After surviving another stint of music camp, we picked up my youngest daughter this past Sunday. Arriving early, her bags were packed and we loaded them into the car. Waiting for her concert, we set out to check her art. It is a rustic camp in the woods, known for its artistic education, rather then comfortable camping.
Blue Lake is a magical place, set among the pines of Michigan, nestled near a quaint picturesque lake. Electronics are not allowed, leaving space for creativity and relationship building. The cabins are rustic, lacking water and electricity, but they are filled with laughter, fun, and friendship. Girls gathered together sharing experiences from the day, while preparing to settle in for the night. Spiders and mosquitos share the space covered by the moon and starlight.
After hours of practice, free time involves reading, sketching, or perhaps a friendly game of Uno. Life is simple at Blue Lake. It is regulated with a creative flair. The stage is set, and the players are in place. Learning about punctuality, preparedness, and professionalism, they come together as one unit, an orchestra.
After checking the art, we head to the performance shell. Still outside, seated on wood benches we locate a place to see my daughter on stage, careful not to be blocked by a pine or a person. She is present, ready to begin. This group of teens, together for only a short time, begins their musical journey.
She has learned much from two years of camp. Her skills on the cello are increasing, but what’s as important are the life skills she is gaining. This year, she made friends and stayed positive during the transition. She’s already anticipating a return visit next summer. This year was easier for me too. I missed her, but I was confident in her abilities to manage her world.
Big growth requires big moves. Leaving home for a week and a half, living in a bit of discomfort, and working towards a goal brings ultimate satisfaction. Staying comfortable, brings immediate ease, but for long term satisfaction, a challenge is needed.
Susan J. McFarland
August 6, 2018
Susan J. McFarland