Looking at celebrity summer camps -- We investigate what underprivileged kids can expect from camps run by Mariah Carey, Tyra Banks, Usher, and Britney Spears

By Margeaux Watson
July 08, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Live 8’s not the only philanthropic cause that’s dear to the biggest names in music this summer. Indeed, while Paul McCartney, Elton John, U2, and Madonna bask in the afterglow of their united effort to combat global poverty, Mariah Carey, Usher, Britney Spears, and Tyra ”Shake Ya Body” Banks lead the charge of pop stars whose mission is to aid America’s underprivileged youth by sponsoring all-expenses-paid summer camps. Here’s what these happy campers can expect.

CAMP MARIAH

Celebrity sponsor: The newly emancipated Mimi
Theme: Career awareness
Where it?s at: The Fresh Air Fund’s Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill, N.Y.
Length of stay: Three and a half weeks
Capacity: 300
Activities: Introductory lessons on how to be a star, including creative writing, fashion design, and dance.
Celebrity perks: Carey herself never spends the night (though she does drop by), but she could: The camp boasts surprisingly comfortable accommodations.

TZONE

Celebrity sponsor: Super role model-turned-singer Tyra Banks
Themes: Self-empowerment and sisterhood
Where it?s at: An undisclosed college campus in Southern California
Length of stay: One week
Capacity: 60
Activities: Trust-building exercises and nightly girl talk.
Celebrity perks: Not unlike the formula for America’s Next Top Model, Banks’ periodic presence is supplemented by appearances by her famous friends.

CAMP NEW LOOK

Celebrity sponsor: Usher
Themes: Sports and entertainment
Where it?s at: Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta
Length of stay: Two weeks
Capacity: 150 Activities: Networking opportunities with music producers, fashion stylists, and other members of Usher’s entourage.
Celebrity perks: The program will culminate in an All-Star Celebrity Basketball Game and Half-Time Show featuring Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets.

SUMMER STARS CAMP FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

Celebrity sponsor: Britney Spears
Theme: Duh!
Where it?s at: Camp Wing in Duxbury, Mass.
Length of stay: Five days
Capacity: 75
Activities: A dizzying assortment of master classes, including blues performance, juggling, set design — even archery.
Celebrity perks: None that we know of. Unfortunately, the expecting Mrs. Federline will not be able to attend this year. But did we mention that there’s juggling?

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