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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Air Force teens interested in the performing arts are eligible for an expenses-paid trip to the Missoula Children’s Theatre 2004 Performing Arts Camp in Montana this summer.

Teens selected will receive airfare, lodging, food and admission to the camp, an intense training program for singing, acting and dance set in rustic Montana.

The camp has waterfront activities for fun, but according to participants, the venture is hard work.

“You have to be serious about it because it’s hard, but it’s still a lot of fun,” said Catherine Hoffman, 13, from Yokota Middle School, one of last year’s winners.

To enter, teens must submit an application and audition tape to the Teen Center by Feb. 28.

Winners will attend the camp, set for July 26 to July 30 at the Seeley Lake, Mont., camping area. Participants must be between ages 14 and 18 as of July 1.

Hoffman said it was a little scary traveling alone and venturing into a group of unfamiliar people.

“Once I got to know everyone in my cabin, I was fine,” she said.

The teens practice voice, acting and dance for about seven hours a day.

Missoula is hosting the Air Force Family Member Program’s Youth Performing Arts Camp as part of the 2004 Nell Buckley Performing Arts Series.

Teens interested in applying should contact their teen center for details.

Hoffman, who is applying again this year, offers some advice for those curious about the endeavor: “You have a reason to be nervous about it, but once you get there and meet all the wonderful people, you’ll be fine.”

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