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Campers Take Center Stage At New Amphitheater At YMCA Camp In Brookfield

Kids at YMCA Camp Greenknoll in Brookfield try out the new amphitheater.
Kids at YMCA Camp Greenknoll in Brookfield try out the new amphitheater. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox

BROOKFIELD, Conn. — These days, whenever 13-year-old Ryan Wunch of Danbury performs a skit at his day camp at YMCA Camp Greenknoll in Brookfield, he gets to do so on a brand new stage.

"I like how the kids are very involved in the assemblies in the stage area. I also like the camp songs that we can sing on stage. My favorite song is 'Boom Chicka Boom,'" Ryan said.

The amphitheater contains a 24-foot-by-12-foot stage, with 10 long benches facing the stage. The benches have enough space to seat 250 campers.

The stage area is used many times throughout the camp day -- for the opening ceremony, closing ceremony and camp assembly, as well as for drama specials, camp shows and special occasions.

Each week, a different camp group performs a skit. There are 19 groups at the camp, which is at 2 Huckleberry Hill Road and serves campers from Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield and Newtown and beyond.

A total of 100 percent of the materials used to build the amphitheater and benches -- which are made from pressure-treated wood -- came from donations, which were coordinated by Morganti National Inc. in Danbury, according to camp director Sean Turner of Brookfield.

"Prior to this stage area being built, when we got together as a camp, the kids either sat on the grass or on the dirt. The stage was on a hill. This staging area gives a more inclusive feeling of being part of a group," said Turner. "It provides a better sense of belonging."

Camper Kaitlyn Klampert, a 12-year-old from Danbury, said the stage "provides a better view than the grass did."

Brookfield resident Maathangi Nellicherry, 13, said, "This is a lot more comfortable for us."

"It's easier to organize the assemblies now," said 12-year-old Jack Devin of Brookfield.

The 27-year-old camp, which serves kids ages 3 to 15, runs through Aug. 26. This week, there are 380 kids enrolled at the camp.

Turner said next summer he is hoping expand the theater.

For more information on the YMCA or the camps, visit its website or call 203-775-4444.

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