Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Published 8:49 PM by with 0 comment

(Late) About Guitar Camp

Guitar camp was amazing. Like always, of course! During the course of the week, I felt...

- bittersweet. Becoming an adult is hard, especially when most of your friends are still not adults. I GREATLY enjoyed teaching, don't get me wrong, but I still wanted to hang out with the older students there, who are between the ages of fourteen and eighteen; they've been my friends for years, and I don't want to just quit hanging out with them just because I'm a teacher now! Especially since they're some of the most awesome people I know. But I did make an effort to socialize around the other "grown-ups" more. It was hard. But it worked out.

- LOVED! I never realize how often I get hugs at camp until I have to leave. I am hugged probably every half an hour, every day, all day, and most of the night until I go to bed. I adore hugs, and can never get enough of them! It's so cool to get hugs constantly from the wonderful kids and adults at camp, from seven year old Emily to *cough cough* year old Kevin, the most advanced teacher at camp. Lots of hugs. It's a motto : )

- useful. Like I said, I really enjoyed the teaching I was able to do. The ensemble I coached only had four kids in it, but they were great. I enjoyed working with them. We played a rather difficult piece for their level, the pop song called "Mad World" from the movie Donnie Darko. They really stepped up to the plate! Plus, I was able to offer some individual coaching sessions with some of the students at camp; whether the instruction I provided was helpful or not, I don't know, but I hope they didn't leave without feeling that they benefited from what I said!

- refreshed. I always come away from camp with a renewed desire to teach. Spending the week with some of the best teachers in the country is more wonderful than I can describe. I even am beginning to feel the renewed desire to practice, which hasn't happened since I gave my senior recital and graduated! I've been working on some Chet Atkins tunes, Take Five and Music to Watch Girls By. Lovely songs.

- happy. I am happy when I can spend time with people I admire, care for, and respect, both for their musical qualities and for their moral character. There are many such people at guitar camp, both young and old.

- deepened. What a joy to deepen my relationships with people who I usually get to see only once a year. I absolutely love spending time with Alec, who lives in St. Louis, and I'm able to see him every week, sometimes more when we hang out or go to concerts; the same goes for all the other students in the St. Louis ensemble who I get to see frequently. But I rarely get to see my friends from other parts of the country! I enjoyed meeting Katie, who reminds me so much of myself that it's scary (in a good way!), and who is set on her way to become a great leader and a fantastic guitarist. It was good to discuss college plans with Ryan, as he looks forward to one more year of highschool. Rachel was just as much a sweet girl as always; she is one of the most beautiful people I know, both inside and out. She'll go on to do great things, if she sets her mind to it! Tyler actually talked with me for the first time. Out of hundreds of young guitarists I've seen, he's one of the first that I would bet could go win the GFA in a few years if he keeps up the practicing and hard work. And Eliot... I wish he didn't live in Texas. I loved waking up in the morning and joining him on the bench by the pond, watching the early mist rising up into the sky and talking until it was time for breakfast. I wish we had more opportunities for that.

This isn't even touching on all the other amazing things that happened, like...

...listening to Eliot play the most gorgeous, haunting music at night on the dock, as I and several others lay on our backs and watched shooting stars...

...black-berry picking with the little girls (a seven year old and two nine year olds) in the woods surrounding the camp...

...swimming in the blazing summer sun with the crazy little boys doing back-flips off the diving board...

...waking up all the girls in my cabin every morning by patting their heads and whispering, "time to get up", with an emotion that must be a faint hint of what it would be like to be a mother...

...spending time with Brendan, the youngest member of camp at ten years old, helping him improve and stretch his guitar playing abilities...

...accidentally scaring a snake into the water when Chris, another teacher, was standing waist deep in the pond searching for a camper's lost glasses...

...many games of keep-away frisbee with kids in the huge fields...

...sitting around the bonfire at night with s'mores, Queen songs blaring from an iPod radio, and happy kids leaning sleepily on my shoulders...

There are so many. So many good things, so many blessings from God, so many children.
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