I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Minister Carolyn Moore, the founder of the Oasis Montage/Oasis Academic and Performing Arts Center (OAPAC). She was beaming with pride as she described the joy of being able to provide a fine arts summer camp here in the heart of the city of Fayetteville to residents and students alike.
The camp, which is approved through the state of Georgia’s Bright from the Start, is a non-profit and boasts of a fine arts program like none other in the area. It is in its first year and is open to all children and youth ranging from age 5-15 years of age. The organization is a faith-based program and opens up with a prayer, song or devotional each day.
She walked me through the colorful rooms decked in yellow, orange, green, and sky blue which in the coming weeks will cultivate the skills and imaginations of future actors, dancers, and photographers.
“We want to identify their gifts and advance who they are,” Moore explained. “We want to offer them a taste of everything.”
She described how each age group will have the opportunity to test their mettle at the fine arts and creative arts classes slated to include acting, improvisation, Zumba, dance, modeling, and singing to name just a few. She was particularly keen on the acting, which “provides an outlet for reading in a different way.
“They are able to act it out, and even those with ADHD or other learning disabilities can tap into that versus the classroom which is more structured.”
Christian, an 11 year old in the program and member of the Oasis Montage acting ensemble agreed.
“The teaching is a different way of learning and really helps us grow.”
Youth counselors will assist with the programs, along with math and reading tutoring.
Kim Whitner, the Vice President of Oasis, will assist with the implementation of an anti-bullying program. Whitner, a mental health counselor, spoke on the therapy aspect of the camp. She expressed the importance of addressing the identity crisis experienced by youth at this stage in their lives.
“We want to tap into why that bully is a bully. It’s about the healing of the child to master the turmoil.”
That will be a key focus on the camp.
“It’s important that we heal both the bullies and those who are being bullied as well,” said Moore.
The finale at the end of the camp will be held August 5 at 3 p.m. with the young artists showcase their newfound talents, including “Genie in Dreamland,” a production modeled on the Wizard of Oz. All campers will be presented with a certificate of completion.
Moore wants parents to know that goal is growth and a “transition in the kids from who they used to be at home to who they are after summer camp.”
Moore and Whitner were also proud of the new bus which will be transporting the children to weekly field trips which will include Six Flags, The Sights & Sounds Museum, The Puppetry Arts Theater in Atlanta and a skating outing.
Registration for the program is $25. It runs through August 4, Monday-Friday, from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be included. CAPS-Childcare Assistance Program will be accepted for the program. For more information or to make donations call 678.523.9902 or log on to www.oasismontage.com.
The camp is located at 383 Fayette Place in Fayetteville.