I feel very lucky to have found camp. Freshly graduated from college, I was having a much harder time than usual lining up my next project. I play piano for musicals with all sorts of different age groups and experience levels, my jobs are usually short term so I am always looking for the next one. Being able to come back to Hive year after year has been really stabilizing. The focus on success counseling and disconnecting from technology has had a huge positive impact on my life. Not to mention the friendships and fantastic memories made over the summers.
The Performing Arts department is involved in so many aspects of camp outside of the daily activity periods. These include organizing interludes for the morning assembly, rehearsing music for Sunday assembly, playing at Rainbow’s End, the Fourth of July tri-camp event, talent shows, as well as Candlelight and Banquet performances for Anti-Qs (the oldest Hive campers.) There are so many opportunities for campers to perform for each other!
On top of all that we also put on a musical. We go from auditions to performances in 3 1/2 weeks. My first summer I couldn’t believe we didn’t rehearse on Sundays with such a short time frame, but I’ve since learned to relax and that somehow everything will get done (though not without help from many people outside the department.) The week leading up to the show is a busy time. All these factors lead to camp shows having a different energy around them than I’ve experienced anywhere else. We have a lot of fun, but campers also learn about commitment, teamwork and responsibility.
Outside of the PA department, there is a lot of singing at camp. It’s wonderful to see everyone get involved and going from not knowing the lyrics to not needing to look at their songbooks. We all learn by doing, and nobody cares if you don’t know all the words or if you don’t have the most beautiful voice. The music is about the experience, and the best part is that the songs stay with you when you leave camp. Some of my favorite songs are ones I’ve learned at Hive and hearing or even thinking about them bring me right back to summers in Vermont.
Matt McGrath has been a Hive performing arts counselor and accompanist since 2015.