The Camp Lisa record is basically as close as I can get to a time machine. This music takes me back to my pre-teen years, which are probably more similar to even younger kids' lives today. I wanted to remember some traditional songs and write some new camp-themed songs that could take you from leaving home, through your camp days, to saying goodbye until the next time. In the recording process with my songwriter/musician friends, Michelle Lewis and Dan Petty, the music made me realize that I'd love to share the camp experience with kids who might not normally have the opportunity to go to summer camp, and in this first year, we found S.C.O.P.E., is a well- established organization who can help The Camp Lisa Foundation succeed in this great dream! A portion of the proceeds of the album sales go to the Foundation, and you can find out other ways to contribute too, if you look on-line at LisaLoeb.com.
Summer camp was a huge part of my childhood, something I looked forward to, and a relief from the very demanding 11 years of all-girls school: carrying tons of books in my back pack, studying for hours, finishing homework assignments, writing essays, reading books, and memorizing dates in preparation for exams. Of course, traditional education was a highly valued part of my upbringing, but I’ve come to realize that summer camp had a tremendous positive impact on my life and career as well.
Summer camp taught me to try new things, explore, make friends, learn how to be a leader, and also part of a community. I learned arts and skills and sports and although it wasn’t always easy, I always rose to the challenge: camp brings that out of a person. Some of my favorite experiences came from my summers spent at St. Marks Day Camp, Camp Chai, and Tennis camp at The Hockaday School, all in Dallas and then later at Camp Champions, a sleepaway camp just outside of Austin in Marble Falls, TX. I made new friends (and kept the old), slurped jello, actually almost enjoyed playing soccer, made lanyard bracelets, and swam a mile.
Being away from home, I felt independent, but also part of a tight community with our own traditions like receiving “champs” for good behavior and “zanes” for misbehaving, responding loudly to our cool counselors with “yes maam!” or “no sir!” to show respect, and although these weren't art and music camps, per se, music was the central focus, lacing the day together. We sang at breakfast over pancakes, during free swim floating in innertubes, walking through the boys camp on the way to lunch, with mouths full of chimichangas and tater tots, with other campers around the camp fire, at night before “lights out,” and from bunk to flag pole to the lake and back. I even learned "Stairway to Heaven" on guitar from my friend Alma Doll. I wanted to share this with people who'll remember it too, and to folks who haven't had the luxury of a great singalong.
The dark and whimsical drawings for the album were done by a 15 year old artist from California, named Esme, who also loves summer camp. Note: coincidentally, Esme is the name of a main character in one of JD Salinger's collection, Nine Stories, the namesake of my band!
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