What happens at camp?

A typical day begins at 9am with an entertaining and participatory camp sing- along that includes parents and siblings.   Campers love this gathering time enhanced by the leaders doing silly skits and jokes, modeling delight and participation.  This is a time when new songs are debuted or special guests perform. A pervading theme woven into the warp and weft of every moment of Oonie Koonie Cha is respect: respecting diversity, commonality, growth, ecology, kindness and stewardship of our earth and all citizens great and small that inhabit her.


At 9:15 campers are escorted by their group leader to five different activity areas:

Song Circle

Instrument Construction

Science and Sound

Dramatic Play and Stories

Orff Xylophone Orchestra

A healthy snack and outdoor play are provided each day, along with visits from special guests in the community that might play a harmonica, singing Tibetan Bowls or a didgeridoo.

The day concludes with a sing -along from 12:15- 12:30 to show family and friends what we did that day.  

We end the week with a closing performance using the instruments that we made and songs that we have learned.  Everyone goes home with a audio version of the week’s songs, a t-shirt and hand made instruments that they will enjoy throughout the year.



In 2001,the seed for Camp Oonie Koonie Cha sprouted over Marguerita's at a local diner attended by five Winston-Salem Musicare teachers: Amy Haywood, Amy Wright, Beth Frack, Claire Valine and Sandy McFalls. Beth Frack suggested forming a music camp. This idea met with underwhelming skepticism.  That summer, Amy Haywood was teaching at the Winston-Salem Montessori School at their summer fun week and while there envisioned how the camp could be structured.  The logo was scratched out on a napkin and the next summer featured three individual weeks hosted by the Montessori School under the leadership of Barbara Stirche.  Enrollment barely reached fifty campers per week at best, but the response was overwhelming.  The next summer, having learned by fire, there was one theme, The Wild West, that was offered for two sessions.  Camp filled in four weeks with a waiting list.  Fifteen years later it is going strong with a sister camp in Boulder, Colorado, started by Amy Haywood.