Photo Caption: Derek and Shane Dittmar
Last year we brought you the Enchanted Hills Camp (EHC) “Give Back” summer concert series. Throughout the summer months when camp was silent, people from all over took part as best they could and listened online to an incredible array of performers who shared their talents to help support Enchanted Hills Camp. Well, it seems we may have started a new tradition, as the “Give Back” concerts are back, and camp director Tony Fletcher couldn’t be more thrilled.
“We are very pleased to once again offer a summer series of virtual concerts by musicians whose lives have been positively impacted by the programs at Enchanted Hills Camp. Our musicians will be raising funds to help us improve Enchanted Hills camp’s water storage.
“For three generations the camp’s parched recreation field lacked the summertime water to irrigate it and support a lush lawn. The rec field is the largest level sports area in our entire camp. Now we have a plan to develop a well water system which will keep the field green all year round. The pumps, storage tanks, well and other infrastructure costs approximately $25,000. We hope our community can raise that amount by September. Please join us for interviews and great music all summer long.”
The concerts will run every two weeks from June 18 to August 13. Up first on June 18 are brothers Derek and Shane Dittmar who are both blind playing original and cover songs: Derek on guitar and Shane on piano. Derek shared with us why he loves performing to support EHC, to which he feels a deep connection.
“I started as a camper at EHC around 2006. Every summer I couldn’t wait to fly out from Raleigh and spend a week in the mountains with my friends. I learned how to play sports, make music, maintain life-long friendships, and feel confident. EHC felt like home, and I was privileged to work as the Enrichment Area Leader in 2012 and 2013. The camp, its staff, and its energy will always be a part of me.
“EHC is special for a thousand reasons, but chief among them is that it presents the typical summer camp experience to people who don’t normally get that chance. Risk is something not often given to people with disabilities, so to have a place where I could be myself, completely and confidently, meant the world. I could experiment and explore and, when things were unexpected, find a way to redirect and fix them myself. Staff was always there to help if I wanted, and to make sure that everyone was safe, but it was a chance to live my life on my terms and to learn who I was, both because of and in spite of my blindness.”
Derek started playing the bass guitar when he was eleven, “less because I had a pull towards bass and more because my incredibly talented brother was starting a band and that was the instrument, he didn’t have covered,” he laughs.
Now Derek is a civil defense attorney in Raleigh but playing and listening to music are ways in which he keeps himself grounded.
He’s keeping exactly what he’ll be treating us to on June 18 close to his chest.
“I perform original folk rock/Americana music. I currently plan on doing a few original songs written over the past two or three years, though I may throw a cover in, depending. My influences include Jason Isbell, Jackson Brown, Dawes, and Glen Hansard.”
Derek, we can’t wait!
The first EHC Give Back Concert with Derek and Shane Dittmar is on Friday, June 18 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm Pacific.
Where: Enchanted Hills Camp Facebook Page. No Facebook account is required and no tickets either. However, your contributions to the green rec field water system will go a long way to improve our rebuilding of camp so people like Derek and Shane continue to test boundaries and take risks there for years to come.
There’s no need to wait for the concert to give back to EHC. Donate via text by texting the amount you wish to give to 415-707-7864.