A Magical Experience:
Local Children Discover Magic!
By Layla Farmer
Do you believe in magic? Whether it's
as simple as guessing which playing card is in the holder's hand or
as complicated as making objects disappear, magic has seemingly been
a source of entertainment forever, but Scott Ertl believes its powers
reach far beyond simple entertainment.
"I like doing the magic camp in the summertime to help the quiet kids be able to get some kind of confidence and composure to be able to stand in front of the public, to be able to speak," Ertl explained. "For shier kids, it helps to have something to help initiate conversation. For the other extreme of kids that are really rambunctious, it's a way to help channel their energy to get attention in a positive way."
Ertl began the Fun Magic Camp eleven years ago as part of a larger festival. "I was up in Hancock, New York at the French Woods Festival at Fulman Arts; it's a camp up there," he explained. "A thousand kids come to that camp every year. It's huge."
Although he kept most of the same principles intact, Ertl changed the structure of the camp when he moved Winston and started his own camp six years ago. "This camp is real small. We only have 15 kids at a time," he commented. "I wanted to keep my group smaller so I could have more one on one interaction with the kids."
Ertl has made interacting with children his life's work; the Magic Camp in the summer is only one component. "I'm actually an elementary school counselor over at Marvin Ward Elementary School," he said. "This is my sixth year of doing camp here and I actually just finished my sixth year at Ward."
The final session of Fun Magic Camp ends this Friday with a magic show at Unity Church on Stratford Road, where the camp is housed. When the children take their final bows, the camp will be over, for now. Demand for the camp is high and there's no doubt the camp will be back in full force next year, just in time to beat those summer blues.
Ertl will be there too, eager to mystify entertain and embolden yet another generation of campers. "I love being a part of this camp," he remarked. Why? The answer is obvious-Scott Ertl believes in magic.