April President’s Message

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The Spring Campout is this month in Turlock! The CBA hosts three campouts each year: the Spring Campout, the Fall Campout (the Annual Membership Meeting) and the Old Time Cam- pout. If you have never attended a campout this might be the year to attend.

Several years ago Lifetime Member and then Statewide Activities VP Bob Thomas inventoried locations in Northern California for campouts. He traveled to visit those where there was no competition with auto-races, gocart races, motorcycle races, amplified concerts and other noisy and competing events. The Fairgrounds in Turlock was a winner for affordability, access (Hwy 99), location (neither north nor south) and facilities offered (bathrooms, showers, buildings availability for a dinner and Board meeting). While we have had some issues with noise from other parties held on the Fairgrounds during our event, Turlock has been a wonderful location. The Fairground management has been a great partner to us over the years and we have been able to continue to keep it affordable. I, personally, love the sound of the trains at night.

Campouts used to fall under the purview of the Statewide Area Activities VP but a few years ago Glenda and Vaughn Lew volunteered to manage the campouts and they have done an admirable job and we are grateful to them. Campouts are fun and are what the membership makes of them. The events allow members to meet each other and jam. A few years ago the Board decided that campouts could be a fundraising event for the CBA Youth Program and any profits from the catered Saturday night dinner and raffle are donated to the Youth Program. The camping fees pay for the venue and the Turlock management actually count the
number of rigs parked each night and charge us per rig.

Campouts have few organized activities and allow attendees to re- lax. Socialize, jam and enjoy other CBA members. The event begins the first of the week and many ar- rive early and spend all seven days at the Fairgrounds. Things start getting busier beginning Thurs- day and Friday as working people (and people with school age children) begin arriving. Friday night and Saturday nights are usually rip-roaring with jams everywhere and people visiting with each other. There is a CBA Board meeting held each Sunday morning on site and many members attend. The town of Turlock offers many places to dine and grocery stores are a short drive away. Bring some shelter and your instruments (perhaps a book to read) and join us this year.
The Saturday night catered dinner sells out so purchase your tickets early if you plan to attend.

The entertainment this year will be the Blue Js, an amazing CBA young band comprised of Josh, Jacob and John Gooding and Jesse Personeni. The Blue Js are a band to watch, debuting on the Vern’s Stage last year at Father’s Day, performing in the CBA Suite at the World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, rocking the performance suites at the Great 48. The band is so accomplished they have also been hired for the Park- field Bluegrass Festival, the Susanville Bluegrass Festival and a single set of the Pioneer Stage at this year’s FDF. Be certain to purchase the CD they recorded last year. All of these musicians have participated in our Kids on Bluegrass programs throughout their lifetime and all have represented us at the World of Bluegrass in Raleigh. Your support of the CBA Youth Program has had a direct impact on the ability of these amazing young artists to develop and be recognized as our next generation of CBA musicians.

They have borrowed instruments from the Instrument Lending Library, received “grants” from the CBA Youth Program to attend camps and events and have been mentored by the older generation of musicians in our midst. Don’t miss them.
The CBA Spring Campout is held at the Fairgrounds in Turlock, April 17-23, 2017. To volunteer please contact Glenda and Vaughn Lew.

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