Holidays

Meet 5 of the 125 Amazing Military Kids From Camp Broadway

Camp Broadway put on an AMAZING performance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year, and we got to hear personally from 5 of the 125 military kids that were part of this awesome celebration.

Read on to hear about how this impacted their lives – who knows, maybe your military family will get to be there next year!

Camp Broadway/Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade THIS IS A GREAT COUNTRY Costume Fitting at Pearl Studios in New York City on November 19, 2017. Photo by Henry McGee/Camp Broadway

See the full album here


Paris, age 10

Army

My Dad is Active Duty Army at Fort Campbell, KY

“I jumped at the opportunity to participate in the Camp Broadway’s “This is a Great Country” with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade because when they said they were looking for military children I said this has to be for me. I think I represent everything a military child is. I was born and currently am still being raised in the military and have lived all over the world. To have the opportunity to represent other military children in the parade was everything to me, a huge honor. Camp Broadway really provided me an experience of a lifetime that I will never forget and be forever grateful for. For me, my favorite memory of this experience is working with the teachers on how to dance and sing; it was so fun. Also walking in the parade and performing in Herald Square was something I will never forget. I was amazed by all the people lining the streets and the big massive balloons coming down the streets; I still have beautiful dreams about it! This experience as a whole is nothing short of extraordinary.”  ~Paris

Camp Broadway/Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade THIS IS A GREAT COUNTRY Dance Call (w/ Track) at Pearl Studios in New York City on November 20, 2017. Photo by Henry McGee/Camp Broadway


Danika, age 11

Durango, CO

Chad Tella, Uncle, Lt. Commander in the Navy recently stationed Yokosuka, Kanagawa

Brandon Blackburn, Uncle, Army Reserves

James Westergren, Uncle, Retired National Guard

Erik Christensen, Cousin, Marine

James Dionne, Cousin, Air Force

Q: Why did you decide to participate in the Camp Broadway’s “This is a Great Country” opportunity with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? And what are two or three of your favorite memories of being part of the experience?

A: It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I thought it would be fun to meet new people. One of my favorite memories was seeing kids like me with military family; I was happy because my mom could be there because some kids’ parents couldn’t because they were on deployment. The teachers were super nice and helpful with any questions. The last one would be the dance; the dance was fun and you had a partner so you were able to meet a new person.

Q: You are representing thousands of military kids in a parade that millions of people are watching! Tell us some of the thoughts you were thinking when you were marching the parade route. And what will you tell your friends and family back home about the experience?

A: I can’t believe this is happening and just keep smiling and waving your on TV. I know people in the military sacrifice a lot to keep us safe; it was such an honor to do it. It was super fun, I’ve never had an experience like it and I met a lot of interesting kids!

Q: How did you prepare for marching in the parade? Was it scary or exciting or both? And what was the best thing about meeting all of the other military kids?

A: At home I practiced with my music teacher the songs and it was both. I was so happy, but scared because I have never done anything like it. They were super fun and I keep in touch with some of them and to see what interesting places they have lived in.

Camp Broadway/Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade THIS IS A GREAT COUNTRY Dinner at Sardi’s in New York City on November 21, 2017. Photo by Henry McGee/Camp Broadway


Marcus, age 15

Father, Active Duty, Marines

Q: Why did you decide to participate in the Camp Broadway’s “This is a Great Country” opportunity with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? And what are two or three of your favorite memories of being part of the experience?

A: Just being in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was amazing. I wanted to have that experience because it is such a landmark event. I had never been to New York City before. Just being in the city was an experience. I will always remember marching through the streets of New York and waving to all the people. They were packed in all the windows of buildings and smooshed on every inch of the side walk. It was life-changing!

Q: You are representing thousands of military kids in a parade that millions of people are watching! Tell us some of the thoughts you were thinking when you were marching the parade route. And what will you tell your friends and family back home about the experience?

A: I kept thinking about how many people were there to see the parade. There were people of all ages and races, and I felt lucky to march by them all. I was proud, because I wore one of my Dad’s squadron patches – from the unit he was in when I was born. I can’t wait to tell my friends how cool it was to work with Broadway actors for a week and perform on the same place as famous people.

Q: How did you prepare for marching in the parade? Was it scary or exciting or both? And what was the best thing about meeting all of the other military kids?

A: I memorized the song ahead of time. I also watched the sample choreography videos. I was excited to perform on national tv, but I was also scared that I would mess up! It was shocking to me that all the kids had similar stories. Most of us have moved lots of times, yet we all came together for this amazing event. I was glad my dad was there to watch me in person, but I talked to kids who had deployed moms and dads. I know how that feels.

Camp Broadway/Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade THIS IS A GREAT COUNTRY Dress Rehearsal for parents at The Westin Hotel in New York City on November 22, 2017. Photo by Henry McGee/Camp Broadway


Cecilia, age 9

Father, Air Force, Active Duty

Q: How did you prepare for marching in the parade? Was it scary or exciting or both? And what was the best thing about meeting all of the other military kids?

A: To prepare for the parade, I read the song and kept singing it in my head so that I could remember. I also practiced the dance and kept thinking about it in my head. At first, I was scared about being in the parade. But, by the time Thursday came, I was really excited! The best thing about meeting all of the other military kids was finding out where they came from and what branch of service their military member was in!

Camp Broadway/Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade THIS IS A GREAT COUNTRY Sign-In at The American Museum of Natural History in New York City on November 23, 2017. Photo by Henry McGee/Camp Broadway

 


Kai, age 9

Dad in the Coast Guard stationed at Sector Sault in Sault Sainte Marie, MI

Q: Why did you decided to participate in the Camp Broadway’s “This is a Great Country” opportunity with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? And what are two or three of your favorite memories of being part of the experience?

A: I love singing and dancing, being a Coastie kid, and talking about all of those things with people, so the parade was the perfect mix of all of that stuff.  My favorite memories from this was practicing in Harrison Square for the performance in front of Macy’s, going to the fancy dinner with the cast and crew at Sardi’s and meeting Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jojo Siwa, Sabrina Carpenter, James Barbour from Phantom of the Opera, and my new best friend from camp, Skylar.

 Q: You are representing thousands of military kids in a parade that millions of people are watching! Tell us some of the thoughts you were thinking when you were marching the parade route. And what will you tell your friends and family back home about the experience?

A: I was kind of nervous but, excited, too!  I told my friends and family how exciting it was to perform and see the balloons.  I’m gonna tell my kids about this someday, too!

Q: How did you prepare for marching in the parade? Was it scary or exciting or both? And what was the best thing about meeting all of the other military kids?

A: We practiced dancing and singing a lot and my mom bought me good shoes and my mom had me eat a good breakfast, but not drink to much water to late because we might not get to go potty.  And, I prayed right before we started marching, I was super thankful to be doing that, especially on Thanksgiving Day!  It was really cool meeting so many other military kids and hearing what their parents did for jobs in the military and where they were stationed.

Camp Broadway/Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade THIS IS A GREAT COUNTRY Sign-Out at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in New York City on November 23, 2017. Photo by Henry McGee/Camp Broadway

I love singing and dancing, being a Coastie kid, and talking about all of those things with people, so the parade was the perfect mix of all of that stuff. My favorite memories from this was practicing in Harrison Square for the performance in front of Macy’s, going to the fancy dinner with the cast and crew at Sardi’s Restaurant, and meeting Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jojo Siwa, Sabrina Carpenter, James Barbour from Phantom of the Opera, and my new best friend from camp, Skylar. I was kind of nervous but, excited, too! I told my friends and family how exciting it was to perform and see the balloons. My mom told me to take lots of mental pictures. I’m gonna tell my kids about this someday, too! We practiced dancing and singing a lot and my mom bought me good shoes and my mom had me eat a good breakfast, but not drink too much water too late because we might not get to go potty. And, I prayed right before we started marching, I was super thankful to be doing that, especially on Thanksgiving Day! It was really cool meeting so many other military kids and hearing what their parents did for jobs in the military and where they were stationed.

Camp Broadway/Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade THIS IS A GREAT COUNTRY in New York City on November 23, 2017. Photo by Henry McGee/Camp Broadway

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