Creative 360 offers culinary, clay, theater and Taylor Swift summer camps for kids

Now that it’s finally spring, let’s think about the next warmer season. Summer brings more sunshine, higher temperatures, longer days, and a break from school. With this break, many families look to find activities, education, and entertainment for their children to stay active learners.

As part of Creative 360’s mission to bring creativity and the arts to all, the nonprofit community arts and wellness organization hosts programming year-round for all ages and abilities. This summer, they are providing a few different summer camps for ‘campers’ ages five through 16. 
Grandma Goose camp performance
“We create spaces for people to create,” says Laura Brigham, public relations and theatre events coordinator. “We try to find the niche stuff that not a lot of people are doing. There’s not a lot of camps for ages under eight years old. We do different programs every summer, and try not to overlap with other groups.”

The camps are typically a few hours long, and offered in morning or afternoon sessions, and there is no sleepover aspect to these day camps. They range in lengths of one to two weeks long. 

For the youngest age group, ages five to eight years old, Creative 360 is hosting the Grandma Goose camp from June 17-21 and Aug. 5-9.  “It’s a fun way to encourage team building and kids working together to support each other when they try new things,” Brigham says. “Cheryl Levy, who was a librarian with the public library here in Midland for many years, and is still a substitute teacher, leads this. She uses puppets and has fun scripts they’ve written themselves.”

Cheryl Levy (foreground) teaches the Grandma Goose Camp at Creative 360.
For ‘the Swifties’ ages 8-13 is the Taylor Swift Camp from June 24-28 and July 29-Aug.2. “We’re going to have several different teachers come throughout, some days they’ll learn some of the dances and sing some of the songs. They’re going to bling out some Taylor Swift t-shirts, heart-shaped glasses, and be making some friendship bracelets,” Brigham says. “They’ve even talked about bringing in some of her favorite food as snacks. It will just be a whole ‘Swiftie’ heaven for a week. We’ve had a surprising amount of adults ask if we’d do a Taylor Swift camp for adults too.”

Brigham teaches the theater intensive camp for kids ages 10-16 from June 24-28 and August 5-9.  “It’s a summer version of my creative theater company, which is something I do a few times throughout the year with youth,” she says. “We do an entire show in one week. They come in on day one and audition. I cast it in about 10 minutes. We do a readthrough and start with the show. By the end, they do a fully memorized, off-book show. It’s usually a modernized shortened version of a Shakespeare show.”

The Theater Intensive Camp at Creative 360 is for kids, ages 10-16.
Brigham typically writes the material herself, designed specifically for the age group. She was a professional casting director, actor, director, and playwright. She specifically enjoys working with youth. She says it’s fun to watch the kids go from nervous during the audition process to funny, lively, confident characters on stage. 
“The camp is a challenge, they have to memorize an entire show in a week. I’ve always believed that kids will rise to the challenge,” she says. 
Summer Intensive Camp performance
There’s also a culinary kids camp for ages 9-13 from July 10-14 with morning and afternoon session options. Participants will learn cake decorating, ice cream, and have a mac ‘n’ cheese cookoff competition. 

For ages 9-13, there is a clay camp July 8-18. This camp is longer given the time required to create the pieces, fire them, and glaze them. Students can create sculptural and functional pieces to use in their homes. 

For all the camps, all equipment and materials are required in the price. Registration is available online or by phone. Scholarships are available to those with financial barriers. “It is part of our belief here to always try to make art affordable for everyone,” Brigham says. “We do offer scholarships, people just have to contact us and let us know they’re interested in that. Scholarships provide up to 50% of the camp.”

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Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at