…has my heart. I was pretty smitten after Claudia’s experience as a camper last year but this year my love for this organization has been catapulted to a new high. This year I ditched all of my responsibilities at home and throughout the rest of my life and volunteered as a band counselor. I’m now a changed woman. I doubt if anyone walked away from the week unchanged, for the better. The support, encouragement, and positivity was abundant, certain, and beautiful. It was flowing freely and available to wash over every single volunteer and camper. It’s like walking into a perfect world every single morning. We’re all good, we’re all the same, we’re all different, we’re all rockstars. No matter who you may be or what you may be dealing with, at camp we’re all there with one common goal…to empower and encourage girls through music education. As one of the awesome volunteers put it, at camp we all show up on time. That’s that. Once the first camper walks up, nothing else matters. I was so fortunate to see that in action with my band, The Flaming Ink, a rad little group of 8 and 9 year olds. Watching them go through the entire process, as well as the full spectrum of emotions, that comes with forming their band, writing their song, and rehearsing for the showcase was such a gift. As phenomenal as it was being part of the amazing team of volunteers or watching my own band progress, it was my daughter’s experience that has my heart bursting with love. Claudia’s experience this year was somehow better than last year’s. Through her I was able to get a clear view of just how all of the encouragement and positivity was impacting the campers. Every day after camp we would make our way through Los Angeles traffic with smiles on our faces, pouring out the details of our day. It was perfectly evident that she was just “getting it”. She started each description by telling me “You know how I said yesterday was the best day I’ve ever had? Well, actually today was.”, that’s enough to make a parent’s heart explode, right there. But one of my favorite of her comments was her telling me that camp has “the BEST energy” and that all of the people in the world with the VERY best energy must have been hand-selected and placed at camp. The amazing women pouring their light into my sweet girl’s world with their words, actions, and music means so much to me that I literally have no words to describe just how much.
I think Claudia’s right, this has got to be one of the most amazing groups of women (and a couple of dudes) to ever have assembled. We are sisters in a band! I’m proud, I’m moved, I’m honored, I’m humbled, I’m ready for next year.
I was there last week to be part of all of that, not take pictures. So, while I dove head-first into that I couldn’t deny my nature and I did grab my camera a few times. These are a group of images from my perspective as a participant rather than me quietly clinging to the edges and hiding behind my lens. I totally stepped outside my comfort zone on that one. I couldn’t be happier I did.