The Hoopers of Scamp

Repost from our previous blog site - originally published on May 27, 2014 @ 11:28

Summer Camp Music Festival has a personal spot in my heart; it inspired me to start hooping back in 2012. As we all have experienced, hooping is a life-altering journey. This is the magical rabbit hole where my journey began, and, to my surprise, where many others have been inspired, too.

The minute you park your car in Three Sisters Park, you will see hoopers gathering to the entrance lines; whether it's with LEDs piled on top of their wagons, or doubles draped over their shoulders, hoopers are a-plenty. As you enter through the welcome gates, it's impossible to not notice them already getting their groove on before even setting up camp.

Nearly every hooper you make eye-contact with will notice your hoop and give you an understanding smile. This year I spend most of my time scouting out alone; talking to new and experienced hoopers alike, to see how this flow-magic happens. I was determined to find out where the inspiration comes from.

I asked the hoopers of Scamp to tell me their story. Some came from small towns where nobody hooped, while others were inspired by their friends. Many hoopers were the same as me; they had come to Summer Camp for some simple fun, but left with a passion. Hearing everyone's story was beautiful, and bonding with those who were in my position was an honor.

All the hoopers at Scamp agreed that there was something different about this festival. The hoopers were more approachable; the workshops were more adaptable. The performers acted like your friends; rather than superiors. Everyone was excited to learn or teach, even if they never picked up a hula hoop before. There was something cozy and close-knit about Summer Camp. It was different from Electric Forest or Wakarusa; not just because of the population, but the community of hoopers were all so loving and friendly. I had to agree; I spend most of the weekend without the friends I came with, but still felt at home with all the hoopers. We automatically bonded. It truly amplified the deeper ideas of hooping.

Okay, so I knew the hoopers at Scamp were more close-knit and attentive, but I had to dig deeper. What was the connection between the unity of the hoopers and Summer Camp Music Festival?

I asked non-hoopers about their views of the flow-art at Scamp. Most people responded with awe and wonder at how beautiful and graceful all hoopers are. One Scamper shared his views that the hoopers at scamp are different from the regular campers. From his perspective, every hooper seemed ready and willing to lend a hand, a hug, or some form of kindess to a stranger who needed it. He said that was quite different from many other festival he had been to; where you stay with your friends, and don't pay much mind to the people around you.

As much as I found the Scampers loved all the hoopers; I felt my answer getting closer; but still far from my grasp. All the while, I was trick-swapping with other hoopers, or teaching little kids. There was never a moment I felt alone; since all I had to do was hoop near a cluster of flow-goddesses, and we would end up having a conversation, smoking a bowl, and hanging out with each other.

I leveled with one of my new hooping friends about my mission. I asked if she had any idea what made Summer Camp so special, why were the hoopers so kind, why were people transformed here...

This beautiful, wise hooper smiled at me, "Flow is just as prevalent as the music. People just understand that."

Suddenly it clicked. I have to say, I felt pretty silly.

The answer to my question was all around me, in fact, it was there before I even arrived. Summer Camp played all types of music, electronic, reggae, bluegrass...and music holds all the energy the hoopers move to.

We were camped in a forest; not by our car or in a motel. Being in this earth bound place, with all these styles swirling together finally made me realize were the magic was.

It was in the music, not just in the bands you go to see, but the music you see others enjoying; the music you feel yourself becoming apart of. Summer Camp pushes you into a smaller venue than most festivals; it forces you to stand shoulder to shoulder with your fellow hoopers and feel the music all together.

I suppose I can't really explain what it truly feels like unless you go and experience this magic yourself.

Just remember to flow with your heart, don't be afraid, feel this music and lose your way. The hoopers will find you.

See you next year!