By Rose O’Connor | Correspondent
“There are two things I look forward to the most in summer – New York Yankees baseball and the CYO Talent Show!” associate camp director Dan Bossio quipped as he welcomed almost 300 campers and their parents to the annual CYO Summer Camp Talent Show July 9.
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The CYO Day Camp in Yardville is celebrating its 57th season, serving the children and their families during the summer months.
This year, the event was held in the newly completed Monsignor Toomey Annex, which was completed last year.
With prizes such as a pizza party and an extra field trip, the talent show is a competitive event between not only the campers, but their counselors as well.
“It’s a very big deal around here,” Sara Thomas, a camp counselor for the past 13 years, shared. “There’s definitely bragging rights for the winning group for the rest of the summer.”
The groups, comprised by age and gender, practiced their routines and worked on completing their props and costume a couple of weeks prior to the show.
Dylan Borsos, who has served as the music director for the camp for the past three years, looks forward to the event every summer.
“The kids love it,” Borsos said at the conclusion of the show. “Both the campers and the counselors were really into it.”
Borsos was especially pleased with his group, which won an extra field trip for their rendition of the 1980’s Talking Heads hit, “Burning Down the House.”
Lifeguard Lauren Sirak agreed.
“They work so hard and practice a lot, it’s very secretive,” she mentioned of the group’s routines, props and choreography.
Lisa Reichmann, a counselor for 10 years, also celebrated her victory with a group picture, following their first place win. The group honored those men and women who serve in the military with a tribute entitled, “Salute.”
“The girls worked really hard and were really motivated to win!” Reichmann said.
Camper Elizabeth Cyr, who participated in “Salute,” was also proud of her group and their first place win.
“We worked hard, but it’s a lot of fun,” Cyr said.
In addition to these winning acts, the talent show featured cowgirls, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, dancing zombies and even “Taylor Swift!”
“It gets better and better every year,” Patrick Hardimann, director of the day camp said as he praised his staff and the counselors.
“They work so hard and it takes a complete team effort to take on such an event,” he offered.
He also expressed his gratitude for the Monsignor Toomey Annex, which has proven to be a wonderful addition to the CYO Day Camp program.
This new building was named after the founder of the CYO in Mercer County, the late Msgr. Leonard R. Toomey.
“It has been everything we thought it would be,” Hardimann acknowledged of the recent addition. “We can offer more options and activities for the campers on hot days and rainy days,” he said, then reiterated how the camp offers so many exciting opportunities and activities that aim to develop campers in “body, mind and spirit.”
The campers are also looking forward to the camp carnival in August, when the grounds will be transformed into a fair ground, complete with bouncers, face painting and games.
While the campers no doubt love their summer adventures at the day camp, their parents are pleased with their summer experiences as well.
“She really likes it; she loves all of the activities here,” Phil Cyr, said on behalf of his daughter Elizabeth.
Her mother, Patty Hicks, concurred. “She is learning social skills, core values and that she can do anything.”
Pam Cecala praised the CYO Day Camp as she spoke of the experiences of her seven-year-old daughter, Nina.
“It’s her first year of camp and we love it. She’s busy and having fun and loves the counselors and the kids,” Cecala said.
“We measure success by how many new friendships have been formed and how many friendships have been re-kindled,” Bossio offered prior to the start of the show. “So far this summer has been very successful.”