I have to admit, I have been remiss in my blogging as of late, but there is a very good reason.
We are deep into the preparations for JAM Camp 2013.
This year’s camp will be bigger and hopefully even better than last year’s. In addition to the great morning instrument classes (which includes lessons in guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and mountain dulcimer with a host of great teachers) we are creating more afternoon activities; meanwhile, keeping the popular ones from last year.
This year, in addition to campers making their own biscuits, they will also learn how to make the preserves to put on their biscuits as well. Joan Thompson from the Siler City Farmer’s Market will teach the preserve making class and Bill and Sims Poindexter will lead the biscuit baking class.
Everyone enjoyed the pottery class last year, so this year we plan to do it again. We plan to add to our pottery experience with Jon Spoon, the Director of the NC Arts Incubator, leading the workshop. We hope to have a JAM Camp 2013 tile for everyone to take home by the end of the week.
We are excited to have Sue Wilson back for a second year. She will hold another workshop in Hammered Dulcimer, which we didn’t seem to get enough of last year. In addition to Hammered Dulcimer, we will also be offering a build-your-own Mountain Dulcimer workshop hosted by Emily Schilling, who is also our Mountain Dulcimer teacher. In this class you will build and decorate your own Dulcimer.
Also back by popular demand is Kathy Schilling and her clogging class. Kathy, a multi-award winning dancer, will be leading afternoon dance workshops in clogging. Kathy will also hold classes on how to square dance, which will be very useful at the Friday Night Barn Dance.
We are adding some new afternoon opportunities with a Native American themed activity by first building a Tepee, which we will then let the campers decorate. Along with the Tepee we will create a sundial, nature boat float and an Orienteering course. Other artistic endeavors somewhat Native American themed, will be focused on a Giant Weaving and Mural project and Jug decorations.
We will once again hold our Jug Band class on Friday, where our students will learn or be reminded of how to play the jugs they decorated earlier in the week along with the art of Kazoo. Last year, Julie Brown, Emily Schilling and myself led this class for the first time. I think we laughed more than we played music, but we found out the beauty of performing while playing a Kazoo…for sure!!! I also found out that playing a jug required a lot more air than I had anticipated, nearly passing out the first time I tried. Needless to say, we now make sure our students know the hazards of too much jug plaing. In addition to the jug, each student will get their own kazoo to play. We will perform a Jug Band song at the Friday Barn Dance show as part of the evening’s pre-Dance entertainment. Along with the Jug Band performance our students will be invited to come up and perform what they’ve learned during camp; you will not want to miss this.
Along with Jug Band class, other afternoon singing and song writing classes will be held again with Laura Thurston leading our folk singing class and Sarah Osborne hosting our song writing workshop. In addition, Jr. Counselors, Abbey Buchanon and Chloe Lang will lead a Taylor Swift song-sing-a-long session slanted more toward the Old Time/Bluegrass sound of her music.
Along with all the learning there will be lots of physical activity with the return of the ever popular 100 ft. water slide. We will add additional water games throughout the week along with various other games and activities. Zach Tomlinson will host a jump rope workshop. You have to see him in action to believe it…a double-dutch master.
Our story teller this year will be Claire Ramsey. We look forward to hearing Claire weave her tales as no one else can. In Claire’s own words, “Therefore, my first wish as a storyteller is to bring all my listeners — children, teens, and adults — to that place where they remember their first stories… where they find themselves again at their parents’, grandparents’, or babysitters’ knees, pictures filling their minds and hearts. Whoever you are, however old you are, Stories With Claire have moments of joy, excitement, and peace for you.”
We are happy to announce our visiting performer this year is Chatham County’s own iconic treasure, Tommy Edwards. Tommy will be visiting us on Wednesday afternoon starting at 2:00 PM. We look forward to hearing Tommy speak and perform for our campers; he always has lots of inspirational words of wisdom to share and beautiful music as well.
The backdrop for the JAM Camp 2013 is the wonderfully restored Silk Hope Farm Heritage Park and the beautiful Silk Hope countryside. Along with this beauty we plan to include some farm related activities and learning experiences similar to last years. Farming is a dynamic lifestyle where weather always plays a major factor. So we never know for sure what activity we will be able to promote until closer to the time of the camp but we promise it will be something all the children will enjoy.
In all, this year promises to be bigger and better with a lot of learning with a whole lot of fun thrown in. If you haven’t registered it’s still not too late to do so.
For more information and to register go online to www.ChamJAM.org/SummerCamp2013.php