As a person that works at Pepperland for two weeks out of the summer. Time for camp can not come soon enough. The Shows and Events in Hollywood could rival these camps in their events but nowhere is a camp more dedicated to young musician like Pepperland. Traveling up and pulling into camp is an excitement that I share with the kids that come to camp. I was not into camping much in my early days, but after my trip to Athens where I attended a speech by Lars Godbersen, it only felt right to provide motivation to children in music and other forms of art which they are interested in apart from their curriculum. The place is magical, with a spring fed lake, hiking trails, streams, and more green than you can handle with your eyes. Situated in Murphy, NC, a town known as the first holding point for the Native American Cherokees, there is just a feeling when you are there that the spirits are watching over the camp.
Pepperland is no ordinary kids music camp. Not only do the students come to learn from master at their art like Caroline Aiken, Jeff Sipe, Diane Durrett, Holly Howell, Donna Hopkins, Melissa Massey, Alex Tramble, Jess Wells, Mikhail Peterson, Richie Jones and more, bu they come to learn about nature and being in harmony with it. The students are no ordinary students either, these kids are so intelligent and urgent to learn from the instructors. I think that we all learn a lot from them while we are there.
The camp boasts cabin for the kids to stay in, as well as a nice outdoor
kitchen and eating area that we all gathered at this past summer. I have so many memories from there last summer, and can’t wait to once again join everyone in the kitchen to chat and laugh. Pepperland relies completely on donations and fundraiser shows throughout the year to help keep the camp going as well as pay the teachers. These fundraisers also provide scholarships for students that need the financial help to come. Not many other camps do that for their patrons.
On March 13th, Eddie’s Attic has graciously provided their room for us to throw just one of those fundraisers. It will be from 2-4:30PM. You can come down, relax, meet the owners of the camp Khalisa Taylor and Cory Walker, the parents and see performances by the kids as well as the instructors. Khalisa Taylor is the founder of Pepperland Farm Camp. Her interest in children began in high school with the organization of a summer day camp. In 1974 she was drawn to the mountains by a great love for the outdoors and settled at Pepperland. Khalisa has a Master’s degree in Special Education and works as a special education teacher.
A typical day at camp begins with the campers gathering for morning movement, stretching, and gratitude circle. A unique aspect of Pepperland is our use of and focus on music through the camp day. All kids are drawn to music; there is something about music that resonates deep within each of us. Through Earth skills, hikes and wilderness instruction, campers explore the forests, streams, and hidden valleys of Pepperland. Campers learn to use all of their senses to experience the outdoors as they play in the creeks, crawl into their hand made debris shelters, explore the forest, track wildlife and taste edible plants. The afternoons are filled with water activities including swimming, canoeing, and water play. Campouts and Group Learning Projects will highlight their experience.
For more information and to register your child for this year’s camp from July 10th to the 22nd of 2011, you can visit the website here.
You can download the camp application 2011 music camp application.