Blue Lake

About a week ago, I returned from Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. I had a lot a lot of fun there and I got to experience many new things.

It wasn’t anything like I had ever experienced before. I’ll start with the cabin, now I’m not complaining but the cabins we were in were so cold! It didn’t have any heating or anything so it was like we were sleeping in tents or outside. Also when you would get up at 6 a.m. (which is technically 5 since Michigan is an hour ahead) if you had to go to the bathroom for any reason you would have to make a 30 foot trek in the freezing cold in just your pajamas. When I say freezing I mean literally freezing, the temperature in the morning was in the low 50s, high 40s almost every morning! I was really glad I packed jeans.

While I was at Blue Lake I met a lot of new people, made a lot of new friends and tried a lot of new things. One of the girls in my unit (a group of cabins) was from Nigeria and when I asked her what her favorite part of camp was she said that it was the ice cream that they served at the camp store and soon after we would go get ice cream together almost everyday. One thing that was different that we would go and see concerts and since I was in the jazz band this year I had a bigger appreciation for when the jazz band performed. Also something else that we did was the All-Camp Sing, which was where every unit performed a song. My unit did “the Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “I just can’t wait to be king” and honestly, it was pretty nerve-wracking because the camp is actually a lot bigger than one might think. In the fourth session alone there was about 1400 central campers, 200 staff and instructors, and about 250 junior campers. Speaking of instructors, I had the chance to play with a lot of really cool and accomplished instructors and conductors and without this scholarship I would not have gotten the chance to do so, so thank you very much to the Park Ridge Cultural Arts Council J. Another really cool opportunity that I got the chance to have was play in a huge trumpet section. There where 19 of us total and on top of that we weren’t even the biggest band, and also there was 3 more bands as well as orchestras.

About halfway through this I realized I didn’t even talk about my schedule so basically how my day started was I would get up at 6:00 and by 6:40 I had to be out in the center spot of the unit space so we could go as a unit to eat breakfast. After breakfast was over it was about 7:40 and you would have about 15 minutes to get to your first morning class. I say 15 because you were expected to be 5 minutes early for everything. Then after rehearsal ended at 9:30 we would have 10 minutes to head to sectionals which was when we rehearsed as a whole section, after sectionals was tech which started at 10:30, which we had 10 minutes to get to as well. After tech I was lucky enough to have a 50 minute break in which I would take the 10 minute walk back to my unit set my trumpet down and head to lunch. After lunch finished at roughly 12:45 it was minor hour. I unfortunately didn’t have a minor so I had a free hour and after that it was our afternoon rehearsal then after rehearsal ended at 3:50 you had recreation time from 4:00 to 5:00. After recreation was dinner and after dinner we would often go to concerts and one night we even saw an opera.

Overall I had a really cool experience so I want to thank the Park Ridge Cultural Arts Council again for giving me this opportunity.

-Anna Gerbich