This picture came from Day 3 of our Summer Camp Green Team Volunteer experience. You can probably tell from our expressions that we were a little skeptical of what we were about to get ourselves into on this last day of volunteer work! No one told us how much work sorting through peoples’ trash would be;) We spent 4 hours digging through garbage bag after garbage bag, elbow deep in things I wish to never see again, and wondering how time could move so slow. And then!…at the end of our shift, after we had separated all of the recyclables from mere trash, we looked over to the right at the huge metal bins and were overcome with joy to see that all of our time picking up trash over the weekend had actually paid off! The recycling bins were overflowing and the bin of actual trash was tiny in comparison:)
Knowing that we made a huge impact that weekend and worked alongside other environmental stewards to keep the park clean made us feel really good. This is something Amy and I will never forget. Its important to ‘leave no trace’ and to remember how much can be accomplished with a group of dedicated individuals all working toward a common goal.
I joined the Green Team for the first time at Summer Camp 2012. I have been going to the Summer Camp Music Festival with friends consistently since 2008, and the Green Team experience made Summer Camp 2012 the best one yet! I joined the Green Team because sustainability is close to my heart. I currently spend my days studying Environmental Biology and Ecology in my college courses. I
love to advocate recycling and composting. I live in an Eco House on campus at SIUE, I research the benefits of Green Roof Systems, am an active member in the Student Organization for Sustainability, and I am an intern with Focus the Nation. I loved getting the chance to share my knowledge with open-minded campers at Chillicothe, IL.
My favorite memory of the Green Team was educating people on the importance of recycling and composting, especially when Summer Camp Music Festival has made it so easy! I was rewarding sweaty recyclers by spraying them with my mister and squirt gun at the bar by the Moonshine Stage during one of my shifts on May 25th. By noon the temperature had reached up into the high 90′s and everyone was dripping in sweat. Some people looked miserable and some campers were red and panting. After a person properly recycled or composted an item that they were ready to part from, I sprayed them with a water gun. The bar tenders gave me ice to load up my water gun each time after it was emptied. The reaction on some of their faces was priceless. Some people acted like I saved their lives in the almost unbearable heat of the midday. After I sprayed the friendly campers with ice-cold water, many stopped to chat. I talked to everyone I could that walked past, hoping to open their eyes to the environmental importance of composting and recycling. I talked highly of the food venues that used compostable plates and cups. I told them about the ‘plastic island’ in the ocean that is twice the size of Texas and promoted the Summer Camp Music Festival’s ‘Think Outside the Bottle’ reusable water bottle.
It seemed to me, on that day, that everyone at Summer Camp was a temple of good vibes and open minds. I loved getting those few seconds with hundreds of people to share with them the importance of sustaining our environment. I explained to them that one person may not save the earth, but one action can save the person. Being sustainable isn’t about saving the world, it is a lifestyle. It is a way for individuals to be the best person they can be. Everyone can make a difference. Recycling and composting are ways for an entire community of festival-goers to give back to the land we dance, live, grow, and celebrate life on. I appreciate Summer Camp Music Festival’s enormous effort to be respectful to Three Sisters Park and our environment here in Illinois. Keep up the good work and I will be back to volunteer at Summer Camp 2013! I attached a photo of me and my new Green Team friends at the Summer Camp Music Festival 2012.
Dear Make a Difference Director, team of awesome difference making people, and fellow Scampers,
I’ve attended every Summer Camp Festival since 2005, and each year the festival has improved its green initiatives. Summer Camp 2012 was my first year volunteering for the Green Team and it was an amazing experience! I chose the Green Team because environmental awareness is very important to me and I wanted to use my passion to inspire others to make a difference at Three Sisters Park and take some useful knowledge away. From the volunteer staff to my fellow Green Teamers and many outrageous festival goers, I met so many fellow music lovers and environmental enthusiasts that I probably wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. While I volunteered initially for the free ticket, I had no idea that I would meet so many amazing people and be able to learn and share so much information with others.
My favorite memory of volunteering was at the Starshine Stage during Victor Wooten on Sunday. The photo that I’ve attached is me during this volunteer shift. The recycling/compost/landfill bins were right at the edge of the crowd, and I danced & offered some misty fan squirts for people dropping by the bins. It was shocking that even on Sunday, the last day of the festival, people still didn’t know that those “plastic” cups were made of corn and actually went in the compost bin. While I’m no expert in composting, I still got to spread a little knowledge, and the feeling was amazing. A little direction, a few words of thanks, a ton of high fives, and an endless amount of dancing are all I needed to make a difference. A lady even came up to me and said I was the most enthusiastic volunteer she saw all weekend, which just encouraged me to stay lifted. And to top off the experience, we got to chat with Victor Wooten while cleaning up after the crowd cleared and he signed my green card! This and countless other memories made SC 2012 one of my best festivals yet!
As a SCamp veteran, I encourage everyone to get involved with Make A Difference and other fun activities. Not only will you have fun and meet new people, but you will have the “feel-good” feelings and there’s a ton of chances to win free stuff. Yoga, body painting, and the Go Green raffle were just a few of the activities I enjoyed in the Soulshine tent where I met some amazing people. The “make a difference” mentality is contagious, and I found myself picking up recycling and trash from the ground even when I wasn’t working a volunteer shift. It’s crazy how much awesomeness you can accomplish in a 3-4 day span.
I’m looking forward to making even more of a difference at Summer Camp 2013. Summer Camp Music Festival is the highlight of my summer, and a VIP upgrade would certainly be a sweet new experience. Regardless, I am excited as ever to get back down to Chillicothe and meet up with my old friends, make some new ones, and make a difference!
As Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
The following story was lived, re-lived, and put to paper by two proud green team volunteers, Cailin and Michael.
(As told by Michael) Victor Wooten: the man, the legend, and no more than 3 feet away from our faces; we stood in shock. Watching, listening as a musical prodigy explained music as it exists in nature. He filled up our minds with existential thoughts of a natural musical connectivity, and then threw down what must have been the absolute funkiest, nastiest baseline anybody could stand to hear. We knew we were in for a real treat when that bass master would play later that night as well, and we would be stationed in his rough proximity, monitoring recycling receptacles and ensuring compliance by all of Summer Camp’s smiling recyclers.
We trotted off to meet up with Murph, an incredibly dedicated and driven yet brilliantly cool and collected individual. He was our Green Team supervisor and the man who gave us the ride to where the two of us would happily be spending the majority of our night, watching Victor Wooten and, later, a Galactic/Dirty Dozen mashup that could hemorrhage the brain with jazzy delight. We got in one of the several Green Team specific Scampmobiles, and we were off. With our water bottles full, and various trash bags in hand, we rode to a far off site near the mysterious “VIP” area. We pulled up beside a fellow Green Teamer and the trio of receptacles he commanded. The young lad handed Murph his shift card and was quickly on his way. Murph turned to the three of us in the golf cart, and stated: “I need someone to stick around here until the girl who is scheduled for this station shows up. It shouldn’t be too long.” We shifted our gaze towards the other member of our squad who sat beside us in the cart. It was obvious she did not intend on moving. Cailin spoke up and offered to man the post. With that, Cailin was out of the cart, and the rest of us were traveling quickly toward the Moonshine stage.
(As told by Cailin) The minutes passed like hours while I sat at the desolate station. I was the farthest away from where I was supposed to be – with Mikey and Vic. At first, I was more than hopeful that I would see that Green Team golf cart on the horizon with a fellow Green Teamer – the one that was supposed to be stationed here – coming to relieve me from the helpful gesture I had made for Murph. I just wanted to see Victor Wooten and his band. I had been waiting all weekend to see him for the first time in my life, and I had the feeling that the hour I had spent with him in the Soulshine tent was just the beginning. I waited and waited.
After two hours, I realized that no one was coming to take my place, and I was going to be stuck here for my whole shift. Honestly, I wasn’t completely heartbroken that I couldn’t see Victor Wooten; I just wanted to see Mikey’s face when Vic came onstage. There’s nothing like seeing the person you love at their happiest, and nothing makes Mikey more happy than a beautifully composed, funkified bassline prepared by one of the masters themselves. At least Mikey would be able to see him.
You know that weird, cosmic thing that happens when you focus all of your energy and thoughts on someone for a while, and then they manifest themselves through a phone call or an unexpected run-in at the grocery store? You always have the same reaction, and that is, “I was JUST thinking about you!” Well, I had been thinking of that gangly, hairy man of mine for a while. I was thinking about him dancing his pants off at Vic’s show that was bound to start at any minute now, and that’s when I finally saw the golf cart on the horizon. Although it must have been a quarter-mile away, I could easily recognize Mikey’s outline: a shaggy head of hair accompanied by glasses and a giant beard attached to a lanky body covered in tie-dye. I know that description sounds like every other scamper you meet, but I was positive it was him. I was so confused as to why he would be zipping down the hill with Murph, that all I came up with to say to the both of them when they stopped in front of me was, “I was JUST thinking about you!”
The next part happened fast. Mikey got out of the cart, took the trash bags out of my hand, and escorted me to the golf cart. He said with a smile, “You need to see Vic. You’re going to take my station. Tell me everything about it tonight.”
“Uhm, okay,” I whispered as I got into the golf cart.
Murph looked at me incredulously and blurted, “Kiss the man! How many boyfriends would give up Victor for their girlfriend?” He was right. I leapt out of the golf cart, kissed the man, and said thanks. And then we were off.
I can’t even describe to you how great Vic’s set was. He truly is a visionary, and everyone in his band is just bottom-line incredible. After the performance was done, I was picking up recyclables and trash around the stage, when I noticed Victor Wooten on the other side of the fence. His roadies were loading things up, and he was talking to a couple of people. Suddenly, I had an idea. This was going to take a lot of guts, and I’m usually not the most outgoing person in the crowd. I paced around the stage a couple of times before I built up the courage. I knew I had to do it soon because the people backstage with Vic were dwindling, along with his equipment. I marched over to the fence and then squeaked out, “Excuse me?”
Victor, or as he is now referred to in our household, “the man,” turned his head to me and made his way over to the fence. My heart was doing the weirdest things in my chest, and I forgot how to produce coherent speech. He said, “Hey. How’s it going?”
Shoot. It was my turn again…I came up with, “Oh you know, just volunteering…picking up trash and stuff. That was an awesome set. You’re my bassist boyfriend’s hero. Your vocalist made me cry this afternoon. She’s amazing. You’re amazing. Can I have your autograph? My boyfriend would love it. He switched shifts with me so I could see your set.” God, I was so unbelievably cool. I just said, like, fifty words to Victor Wooten and he was still standing there. He just smiled and took my Green Team shift card (the only paper I had on me) and signed it with a green Sharpie. “Thank you so much,” is what worked out of my mouth this time.
“No problem, my friend,” said Victor.
“AHH! We’re friends now!” I thought as I walked away from the fence with the biggest smile on my face.
(As told by Michael) Murph and I chatted as we drove back up to Moonshine stage, the night fresh with scurrying Scampers, getting Summer Camp crazy for one last time until next year. We stopped near the entrance to the Moonshine stage and I hopped out. I shook Murph’s hand and thanked him for the opportunity. Just before he pulled away he said to me: “Oh! I almost forgot. Your girlfriend has a surprise for you.” Confused, I hurried back to the campsite, our happy home base, and found her, sitting in a lawn chair, smiling. I excitedly spattered out a dozen questions about the quality of the show, all to which Cailin had only one reply. She handed me this:
I was first a volunteer in 2010 where I had an amazing experience watching Big Gigantic from behind the scenes at the small campfire stage. What is interesting is how Big Gigantic used to be a small band that played on a low key stage and now they are on the bigger stages like Moonshine. I am happy that I got to see them when they were first starting to play at Summer Camp and I’m happy because I have gotten to see them grow throughout the years.
The second time I volunteered was last year in 2012 where I met some of the most interesting people when working my 5 hour shifts. The dusty, sandy hot air was unpleasant to work in, however all the people I was assigned to work with made the hours fly by. To this day I am in contact with those people and will forever look back on those hours spent sorting, cleaning, and advising scampers on waste disposal.
Money was tight, but not going to Summer Camp was not an option. I had procrastinated buying a ticket but I knew I was going to make it! I could afford to buy a ticket, or I could go for free! I applied to be on the Green Team and crossed my fingers that it wasn’t too late and I’d be accepted. I was! My friends were bummed that I’d be missing out on some of the shows because I’d be volunteering but I tried to tell them that everything was going to work out! The first day, I was schedule to work while BoomBox was playing, one of my favorite performers at Summer Camp. But, it just so happened that the recycling station I was schedule to work at was right next to the Starshine stage where BoomBox was performing! “AWESOME!!” I thought! Thank you Summer Camp Gods! The next day I was scheduled to volunteer right after the Michelle Bell’s hula hoop workshops were held. Perfect! After the hula hoop workshop I headed to my station, located right on Shakedown Street a few feet away from my camp sight! I couldn’t believe it. At least I could see my friends as they headed to and from show and they could bring me water and treats! It was extremely hot this day and I was sitting in the sun baking. I saw a tall girl with blonde curly hair carrying at least 10 silver hula hoops walking towards me on the path. Wow that girl looks exactly like my hooping hero I thought. A little over year before I had StumbledUpon a YouTube video of a hula hoop dancer street performing in London, her name was Lisa Lottie. After watching her video about 15 times, completely amazed, I ordered my first hula hoop. The girl got closer to me, I didn’t have my glasses on, the sun was in my eyes, I was squinting so hard. Holy crap it was Lisa Lottie!!! I couldn’t breath! “GET UP!!” I thought. “Where’s your phone or camera!?!! I was having a hard time getting off my chair. I had created an umbrella with my hula hoops and top to try and stay outta the sun. I scrambled for my phone. Once I was able to get unstuck I looked up and lost sight of her. She was gone! I was so upset! I looked around but couldn’t find her. I went back to my seat. I didn’t end up seeing her the rest of the day but I was ok with that. I couldn’t believe that had even seen her. Somehow I was placed at the right place at the right time that entire weekend. I later found out that Lisa had a surprise performance at Summer Camp from her Facebook, I would have never even known she was there if I hadn’t seen her walk by.
My favorite memory from last years Summer Camp began when I got my volunteer schedule and saw that I was scheduled to work from 8pm-1am on Friday night, which was when primus was going to be playing! There were many bands that I wanted to see but primus was at the very top of my list so I was very bummed. When my friend and I showed up for our shift I let the coordinator know that Primus was the band I came to see and she said she couldn’t make any promises but she would see what she could do…Our shift that night ended up being checking VIP wristbands for the main stage backstage entrance!!! I was able to hear the entire show, and check passes of some pretty awesome people! I even saw Les Claypool getting on his bus after the show!!! Sooooo I would NEVER take back volunteering for Summer Camp 2012!!!!!!
I absolutely loved volunteering for Summer Camp last year. I had more fun than any of my friends who simply bought GA tickets, without a doubt
As soon as I arrived on the Three Sisters Park for the second time, my friends and I had tons of fun locating the volunteer entrance and building. We met tons of awesome people, also volunteers, some of which we kicked it with for the rest of the festival!
Volunteering for the Green Team is fun in itself, a lot of the times I was stationed at the stage I would have ended up at anyway, still raging in my bright green vest!
Everyone at the festival respects you are and what you are doing for the festival, for the world! I was helping keep the environment beautiful, and everyone even helped me out from time to time!
I plan on volunteering EVERY year, it is the best
Thank you Summer Camp,
Dylan J. Schlie
I volunteered in 2011 when there was that short but wicked storm with 60 mile per hour winds. Tents were getting ripped from the ground and rolling away. But that didn’t stop Summer Camp! There were huge puddles everywhere so people just stopped wearing shoes (except the people who were already not wearing shoes;). I remember a big guy ran and belly flopped into the mud puddle! But my two favorite memories of the festival were when the rain magically stopped allowing Big G to come on, playing one of the best shows I’ve seen him play. The other being when Umphrey’s played Bridgeless into No Comment back into Bridgeless! Some hippie came up to me and told me I looked like I was having the best time of my life and he was absolutely right! Favorite festival still to this day.
“Smile!” We abruptly turned around to see who demanded it, and Victor Wooten snapped a quick Polaroid from the back of his golf cart. We smiled, didn’t stop smiling until the weekend ended.
After games of dodge ball, eating lunch to killer Umphrey’s set, and strolling down glow stick lit paths into magical woods full of fairies and wonders, I realized ‘Summer Camp’ is truly the only description for the festivities. Volunteering at the festival was the inauguration into a family. My duties to maintain the rage within the VIP area granted me not only a killer view of the stage, but the opportunity to meet the beautiful people bearing the correct color wristband. Off duty, my tent was in the prime location adjacent to the Sunshine stage- people would come in and say hello, bearing food and other gifts. I can write about every set moe. and Umphrey’s played, or how Bela Fleck brought the banjo funk, but it was the people who made the experience. My time as a Volunteer wasn’t just working at a music festival; it was making memories that will last forever. There are only so many things that can be expressed in words, but Summer Camp can express the emotions through its music.
Hugs were shared, lyrics were belted, and faces were melted.