Long-time readers may remember that I’ve attended this event for several years now. It all started when an old lady paid my way, and I wouldn’t let her do it again. If I hadn’t already paid (and gotten my local commuter rate) I wouldn’t have made the time for it, but in retrospect, it’s always well-placed to give me respite at the end of the summer.
It started on Friday night, as usual, with check-in, dinner, introductions, and a quick rehearsal. We butchered half the pieces as we sight-read them. This year, however, they were going to split the talent show and have half of the acts performed on Friday night. (Things prepared in advance.) Then have another Saturday for impromptu things. Unfortunately, I had spent a long day climbing the tower on little sleep, and was too exhausted. I regret not attending, as the show is usually very diverse and full of talent.
Saturday was full of rehearsals, and a couple workshops. I attended one on “Contemporary Praise Basics” which turned into more of a discussion & sharing session rather than structured instruction. I skipped on the other session, determining to author last year’s performance for any that wanted a copy.
As always, the food was excellent, and there’s just a laid-back ‘vibe’ of being at camp in the woods that soothes my soul. I bought a new travel mug from a wood-turning wizard that attends, and enjoyed listening to the drummers for a change.
That night, I through caution to the wind, and sang “Ghost Chickens in the Sky” for the group. I was very nervous, though. It was sung accapella, in front of skilled people, with a new verse from Youtube, plus I added more audience participation. It must have been okay, because I got a couple compliments.
As a thirty-something, I was comfortably in the middle of the age range, allowing me to rub elbows with my ‘elders’ as well as strike up conversations with the EOU students, too. Turned out one student was the son of my professional counterpart elsewhere in the state. Josh R. returned to be our conductor, and I got to sing with my kids’ former music teacher too.
Josh is quite a free spirit, and though I might roll my eyes (mentally) at his suggestions, I trust his expertise, and it always leads to improvement. He showed us the ‘voicing’ process, as he rearranged us, and gave me the confidence to accept a short solo & duet at the performance!
If you’re interested, here’s a link to the Methodist Camp website, where they host all sorts of events, not limited to just Methodist members: http://wallowalake.gocamping.org/
Next year’s dates are August 4th-7th, 2017, with registration opening in early spring sometime. Until then, I hope everyone can do something for themselves that recharges their soul. It may not be a weekend retreat, but it’s important to take time for those things that “fill your cup.”