Bartonsville Gets Camplified
Nathan Mattise for The Pocono Record | July 7, 2006
"It's one of the most fun things at camp," Billy Gilmore, 11, of Atlanta shouted while playing air-drums and moving his head to the beat.
"It's loud," his buddy, Mark Cylinder, 10, of Buckingham Township, said.
It was no ordinary camp experience. Mark and Billy will get their share of bug spray, dodgeball and campfires, but for one evening at Golden Slipper Camp in Bartonsville, typical camp activities were traded for electric guitars and a heavy dose of rock.
On Wednesday, the local camp hosted the Camplified Summer Tour. Camplified brings prominent up-and-coming musical acts from both major and recognizable independent labels to summer camps nationwide. The Northeast leg of the tour runs from July 3 to Aug. 18, with roughly 35 shows at 35 different camps.
The show at Golden Slipper featured acts Scarlett's Web whose reality show pilot "Rock With Me" is being pitched to MTV, Faces Without Names who will open selected shows for Ashlee Simpson this year, Violent Nine a crowd favorite, with fans wearing homemade T-shirts and 3D a hip-hop act featuring the twin sons of boxer Roy Jones Jr.. This was the second year in a row Golden Slipper hosted the event.
"It was pretty cool for the kids," said Brandon Rubenstein, programs director at the camp. "It's something special at camp. It's not just them sitting and watching something."
A Camplified show at any camp, Golden Slipper included, is more than just a concert.
Campers also get the opportunity to meet and talk with the artists and have them sign merchandise. During the day while bands do sound check, tour sponsors like Fender Guitars or VerbNow offer activities for the kids like Camp Idol, where the most talented camper at a given camp gets to perform a song on stage with one of the acts.
"It's a long day for us counselors," Rubenstein said. "But when you see the kids talk about how awesome it was, I'll sweat until 2 o'clock in the morning for it."
Shows during the tour draw crowds of about 500 to 1,500 campers ranging from 7 to 18 years old. Bands perform for about a half hour set each show and can perform their original songs.
"We have to tone down the music a little bit, mainly change the lyrics for camps, you can't curse or make certain references," said Scarlett, the lead vocalist for Scarlett's Web. "But it's still rock music."
The bands say it rocks to interact with kids. For many of the campers, this is their first show, but none of the band members, from Scarlett's Web at least, had ever been to camp either.
Scarlett was quick to point out how campers told guitarist Tony Grace they never met a band before, but Tony, "never met a camper before either."
"The kids are very appreciative," Grace said. "A kid came up and asked me for one of my guitar picks. I like that the campers feel they can come talk to us or come ask about guitars."
"Kids are cool because they get into it more and they think you're such a superstar," Scarlett said.
The crowd was up and moving as soon as Scarlett's Web struck their first chords opening the show at Golden Slipper. During a pause between bands, Victoria Warne, 12, of Philadelphia took the opportunity to stop dancing, assess the performance and relay the crowd's excitement for the next act.
"I like it so far," she said. "And everyone thinks these guys in the next band are cute."
The Camplified Summer Tour will pass through the area again on Thursday, Aug. 3, at Camp Lindenmere in Henryville.
Live performance from 3D, the rap act mentioned in the article (featuring Roy Jones Jr.'s twin sons)
Scarlett's Web performing at The Golden Slipper Camp
The Golden Slipper Camp Official site of the boys & girls camp featured in the article