I’m off today for two weeks at Kendall Betts Horn Camp in the wilds of the mountains of New Hampshire: no email, no internet, no TV or radio, no newspapers, no movies (streaming, DVD, or on TV), no commuting, and only about one square meter where – if you can find it and you stand just right – you can get cell phone reception. It’s almost heaven. No distractions, just wall-to-wall horn: masterclasses in the morning, lessons and horn ensemble in the afternoon, concerts and presentations in the evening, 40-some campers ages 14 to 80 from every possible musical walk of life and level, a dozen fabulous faculty, accommodations in log cabins, terrific food, a concert hall en bois apparently built by Paul Bunyan from local trees. Everybody, including faculty, has a chore: Camp Ogontz, the host of the camp has only a small staff, so each inhabiting group must share in the daily chores. The camp abuts a small lake (where you may fish or swim during that rare bit of free time between four and six in the afternoon) and has a view of the distant rounded peaks of the White Mountains. For horn teachers, it is a joy to 1) work with passionate students and 2) get to hang out with other horn teachers – the job throughout the year is in one sense a bit like being a lighthouse keeper – it’s just you there, doing your particular job. Replacing that brand of splendid isolation with camaraderie during dinners and after-hours every day is a special treat. Your spouse back home does not want to hear (yet again) about your daily teaching in any sort of detail; they are not equipped with the vocabulary, background, or (by this time) interest in the minutia of your teaching day (just an overview will do, thank you very much, honey). Not so your faculty buddies. So you trade stories until late into the night, and it feels good, this little lighthouse keepers’ microconvention, hey, let me tell you about the new glass polish I got mail-order that makes the bright beam shine even farther in bad weather, that sort of thing. Many, many laughs. It’s a great place to share experiences, get new insights on solving thorny pupil problems, and also, to talk at length about things other than horn (nothing like beer, chips, and cheeses to help you ponder and solve (until morning at least) all the mysteries of the universe, local and distant, known and unknown). This is soul-soothing therapy that you can’t buy, barter, or bottle, just be there and enjoy.