top of page


In 1942, Fred Ohlendorf was Supervisor of Music for Long Beach School District. He wanted to celebrate a successful summer season of wartime effort performances with his All City Junior High Orchestra.


Years earlier, the family of Fred’s wife, Edna, had established a church camp in the remote mountain town of Arrowbear.  

For one week in late August, he brought the fifty-six musicians to Arrowbear. They played concerts for local vacationers and enjoyed camp activities in the extremely rustic outdoor mountain setting.


Campers had a very worthwhile experience, and parents and teachers saw the value of a musically oriented vacation. The seed was planted and next year everyone wanted to return. The retreat grew into a multi-session summer camp with full activities.

Fred Ohlendorf's Early Guidelines for the Camp 

  1. To develop a deeper love and understanding of music by giving campers a balanced program of music which includes playing, singing, listening, and information about composers/ musicians. 

  2. To provide musical youth with a mountain vacation in the beautiful out-of-doors away from the distractions of city life and the strife and turmoil of world conditions.

  3. To give young people a camp experience, where under the supervision of skilled counselor/teachers, they get valuable experience in getting along harmoniously and working together co-operatively.

  4. To give young people a wholesome, healthy program of regular hours, good food, plenty of sleep, and everything that makes for a healthy life.

  5. To develop character and leadership in youth—the future citizens of our country and world.

“I believe in music as an enrichment for anyone, and I believe that the more they can perform in beautiful organizations of great music and get inspiration and happy memories of great pieces performed...the richer their lives will be.”— Fred Ohlendorf

bottom of page