Author: Brandli, Darby

President’s Message--Youth Program growing

The California Bluegrass Association has many activities for our younger members in our Youth Program. The program encompasses the Kids on Bluegrass (KOB), the Darrell Johnston Kids Lending Library (DJKLL), the Children’s Activities Programs at our Festivals and Music Camps, the scholarship arm for KOB at the World of Bluegrass and for our Music Camps and support of programs/events for Teens at Father’s Day and hopefully year round.

We developed a position for Teen Ambassador a few years ago and that position was ably filled by Angelica Grim (Doerfel), Paige Anderson and Nate Schwartz. Nate is retiring from the position this year because he has “aged out” by turning 18. I am hoping that the teens themselves brainstorm and suggest the next Teen Ambassador for the Association (nomination confirmed at Annual Membership Meeting in October) and work together to determine how they want the Board to support them and what they want the CBA to create for teens in the future.

The newest activity we created for our youth was the VolunTeen program at Father’s Day this year. We had a couple dozen Teens, Almost Teens and Recent Teens participate in “running” the gate on Wednesday during Music Camp/Festival week at Grass Valley. If you entered the gate noon to 6P on Wednesday you met them. We had a large group jamming for those entering the festival grounds (for 6 hours) and a smaller group directing traffic and helping people with their tickets.

We were very careful supervising the smaller/younger teens and no one was harmed by traffic during this event. Size doesn’t matter in consumption of pizza or jamming but size does matter when directing traffic. The jamming was incredible (and something they did for most of the festival) but traffic direction and running from vehicle to the gate is hard and hot work and I must single out a handful of Teens who simply excelled in this work: Meghan Lange was the Team Manager and she brought along her buddy Sierra Knopes and the two teams made up of Veronica Varner and Juliet Daniel and Jake Gooding and MacRae Dudman were simply awesome. These six teens did not stop working and smiling even when the temperature soared and traffic increased. Is there Board membership in their future? Many of the VolunTeen shirts and tiaras were worn for the entire festival. There were scissors taken to the VolunTeen shirts to make them cooler to wear for some and we will certainly take fashion direction from Juliet Daniel in the future when we reorder shirts.

It is essential we all support this next generation of leaders of the CBA and there will be more ways (money is always welcome by donating to the CBA Youth Program) for all of us to participate in the future. The Association has always done a stellar job supporting our young pickers and we also have a large group of youth who (like me) are fans and not pickers and finding ways for them to contribute is the next goal of the Youth Program. There are some enormously talented future leaders in the VolunTeen program.

Postscript: It is CBA Board Director election time and we encourage you to vote for one or more candidates. Our By-Laws require ten percent of the membership to vote annually in this election so voting is an important responsibility of membership. We also encourage you to seriously consider running for a Directorship position in 2013.

Posted:  9/20/2012

Copyright © 2002 California Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Please email