Sin­gin’ & Dancin’

Norristown campers cap off summer with tal­ent show

The Colonial - - FRONT PAGE - By Bren­dan Wills bwills@21st-cen­tu­ry­

Tal­ented youths in the Norristown Recre­ation De­part­ment’s Summer Camp took to the stage of the Fire Chief Memo­rial Band Shell in Elm­wood Park July 30 to cap off a summer of learn­ing, ac­tiv­ity and fun with a tal­ent show.

“We re­ally let the kids dis­play them­selves,” said John Moore, camp direc­tor of the Got­wals Ele­men­tary School camp lo­ca­tion. “They have a lot of fun with it.”

The six- week camp, called the Summer Play­ground Pro­gram, of­fers a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties for campers ages 5 to 12 at three dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing Got­wals, Han­cock Ele­men­tary School and Elm­wood Park. Bill Plichta, recre­ation direc­tor for 30 years, has run the pro­gram for that same amount of time.

Kids en­rolled in the camp go on sev­eral trips to dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing Dor­ney Park, French Creek State Park and Splash Zone in Wild­wood, N.J. Ad­di­tion­ally, campers par­tic­i­pate in ath­letic ac­tiv­i­ties like taek­wondo, bas­ket­ball and other sports.

But most im­por­tantly, ac­cord­ing to Moore, chil­dren spend the summer learn­ing.

“We try to keep their minds fresh dur­ing the summer months,” Moore said, de­scrib­ing the tu­tor­ing pro­gram he im­ple­ments at Got­wals. On top of an ar­ray of math and read­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for all campers, the tu­tor­ing pro­gram gives ex­tra help for any­one that needs it.

On July 30, campers took some time off from their summer stud­ies to try their hand in per­form­ing arts.

“They’ve been prac­tic­ing for about three weeks,” Moore said. “I know a lot of the chil­dren take their acts home and prac­tice out­side of camp too.”

The group of cheer­ing campers and their par­ents that gath­ered for the show was ev­i­dence that the prac­tice paid off.

Af­ter three par­ents from each camp lo­ca­tion vol­un­teered as judges, the lead- off, six- piece “Di­a­mond Di­vaz” took to the stage. With the help of a group of older girls that stood in front of the stage to help with their chore­og­ra­phy, the girls danced along to mu­sic that re­ver­ber­ated through­out the park.

The Di­vaz were fol­lowed by another chore­ographed dance per­formed by the five­piece “Let It Go Girls.” The three- piece “Shin­ing Stars” en­hanced their per­for­mance with vo­cals, while “LOL” had a multi- song chore­ographed dance rou­tine that had the en­tire camp clap­ping along and cheer­ing.

21st Cen­tury Me­dia pho­tos / GENE WALSH

Norristown Recre­ation campers per­form a dance rou­tine dur­ing the camp’s an­nual tal­ent show in Norristown July 30.

Norristown Recre­ation campers par­tic­i­pate in the camp’s an­nual tal­ent show in Norristown July 30.

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