Guitar camps attract many each year

Adults and youth of all ages jam at Camp Caledonia on Tyhee Lake.

“Anybody who really wants to, they can do it,” Adult Guitar Camp coordinator Karen Diemert said on learning to play.

This year marks the 21st year of the adult camp and the 16th year of the youth camp held annually at Camp Caledonia on Tyhee Lake.

Diemert, who has been a coordinator for the adult camp since 2005, said all skill levels are welcome to register.

“We offer a variety of things … We always have a beginner guitar, and any beginner can come. You don’t even have to know how to hold a guitar, we will teach you all of that.”

Some of this year’s workshops included songwriting and performance, ukulele, introduction to soloing, guitar theory, and more.

“The biggest we ever had it was 53 paying registrants, but we’ve cut that down basically in half because [Camp Caledonia] is not big enough for it to run at that capacity. Mostly we try to have 25 to 30 campers at the most, and depending on how many campers we have for the adult camp, we can have one or two out of town instructors. This year we have two … the rest of the instructors are made up of local people.”

She said the low number of registrants is part of the camp’s appeal.

“They’re closed camps. If you’re registered, then that’s the only people that come in, so it’s kind of a safe environment. People feel that … If you pay, then you’re here for the whole time. It’s all-inclusive camp. For the adults you pay $600, for the youth you pay $400, and then you get all your meals for that, all your instruction and accommodation at the camp. It’s a pretty good deal.”

This year’s youth guitar camp ran from Aug. 7-11, with the adult camp running immediately afterward from Aug. 11-16.

“With the youth, the camp is definitely a little bit more busy because youth need time to have like a play time kind of thing, so we organize some games for them and things like that,” said Diemert.

Both camps end with a student concert, giving campers an opportunity to show off what they’ve learned.

“They can learn it together or they can learn it individually and then be there to practice and do their performance individually. It’s totally up to them; it’s the campers’ time to shine.”

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