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Lugdon Lodge campers to enact fun play about a County potato

EAGLE LAKE, Maine — Children participating in a week long Acting Out camping session at Lugdon Lodge will perform a very special show for the public Friday evening.

Campers at the Acting Out camping session at Lugdon Lodge have their first read through of the play “Under the Shadow of the Moose,” on Sunday, July 8. (Courtesy of Shannon Lugdon)

The play is titled, “Under the Shadow of the Moose,” written especially for the area by Ben Regan of Prismatic Magic in New Jersey, who has worked with Lugdon Lodge campers in annual Acting Out sessions for the past five years. He also is the show’s director.

The play has a fun plot relevant to the local area, according to Lugdon Lodge co-director, Shannon Lugdon.

“This show is a mystery. It’s set in Aroostook County. There is a detective named Ace Thibodeau,” Lugdon said. “It’s about a missing golden potato. It’s got the corney villains; it’s great.”  

Lugdon also revealed one of the many humorous lines from the comedic mystery which plays on the familiar French last name of the main character:

“Either you Thibo-do, or you Thibo-don’t.”

Family members of all ages will enjoy the play, Lugdon said, which features about 15 actors/campers ages 4 and up.

Shannon Lugdon’s mother, Marion Lugdon, an educator, founded the program in 2008.

“Being in the school system she saw a lot of kids need a little more structured activity in the summer, some outdoor activity. Also the arts are getting cut in schools so this is sort of combining all of that,” Shannon Lugdon said.

The campers hold play rehearsals twice each day, play musical instruments and participate in fun skits and songs. They also kayak, swim, hike, play volleyball and tell stories by campfire at the lodge located at 1695 Sly Brook Road in Eagle Lake.

“The lodge has terrible cell (phone) service so we don’t have to monitor cell phones much,” Shannon Lugdon said. “(The campers) are just as quick to grab instruments and play their music as pick up a phone.”

At the end of the week, the Acting Out campers perform a play for a live audience. The play will be performed at the new community center in Wallagrass to accommodate an audience as there is no auditorium at Lugdon Lodge.

The Acting Out program is one of three annual week-long camping sessions which Lugdon Lodge hosts. Lugdon Adventure will begin on July 15 followed by Deboullie Adventure which begins on July 22. All camping sessions run from Sunday through Friday.

Campers can either choose the full overnight camping experience or just attend day camp if that is what they or their parents prefer.

Shannon Lugdon said Lugdon Lodge is able to keep costs low for campers due to a bartering system and camp sponsorships.

“We are one of the cheapest overnight camps in the state,” she said, with a week of overnight camping at $300 and day camping for $200 a week.

Some staff members work for free to sponsor a relative or friend’s child. Some children receive free or reduced rates by agreeing to help out with cleaning the campground, or their parents may agree to help with cleanup services in exchange for a free or reduced price campership.

Individuals or organizations also can buy sponsorships for a child they know or to help out someone they don’t know.

Lugdon Lodge also offers a guiding service in the fall, cabin rentals year round and dog sled rides in the winter, so some who agree to staff the children’s summer camp sessions may do so in exchange for the use of some of those services.

The Lugdon Lodge Acting Out campers will present “Under the Shadow of the Moose” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 13 at the Wallagrass Community Center (formerly the Wallagrass Elementary School) at 45 Church Street. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students ages 18 and under. The play will last about an hour and be followed by a  Prismatic Magic laser light show with music and dancing for all ages.

For more information or to register for upcoming camping sessions, visit the Lugdon Lodge Facebook page or call (207) 444-4557.

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