Everyone comes to cosplay a little differently. Sometimes, it’s through a convention, where you get hooked on the costumes, or sometimes, it’s because you were obsessed with Halloween as a kid. For kids in Madison, Connecticut, it might be because they attended cosplay camp.
This summer, the Madison Art Barn, a nonprofit designed to impart kids with skills to realize their passions in the arts will hold Cosplay Camp as part of their summer programming for kids in grades three and up. The program will run from July 5th through July 8th, a week in which campers will get to dress up as a different character every day, and will learn how to make costumes over the course of the week for a final Comi-Con day.
Amy Johnson, the Program Coordinator for The Barn explained that for years, they’ve worked to provide programming that was “focused around the arts, specifically Theater.” Over the years, they’ve begun to realize that a number of their campers were specifically interested in cosplay. “We have wanted to start a club, but before we set that up, we thought we would give aspiring cosplayers a themed camp just for them!”
This is the first year in which they’ve planned to run the programming, and Johnson says that the week will consist of three themed days: Pirates, Medieval, and Western. “Each day activities and games will be chosen based on the theme to allow them to remain in character and have fun with it.” In addition to that, part of the day’s programming will provide campers with the resources to build their own costume, which they’ll build and show off by the end of the week. “Our Instructor will be a High School student who has an extensive closet of characters and a good following on TikTok,” she explained.
The goal, Johnson says, is that they’ll be able to “learn the needs of the local cosplay youth community and in what ways we can help them achieve their goals, whether it be to meet other players, create costumes, film characters, etc.” The camp will provide an environment for those aspiring cosplayers to build in “an inclusive, welcoming, and judgment free place to follow their passions, whatever they may be,” she explained, as well as imparting “an increased self confidence and a drive to become whatever they can imagine,” and new friends and fellow cosplayers to share their interest with.”
The program will cost participants $308 for the week. We look forward to seeing what they come up with!