Hippodrome Foundation offers Baltimore kids shot at the stage

BALTIMORE - Many children are spending the summer in various camps spending time at the pool, and learning about what they may want to be when they grow up.

One camp is a bit different than most and the presentation at the end isn't your typical recital it's a full on production.

Direction. Correction. Encouragement.

That's what children get at Camp Hippodrome, a summer drama program that promotes learning the performing arts in Baltimore.

The camp is sponsored by the Hippodrome Foundation. The Summer-long series of one-week camps host more than 300 middle school students from partnering schools.

"Really hard to teach them in four days but with these kids they want to learn and they're really excited to learn about this stuff," Jordam Gillespie, a camp counselor, said.

This camp is about more than just performing. It pushes youth from the shadows of shyness and shines light on hidden talents

"Having a stage presence being on stage you know, I feel like when I get on stage I'm supposed to be there,” Imani Turner, an eighth grade student, said.

Anisa Reid, also an eighth grader, added, “I learned that I can sing very well and do theater and I can become something if I try hard"

One of the older students, David Guzman said, "I haven't really done anything with tech until the camp and I learned all this tech things that can help me in the future in my career"

And the Hippodrome Foundation makes sure everyone can attend.

"Camps like this would be maybe $1,000 just for this one week and it's free for them and that's another thing I like seeing is the diversity of all the kids,” James Cooper, a camp counselor, said.

The campers will be performing on stage before invited guests Friday. But don't come expecting a middle school recital 

"They shouldn't expect a bunch of kids,” Turner said. “They should expect people that are older than usual, people that have grown and people that will do their best and it will be great"