There are no words that I can use to say how I felt when I picked my dancer up in Calgary. Her first words were, 'Momma, I don't want to leave. Camp made me fall back in love with dance. I needed this more than I thought I did. Can we stay just a little longer?' This made my heart full. She has nothing but praise for each one of you, dancers, teachers, mentors, friends. Anne Elise continues to speak fondly of her experience at Camp Protege. She has a special smile when she puts on her t-shirt and dances around, then tells us of another moment at camp (we may have heard it before but she tells the stories as if they happened a moment ago and we haven't heard anything about camp yet). She made friends from around the country. She continues to follow them on social media and when they arrive at the same conventions and competitions they act like they have only been apart a moment. They pick up with loud laughter and hugs. Those moments make this momma's heart full. She wears her bracelet like a bride with her wedding band. She contemplates taking it off, she smiles at it on difficult days, and she tells anyone who asks why it is important to her. She gets slightly offended when she is asked to remove it for a picture or performance (only because she doesn't want to loose it), but she knows it is a material item and the memories of camp are in her head and heart not the bracelet.
Melody Garrison, Mother of a Protégé