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Welcome to the mainstages team!

This staff portal will provide you with practical tools, materials, and tips that will enable you to run the best possible camp program this summer!

mainstages Training Schedule

Sleepaway Camp and Full-Time Day Camp Staff

Tuesday May 31st and June 1st 3:00pm-7:30pm EST.

Location: https://mainstages.zoom.us/j/5423650229

Part-Time Day Camp and Summer School Staff

Friday June 10th and Saturday June 11th 10:00am- 2:00pm EST.

Location: JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave.(W 76th Street).Teen Center (Floor L2), New York, NY 10023

Specific trainings are now set! Click the link below for a detailed schedule of the various sessions and their information:

mainstages Training Agenda

Bio Submission

DUE DATE: Tuesday, May 31st

As summer teaching artists and theater directors with mainstages, we will be featuring you on our website in order to connect you with the larger community. Your bio should convey who you are and what you hope to achieve in just a few sentences. Being clear and concise is key.

Follow the link below to create your bio for this summer. These bios will be featured on our website, so please be sure to submit your bio and a professional picture (if you have not already done so).

Summer 2022 Check-ins with mainstages!

Once programs and camps begin, mainstages provides ongoing support for you throughout the summer. Part-Time Day Camp and Summer School (Summer Rising) staff will have one official Zoom check-in over the summer. Full-Time Day Camp and Sleepaway Camp staff will have bi-weekly check-ins with mainstages throughout the summer.

Part-Time Day Camp/Summer School ZOOM

Thursday, July 14th 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM EST

Location:https://mainstages.zoom.us/j/5423650229

Full-Time Camp/Sleepaway Camp ZOOMS

Schedule TBD.

Summer 2022 Staff Resources

Camp Facilitator's Handbook

Afterschool Facilitators Handbook

mainstages Theater Curriculum Summer 2022 mainstages Theater Fun Zone! Weekly Themes & Curriculum Outline mainstages Theater Fun Zone! Workshop Outline Facilitator Tips for Success!

Inclusive Language Guide

Culturally Responsive Guide Working at a Jewish Camp

Check out the following links with more helpful information for your summer ahead!

Mapping It Out

During a typical year, preparing for a summer at camp can seem like a lot. Eight weeks is a long time to keep coming up with creative theater programming or camp-wide fun for kids of all ages.

Don’t panic! With some thoughtful planning and a carefully considered Activity Outline, you can break your summer down into bite-sized chunks that will be much more manageable to plan and execute.

An Activity Outline gives your summer structure, keeping you focused and on task, and provides you with a clear map to get where you need to go.

For Theater Directors: a Production Outline

A production outline is a rehearsal schedule: a list of all the rehearsals you will have and what you hope to accomplish in each one. Links to the production materials (musical tracks, scripts, etc) are in the resources section above. Please see the links below for a sample production outline, as well as a template for you to use when you create your own!

Most of you already know the timeline for the productions you are directing (whether they are Triple Threat Academy or a Full Production), including approximately how many rehearsals you’ll have, and how long they will be. If you are unsure, feel free to contact us at artists@mainstages.com  and we will be able to offer some guidance.

Rehearsal

When creating your production outlines, you should overplan while accepting you will underdeliver. You’ll have about 25% less time than what you actually think you’ll have! Camp can get crazy and life happens: it rains, someone is sick, there’s an all-day camp-wide event you find out about at the last minute . . . you get the picture. The easiest way to account for this is to plan to lose approximately 10 minutes from each rehearsal OR leave three or four rehearsal marked TBD at the end of your rehearsal process so that you have extra time to block a scene that you just didn’t get to or work on that choreography number that totally bombed when you first tried to teach it.

One last piece of (unsolicited) advice: leave time for run-throughs. The kids may know the show perfectly, scene by scene, but it won’t matter if they don’t know what comes next and are running around during the performance in a blind panic because they don’t know where they need to be next. A stressful theater performance does not equal fun!

Sample Production Outline Production Program Template

For Teaching Artist: Activity Outline

An activity outline is a week-to-week breakdown of the summer, with a theme assigned to each week and a short list of activities to make up a lesson plan. Craft activities that fall under that theme and cater to a broad variety of ages. You can click the link below to see a template that you can use when you create your own.

Remember, you’re not likely going to get the same group of campers twice in one week. If you follow the week-by-week theme model, you can use the same lesson plans again and again for the different rotations that come through, as long as you remember to adjust for age.

mainstages Theater Fun Zone! Curriculum Outline

Tips from past Summer Staff!

"Remain calm and flexible! Remember that being at camp is all about FUN. I like to remember in moments like this, that if I can make sure the campers have an awesome day, it doesn't matter if other things turned upside down. Always have some games in your back pocket for transitions, timing issues, and schedule changes. Even better if you can determine what some of their favorite games are -- if you're playing a fun game and you're keeping your positive energy up, the campers may not even notice that anything went wrong!" - Jessica Pomeroy (Day Camps at the JCC Stamford)

"I love making music a part of every activity session, whether we're making music ourselves in song or dance, or doing other activities while playing my huge showtune playlist I've been building especially for my campers! For younger groups it's also sometimes motivating to make a routine into a song, or cued by a song (cleaning up, entering, saying goodbye). Any excuse to make the session musical is a good one!" - Gabriella Giocomo (Camp GUCI)

"My top tip for creating an effective and engaging session is to have a fun either set word/phrase/sound that brings the students' attention back to you. I am currently teaching an improv class at an elementary school and my go-to is saying "ATTEEEEENTION!" and they all salute :) It's very goofy but they always hear it and they always know what to do." - Jordan Cohen (JCC Westside Day Camp)

"Shake it up! I have found that the best way to keep kids engaged is to move between different types of activities throughout the course of the lesson, that engage the kids in different ways. If they start standing up, have them sit down for the next activity! After you read through the show, it's time to learn some choreography afterward! In my experience, having kids use their minds and bodies in different ways helps keep them focused and energized." - Jessica Pomeroy (Day Camps @ The J Stamford)

"A great way to keep the activity engaging is to scaffold! Make sure that all of the pieces are leading to something in the end. If there is some form of structure, while also leaving some room for spontaneity, then campers will be able to understand the material and enjoy the theatrical process!" - Dean Marino (Eisner Camps)

"My top tip for creating an effective, engaging session is to be honest with the campers and yourself. Giving your 110% will look different based on what level the campers are at that day and what level you are at, so read the room and go from there. But also keep in mind that using different character voices can grab the kids attention and take their energy from a 50% to an 85%, at least this is what I have seen in my own personal experience!" - Kara Joy Fish (Mid Island Y Camp)

"Bringing the fun to the every day is all about attitude. You can make or break a camp day easily by choosing to approach it with a positive attitude or not to. In my experience, lots of smiles, finding time for short games during down time, and keeping every interaction positive and encouraging to campers is what keeps every single moment fun." - Jessica Pomeroy (Day Camps @ The Stamford JCC)