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Magic Shows for Eagle Quest Foster Children

A booking agent called and asked if I had 4 Thursdays in a row available in July, luckily I did. This was amazing considering I had 18 other shows booked for the month. Then the agent said it would be some drive time, about 2 hours each way for each of the 4 shows. Still OK. Then they said the shows wouldn’t pay as much as normal because it was a camp for foster kids. High adventure camps for troubled teens will usually pay pretty well because someone is paying a lot to have the kids there. But the foster youth programs don’t have much money to work on, mostly just from donors, so there you go. I decided what the heck and said sure – I’ll do the shows.

The camp was outside of Panguitch, Utah, and was really a camp. There were no buildings, just tents for the kids. There were a couple of porta-pottys. The kids stay a week in rain or shine and they take them to Bryce Canyon, a buffalo ranch, etc. I did the comedy magic shows around a campfire ring, there were about 20 kids ages 11-19, and 5 or 6 adults at each of the 4 shows.

All dressed in Eagle Quest camo t-shirts. The kids were great – they really got into the magic and were very grateful that someone would come clear out there to entertain them. I even took a rabbit to produce and they loved it. Eagle Quest had a different group of kids each week, so I basically did the same show 3 of the 4 weeks.

The last week they had younger kids there, ages 5 – 10. So the last show I did some different tricks that appeal more to them. After each show they lined the kids up and one at a time had their picture taken with me and the rabbit. They make a scrap book for each child at the end of the week and they wanted a picture of each kid with the rabbit. It was great.

I took my wife on week 4 for the last show, it was great. She talked a lot with the founder of Eagle Quest while we had dinner with them and while I did my show. He had some very heart warming as well as heart breaking stories about the kids they had worked with over the years. He had stories of kids that ran away from home and the only thing they took was their scrap book from Eagle Quest activities.

Most of the kids were not trouble makers and were truly victims of circumstance. Many had never spent a night outside of Las Vegas much less in a tent. One 18 year old pulled his sleeping bag out of the tent one night and stayed out until 3:00 AM just looking at the stars. He told the leaders he had never seen stars before, at least not like that. And he watched shooting stars – he had no idea they really existed. Of course the stars are astounding up in the mountains away from the city lights.

I was really glad I did the shows, I look forward to doing them every year if possible. The Eagle Quest people said they would really like to have me. After meeting the kids and hearing some of the stories I almost felt guilty taking any money. Experiences like this really keep you grateful for all you have.

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