Another camp season is down. We did 3 camps in a matter of 4 months with Yosemite, East and West. Next year it will be four when we add Ireland into the mix. We’ve had over 1,300 campers attend over our 7 years with 13 camps in total. We’ve donated thousands of dollars back into the improv community helping build theaters, festivals, organizations and communities all over the world. Wow, that’s pretty cool when I write it all down.
Now, I’m not here to toot our own horn, I’m here to say thank you! Thank you to the 1,300 campers that attended our camps and took a chance with us. It’s crazy, we are asking you to come to a remote location, in the middle of nowhere, sleep on bunk beds and take some improv workshops, shoot some bows and arrows and that’s supposed to be normal for an adult? HA! Thank you all, for taking what you’ve learned and bringing it back to your communities. This camp doesn’t work unless you do so. Thank you for leaving your families behind for a weekend, your theaters and communities. I know it’s a sacrifice for you as well.
Thank you to my amazing staff, who are the people who help keep this dream alive for all of us. Those people are Jacque Arend, Brian O’ Connell, Jessica Young, John Abbott, Chris Moody, Patricia Foreman, Mark Stetson, Josh Nicols, Mike McFarland, Jaclynn Cherry and Neil Curran. These folks do it for the love of improv and the love of you. I’ve never seen a group work so hard to make sure you are all having the experience of a life time. They make it look easy, even though it’s so difficult to pull off. I’m so lucky to have these friends to help build CIU into the experience it is.
Thank you to all the teachers that have graced our camps over the years you have changed improv for the better. We have been so lucky to have you and to all the camp counselors who have proven they do it for the love of improv.
Thank you to all the campers that have run camp nights all over the country. Sean Geary, Dan Emmons, Alex Watson, Jocelyn Hillen, Chris Moody, Joseph Gavin, David Schultz, Lauren Morris. They do this to give everyone a chance to get onstage and get a sense of what our community is about. To the Pack Theater, Voodoo Comedy Playhouse thank you for letting us have consistent camp nights at your theater!
In the end, I hope we inspire improvisers to take the reigns, to make, build and create. To take our artform to the next level. To open the doors to any and all improvisers who dare to walk through. To embrace change and keep the spirit of improv alive, not only in our theater but in the world. To make new theaters, take over established ones make new Improv Networks. To run your groups, theaters and festivals as the same philosophies we hold dear in improv. I always end our camps by saying, “Work together, share what you’ve learned, and give back more then you are given.”
Some wonderful shared stories about the camp experience
This is why we all do it! (from a former camper from 2016:)
I just want to post some good news here. I attended Camp last summer, 2016. It was my first time doing improv. When I came back to my small town here in Central PA, I couldn’t find any groups doing improv that weren’t composed of college students. Fortunately, John Abbot had told me about a camper from IU West who was a fellow faculty member here at Penn State. So I reached out to this guy who was technically a stranger (but really wasn’t a stranger at all cuz he was part of the IU family, ya know?). We found 2 other like-minded individuals, and we’ve been meeting every week and we just put on our first public show! It sold out! It was a blast!
I am so, so thankful to have found improv and the Camp Improv Utopia specifically. It has immeasurably enriched my life.