Each summer the different age groups at camp produce and star in their own plays which they perform in front of the rest of camp in the drama hut. Traditionally there is also a counsellor play which is held at the end of summer. The counsellor play this year was to be a Camp Arcadia version of the Parent Trap.
The kids really look forward to the play each year but this year we pretty much managed to convince the whole camp that there wasn’t enough time to plan the play and that it wasn’t happening. I had kids come up to me during swimming lessons saying “Is the counsellor play really not happening?” they were devastated and quite angry. The reason we were so good at convincing the kids it wasn’t happening was because in truth, the counsellors didn’t really know if it was happening until a week before. On the morning of the play we found out our parts and had top secret rehearsals up the hill whilst the kids were banished to their cabins making plaques. The non-lodgers would be in two scenes; we were various candies from candy line and had to sing a candy line song to Katy Perry’s ‘Last Friday night’, whilst in another scene we were boys from another camp at the camp party.
At announcements on the rock after supper the kids still didn’t know the play was happening in the evening. Each year the counsellor play is announced by a song being sung about elephants and all the counsellors then run down to the drama hut in a line holding hands through each other’s legs. During announcements we pretended to have song practice and then started to sing the song. As soon as the song started the kids went insane and we could hear them cheering as we ran all the way down to the drama hut.
We had about 20 minutes to find some outfits that we could wear. I was a skittles packet so just went with tie die and colourful shorts. The kids came in and the play started. When counsellors weren’t in a scene we stood to the side of the drama hut and watched the play through the large open windows. It was great to watch as we had the scripts in our hand and new how much improvisation was going on whilst the kids were oblivious and loving the show. The non-lodgers candy line scene went well, we each introduced our individual candies, I went for a really chilled out skittles but quite funnily came across high. We sung our candy line song pretty well considering we’d practiced only twice. In our other scene we were boys coming to Arcadia for a party and we were paired up with female counsellors to dance. The girls loved this and shouted out things like “she’s not the one for you!!”
Considering we only had around 2 or 3 hours to rehears our parts I think the play went very well! We had our scripts in our hands but that’s a counsellor play tradition and the kids didn’t mind! As the play was towards the end of the summer we sung goodbye songs at the end and all the kids were crying their eyes out wailing because they knew they’d be leaving camp soon. For the oldest girls they knew they wouldn’t be coming back next year so it was especially emotional for them. The counsellors left the dram hut satisfied with the emotional rollercoaster we had taken the girls on.