Summer Camp Memories: Camp Counselor Amanda

(Image courtesy of Emerald Elements) 

Hello. This is Camp Counselor Amanda and I am happy to announce a new series of blogs that will be headed your way in anticipation of the 20th year of Summer Camp! We plan on bringing you information on the history of Summer Camp from a wide variety of different angles. 

So, sit back, grab a drink (or a smoke) and enjoy reading about my favorite memories as a veteran Summer Camper and one of your Camp Counselors. I hope you’ll enjoy reliving these moments with me as much as I have enjoyed going down memory lane to share them with you.

Almost 20 Years of Summer Camp Memories with CC Amanda

Summer Camp has always held a very special place in my heart. I have been in attendance for all but 3 of the events. There were a few years when the entire weekend was not doable for me, but during those years, I was fortunate enough and lived close enough for a more practical Sunday pass. When I think of the festival, each year it feels like a homecoming being back on the grounds. I have raised my children at Summer Camp, and we have years of amazing family members. Yes, there have been years when my children have not been with me, but as a whole they have attended at least part of the festival with us.

The Music 

While sitting here trying to write about the music, it actually took me quite a bit of time. Having seen so much amazing music at Summer Camp over the past 20 years I really struggled with rating the music and determining what my favorite sets have been. That being said, I decided that I would work towards creating a short list of my top 5 favorite musical memories from SCamp’s past.

Camp Counselor Amanda’s Top 5 Music Moments at SCamp 

#5 – Yonder Mountain String Band in 2013 – This is the show where Jeff Austin announced to Summer Campers that he would be leaving Yonder Mountain and pursuing his solo career and other projects that would allow for him to be home more with his family. It was a sad moment, but no one could foretell the tragedy that would befall Austin just a few years later. The band played fan favorites and really showed Summer Campers what they were all about. As someone who had been a fan of Yonder since the beginning days (seeing them live in 2000), this performance ended an era for me and a time that I was personally not ready to see go. 

#4 – VIP Keller Williams Set in 2013  — What can I say? I am a sucker for Keller. I have actually seen over 100 Keller shows over the past 20 years. I fell in love with Keller early and he has continued to remain a constant in my life. He has been with me through career changes, divorces, new babies, relationships, and more. In fact, Keller was playing both when I delivered my babies and on my first dates with the love of my life. This set allowed me to hear many of my favorites and was such a fun and relaxed vibe that I can’t think of a Keller set that I have loved more (and well, I have seen a bunch)! 

#3 – Cornmeal’s Performance at Summer Camp 2007 – I was once a street team member for Cornmeal, so they hold a special place in my heart. This year in particular was a great year for Summer Camp. I traveled back from Indiana (where I was living at the time) with my oldest child who was just 3 and we had a weekend of music and fun together with just the two of us. This was one of those amazing sets where Cornmeal seemed to transcend as though they were playing on another level. I loved getting to dance with my little man and watching him getting to enjoy the band as they played many of their biggest hits.

#2 – Mike Gordon at the 17th Annual Summer Camp – One thing that you might not know about me is that I am a huge Mike Gordon fan. If you told me that I could only go to one concert in the next year, I would choose a Mike Gordon show. A bit of a bass girl.. I love feeling the strum of the bass reverberating through my body! So when I was able to catch Mike Gordon and even get to shoot some of his show, it was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life!

Mike Gordon LIVE at #SCamp17 !!

Posted by Summer Camp Music Festival on Friday, May 26, 2017

#1 – 2004 Leftover Salmon – I was a fan of Leftover Salmon at this point, but this was the first Leftover Salmon show that my son was there with me for. This was one of the best shows that I can think of that was filled with classic hits along with lots of newer stuff that have since become classics. It was the beginning of Leftover Salmon’s more experimental sounds which the band has continued to evolve and become known for. 

JamCam Chronicles: Summer Camp 2004

Tune in tonight at 7PM CST to relive a true throwback of our early years at Summer Camp 2004! The JamCam Chronicles: Summer Camp Edition will take you back to simpler days and is sure to bring all the nostalgia for those of you who celebrated with us this year.

Set a reminder and join us on a trip down memory lane 🌞☮️

Posted by Summer Camp Music Festival on Thursday, April 9, 2020

The “Family”

We all have family and “family” in our lives. My Summer Camp family is now a group of beautiful souls that I have gotten to know over the years by attending the festival. I have SCamp friends who I have seen and hung out with each year at Three Sisters Park. As a mom of four, I don’t often have childcare where I can just hit the road and go visit friends or see live music with them. Life has always had other responsibilities and plans for me, but these friends are each cherished in their own way and I love some of them as if they were a part of my family.

My Family

For us, SCamp has often been a family experience. I first made it a family affair in 2004 when my son was 9 months old and standing up for the first time at our cooler. He has been to quite a few Summer Camps over the years and we have always had a great time together. Each of my younger three children have also spent years attending Summer Camp. They all love the festival as much as I do. 

I will never forget the amazing memories that I have shared with them at the fest. With Andrew (my oldest) the memories of him running through the crowd with a cape on and singing and dancing stand out to me. With Althea, at her second Summer Camp in 2010 there were quite a few fireworks being shot off and she loved them so very much. Remembering myself sitting in a camper watching her clap her hands and giggling each time that she saw one burst in the sky.

With Huxley, the first year that the Jelly Dome swings were installed, he loved them, and we were there over and over again. He also received a squirt gun from a random stranger who told him to go raise hell. So, if a young blonde-haired blue-eyed child sprayed you with a squirt gun in 2014, this random stranger is to blame…lol! With Adeline (our youngest), we share the memories of sitting in the permaculture areas and learning about the different programs that are meant at educating Summer Campers. 

Above all else, the best memories for me are just those when we got to enjoy a slower pace of life for a weekend together. We seem to always be busy with 4 kids and this weekend each year is one where we take a step back, relax, and get to just spend time together listening to music and enjoying life.

Not only have I been at the festivals with my children, but I am also lucky enough that my parents are often in attendance as well. They have not been in the most recent years that we have gone, and their presence has been greatly missed by all of us.

Peace, Love, Hope to See You Soon! — CC Amanda