Guest Blogger Blog - Zack!

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Hi Acting Manitou friends!

I think about the Acting Manitou mission statement all year long (if it’s been a while since you read it, I highly recommend you read it again!), but this week I’ve been thinking particularly about one phrase in it: “make lifelong friends.”

This idea kept popping into my head this week because I was working on Here Be Dragons again. The show had its world premiere at Acting Manitou in 2012, with music by John McGrew and book by Steve Borowka, and then I directed it at college in 2016. This year, it was the musical at Friends Seminary, featuring lots of veteran Manitou campers!

As we worked on the show, I was often reminded of the lifelong friendships we make doing theater – the Manitou friends who came to see my production at college, including two of the cast members from the original production; the campers who are now counselors and saw the Friends production; and the new friends I made on this third production. Though camp is only in session during the summer, our friendships keep it alive all year long.

Keep being a good friend to all, and the Acting Manitou family will be your lifelong friends!

Till this summer,

Zack

Guest Blogger Blog - Sam

Dearest Acting Manitou Friends and Family,

I hope you are all having a wonderful year and last couple of months before we (finally!!) arrive at camp for yet another incredible summer filled with theater, magic, love, and sunshine. Around this time each year is when I start to get a little extra excited about camp – the trees and flowers start budding, the sunsets come later, the snow starts melting, and the temperatures start rising. Typically, at this time the planner in me tends to launch into overdrive, beginning to format a packing list in Excel and keep a running chart of all the things I need to accomplish before I make my way up to the great state of Maine. In all honesty, starting these things now may seem a little excessive, but it’s also the way I have been for as long as I can remember.

As we barrel towards staff orientation and the start of camp, I try to take time to remember that the ideals of Acting Manitou can be (and should be!) carried on throughout our entire year and the rest of our lives. It is still just as important to take joy in all you do outside of camp. I know that for me, I try to find the joy and delight in everything each day. Even if my day consists of just sitting in the café at school with my friend Victoria, I find the bits of joy in our conversation, the silence we sometimes sit in as we get schoolwork done, and the frequent visitors of the other theater majors in the department. For spring break this year, my group of six other friends and I went to Myrtle Beach for some much needed relaxation and rejuvenation. We stayed at a resort on the beach and got massages, relaxed by the pool, and we even went to Build a Bear (those of you at camp this summer will have the pleasure of meeting my bear, Charlie). Throughout the week, I took joy in each and every activity we participated in (just because I am terrible at mini golf, doesn’t mean it couldn’t be full of smiles and laughter). By using that week to let joy into my life, I also let the joy heal my soul, and I haven’t felt this relaxed and happy since I left camp last summer. It is imperative that we all look for the joy in our lives outside of our close knit circle in the woods of Maine. I hope you all take this thought into consideration in these last three months before we are all reunited in Maine together, and throughout the rest of your lives.

I can’t wait to see you all again. And to those of you I won’t see, know that I keep a piece of your joy with me all the time.

All my love and sunshine,

Sam “Hot Wheels” Wheeler