Friday, February 23, 2007

"American Idol" plans Children's Summer Camp - Idol Camp

LOS ANGELES - The blockbuster television show "American Idol" announced on Thursday its first children's summer camp for the performing arts.

The creators and producers of the TV reality search for the next pop star -- averaging some 30 million viewers per broadcast in its sixth season -- said the residential camp was aimed at 12- to 15-year-olds with a passion for the arts.

"Idol Camp" will take a total of 700 youngsters over four 10-day sessions at a private school in Massachusetts.

Celebrity artists, including former Idols, are expected to drop into classes on audition techniques, dancing, and music video production as well as traditional camp activities like swimming and sports.

"As in "American Idol," the goal for our kids is to soar beyond their expectations; however, because "Idol Camp" is not a competition; every kid goes home a winner," said Keith Hindle, executive vice president of the show's licensor FremantleMedia.

The cost of a stay is $2,900 but a limited number of scholarships will be available to reach a cross-section of eager performers.

Enrollment will not be based on auditions and the children will not be judged by the TV panel of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. Organizers said applicants would have to demonstrate "enthusiasm, dedication, a desire to perform and a passion for the arts."

"This has been in the works for some time. The brand has just exploded," said a spokeswoman, adding the camp might expand to other venues and other nations if the first year is a success.

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