Summer Camp! Craig and I both have great memories of camp during our childhood and teen years. Including; canoeing, swimming, horse back riding (well, not so much for Craig), arts & crafts, friendship bracelets, theater, archery, songs, stories, campfires, etc… So, when Camp Director and friend, Eric Blumreich, expressed a desire to have us at Camp Tekawitha in Shawano, WI, we said, “YES!”
Camp Tekawitha is open year round for all sorts of retreats and groups but in the summer it caters to K-8th and a CIT (Counselor In Training) program for 9th-12th grade. It is located on a small manageable lake called Lake Loon. We’ve served at Camp over the past two summers but this year we were able to bring out our bus and come for two weeks of fun. Our kids each experienced life as a camper and Grace was able to participate in the CIT program. Meanwhile we shared musically throughout the week, playing a few Hollands! set, fun camp songs and leading a sound scape exercise where the kids broke into groups and created a sound track to the creation story. Also, Craig took some time to help build a storage unit for the sails/sailboats.
Volunteering at Camp Tekawitha offered an opportunity for us to plug in and use the gifts and talents that we long to share and gave us a much needed rest from the fast track of touring that we had been on. It also gave each of our children a chance to spend quality time with other young people, many of them friends from their days at St. Matthews School in Green Bay, WI. These are the moments that we cherish and as we continue down the line, we look forward to opportunities to serve in these ways.
We recorded our new album over the course of two weekends. The first weekend, Ed Bialach, a friend and fantastic engineer (and drummer) came up from Chicago, IL to our home in Green Bay, WI. He brought his top of the line equipment and we knocked out all of the base line. The second weekend, we traveled down to Chicago to finish the melody and a few extra’s.
We had the privilege of including a number of superb musicians on this album. Jahmes Finlayson, from Milwaukee, WI. stayed with us for the first weekend and poured his heart into the drum line. What a passionate man and pro! That same weekend, the infamous, Eric Blumreich punched out a few fancy base licks and Ms. Kimberly Souther graced us with her beautiful cello parts.
The second weekend, one of Craig’s old Ballydowse band mates, David Baumgartner shared his mad violin skills with us. Colleen Davick chimed in with some flute and tin whistle. Our dear Joby Morey, jack of all instruments, played some haunting accordion on a few tracks. And, last but not least, Debbie Baumgartner whipped up a choir for us. That’s right. We were sitting there finishing up Fair Land and I said, “boy, I can really choir on this part.” Ed said, “do you want a choir?” “Well, yes, but how do find a choir?” He proceed to call Debbie and the next day at 1pm The Alana Spring Hall Choir showed up!
What a blast and honor to be able to do this project with so many creative and kind souls. You can view all of the clips from the recording process by visiting www.thehollands.org/snapshots
PS. To top it all off, Josh Kufal shot video/photos of our process and is putting together a fantastic video for our CD launch. Now to find a venue to host our CD release. Any suggestions?