Buddy system at Arizona Magic summer camp creates special bond

Posted at 4:43 AM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 14:58:38-04

We've heard of the buddy system, but at this summer camp that special bond between two people is very important. 

Arizona Magic is a musical theater program where people with disabilities are paired with local high schoolers who are the buddies.

"The practice that they get here prepares them for what is expected of them in the world when they're not at camp," said Vinny Chavez, the camp's program manager. Chavez helps write the original script every single year.   

"Some of our actors are able to read long sentences, even paragraphs," Chavez said. "Other actors can say either one or two words so we take that time to write that script based on who we have." 

The buddies are there for backup just in case a camper forgets their line or just needs a little moral support.  

"I just have so much joy when I’m up on stage that I just love to perform," said Grace Linamen who started attending the camp eight years ago.  

It's pretty obvious everyone is having a great time, even though practice takes some hard work. 

Brian Daniels, who started coming to the camp four years ago, says his favorite parts are "memorizing the scripts and of course the songs."  

The songs are popular -- ones the campers probably already know. At the end of five days, they'll take to the stage with their buddies right behind. 

The performance is Friday, June 23rd at noon. The performance is free and open to the public.