Teens nationwide can audition for musical mountain summer camp

Auditions are currently open for 12 musical teenagers to attend the first-ever Rok Kamp in Chaffee County July 16-22. Registration closes at midnight May 31. To audition, students must upload a video telling a bit about themselves and showing their musical talents. Once the videos are uploaded to YouTube, applicants must submit the link to the camp website.

Articipate Director Trevor “Bones” Davis said the idea of Rok Kamp has been “percolating” since he started Rok Skool, a group of rock bands comprised of Chaffee County middle school and high school students.

Vince Stack and Sarah Huddleston had been asking about a band camp for years, Bones said, and their sponsorship made creation of a website possible to get the idea off the ground.

The campers will reside at the Rocky Mountain High Adventure Base on Poncha Pass and will receive daily musical instruction from professional musicians. Instructors will include Kerry Walsh of the Denver band The Fabulous Boogienauts; Alan Mueller, a Salida High School sophomore; and Bones. Additional instructors will be selected based on the instrumentation of the selected applicants, Bones explained.

While the application is skills-based, Bones said the goal is to create a cohesive band whose week together will culminate with a live performance at The Lariat in Buena Vista.

“We will fly with less than (12). We’re making sure we have a cohesive group. We can’t have six drummers or all guitarists,” he said. “It depends on who comes through and if we can make a cohesive group out of the applicants. If we get one ripping guitarist and everyone else is a beginner, sorry ripping guitarist.”
The target audience for the camp is high school-aged kids.

Bones said the goal is to have the newly formed band perform four covers and one original song at The Lariat.

“It’s fairly ambitious for a week, but I think we can totally pull it off,” he said.
The Varsity Rok Skool band will also play The Lariat show. The decision on which group will open for the other will depend on “who is bringing it more,” Bones said. “If Rok Kamp is ‘holy guacamole,’ and full-on bringing it, they will play second. Our varsity band will be stiff competition though. They’re really good this year.”

In addition to an intense music rehearsal and instruction schedule, the campers will get a chance to experience some fun non-musical activities like visiting the soon-to-open arcade in downtown Salida and going whitewater rafting and ziplining.

Bones said the camp is open to applicants across the country. “We’ve even arranged transportation if they’re coming into Denver.”

The audition videos will be judged by a jury. Members of the Salida Rotary will also watch the auditions to choose one Salida candidate to win a full-ride scholarship. Cost of the camp is $950, which includes food, lodging and adventures.

There is also a $5 application fee intended to involve parents early on so there aren’t any secret auditions or surprise camp bills.
For more information, visit RokKamp.com.