the same note, if the people on stage seem to be struggling to continue, help them out by jumping in. Be aware of what’s going on at all times and be prepared to save a floundering partner.

Practice

Unlike traditional theatre, you cannot rehearse a specific scene during improv. But what you can do is practice doing improv, utilizing all the tips mentioned above. Nobody is going to be perfect the first time they try it. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. You’ll start to recognize pitfalls and how to avoid them. You’ll become comfortable saying “yes, and.” If you’re working with the same actors over and over, you’ll even start to anticipate what they’re about to do.

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Improv is great, fun, and hilarious. If you take this class at AstroCamp, you’re sure to learn all of these skills and have a great time doing it.

Written By: Scott Yarbrough

Art and Creativity at Camp

Art is subjective, it is different and unique to each and every person and comes in different forms and mediums! We believe there is no right or wrong way to pursue art and we strive to foster our campers imaginations and creative abilities in a positive direction. That is why AstroCamp offers many outlets for expression of creativity, as well as provides a space for creative development.

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There are many different mediums of art around camp. We are excited about expanding our repertoire this summer with the introduction of a few new classes. Art is all about exploring a medium that is interesting or fun to you.

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Arts and Crafts is a general exploration of creativity. It is a project based class, where an instructor will lead the group through an activity like tie-dying or screen printing, but the freedom of design is up to the camper.

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We also offer more specified classes. Whether it’s ceramics, painting, blacksmithing, cooking, film or photography, animation, acting, or music, AstroCamp has it all. So put those creative hats on and get to making something!

Building Character at Camp

Summer at AstroCamp means throwing out preexisting ideas of what people think of you and finding yourself instead. It is a place to build upon you as a person, while being surrounded by a network of positive and inspiring individuals.

AstroCamp prides itself in being a safe space for campers to be the people they want to be. It is a community based off of openness, respect, understanding, and acceptance. This summer is a great time to branch out, try new things, and ultimately take steps toward discovering your own voice, who you are, and who you want to be. Don’t hold yourself to a standard that is impossible to reach, or confine yourself in a box that society has tried to label. Create your own label…or don’t!

Don’t be afraid to be silly and goofy, or color your hair and paint your nails. Just because some people consider it “normal” doesn’t mean that you have to too. What is normal anyway? And why does someone else get to tell you what that means?! While at AstroCamp, learn about yourself by fueling your imagination, asking questions, and accepting those that are different from yourself.

Facing Your Fears

Going to camp for the first time can be nerve wracking for some kids; they’re in a new place, away from their family, and facing all new challenges. Luckily, there are ways to face these fears and come out of camp stronger and more confident than you went in.

The easiest way to become comfortable with a new place is familiarity; the more you get to know it, the less intimidating it becomes. The first step in that familiarity is the tour every camper takes, but it also just comes from spending time here at camp. A spot on camp may seem scary at first, but any fun activity taking place there begins to replace the fear associated with that location with a fond memory.

Homesickness is one of the most common issues students face on camp, and with good reason. For many campers, AstroCamp is their first overnight camp at all, and feeling separated from your normal support system can be really isolating and frightening. That’s where the counselors and other campers come into play, however. The counseling staff are there to help campers through the struggles of camp, and the cabin groups quickly form friendships that can last for years to come. They may start out feeling isolated, but it’s hard to stay isolated for long at camp.

The other big place campers deal with fear is on our ropes course, even those not normally afraid of heights. Our motto here is “Challenge by Choice,” meaning a camper only has to do what they feel comfortable with during a ropes course element. Often, instructors will have them set a goal before starting to climb, and then once they reach it will ask them if they’d like to push forward.

Often, taking that first step past what they thought they were able to do will embolden them to keep moving and complete the element, achieving something they thought was impossible for them. This experience teaches them how to face their fears and push themselves in a healthy way, an experience they will take from camp and be able to apply for the rest of their lives.

Why Summer Camp?

We live in an era of growing consumption of technology. Even children under the age of two spend an average of an hour per day plugged in.  This makes it even more critical for children to disconnect from both technology and the real world. Don’t worry mom and dad, time away from you can be a very healthy experience for your child, and for you.

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These eight and nine year olds pose with their counselors after pushing their boundaries to conquer the skycoaster!

Whether the time away is for a week, three weeks, a month, or the whole summer, this brief time away will allow your child to grow in ways you have never imagined. Regardless of how your child lives the rest of the year, the camp living environment is different!

Campers are together 24 hours a day requiring teamwork, continuous communication, patience, and problem solving to live in harmony. This intimate environment allows campers to build strong friendships in a relatively short time. The friends your child will make at camp will be unlike any others in their lifetime. If you ask any child about their camp experience, they will often talk about things that only their camp friends can understand. These friendships are one of a kind because camp friends see you in a huge variety of circumstances.  Whether its at your best, soaring down the zipline for the first time, or at your worst, hungry and grumpy and losing your cool. Learning to cope with failure and success are vital life skills.

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One of the boys’ cabins gets takes a walk on the wild side!

The time spent away at summer camp gives your child the opportunity to explore who they are in a completely new environment. Challenging them to handle experiences on their own and outside their normal comfort zone. Camp provides your child with a safe nurturing environment to test the boundaries of what he/she thinks they are capable of. When they succeed, they build confidence in themselves and if they fail they have a diverse group of peers and staff to support them.

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While we pride ourselves on our unique and top of the line activities, sometimes the most important times for kids are when they are just playing together!

At camp your child can try new things, focus on and excel at familiar activities that meet their interests, build confidence in him/herself, become part of a unique camp family, and find or rekindle a love of nature! There are hundreds of summer camps available that would greatly benefit your child. AstroCamp is unique because of its amazing location, the adventurous and educational programs, and the passionate, well-educated staff. Not only does the staff ensure the safety of your child, they are experts in their field and have a focused appreciation, respect and love for everything they do. Regardless if they are teaching arts and crafts, scuba diving or exploring the surroundings, they foster educational experiences through fun interactive activities!

The benefits of summer camp are endless and lasting. We can’t tell you how many times we meet timid children who leave camp with newfound confidence. These quiet campers grew out of their shell. They sang in front of the entire camp, learned to rock climb or mountain bike, and shared too many laughs to count with their friends. These are the experiences that are magical and priceless! Don’t let your child miss out on everything camp has to offer.

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How Do You Pack for Camp?

We hope you enjoyed our silly video on how we at the Guided Discoveries office pack for camp. Now, we need your help!!!We want you to put together a silly, creative, short video on how and/or what you pack for camp. The video should be no longer than one minute and no shorter than 6 seconds. Your video might be shown on any or all of our social media platforms. Please email your videos to Alisa VinZant at alisa@gdi.org. If you have any questions, please call 1-800-625-1423.

If you don’t want to or you don’t like doing videos then there is another option for you to win. We want to know why camp is important to you? How camp has made a difference in your life? What do you love about it and why do you keep coming back? Basically, what does camp mean to you! Please write your answers in paragraph form. You are welcome to write as little or as much as you wish!

Again, please send all videos and what camp means to you paragraphs to Alisa VinZant at alisa@gdi.org. Please call 1-800-625-1423 if you have any questions or concerns. All entries must be received by May 22, 2015. Happy taping and writing! We look forward to seeing you at camp soon!!!

Blacksmithing – You Bend Metal

 
“We’re going to take hot metal, and we’re going to bend it to our will!” That is the motto for the Blacksmith class at AstroCamp summer mission.  We take rods of iron; heat them up in our very own forge to a scalding temperature of well over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and pound them into a shape of our choosing. Dragon’s breath is the name of the scorching air escaping the heat of the forge and it is truly powerful. As we pound and twist the metal, see the impurities in the iron flake off and flutter down to the ground. At the completion of your project, dowse your masterpiece in the cold water and see the steam sizzling off of your completed project. We create items both practical and decorative. For those that are musically inclined, Max made a treble clef.  Zack made a belt buckle that was both beautiful and useful.  Your imagination can help you make amazing things, you just have to follow it.  At the end of camp, take your work home with you to show your family and friends your newfound skill in blacksmithing. Now that you are a Blacksmith and you can bend metal what will your next project be?

5 Step DIY Tie Dye T-Shirts

DIY Tie Dye shirts are very popular here at AstroCamp especially during summer camp.  We want to take you through the process of making one of these awesome shirts. Only 5 Steps and your done!

Step 1: Make a solution of water and soda ash and soak the T shirt in it for 20 minutes.  The soda ash will bond with the dye and cause it to permanently stick to the fabric.  If you do not have soda ash then baking soda will work as a substitute but your colors won’t be quite as bright.

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Step 2:  Twist and twirl and otherwise be creative with your shirt and rubber band it into place.  Different swirling patterns will change the pattern of the finished product.  This shirt will end up in a bulls eye pattern.

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Step 3:  Apply the dye to the shirt.  The rubber bands can often be good guides for where to stop with one color and start another.

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Step 4: Wrap the shirt in saran wrap and let it sit overnight.  After that rinse and hang the shirt until it is dry and ready to wear!

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Step 5: Show it off to all of your friends!  ENJOY! If you want to do the same process then you can create tie dye pillow cases, bandanas, pants and more. Enjoy!

Liquid Nitrogen Pool Exploration

CAUTION: DO NOT DO THIS WITH SOMEONE IN THE POOL! IT IS VERY DANGEROUS AS THE EVAPORATED NITROGEN DISPLACES THE OXYGEN IN THE AIR AND SOMEONE COULD SUFFOCATE AND POSSIBLE DEATH.

At AstroCamp, we love exploring and testing theories. So what do we do when we have excess liquid nitrogen from our summer camp program that will evaporate before we can use it again?  Why we do some experiments of course!  Our favorite recent experiment was dumping the left over liquid nitrogen into the pool.  We thought we were going to get a lot of condensation from the water vapor coming into contact with the cold liquid nitrogen.  What we forgot to take into account was the Leidenfrost Effect.  The Leidenfrost Effect occurs when a liquid comes into contact with a surface much hotter than it.  Because of the drastic change in temperature, the liquid that comes into contact with the surface boils near instantly.  But the boiled gas creates a buffer for the rest of the liquid and keeps it from evaporating for a while longer. In the pool, this allows the liquid nitrogen to spread across the surface of the water, expanding the fog until it nearly covers the pool entirely.  Stay tuned for future fun things to do with liquid nitrogen exploration!

WELCOME TO ASTRO BLOG

We would like to thank you for visiting our blog. AstroCamp is a hands-on physical science program with an emphasis on astronomy and space exploration. Our classes and activities are designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal pursuits. This blog is intended to provide you with up-to-date news and information about our camp programs, as well as current science and astronomical happenings. This blog has been created by our staff who have at least a Bachelors Degree in Physics or Astronomy, however it is not uncommon for them to have a Masters Degree or PhD. We encourage you to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Vine to see even more of our interesting science, space and astronomy information. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or share our blog with others. Please visit www.astrocampsummer.org for additional information. Happy Reading!

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