Jackie Baron, a 13 year old from New Jersey, has spent her entire summer at JKCP's Xploration summer camp for middle school students. She was able to take advantage of our music class and the awesome opportunity to record in a real recording studio, along with make lasting friendships outside of the classroom. In the past she has experienced other traditional sleepaway camps but she talks about her experience at JKCP and why she finds her time spent here was more meaningful.
Interviewer: How did you decide you wanted to come and stay for the whole summer and not just for a week or two?
Jackie: Well what I did for the past few summers is I went to a traditional sleepaway camp, but I had issues with some of the girls. Originally I was signed up for four weeks and my parents said if I really liked it I could stay for the rest of the summer. I have been having a great summer so I asked them if I could stay longer, and they agreed!
Interviewer: Since you’ve had experience with other sleepaway camps in the past what made this experience different for you?
Jackie: Well, we get to choose what we want to do all the time. It’s not like we’re forced to be doing anything, especially sports, which is not one of my favorite things to do. I get to choose what I do and that makes it more fun.
Interviewer: Since you have spent most of your summer here what Xploration summer classes have you been able to take?
Jackie: I’ve taken music as my morning class the entire summer because I really love music and haven’t had the chance to explore it at home, so I figured I might as well take advantage of this opportunity. I like going to the recording studio and recording music because I don’t think you get that chance often at other places.
Interviewer: Can you talk a little bit more about the program, like what you guys do on a daily basis?
Jackie: Basically, on Monday, depending on how many people come, we get into groups of what kind of music people like and what everyone’s capable of doing, like what instruments they play, and then we get into bands and we all get instructors. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday we pick and rehearse songs, and then Thursday we go to the recording studio and record them, and Friday we go to Love Park and perform them.
Interviewer: What really makes this music program great for you?
Jackie: Well, since I was really little, I’ve always dreamed of being a celebrity and I kind of get the experience without having fans and crazy people stalking me and the troubles with that.
Interviewer: When you perform at Love Park there are people who walk by and listen, correct?
Interviewer: How does that feel?
Jackie: It feels really awesome, especially when you come back week after week, I noticed some of the same people that come back.
Interviewer: That’s awesome. Since you’ve been here the whole summer, do you think you’re going to come back again next year?
Interviewer: What would you say to a family who is considering sending their child here for the summer?
Jackie: I really love it. The hardest thing though, at camp in general, is when people leave, honestly. But it’s a lot of fun and I love it. We’re seriously like a family. I thought my old camp was family, but this is really family. We even eat off of each other’s plates without caring, it’s amazing. I’ve never found that anywhere else, not even with my friends at home.
Jackie: The one thing my parents told me before I left is, “If you have friends that are staying for just one week, don’t be really sad when they leave. Get their phone number so you can stay in contact with them when they do leave.”
Interviewer: That makes sense.
Jackie: Cause one of my friends left a few weeks ago, and she lives in Spain, and we FaceTime almost every day.
Interviewer: That’s awesome! That’s great to hear you are already keeping in contact.
Jackie: Yeah. She was like my best friend. I love her.