One great party. Camp Brotherhood Symposium 2012 was kicked off by a parade of thunderstorms
on first Friday that charged the air with enthusiasm. That energy carried us through the week, but the prevailing mood was quite mellow, like the quiet showers that swept the field after we left.
25 years on, our group is maturing, and this Camp Brotherhood Symposium really showed us who we are, and what turns us on. Our instructors were the very best in every aspect of stone carving. What art college could offer such a lineup? Deborah Wilson, Mary Jo Anderson, George Pratt, Alphonso Rodriguez Medina, Ruth Mueseler, Tamara Buchanan, Arliss Newcomb, JoAnne Duby and Richard Hestekind. All in the same place, all giving us the very best of their wisdom and inspiration, and all great friends. Folks, we are truly fortunate.
And who made it happen? Barbara Davidson organized and led the team of able providers who anticipated our every need, and put together a seamless fabric of events that appeared to just happen, but was in fact carefully crafted and skillfully guided from beginning to end. Pat Barton and Lavina Streeter, assisted by Rich Andler and toolmasters Tom Urban and Dan Michael, kept us well supplied, well supported, and safe. Randy Zieber brought great stone and great tools, Marenakos Rock Center supplied the granite for the group piece, and lots of other goodies. Leon White orchestrated the field gallery so beautifully, and even got us on TV! Renee Roberts kept track of everything and everybody. Al Mangold outdid himself as auctioneer. Carolyn Anderson's fantastic massages kept us going. Vic Picou was everywhere, sharing his experience and assisting in all the activities. And Bruce (didn't get his last name), who had just visited on Saturday to see what was going on, came back on Sunday to help clean up. The Camp Brotherhood staff pitched in to build the stone circle, helped make the sculpture walk a booming success and even gave us a break on the costs so more people could afford to come. There were many more who added their help, and I apologize for not naming everyone.
It was a week to remember, remarkable in many ways: Deborah Wilson brought us a complete Jade carving studio, and showed us how to operate all the tools, and let us play in it for a week!
George Pratt opened up his bottomless bag of tricks, and fired us up, striking sparks from the granite, and guiding us with full power to carve out an Orca dorsal fin, that now is swimming through the Camp B soil toward the upper fire pit.
Mary Jo Anderson opened her arms and shared with us her passion for marble, reminding us how precious is the life in the stone itself. And as is her way, she reached out to each one of us with genuine care, to encourage our own expressions of that passion.
Alphonso quietly demonstrated once again his flawless technique, and the true joy of hand carving fine marble. And several youngsters moved up to the big kids table.
Old friends, whom we hadn't seen in years, dropped by to share in the party atmosphere. Many more lovely sculptures were born. And, yes, there were lots of hugs.
After all the high expectations and hard work, I think this symposium was so wonderfully successful simply because we were all there together doing what we have always done and doing it better each time we meet: sharing the love of stone carving and fellow stone carvers. The Rock Family is alive and well and growing.
For all of us who were the beneficiaries of all this planning and hard work, and who got to have great fun all week, we joyously thank you!
Editors' Note: Tracy Powell modestly did not mention his own contribution as a mentor and instructor. He tirelessly worked alongside the other teachers who made this year's Camp Brotherhood such a memorable and welcoming success.