Magician awes youth through Braham Community Ed camp

By Elizabeth Sias

Kate Tomlinson never expected to be chopped in half on her summer vacation.

But that’s exactly what a magician did to her Thursday afternoon, June 23, when kids in the YOUth Adventures 4-Day Summer Camp were treated to the Amazing Magic Show by Philip and Henry.

Kate Tomlinson lies still as the magician saws her in half. The magic performance Thursday afternoon was part of the YOUth Adventures Summer Day Camp. Photos by Elizabeth Sias

“This usually works,” the magician joked before sawing through Kate’s midriff.

The kids laughed as Kate lay wide-eyed on the table. Moments later, the magician took the saw apart and Kate was whole once more.

His performance was just one of the many activities the 18 kids in first through sixth grade enjoyed over the four-day summer camp put on by Braham Community Education June 20-23.

They had outdoor activities planned, but were rained out and spent most of their time indoors instead.

Starting out the week on Monday, the kids had a “going green” theme with an environmental quiz. They learned how to recycle and other ways to go green, then made vases out of recycled water bottles and pop bottles. In a scavenger hunt, they helped pick up garbage, but also searched for items like leaves, feathers and acorns.

On Tuesday, they had a game day with board games like Yahtzee, Candyland and Bingo, and then headed to Cambridge-Isanti High School to swim in the pool.

“I think it’s great,” Community Education Teacher Cathy Anderson said. “It provides them with structure, provides them a chance to be with friends and get out in the summer.”

Megan Lanhart secures the magician's head in the stocks, locking him in place before the kids watch in awe as he escapes.

Wednesday morning’s theme was “Pets and Beyond.” The kids got to see a horse, a dog, a hamster, a betta fish and two kittens. They talked about the responsibilities of caring for pets, shared photos of their own pets and decorated picture frames to take home for the photos. In the afternoon, the kids headed over to Braham Lanes to bowl.

Finally, the kids decorated a party room for a “Happy Birthday to You!” segment before the magic show on Thursday where all birthdays were celebrated with trimmings, treats and cakes. They made cupcakes and lollipops, planned games and created homemade presents.

The magician presented a workshop for the kids following his performance, including one trick in which they could make a dollar bill appear to be split in half and then put it back together like new.

“We’ve packed a lot into these four days,” Anderson said. “It’s just a chance for kids to learn things and have fun, and do things they probably wouldn’t do with their families at home.”

The YOUth Adventures 4-Day Summer Camp takes place one week every summer from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for children in 1st through 6th grades. Pre-registration is required.

For more information, contact Community Education Director Cheryl Arnold at 320-396-5219 or visit