First Christian Church of North Hollywood (FCCNH) held its 14th annual summer camp from June 15th to July 24th, providing young children with wide range of classes in subjects such as Dance Fit, Theater Arts, Photography, VBS, Art, and Music. Teachers and student assistants include everyone from competent students to famous artists — any qualified person can participate in the camp as a volunteer.
Ryan Hirsch, incoming 6th grade at David Starr Jordan Middle School, told JSR about the experience, saying, “In Dance Fit Camp, I have learned many different Yoga poses and how to keep fit. In Theater Arts camp, I have learned how to project my voice and I honed my acting skills. In Photography Camp I learned how to take better photos as well as some advanced skills.”
“Finally,” he concluded, “in Vacation Bible School, I learned that giving is good and that helping others is one of the best gifts that you can give. My accomplishment is that I learned to be a better person in general.”
Garrett Brooks, an incoming 5th grader at iLead Charter School, delightfully expressed his feelings, “The Camps [helped] the students with a lot of their other talents. Everything together to make one big great thing!”
Out of these numerous camps, one of the most popular was music camp. Children were exposed to a variety of instruments and music experiences – harp, violin, guitar, cello, keyboard, recorder, percussion, clarinet and flute, garage band, dance, music games, and an all-camp choir. This year was a special year because FCCNH formed its first afternoon songwriting class.
Director of Children’s Music Tyana Parr, who is a professional singer, songwriter, contest judge, and music teacher, shared her excitement with JSR during the camp and said, “I’m so grateful and honored to have the opportunity. FCCNH pastor Robert M Bock’s dream is to have an all-day camp, and this is the maiden voyage. It’s very important to connect with all the children as much as we can during these precious Summer Vacation days.”
Songwriting class allowed students to express their creativity and their emotion and requires them to create their own lyrics by matching basic format and to compose orchestral scores. It was a challenging class, and most participants were higher grade students. For them, it was a valuable experience to boost confidence as well as happiness.
Parr explained the benefit of taking songwriting class, “This class helps students find a way to express [themselves]. The benefits in that are self-acceptance and appreciation not only for their own individuality but for the differences in others. We each have our own way. Each one valuable, each one viable.”
Of her students, Parr told JSR, “[They are] free of negative conceptions and contradictions. They are precious, open, full of joy and promise [and] open to encouragement and praise. Music is the language of the spirit, and we ‘Share the Spirit’ at this Music Camp.”
Ariyana Fowler, a 6th grader at Millikan Middle School who has been attending camp with FCCNH for three years, told JSR, “Whenever I come back for the camp, it is more exciting than previous years. Songwriting class sounded a bit challenging compared to other instrumental classes, but as I participated, I overcame a bit of a fear and succeeded in making my first song.”