Scout earns Gold Award

CORTLAND – Wanting to combine her love of drama and scouting, a Lakeview High School senior conducted a weeklong theater camp for fellow students.

Cassandra Smith, a recent 2014 Lakeview High School graduate, said for her Gold Award in Girl Scouts, she held “Camp Bulldogs Exploring Life in Theater,” which involved her and other members of the high school’s drama club teaching 10 sixth-graders the different components of acting and theater using original scripts that Smith wrote. Smith and 11 high school students and drama teacher Marty Young instructed the sixth-graders.

On the final day of the camp, the sixth-graders had their final rehearsal for their short one-act shows, which they presented to their families.

”The last day, the students showed all they learned using the original scripts,” she said.

Smith, who is with Girl Scout Troop 80213, said said the six-day theater camp was held at Lakeview Middle School for four days, and the last two days at Lakeview High School.

“I wrote scripts for this and students memorized their parts,” Smith said.

She said when she learned about the Gold Award being something that one is passionate about.

“I love being involved in theater. That led me to do something that had to do with theater. That is when I came up with the idea of theater camp for students, ” Smith said.

Each day at the camp, the students had their own goals to achieve while learning about motivation, blocking, stage presence, scenery and volume.

Smith, who has been a Girl Scout for 12 years, said the camp provided an opportunity for students to try something new.

The students created their own backdrops and props for the scenes for the two scripts, “The Missing Camper” and “Why was the Mess Hall Panted Blue?”

Each student received a certificate for participating.

Drama teacher Marty Young said the members of the Girl Scouts tend to be very creative with their Gold Award projects.

“Cassie is a very organized young lady. I knew when she asked me for help, it would be done well, and it was,” Young said.

“It was really cool and different. I don’t think a lot of people would think of doing this for their Gold Award. This helps prepare the middle school students for drama club when they get into high school. I thought it was really unique,” said Raegen Stack, an eighth-grader.

Mark Toncar, a sophomore, said he wanted to get involved to help the younger students.

“This helps them learn more about drama before they get to high school. When they go to high school and are old enough to be in drama, they will bring experience with them and be less afraid,” he said.

Maggie Bork, sixth-grader, said she had been in plays before but said it was nice to learn from high school students.

“I hope that I can be as good as them when I am in high school,” Bork said.

Smith has until Sept. 30 to earn her Gold Award.