Idina Menzel loved camp so much she started one of her own

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 2.31.31 PMBroadway star and singer-songwriter Idina Menzel went to the now defunct Camp Olympus in the Catskills as a girl and loved it so much she started a camp of her own a few years ago with her husband, Taye Diggs.

“The experience was invaluable,” she is quoted saying on her foundation’s website. “I formed lifelong friendships and learned how to live with others, build my self esteem and be a leader. I sang, I danced, I played sports, I wrote songs.”

Menzel admitted to being a bit of a trouble maker at camp in a 2012 Wall Street Journal article.

On one occasion, she embarked on a raid toward the bunks of Camp Olympus’s male attendees, before bumping into a cow tied to the flagpole—a practical joke unrelated to Ms. Menzel’s own antics.

“We got scared, we screamed, we got caught,” she said. “But we made it over to say hello to the boys!”

Menzel, who will be singing the National Anthem on one of the biggest stages an entertainer can perform on at today’s Super Bowl in Arizona, has starred in Broadway musicals like Rent and Wicked, has had a recurring role on the TV show Glee and voiced Elsa the Snow Queen in Frozen.

Menzel liked camp so much she started the performing arts camp known as Camp BroaderWay in 2011. The camp serves young girls from underserved metro New York communities by providing a 10-day performing arts camp run by Menzel and a team of acclaimed Broadway professionals. It culminates each year with a performance on a New York stage.

For more information on the camp, you can visit

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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