Heaven is a Talent Show where Everyone Wins

Kids are funny. They will perform for you day in and day out, but when the time comes to actually get on stage, they are all shaky-legs and quiver-lips. I find this intriguing about youth: so much of their daily gestures can be categorized as entertainment. Their words often flow from their mouth like poetry. The little tunes they sing to themselves as they get ready for the day evolve into a catchy melody. Yet they shy away from the beloved and coveted “Camp Talent Show.” A few of my camps this summer have vetoed the all-too-classic night of Talent, but I got my fix in my last three camps: Indiana, Iowa, and Tennessee. Here is the commonality between all three of these shows: there is no winner. Everyone receives applause. Everyone walks off the stage glowing.

In Indiana, it was Cheyanne. Cheyanne approached me a few times during the week, throwing out song ideas at me that she wanted to sing. Finally, she went with Katy Perry’s “Firework.” She asked me to accompany her on the guitar and I willingly obliged. Cheyanne began singing the song in full force, glancing nervously around the room as she

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