In the shadow of the big house…

bighouse…lives a two-week summer theatre academy. Or theatre day camp if you want to say it that way. When I first encountered what we now call “summerYag” around here, I was thinking of it as day camp too. A place to drop my Mouse-child for the day while I stayed home and dredged out the Landfill Basement (which I did but now it’s worse and I’m doing it again…)

But this theatre academy was not just a day camp, at least not for my beach urchins. The Ann Arbor Young Actors Guild does the camp and a whole bunch of plays during the school year. I started out dropping off my little Mouse at summerYag and then both the urchins started to do plays and plays and more plays and I was leery about doing volunteer work for YAG at first, even though that is part of it all. I was doing enough volunteer work with PTO treasury and girl scout stuff. But I eventually got sucked in and then I was on the board of directors and then I was paid to do administrative work. I could talk about all those years and I sometimes miss them sorely but yada yada yada.

I have loved the YAG organization since the beginning. I visited today for the annual Second Thursday Hot Dog BBQ. The first year that the BBQ happened, things weren’t very well planned out and our intrepid treasurer used a *trowel* (as in garden trowel) to deal with hot dogs. Nowadays, Luke Skywalker makes an appearance to grill the dogs. I ate a hot dog and I hung around downstairs a bit and I left after the water balloon fight ended.

When I visited summerYAG today, I told my friends there that if I had maybe two more weeks of vacation time via my job, I would be a volunteer at the camp. My employer is generous about vacation time but I need to spend most of that time going north, at least for the time being. I loved being there today. Talking to Sue and Jean and Tina and Mouse and all of this summer’s absolutely wonderful teachers (and Mouse is one of those). And Luke Skywalker, who still mans the grill.

I did have tears in my eyes on my way back to my job today. Boy oh boy, do I miss this crazy old wonderful camp. If you Click here or on the pic and you will see photos of “our” space in the STAC facility. And outside. And some old campers. And some of our staff members relaxing down in the hallway I have spent more hours than I can count in. Love you YAG.

3 Responses to “In the shadow of the big house…”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Ah, the nostalgia. I know it well. I get choked up walking back into Alison’s gym or sitting at a meet watching her team compete–without her. It seems so strange, even though it’s been a little over a year since she retired. I miss the travel too!! (but better for our family budget)

  2. Jay Says:

    When did YAG start? When I was in high school in that town, a few years ago, I was in JLO (Junior Light Opera) that was based in Community High. I used to bike over after school at Pioneer. I know several of our intrepid school advisors departed about the same time I did (1 passed away and 1 moved away).

  3. Tonya Says:

    What an awesome opportunity for kids! (Well, and obviously adults, too!) I wish more communities offered these kinds of activities. (About the best we get around here are skate parks and ball fields, which are good, too, but how fun it would have been to do plays as a kid!)