Rotary Club plans for ‘music park’ at Camp Courageous


Monticello Rotary and Camp Courageous announced the kickoff of a fundraising campaign for Rotary Music Park, an outdoor children’s park to be constructed at the camp. Taking part in the event are Candy Langerman, Kathy Pratt, Greg Quinn, Charlie Becker, Andrea Rivera, Tina McDonough, Sonya Belew, Audrey Savage, Gerald Retzlaff, Amy Kurth, Eric Briesemeister, Tom Osborne, Creighton Randolph, Jan Hoag, Doug Herman and Rick Meyer. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Tom Osborne of Monticello Rotary speaks to those in attendance at the Rotary Music Park fundraiser kickoff at Camp Courageous.
By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Monticello Rotary Club is looking ahead to its 100th anniversary by kicking off a service project that will greatly benefit Camp Courageous.

     The club was chartered in 1921, and will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2021.

     “The club was formed in 1921 and officially organized on Dec. 26, 1921,” shared Rotary Club member Tom Osborne. “So 2021 will be our 100th year, although the celebration will be held in the summer, a few months ahead of our actual birthday for better weather.”

     In March, the club organized a committee to pinpoint certain needs in the Monticello community, areas where the Rotary Club could maybe make a difference.

     “The committee reached out to several groups and organizations in the area and asked what types of needs they had,” explained Osborne.

     They learned from Camp Courageous CEO Charlie Becker that Camp had always thought of building an outdoor music venue (music park).

     “This has been on our drawing board for years,” Becker said.

     “It seemed to be a good fit with our club,” noted Osborne of assisting Camp in this endeavor.

     Then the conversation merged into the club’s 100th birthday celebration. Ultimately it was decided to use the music park as not only the Rotary Club’s annual service project, but also a kick-off for their 100th birthday.

     “Rotary has five avenues of service, one of which is community service,” said Osborne. “Local clubs are encouraged to undertake projects and activities that improve community life. This music park will do that. It will be open free to the public, plus school fieldtrips, and our visiting campers.”

     “Camp Courageous will be bringing the magic of music to Camp with the implementation of an outdoor music park as a new activity for campers and visitors alike to enjoy,” said Becker.

     So what is a music park?

     Rotary and Camp Courageous have formed a committee, chaired by Osborne, to research just what to include: various musical instruments that are designed to remain outdoors all year round: bells, drums, chimes, xylophones, etc.

     “Tom (Osborne) is a take-charge person and visited other areas and took pictures of music parks as examples,” Becker praised.

     The instruments will be brightly colored, easy to use for those of all abilities, and sound great when played outdoors.

     “The park will feature durable structures that make sound when engaged with,” explained Becker. “Music parks have gained popularity for the sensory elements they provide. Music parks are also noted for being highly inclusive and accessible for all, which make it a perfect fit for Camp.”

     “This will be tied into the playground as a gathering areas for campers,” noted Camp’s Facilities Director James Kurth.

     “Half of our committee is made up of Camp’s staff that are excited and supportive of this project,” Osborne said. “It really is a joint effort.”

     On Thursday, Sept. 17, the Rotary Club and Camp Courageous kicked off their service project and fundraising campaign.

     “This is the largest project we have undertaken,” said Osborne, “with an estimated cost of between $20,000 and $30,000. The more money we are able to raise, the more instruments we will be able to install.”

     The Monticello Lions Club has its name on the train depot at Camp Courageous. The Rotary Club will have its name on the music park. Becker takes pride in the fact that so many local organizations in Monticello have been supportive of Camp over the years.

     “The community and Camp coming together is really vital,” acknowledged Becker. “Local merchants and volunteers make us proud.”

     A grand opening is anticipated for August 2021. This will include a ribbon cutting for the music park and the club’s 100th birthday celebration all in one.

     “Any and all donations are greatly appreciated and sponsorships are available,” offered Osborne.

     To inquire about a donation, e-mail MonticelloRotaryIowa@gmail.com or call 319-610-2803.

     Those serving on the music park committee include Rotary members Osborne, Tina McDonough, Greg Quinn, and Kathy Pratt. Those from Camp Courageous include Becker, James and Amy Kurth, Sonya Belew, and Andrea Rivera.

     “This music park will really add to the camper experience,” Becker said. “It’ll be one of many unique activities campers can take part in. And music is something that all can enjoy.”

     “This will be a big draw for Camp,” added Kurth. “Campers can do something different here every day; they’re only limited by their imaginations.”

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