For 30 years, Roosevelt High School’s Director of Bands Scott Brown has brought the school’s marching band to Camp Casey. The stopover is part of a trip to New Westminster, British Columbia, after marching in the Hyack International Parade. The 100 students come from Roosevelt’s jazz, orchestra, symphonic, and wind instrument ensembles. They share a common love for the marching band.
After so many years of revisiting Camp Casey, Brown has a unique attachment to the property.
“I have the rare perspective of seeing the improvements to the buildings, as well as to the food, over the years,” he said. “The food just keeps getting better and better.”
Brown also appreciates the diverse facilities.
“The auditorium is really important to us. We need to have that stage and a gathering place. We appreciate the new restrooms, too,” he said. “The gym has also been great for us. I can remember some epic Ping-Pong matches in the basement and some knock-down, drag-out basketball games in the gym.”
One annual tradition is playing capture the flag. Each year during the game, the seniors either camouflage or costume themselves and sneak across the field to “attack” Brown with various “weapons,” such as Silly String.
At an annual awards ceremony held during their Casey stay, they poke fun at themselves, as well as recognize musicianship and outstanding efforts. It’s also when classmates bid farewell to the seniors.
Since 1984, Brown has nurtured the program at Seattle’s second largest public school, racking up many awards along the way. This spring, the jazz band won the prestigious Essentially Ellington national competition, beating 14 finalists at Lincoln Center in New York City.
“I love the idea of putting our city kids into such a beautiful, natural setting. Also, the history of the fort and Camp Casey is something important for them to experience,” said Brown. “We’re coming back next year!”