Day 7: Night in Nature

Campers this morning began their second full day at camp with a breakfast at 8am of scrambled eggs (with appropriate alternatives for those with dietary restrictions), and they all connected with our newest voice teacher, Lucia, as she led an enlivening warmup. All children then went to their theory classes, where many worked on counting, key signatures, and sight reading skills. These theory classes, led by counselors, conductors, and other staff, are one of the most important and exciting things that camp has to offer! Rehearsal came afterwards, Concert Choir getting to finally start singing the much anticipated Carol of the Bells, while Ensemble dove into Carmina Burana. The counselors were sad to see Ecco depart on the buses this morning, but all are excited about the coming year once the 40-something other singers enrolled in Ecco join to make even more beautiful music under Eric Tuan's leadership. With Ecco gone, Performing Department will have Walker Creek Ranch to themselves until Training Department, also known as Camp Joyful Voices, arrives on Sunday. Lunch was burritos, which is what the children were when they snuggled into their sleeping bags for Rest Period. Around 2:00, campers began their free time, either reading around the cabins at tables, diligently working on theory books, or stopping by arts and crafts for shrinky dinks. At 2:30, the pond became available and kids crossed the suspended bridge (or waded through the creek) while coming up with riddles and songs with our friendly neighborhood bridge troll (what we call the counselor assigned to watch over the bridge). Look out for the video of three Concert Choir members earning their passage with a tribute of song learned from Ecco! Recital tonight will go down in camp history - the visiting duo, "Branden & James," who are currently touring with staff member Katie, combined classical opera, cello, and piano, with contemporary pop. The result was a spectacular performance that had something for every camper to love, ending in a standing ovation. After dinner and the final rehearsal of the day, all kids participated in "Night in Nature." CC went with Mr. Brown to a clearing up the road, silently walking in groups of two or three, allowing the natural sounds of our beautiful surroundings to take precedence. Mr. Brown then recited a line of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass and demonstrated the importance of that "barbaric YAWP!" which echoed through the hills majestically. In a pretty magical moment, campers stood in front of their peers and bravely sounded their own unique yawps - an excercize that one camper later reflected felt "good. Like you let everything go." It was very moving. With Ensemble, Eric also brought attention to the sounds of nature and they experimented with a Meredith Monk piece in the near-darkness. He read them a passage from the book he is currently reading, and they also returned to camp for lights out. As is nightly tradition, counselors sang vespers (lullabies; many of which are passed down through generations of the choir family), and bid goodnight to their sleepy campers.


(Click to enlarge)

Beth Beauchamp