Every spring when the temperature starts to warm up, my heart starts to flutter with excitement about the upcoming camp season. What new volunteers will I get to meet and connect with? What earworms will the campers write (and how long will they stay on repeat in my head)? And most importantly, how will we bend and shape each other’s perspectives in exciting and challenging ways?
This year’s spring has brought mixed emotions with the uncertainty of the current situation in every aspect of life, including our camp traditions. Every conversation that has taken place over the past two months with staff, board, volunteers, families and participating youth has been around finding hope and possibility in this situation.
While uncertainty still abounds, it has also become more and more clear that gathering in person, no matter what the size of the group is, will be an immense safety and logistical concern for this year’s programs. Our every heartbeat as an organization is dedicated to providing safe spaces for RCRC’s youth, volunteers, staff and community. Because that safety is not possible in the analog world at this time, we are moving all of our summer programs for this year to a virtual platform.
For the past 12 years, Rain City Rock Camp has been my life. I know I am not alone when I find myself crying over this news. There is a huge sense of loss, and likely a grieving period for many of our youth and community members. I am also remaining hopeful and optimistic for our community’s resilience. It’s like playing a minor and a major chord at the same time—just like at camp. 😉
The creativity of our campers’ lyrics every year is one of the things that inspires me the most. Where do these ideas come from, and how do our campers author such unique realities? Magical talking food, animals in unlikely situations and solutions for world peace. It is with that creativity that we are now approaching our programming for this summer.
We’re looking at ways to bring in additional dimensions to the virtual experience so that our campers can interact with sound exploration and creative collaboration while continuing to nurture connections with one another. We also need the creativity of our campers, interns and ATVers to co-create a space with us that resembles a RCRC band song—There might not always be a clear verse and a chorus, but there are always smiles and cheers at the end.
In order to collaborate together, we’re asking for the input of our campers, camper families and volunteers to respond here with your ideas, input or suggestions. Our hearts beat together, even when we are apart. We might be physically distant this year, but emotionally we band together as a camp community. I can’t wait to connect with you all and create new traditions!
P.S. If you’ve already signed up for one of our summer programs, you should have received an email from us about next steps. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do! We’re still accepting applications and would love for you to join us on this journey of creation and exploration!