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Fantastic Magic Camp

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Fantastic Magic Camp, originally known as the Kent Cummins Magic Camp, has been holding an annual summer day camp in Austin, Texas since 1993 teaching life skills and confidence through magic, juggling, and puppets to kids ages 5 through 12.

History

In March of 1993, Robert Crampton suggested to Kent Cummins that he should combine his magic, juggling, and puppetry programs into a camp. Cummins recruited the assistance of Peter Hinrichs (AKA Peter the Adequate) who at the time was working with him on a number of projects under the umbrella of “Magic Hotline.” The Magic Camp officially opened in June of 1993.

George Skaggs, Manager of Westgate Mall, agreed to provide open space to get the camp started. This space served the camp well for the first four years, but then closed its doors. For three years the camp enjoyed the indoor and outdoor facilities of the Sri Atmananda Memorial School campus at 4100 Red River in central Austin.

Starting in the new millennium, the camp began setting up partnerships with schools in the Austin Independent School District, the first with Baranoff Elementary, then T.A. Brown Elementary, Ridgetop Elementary, Fulmore Middle School, and Bedichek Middle School. Over the years they have also had partnerships with the Austin Waldorf School, Concordia University, Trinity United Methodist Church, St. John’s Presbyterian Church, The Khabele School, Soccer Zone and GattiTown. The eventually returned to Highland Mall.

Kent’s wife, Margot, handled the increasingly complex administrative chores of the camp for seventeen years. Kent’s mom was the “Grandmother-In-Residence” and puppetry coordinator for many of the first years and helped set the tone for much of what goes on at the camp. Jason Caballero, was the first counselor and Camp Manager and Gus Davis, also known as “Gusto the Great,” who was a camper at our first camp and later became our first Counselor in Training, a Counselor, Junior Staff Member, Camp Director, and eventually a Board member. Cody Fisher as Camp Manager in 1997.

Peter the Adequate eventually moved to Branson, Missouri to perform. Kent then decided that it was time to let others take on the role of running the camp. With the help of Doctor Stan Seaton, a board was formed and a new director, Aaron Parker-Fasel was hired. A few years later, Kent officially retired from Magic Camp, selling it to a new board made up of Austin Witt (a former camper), Aaron Parker-Fasel (a former counselor), and Bertil Fredstrom (a professional magician who moved to Texas from Sweden). At that point, the camp was re-named “Fantastic Magic Camp” as a tribute to its founder who for most of his career has performed under the stage name of “The Fantastic Kent Cummins.”[1]

References

  1. http://magiccamp.com/about-our-summer-camp/