Who are our campers?

As we close our first week at FMC 2012 (it’s gone by so quickly!), I thought it might be nice to give a little snapshot of our camp community this year. We have a real variety of folks, both campers and staff, and it’s fun to think about who we all are and where we’re from.

Collectively, we hail from sixteen states, with the greatest concentration unsurprisingly from Ohio. Besides Ohio, we are from Pennsylvania, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Hawaii. We have two current Olney students among us and one camper who arrived late to camp from a year abroad in Germany.

We play over thirty instruments, with many of us playing more than one. Campers are taking lessons in instruments we see every year like guitar, electric bass, piano, voice, percussion, violin, viola, cello, bassoon, oboe, saxophone, clarinet, flute, French horn, trumpet, cornet, and trombone, and also in instruments that are less common to FMC: bass clarinet, string bass, harp, mandolin, and tuba. Several folks also play banjo or ukelele, and staff members have added even more diverse instruments like Sousaphone and harpsichord. The great variety of music here is enriched by how many of us, campers and staff alike, have continued to add instruments and musical styles to our repertoires.

As always, we have both new and returning campers, with the returning campers being in  the majority. It is already hard to tell who is who, as new people become quickly integrated into the community. For the first time (maybe) ever, none of our staff members are new to FMC — that is, they are all returning staff members or former campers, and one is even a current parent. It is phenomenal to work with people who are so connected with the institution and who bring a love and knowledge of what makes it a wonderful place.

Our community is pretty interesting in a lot more ways, but I’ll close with something that I think is probably not unique to FMC, but that is special, and that is the longevity of our relationships. Some of the friendships between people here go back to the earliest years of the camp’s existence. There are staff people who have known each other for decades, several layers of teachers and students who have returned to work here. There are current campers who we’ve known for five, six, seven, ten years. There are current campers who will be on staff one day (I feel certain!). There are campers who have only been here a week who I know we will still see in five years as campers…in ten years as staff….

Relationships that have been formed in this first week could last decades. And that is pretty amazing stuff.



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