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This past week I hosted the first of two summer camps I’m putting on in June. Next week is the ubiquitous, ever-popular Minecraft Camp, but this week saw the first inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp at my little school.
I’m not sure why I didn’t conceive of this idea sooner. It’s not an original one, as rock ‘n’ roll fantasy camps have been around for awhile. I’m not Ted Nugent teaching middle-aged yuppies how to play “Stranglehold” in the woods, but porting that concept to rockin’ out with kids is not difficult to do.
But last summer my headmaster kept forwarding me e-mails from a local country club, which was itself hosting a summer rock camp. He did not include any commentary or suggestions along the lines of “you should do this camp,” but I got the message. So when it came time to put together our summer camp catalogue, I tossed Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp into the mix.
My headmaster’s implied suggestion was a good one: the camp was really wonderful. Indeed, it exceeded my expectations, in large part because of the small but talented group of campers who attended. We only had three kids sign up this year, but I’ve had semester-long ensemble classes with that few students, so I knew we could make some musical magic even with a small group. Indeed, we had the perfect number for a classic garage rock band: four (including myself).
Here’s some of the details about the camp—how long it lasted, a breakdown of our days, and the songs we played. Hopefully it will provide a useful blueprint for other music educators looking to host their own camps.
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