Hilarity as a healer? It couldn’t hurt!


You bring the marshmallows; Brad Trackman will bring the roast.

A comedy camp for kids? Take my teens — please!

But that's exactly what Trackman — a national headlining comedian with many cable and late-night TV appearances to his case of credits — is attempting to do: Taking teens whose big battles may be with acne and awkwardness, and changing the complexion of their lives, building confidence, destroying diffidence.

A Jewish kid walks into a club … no, really, the club is Center City's Helium, where Trackman is conducting his Comedy Bootcamp for Teens (www.philadelphiacomedyacademy.com) with a two-week stint beginning on Aug. 3.

Of course, you don't have to be Jewish to like wry humor.

And the notion and nostrum of hilarity as a healer?

It couldn't hurt.

"And lunch is included," says the Jersey boy from Medford.

But, he advises, it is BYOH: "Bring your own humor."

Snack on this: "It's four hours each day, and the kids who take the class come out with the ability to do stand-up," which they will do on "parents' day" — performing at session's end before friends and family.

Trackman has already made a lot of friends in the business, and it is his years of experience that help make him a top-notch teacher — he also teaches comedy at Helium, much as he's done at other clubs over the years.

Camp arts-and-crafts? Just the art of refining the craft of making others laugh.

"Nothing other than doing stand-up comedy," he says of weenie roasts of jokes.

And what's better than a good laugh?

"It's the best way to get ready for the Bar Mitzvah," he says of preparing a teenager to stand before crowds. "Children who come will leave with more self-confidence and better writing skills."

It should go better than Trackman's camp experiences as a kid.

His personal track record?

"Not good," he recalls of leaving after just two days of day camp.

"I didn't like the hours."

And while there will be no archery at this camp — "but there will be balloons" — there also will be no boots given out, despite the inherent promise in the camp's name.

Trackman does make one promise, however: "A child taking this camp will go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize!"


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