Archive for category Ontario Summer Camp
2012 Registration Opens today (November 19th 2011) for returning campers! At 10am, registration opens online, for all returning campers! Just follow the link from the home page to the special Registration e-form, and send in your program choices. Click here for a direct link to the 2012 registration page
New camper registration opens on 25th November 2011 at 10am!
Centauri Arts Camp “Memories 2011″ video is now available! 7 minutes of video clips from programs, presentations, banquets, evening programs from arts camp 2011!
Building on the Success of Summer 2011 (and the past Seventeen Years!)
As we approach Registration Day for summer 2012, one of my jobs is to prepare an album of reference letters and thank you notes from parents and campers, so we can display this at Open Houses and camp exhibitions. Last summer, we received more of these notes than ever before.
It is certainly terrific motivation for us as we work through long hours in the office, to remember why we do what we do, and the positive effect it has on all our campers and camp families! I thought I would share with you all some of the wonderful comments we received from parents and campers at the end of summer 2011:
“My daughter arrived back last night, tired but radiant. Since then, she has done nothing but talk of the great time she had. She uses words like “warmth”, “support” “understanding” and most of all, FUN! Not a moment of boredom, regret or frustration. Tears only now for sorrow at leaving her beloved counsellors and friends.”
“His Centauri adventures prepared our son for his entry into high school this Fall. He saw how he would fit in, minus grade school stereotypes. His confidence is up, his politeness is up, his work ethic has improved and his creative side has been reignited. He was even able to practise his French with Canadian and international campers. The work your art campers produced was truly amazing.”
“Thank you for an incredible camp experience. I heard from my friend just how special Centauri is, and my son now echoes everything she said. He had a fantastic time, made great friends and can’t wait to return next year for a whole month.”
“It was a dream come true to find your camp…thank you for providing this wonderful and unique place for our children to learn and thrive.”
Centauri Arts Camp
Some lovely letters!
As always, this summer ended for us with a flood of thank you letters… notes from parents and campers filled with excited praise for the Centauri summer experience. We thought we would quote a few of them here. We’ve removed identifying phrases and names, out of respect for privacy:
“We would like to thank the entire Centauri team for an incredible two weeks. Our daughter was bursting with positivity in all her letters and calls home. She loved the program and made wonderful friends… her experience was an unequivocal success.”
“Oh my goodness, who was the child we picked up from camp? We sent a shy, reserved child to you and returned with a child who was bubbly and excited and hugging – yes, hugging – his cabin mates goodbye. He was so excited about what he learned, and the new found confidence in his abilities, that he talked all the way home about his adventures.”
“Words cannot express what you guys have created… what you have done for kids, my daughter and the world… you have the world’s greatest staff.”
“I thought I would write a quick note to tell you how very much our son enjoyed your camp. His siblings are involved in sports and he is not interested, so sometimes he feels he doesn’t fit in. At Centauri, he met so many like-minded people. It was wonderful to see what he feels passionate about and what he is good at.”
“I really enjoyed the performances, and my daughter enjoyed Centauri even more! She is already saying, “it’s the best!” and “I am going back next year!”
“Thank you so much for letting me come to camp again. Your camp has changed my life and you have given me self worth and a sense of belonging.”
You may all be aware that two of our film Program Directors – Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas – have directed a full length feature film “Amy George” that is currently playing at the Toronto International Film Festival to excellent reviews. In a recent interview with the Canadian Jewish News, Yonah stated that it was during his first summer at Centauri that he caught the film-making bug. “Centauri created an environment that really fostered my creativity.”
Centauri Arts Camp
It has been a truly magical 17th summer here at Centauri. As we move back into our Toronto offices and begin to plan for next year (believe it or not!) we thought we’d give the final word to one of our campers. Sydni was an LIT with us this summer, and as part of this leadership program, older campers are asked to offer an inspirational message to the entire camp at a mealtime. These speeches can be some of the most memorable and moving moments of the summer for us all. Here is what Syndi had to say to everyone about her perspective on Centauri this summer:
“For all of my five years at Centauri I’ve sat by and watched speech after speech of people putting their finger on what they believe makes Centauri so special. But now it’s my turn, and I’ve come to a conclusion as to what exactly makes this place perfect; it’s you.
When I say you I don’t mean a Brock camper, Butler camper, or Brant camper. I mean everyone. That means a counselor, program director, nurse, head of camp, or even the daughter of the heads of camp. Everyone.
You make Centauri when you throw yourself into every single day, whether that means program, the evening program you are creating, or trying something frighteningly new. You make Centauri when you surprise yourself by opening up to a group of people you thought 14 days ago was impossible. You make Centauri when you sit through an activity that isn’t your favourite, with the biggest smile on your face: because it’ll make it special for someone else.
It’s a simple equation: Centauri=Community. Community= You.
Therefore, you are Centauri. The magic that sits in this place rests in the palm of your hand. You are a wizard, Harry. In simple terms, you guys can change lives, in fact you’ve done it and you’re not even aware. Congratulations!
The best part is that your 14 day trial of life-changing is not over. It’s time to take it to the outside world.
Good luck and thank you for everything.”
No doubt every camp director has a slightly different answer to this question. However, as the directors of Centauri Arts for seventeen years, we have a fairly clear idea of what we believe our camp should do! Camp, in our view, should be a place where young people are empowered to create, guided by inspiring counsellors and wise leaders who know when to offer support, and when to step back and let their campers lead the way. What do they create? Friendships. Communities. Performances. Art, poetry, photographs, films. They create opportunities for themselves and for others. They create stories and memories. But more than anything else, in a new environment among strangers who quickly become fellow artists and role models, they create themselves. Themselves as leaders, articulate individuals, responsible young adults, good friends, artists, dreamers, practical achievers, team players, problem solvers, creative thinkers, compassionate citizens, hard workers and confident youth with a strong sense of identity and a pride in who they are. Every child’s achievement is not the same. A shy nine year old’s sense of accomplishment will be different from that of a talented 16 year old whose feelings of self worth were damaged by a poor year in school. Every success story is different. The important thing is that every single camper has one. So what can summer camp do? Far, far more than a summer spent in front of a computer, or hanging out at the mall. A good camp can give a young person the greatest gift of all. The gift of self discovery.
Centauri Arts Camp
Centauri Arts Camp is a residential arts camp located in Ontario, about 1 1/2 hours from Toronto.
Given its unique residential structure, it’s not difficult to see that sleep-over camp can offer young people a growth experience to be matched by nothing else. A few years ago, a parent called to book her daughter on to Centauri. While I forget her exact words so many years later, her reason for sending her child away to camp is something I have never forgotten. She told me that her daughter was a lovely person in the process of becoming a teenager – forming opinions and ideas that were very much her own and rejecting the priorities of her parents, as all young adults must. The mom went on to say that she and her husband had realised there was little that they personally could do to guide their daughter at this point in her journey to adulthood – with the notable exception of one thing. They could find her role models whose influence would be positive. Individuals who would provide the guidance that all teens need, at a time when the influence of their parents may be waning. The mom went on to ask a million questions about Centauri, before booking her daughter for the entire summer. Her family was a part of our camp for many years to follow.
The wisdom of this mom that stays with me, long after I have forgotten what she looks like or even her first name. And of all the reasons for sending a child to a sleep-over camp, this still ranks among the best in my view… assuming that a parent takes the time to make sure the camp they are choosing will offer the positive role models they are looking for.
Wow, session 3 has flown by!
Since our last blog we have had a Finish Banquet, we learned about Finland, its people, food and music! We have also had a Lost! evening program, talent show and a Pokemon festival!
We are now in our final rehearsals before the shows tomorrow. As usual everyone is working hard, the shows, films and presentations will be great!
The first is Parenting the Poet: a “How-To” Guide!
The next is Camp and the home schooler
As this is the 15th year of camp, we have added a gallery on line of the 1st 10 years at camp. It is at http://www.centauri.on.ca/media/photos/gallery2/index.htm
We have just added more camp video to our video page
But for those who want to see it now, here they are!
This one is a series of clips of the final performances and shows in summer 2008. There are clips of the writing camps, theatre camps, film camps, fine art Camps, photography camps, musical theatre camps, music camps and much more.
This one is a series of clips of camp life in summer 2008, all the craziness and fun of arts camp! It shows campers and staff in the themed banquets, special events etc.
Camper News Jan 2009
With only 160 days left till camp, we’ve busy here in the camp office! Summer may seem like a long way away, but we’re already hard at work… finalising staffing, planning the outline of programs, reaching out to new campers, and attending camp fairs!
Here’s some exciting staff updates for you all!
Jeanette Hedley is returning for to teach in summer 2009 … for her fifteenth summer! Jeanette has been a camper, counsellor, mentor-counsellor, Leadership Director, Activities Director and Program Director at Centauri over the years… camp wouldn’t be the same without her. She’s a super-talented teacher, but she wasn’t able to confirm in time for her name to appear on programs back in November.
We’re now delighted to announce that Jeanette will be teaching Dance Remix in Session Two, Musical Theatre Dance in Session 3 and Musical Theatre Triple Threat in session 4. We’re delighted to have her back with us! Jeanette’s programs do still have limited availability, so if you are interested in working with her, please call the camp office.
Our new Hip Hop/Jazz teacher is… Hilary Krull!
Hilary was a counsellor with us for several years, and Head of Brant. Now working professionally as a dancer and musical theatre performer, Hilary returns to teach Hip Hop and Jazz! If you would like to work with Hilary, we do still have a few spaces left on her program. As always, the vast majority of program directors and counsellors with us this coming summer will be returners.
Over 80% of program directors and counsellors return each year. In fact, this summer, we may only have 2 brand new program directors joining the team! For a full list of returning program directors, and the programs they are teaching, you can access the ‘biographies’ page on the website. There’s lots of information on them all, too – including the creative projects they are currently working on.
Most Counsellors Returning for Summer 2009! Yes – it’s true! The odds are that if you were at Centauri last summer, you’ll recognise the vast majority of counsellors! Andrea, Thea, Liz, Katie, Calypso, Kate, Becca, Charlee, Maria, Emily, Carol, Matt, Jeremy, Justin, Nick, Nikesh, James… all of them are returning for the summer! In addition, we have 6 assistant counsellors on staff, 5 of whom were campers last year. We’ll be hiring only 3 brand new counsellors for the summer.
Staff: What are they doing Right Now?
Jeanette has just returned from her travels in South Africa. Mladen is teaching in acting studios across Toronto. Julie is heading down to Mexico, to teach Drama in a Mayan village! Carol is going to Bangkok, to work as a volunteer in a children’s charity. Matt is studying Film in Montreal. Sofia is working on a project to teach film to a community in Northern Canada. Yonah is writing a screenplay. Laura is settling into a new job with a publishing company in Vancouver. Liz is in her first year at Harvard. Just some thoughts to remind you how busy our whole community is with their own creative, artistic and academic projects during the year.
Fringe Festivals 2009!
Last summer, we replaced the day trips in sessions 3 and 4 with Fringe Festivals, and the move was so popular that we’re doing the same again this year! We’re planning another Music Fringe, as well as a Film & Photography Fringe Festival.
So what special events are being planned for this summer? You can expect a Wizard of Oz Festival, a Peter Pen Festival, a Celebration of Pokemon, a Newfoundland Kitchen Party, an Indian Banquet, a British Banquet, a Shakespeare Fest and – in Session 4 – a special 2-day Medieval Village Fayre to celebrate the end of the summer.
Staff Winter Gathering
During the holidays, 25 of the camp staff gathering together for an annual night of games and craziness! As always, one objective was to raise money for charity… by having fun! We made up Winter jingles, competed in crazy Winter-themed quizzes and even did jigsaws… blindfolded! At the end of the evening, we had raised $80 for the Humane Society, $70 for the World Wildlife Fund, $90 for Oxfam and $90 for Medicin Sans Frontieres. Thanks to everyone who participated.
Fifteen Years Old – Some Exciting News!
Centauri Summer Camp turns 15 years old this year! We’re celebrating in a unique and exciting way… by bringing together staff, new and old, to join in an exciting performance event, to raise money to build a school in the developing world! In May, we will be holding a FIFTEEN HOUR PERFORMANCE MARATHON in Toronto. Dozens of amazing Centauri staff will gather together to perform continuously for 15 hours, in order to raise funds. Centauri has inspired thousands of campers over the past 15 years – and now we want to reach out with the confidence of a well-established arts organisation, to build a school in a village where children currently have no access to education. We’re going to be inviting campers, parents, alumni and anyone associated with Centauri to participate in this exciting event. You can join us as a volunteer or front-of-house staff, be our audience members and – of course – help us by sponsoring a staff member. Our goal is to raise $15-$20,000 to build our school. Centauri will then raise money annually to pay for text books and a teacher’s salary. Our hope is that in future years staff and campers will be able to visit Centauri’s school if they wish to, and work as volunteers. We’ll be sending out more information in the near future, but if you are interested in participating actively, please let us know. We are also eager to hear from members of our camp community who may own a food store, cafe or restaurant in the Toronto region, and may be willing to sponsor a meal for staff during this event. Please contact us with any offers of help! We invite all of you to participate in what will be one of the most exciting and far-reaching events Centauri has EVER organised!