It was a good day to play outside with these campers under a large catalpa tree on the grounds of Cedar Crest College. I did this last year with Star Wars actors roaming the building (yes, I insulted Darth Vader), but today it was just me and the ice cream truck.

I had to tell the ice cream guy to turn off his sound track and as I did my first couple of songs, sections of the audience went off to get Italian Ice. I then had to limit my material to non-dance, non-hand movement, non-hands on instrumentation. I managed to find the songs to navigate these limitations.

As is the case with summer camps, I also have to negotiate with the high school and college age counselors who haven’t been prepped with their obligations to help guide the campers and help me engage them. I have to gently remind them that they have to participate with me and the kids to insure a truly community event. I struggle in making this clear, and without support from the main organizers, it comes off somewhat arrogant on my part.

For the most part, the kids sang along, and eventually finished their treats, got up and danced and had a good time. It was hard work though on my part. At least Darth Vader didn’t confront me like last year.