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‘Believe’ It: Arts camp will be held in July at BHS

Among the number of activities that COVID-19 curtailed in 2020, the Believe Performing Arts Experience camps that take place each summer in Bogalusa were part of that list. The pandemic forced the Believe team to shift to a virtual camp and other online offerings last year instead of the in-person workshops and shows they have been accustomed to producing. But Believe Camp is returning to Washington Parish this year.

Registration has opened for the five-day performing arts camp that will return to Bogalusa in July. Believe is scheduled to begin its summer tour of camps at Bogalusa High School on Monday, July 5, and conclude on Friday, July 9, before moving on to Gallman, Miss., and Slidell. Students and parents can register online at www.believecamp.com.

Believe camp was founded and is produced by Bogalusa native Bruce Sampson. Sampson invites a small team of internationally experienced performance professionals from all over the country (including Los Angeles and New York City) to teach a series of classes in singing, dancing, acting and more to area students. The camp also includes creativity workshops and games. The week traditionally culminates in a musical-variety stage show performed by the students for the community.

Sampson said that Believe’s mission is to “use the arts to engage, educate, inspire and unite youth and communities.” Their stated motto and goal is to help others “embrace the possible!”

Angela Lambert, director of marketing and communications at Our Lady of the Angels Hospital, said, “I honestly see Believe as one of the most powerful tactics we have in our community to bring kids together across the spectrum to create a beautiful tapestry, highlighting their unique gifts and talents and relying on each other for love, support and encouragement.”

This year’s theme will be “Together.”

Students who will be entering third grade in the fall through 2021 high school graduates are all welcome to register and participate. There are no skill or experience requirements.

Any individuals, organizations or companies who wish to help with the camp are encouraged to reach out as soon as possible.

To help with feeding the Believe team, contact Kim Kellar at 985-516-1758. To volunteer as an adult “chaperone/volunteer,” email bruce@iconarts.org. To be a financial or service sponsor, contact Sampson at 714-926-6891.

This year, in order to comply with CDC, state and Bogalusa City Schools safety protocols, there will be a few differences. They include:

  • There will be a limited number of students per age group allowed to participate.
  • All registration must be done in advance. No on-site registrations the first day. (To prevent crowding and to avoid turning anyone away on the first day).
  • There will be two performances, due to reduced occupancy in the auditorium (Thursday night, July 7, and Friday night, July 8).