‘Camp Mackle’s Got Talent’: Campers in city’s summer program take their show on the road

Lance Shearer


School’s back in session – but during the summer break, dozens of Marco Island children were kept engaged and energized – and supervised, a key point for working parents – at Camp Mackle.

Run by the City of Marco Island Parks & Recreation Department, this summer, with Mackle Park facilities undergoing a major renovation and expansion, activities were based in temporary quarters at the Family Church on Winterberry Drive.

On Monday, they changed venue again, coming to the Rose History Auditorium to put on a show.

“Camp Mackle’s Got Talent,” the traditional end-of-summer presentation, presented 17 acts by the children, most of them entering grades one through five. With camp counselor Teaker Harris acting as emcee, and inflicting some real groaners of jokes on the audience, the kids sang and danced – mostly danced – up on the stage.

Bookending the musical numbers, which almost unanimously offered a hip or EDM beat, were magic tricks, by Tebow, Caleb and Cole near the beginning of the program, and a polished performance by Tyler, with Emma in the role of lovely assistance, just before the last big dance number.

With the lighting in the history auditorium always marginal, many of the numbers were performed in half light, and blackouts between acts had the kids groping around to find their places. But the audience, heavy on parents, siblings, and the campers themselves, loved the performances, and rewarded each troupe with a sustained round of applause.

Some dancers required the “lights out” approach, using glow sticks as body decorations to turn themselves into neon signs.

Sybil Berryman enjoyed the performances, especially Mia, her daughter, dancing to “You’re Welcome” – not that she’s biased.

“I was impressed by her bravery – she danced all by herself,” said Sybil. “She dances all the time, but it was great to see these kids develop routines and then show them off.”

From the opening number, the National Anthem by Peyton, to the big finale with a “surprise group” coming onstage for “Calling All the Monsters,” a good time was had by all, said City of Marco Island Recreation Manager Lola Dial.

Next year, Camp Mackle will be back at Mackle Park.