Camp a stepping stone to success

Posted: June 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

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ZANESVILLE --For Zanesville High School graduate Josh Mason, Creating Artists, Stimulating Success Camp has been a stepping stone to his personal success.

He attributes his Rotary award for leadership and Class A Superior rating from solo and ensemble competition for upright bass from the guidance he received from nine years of participation in the youth camps. He now is paying it forward by serving as a mentor to current students.

"If it wasn't for CASS Camp, I probably wouldn't have pursued my music in high school, and wouldn't be considering music as my college major," said Mason, who is planning to attend Muskingum University.

He is spending the week as a camp counselor to help others work toward their future goals.

"I love working with the students. They are the best group you could ask for. We are going to give them that extra push," he said.

The ninth annual CASS Camp began Sunday at Hallowed Hills Conference Center and will continue through Friday. Throughout the week, students will participate in projects geared toward helping them achieve self-esteem, self-confidence and self-awareness in preparation for future careers. Free concerts that are open to the public will take place each evening. Students can continue to register throughout the week.

CASS Camp is part of the nonprofit self-improvement organization CASS-MIND (Creating Artists, Stimulating Success/Making Impact, Negotiating Decisions) founded by life coach Cassandra McDonald.

McDonald said participants had the opportunity to select a business or performing arts category for the week to hone their talents and skills. However, each participant will have opportunities to bring their creative and logical skills together, McDonald said.

"You need both. The purpose of the camp is to balance both sides," she said, adding that expanding both types of talents helps in future career choices. "Every interview is a performance, every outfit is a costume and every stand is a pose. You never speak, dress or stand without a purpose."

CASS Camp is open to all students from kindergarten through 12th grade, with overnight camp for those in seven through 12th grade. New this year is a project that mimics the popular TV show "The Apprentice." In addition, participants will be working with music instructor Craig Lane, of Detroit, throughout the week to create a DVD, and can select from band, drama, sign language, puppets, strings, chorus, vocals or piano for the presentation.

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Camp a stepping stone to success

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June 13th, 2012 at 2:21 pm

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