The Suwannee Spirit Kid’s Music Camp traces its origins to a dream envisioned by Miss Jean Cornett. Inspired by a kid’s bluegrass camp at The “Festival of the Bluegrass,” which Miss Jean and the Cornett family played a key role in starting, the idea took root at The Spirit of the Suwannee.
In 2003, a dedicated group of volunteer instructors organized the inaugural music camp at the park, welcoming around 25 kids. By 2005, Linda McCoy assumed coordination responsibilities, turning the camp into a bi-annual and later quarterly event with an average of 35 kids learning guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and hand drums. Ms. McCoy played a pivotal role in securing the initial instrument donations that the camp still utilizes.
In 2006, the reins were passed to Charley Dame, a lifelong musician and artisan who had recently opened a Wood Shop in the Craft Village at the SOSMP. Today, the Suwannee Spirit Kids Music Camp has evolved, boasting an average attendance of 130 kids per camp weekend.
Instruction spans a variety of instruments, including guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass, fiddle, harmonica, ukulele, vocals, and hand drums. The camp also features regular guest appearances by regional and national artists. Beyond exploring music, kids attending the camp partake in an uplifting and rewarding social event tailored just for them.