Legacy Grove hosting final Drum Camp to the tune of a new beat

Published 3:30 pm Friday, March 22, 2024

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Playing a musical instrument has long been associated with providing positive energy. 

Those interested in such an opportunity can now find one. 

In collaboration with the Clark County Public Library (CCPL), Legacy Grove is hosting their final of three sessions of Drum Camp – similar to its previously established Drum Circles – on Wednesday, March 27 at 6:00 p.m at CCPL. 

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“The whole purpose of Drum Camp is to get people who’ve never been before, or even people who’ve been before and just want to come join us…ready for the Legacy Grove Drum Circle,” said Legacy Greenscapes Executive Director Deborah Jackson. “It’s a little intimidating to step into something you don’t know, so these three sessions of Drum Camp have been all about basic skill teaching.” 

Though two prior sessions have occurred, those who wish to join for the first time are welcome to do so, as the group frequently reviews skills and previously taught concepts. 

While there are various types of drums – including bongo, timpani, and bass – Drum Camp utilizes the djembe drum which requires only two hands.

Originally from western Africa, the name djembe – according to those who are native to the region – translates to “everyone gather together in peace.” 

Such a translation is appropriately connected to one of the overall goals behind establishing Drum Camp and Drum Circle.  

“There’s a core group of us that drum at Legacy Grove Drum Circle…we realized that a lot of the people that were coming…really liked the outdoors. When we moved it indoors, we had a significant drop in participation,” Jackson said. “We [were] sitting around and wondering, ‘how can we use this time to do something different and to prepare people for coming outside?’ We [were] trying to increase people’s confidence in coming to our summer drum circles. That’s how drum camp got started.” 

Among the core members are David Johnson, Adelessa Grace, Sherri Little and Tara Young. 

Soon, they found a partner in the Clark County Public Library, who offered their Community Room. 

Despite what some might see as an irony, the experience has been rewarding and effective. 

“Their community room [has] been designed well because they don’t hear very loud drumming outside in the library., Jackson added. “The library has been a fantastic partner in this community. They advertised it with their patrons.” 

Yet the Clark County Public Library wasn’t the only location providing support. 

At different Clark County Public School locations, Family Resource Centers (FRCs) were able to purchase an additional set of drums, allowing others who attend drum camps to utilize such instruments. 

“There’s probably twenty extra drums that we’re able to let people use,” Jackson said. 

The reputation of both Drum Camp and drum circles has grown, and others have taken notice. 

Recently, the Jackson County Public Library reached out requesting them to come by for education purposes. 

Beneficially, with an attendance of just under 30 individuals at each of the first two meetings, the activity has shown it can incorporate people of all ages. 

“It’s really intergenerational.” Jackson added. “There’s three boys that are seven years old, and then we have people in their eighties who are there.”