SCAMP: Let Your Soul Shine

Music has a certain special power that brings people together, and Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, IL embodies this concept. Emotions brought up by shifting melodies, swooping crescendos, and heart-wrenching bass can unify a crowd, creating an indescribable bond between total strangers. However, there is another very powerful tool for unifying people; compassion. Located throughout Summer Camp, or SCamp, as it is lovingly called by its fans, are many wonderful ways to get involved that aim to empower a collective consciousness among its attendees, pushing a movement beyond its incredible music.


          Unique to Summer Camp is the Make a Difference project, which “brings you a daily dose of loving goodness to empower, inspire, and educate you with the tools for a sustainable world!” The Soulshine tent is the hub for Make a Difference, and immersed scampers (loyal festival-goers) post up at Soulshine during the day to inform those who want to get involved in taking steps to help out with various nonprofit organizations, environmental and human rights issues. In the past, the program has hosted various drives, including canned food drives, cell phone recycling drives, cigarette butt drives, seed swaps, shoe drives, and hygiene pack drives, to name a few. These projects help tackle issues we often dismiss throughout our everyday lives, yet helping out can be as simple as collecting your cigarette butts in an ashtray to be recycled, rather than stomping them out on the ground. It’s the little choices we make every day that add up to make the biggest difference.

Conscious change doesn’t just stop there; Festival Greening Initiatives throughout the campgrounds strive to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint and lessen its environmental impact. Summer Camp’s environmentally-friendly movement takes steps to support local businesses through the Charity and Greening Fee included in your ticket purchase, which is used to purchase locally-produced products, as well as biodegradable disposable goods, and maintain the extensive recycling program. This fee also goes towards a carbon offsetting program, which according to their website, has offset about “40 metric tons of CO2. To put that in perspective, that’s as much as over 70,000 trees can absorb in one year!”


       Greening initiatives also take Three Sisters Park by storm via the Summer Camp Green Team; dedicated scampers collect trash from the campgrounds to be sorted into a comprehensive system of color-coded bins for recycling, compost, and landfill. The Green Team makes sure that scampers are educated about the project and take advantage of the recycling and composting programs utilised throughout the weekend. The services they provide are truly a breath of fresh air from the mess of waste that is often left behind at camping festivals. Beyond recycling and composting, SCamp also uses biodiesel generators that they helped develop in cooperation with Caterpillar engineers, using 20% biodiesel mix rather than the traditional 5%.

             All in all, it is the spirit of SCamp that truly makes it stand out; drives, non-profit organizations hosted throughout the park, yoga workshops, festival greening initiatives, rideshare programs, an on-site church, and even a kids’ camp for younger scampers are all manifestations of this festival’s collective consciousness. As you walk through the festival campgrounds, it’s likely you’ll run into gorgeous families of scampers with their flower children, as it is a family-friendly escapade. With so many ways to get involved, Summer Camp truly goes above and beyond its amazing lineup to create a uniquely enlightening experience.

Written by: Hanna Danecker