It’s not your parents’ camp anymore. There are no lessons in pitching a tent at this “camp,” just pitch-perfect practice. Although it’s thought that to become a proficient musician, one must spend countless hours practicing and rehearsing, students of music often attribute their success to teachers and mentors who are demanding and exacting. Successful directors like Brad Smith, music director at Eckstein Middle School, recognize the tremendous dedication required from students. Instruction and practice is essential to develop an orchestra worthy of recognition, but when directing a youth orchestra, much more is in play.
In addition to the standard hours of practice and rehearsals in the school’s classrooms, Eckstein Middle School’s music director takes his group to camp every year. Yes, while at camp the students take advantage of Casey’s numerous of meeting spaces to break out into smaller groups for instrument and skill level-specific instruction. The large meeting spaces also provide the benefit of bringing the entire orchestra together for rehearsals. But these are not the sole benefits of bringing the group to Casey. The special ingredients that are unique to the camp experience are the friendships built, sense of belonging developed, and community spirit fostered.
When Sandy Miller, parent of one of the students and one of this year’s camp chaperones, was asked what she has found most memorable about Camp Casey, she credited the large variety of meeting spaces for breakout sessions, collocated with lodging and meal service. She quickly added, “The Casey staff makes all the difference.” As an example, Barb, the food service provider, proactively sought out the chaperones to ask about any special considerations for managing the group during the meal service. This is a big help when chaperoning a large group of children.
There is no retreat or camp goal out of reach when combining the natural setting of Casey with the benefits of having a plenty of meeting facilities, group lodging, and healthy meal service. When you are looking to connect, learn, and discover, give Camp Casey a try.