Competition Winners, Camp Henry, Extends its Musical Program This Summer

This summer, campers at a Christian camp in Michigan have been using outdoor musical instruments for fun and self-expression thanks to winning a national competition in Parks & Recreation Magazine last Fall.

Camp Henry, based in Newaygo on Lake Kimball, was founded in 1937 to serve students and families across Michigan. The camp provides life-changing experiences in a Christian environment throughout the year to thousands of fellow Christians. Last Fall, Fiona Scott - Assistant Program Director, entered a competition in the National Recreation and Park Association’s magazine, hoping to win outdoor musical instruments for Camp Henry. The prize was a Percussion Play Soprano Quartet Ensemble, which includes the Cadenza, Small Babel Drum, Pair of Congas and Soprano Pentatonic Freechimes.

After being told of her win, Fiona told the magazine, “Initially, I simply hoped for kids to have fun with the ensemble. After talking to Robin from Percussion Play, I now see it as a more meaningful addition to our camp program. The Percussion Play outdoor musical instruments allow everyone to make music in a low-stakes setting where no musical ‘talent’ is required or expected, rather fun and making sound are the expectations. At Camp Henry, we aim to have encouragement outweigh criticism and to give everyone opportunities to try something new. I believe the Percussion Play Soprano Quartet Ensemble will provide another avenue for guests to have those experiences.”

Fiona entered the competition, as although they already had musical instruments in the camp, they had no permanent musical offering on their grounds. The installation was completed earlier this summer in time for the high season. Situated on the upper camp near the sports fields, the instruments are used predominantly by campers in their free time, allowing guests to be musically creative either alone or within a group. And as the new instruments are situated in a busy part of the camp, passing campers can stop and have a quick play when they are moving around the grounds. Fiona has even spotted a few staff having a play when they think no one is looking!

The quartet is Percussion Play’s most popular ensemble thanks to the diverse instruments included and clever use of the pentatonic tuning, meaning it is impossible to play wrong notes and is suitable for all ages and abilities.