Back from the Most Amazing Place

Yes, it’s that time again. A very, VERY sad time. Are you sitting down?

Jazz Camp is over…………….

I know. It’s a tragic thing. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to experience this truly unique and inexplicable path into the center of human creativity will tell you that we have no idea how we are going to survive the next 51 weeks of our lives without being able to be around each other. Thank goodness for social media! I am always reminded at this time of how difficult it was to keep in touch with my best friends from camp many years ago, when I was attending as a student. I think I only managed to have one single pen-pal who mattered to me, and to whom I mattered enough to be able to keep in touch on a semi-regular basis. I still keep in touch with her today and refer to her endearingly as my “little sis”. However, in remembrance, it truly is quite amazing that we were able to stay in touch.

I also had local friends that attended the camp, and I managed to see them on a regular basis, so that was helpful. Still, there were also the standout musicians that I got to see about twice a year, and who returned to camp every year until they graduated. I have laughed, sweat, and performed with them many times over the years. It’s never enough!

Currently, there are even more people who continue to enter and leave my life through the wonderful medium that is Jazz Camp…. Even more than before. And the best part is that I never have to lose them subsequently throughout the year. Anyone who has made a lasting impression on me at camp (which pretty much amounts to nearly everyone), including those who have attended only once, will always have a special spot in my heart. Not only that, they will also have a constant spot in my thoughts. I will never have to forget about anyone. I really didn’t know how well the human brain actually works until I experienced the wonder of social media.

Years ago, I would never have had the capacity to keep track of even one-tenth the people of whom I can do so now. It is astounding. In addition, I have been able to reconnect with the camp friends of old. Still, even though this is all in place, it definitely does not lighten the heavy weight on my heart every year when we all–campers, counselors, faculty, and staff alike–part ways again after having spent the most amazing and gratifying week of our lives together. I will never forget the laughing, music-making, breakthroughs, and friendships to which we have all contributed!

Here’s to a great camp, and to a wonderful 51 more weeks to wait. May it be speedy! I can’t wait to see you all again!

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YES!! It’s time for Jazz Camp!

Got my shirt on!

Well, here I am! The annual event that made me what I am is finally happening again! I have been looking forward to this for the last 51 weeks. This is the greatest time of the year for me, and I can’t wait to get started working. I’ve been hearing from all of the campers for the past 3 months, intensely counting down the days, and now hours, until the start of camp. It really is like coming home for me.

I just realized that after this week, I will have spent 36 weeks of my life up here for Jazz Camp! That includes 23 weeks of youth camp plus 13 years of adult camp! Another eight years of this, and I will have spent an entire year of my life here! That is sheer dedication, and it goes by so fast! I love this music, and the passing of it down to the next generations of musicians. In my 23rd year at the camp, I’m starting to feel my age a bit. It’s a good thing I started so young!

I just heard that the bus is on its way! Here we go! Bring it on!