Campus hums with activity in the summer too

July 27, 2010

By the time fall arrives to the sound of Old Main bell welcoming the class of 2014, McDaniel College will have hosted more than 4,000 members of 35 groups, from athletes to musicians, cadets to parishioners, cheerleaders to detectives. That, of course, doesn’t count the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and the 90,000 fans who cheer them through training camp or some 33,000 proud relatives and friends gathering for high school graduation ceremonies.

Some are Common Ground’s traditional music, arts and crafts enthusiasts. Others are middle and high school musicians who traveled from far and near to participate in Music Camp, celebrating 25 years in 2010.

Blues musician Guy Davis keeps cadence as Robin Tillery and Andy Lawrence ’09 help carve a sycamore log into a canoe under the tutelage of Common Ground instructor Ken Koons.

It is, by all accounts, a packed summer on the Hill.

In its quarter of a century history, Music Camp has attracted campers from 12 states and New Delhi, India, according to director and founder Linda Kirkpatrick, a senior lecturer in Music at McDaniel. For many it is a first introduction to the college – and for some love at first sight.

Fifteen freshmen in the class of 2013 are alumni of music camp. Most years a few alumni-turned-McDaniel-students of serve as counselors.

In fact, the camps and conferences – and even high school graduations – often serve as recruiting tools for prospective students. The college’s spectacular campus is a reason camp and conference organizers choose McDaniel and participants return as students, according to Valerie Westbrook, coordinator of conference, camp & event scheduling.

In any given week, the mix of groups may include the Civil Air Patrol and Forensic campers, Common Ground and the Soccer Academy. The Alexandria Harmonizers sing in the dining hall, a group is jamming in Memorial Plaza and in the quad there is a heated volleyball competition.

It’s summer on the Hill, and anything but quiet.