I totally dropped the ball when it came to enrolling the kids in summer activities. Normally I have them in at least six weeks of classes or lessons, but life was so hectic around sign up time that I missed out on the majority of options. Luckily, I managed to get them into one activity each: James into swim lessons, and Annie into something called Pop Star Camp.

Pop Star Camp promised that participants would, “unleash their inner star and learn how to perform all the current hits!” It also promised to teach kids “singing and voice technique as well as how to own the stage and exude real star quality!” That sounds like a threat.

No surprise, Annie was ALL ABOUT IT. Every day before camp turned into a fashion show because Annie had to try on 187 different outfits and accessories to “illustrate my vibe,” (OMG). Every outfit had to include LOTS of sparkles. “I have to be visible from the stage.” OK.

The camp ran for five days, for three hours each day. There were eight kids in the class, and their instructor had endless patience. He walked them through learning the words to five different songs, plus choreography. Every night after camp, Annie would practice her moves. It was really cute.

The camp ended with a big performance where the kids were “encouraged to express themselves with the outfit their choosing for the show. To some, this may mean formal wear or costumes, and others may simply want to wear their typical camp attire.” Annabel expressed herself with this outfit:


And also pink eye shadow and pink jewels stuck to her face.

(“Pop stars don’t always smile, Mom,” she told me.)

She said she felt, “a little bit like a princess, a little bit like Taylor Swift.” Every day I strive to be a little bit like a princess, a little bit like Oprah, so I get it.

The kids sang, “Shake it Off,” by Taylor Swift, “Roar,” by Katy Perry, and “How Far I’ll Go,” from Moana. After a brief intermission, the kids came back with “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” by Justin Timberlake and “Call Me Maybe,” by Carly Rae Jepson. Annie was INTO IT.


During the last song, each kid got solo time. She was especially into that.

Poor James was very jealous of Anne’s pop star camp (kids have to be six years old to enroll), but he was good for her performance and even asked her to teach him her dance moves when they got home, which she did.

I’ve sat through countless pop star performances since.