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Pick-Me-Up

Parents see what one of our Keys 2 Life Sponsors (Max & Marjorie Fisher Foundation) had to say about our last year’s summer camp.
At The Yunion’s “Keys 2 Life” summer camp program, Detroit youth spent their long, warm days engaged in performing arts activities that were both inspiring and engaging, even on a screen.
Like nearly all performing arts organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Yunion was forced to vastly re-imagine the camp’s model of engagement.
Leaders were almost certain the camp would have to pause all in-person arts programming, or worse, be closed altogether. “We honestly were not sure if a ‘virtual camp’ would really work,’’ said Nicole Wilson, Executive Director of The Yunion.
Even for an organization steeped in creative thinking, the challenges of pivoting the camp and the online learning curve were considerable. Even still, the “team presented some wonderfully creative ideas that really tapped into the fun of camp,” Wilson said. The end result was a four-week virtual camp for musical and artistic youth ages 11 to 17.
Part of The Yunion’s creative pivot included incorporating elements such as daily live “pick-me-up” sessions designed to engage students personally before breaking into small groups. Campers also had their pick of opportunities to study acting, beatmaking, songwriting, orchestral string music, and dance.
What looked like certain doom turned into a moment of reinforced purpose, one likely to continue guiding The Yunion as it plans its summer camp programs for years to come. The creative community that The Yunion has built is one of energy and resilience.
“Gathering as a family looks different in the face of our new adversities,’’ Keys 2 Life camp leaders told youth and parents, “but it is still as essential as it has always been to connect with people for support.’’
If you’d like to hear more about our camp visit us at www.keys2lifesummercamp.com

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