Sound of Music at Happy Camp High

by Cody

What happened to the Music?

Do you love music? I do. I feel that it is a statement in itself. It expresses culture and life through the words of a song. Music states an individual’s personality by what instrument they play. Someone who plays electric guitar may be a person who likes to play hard rock, or maybe a person who plays the trumpet likes classical music.

At Happy Camp High School it has been extremely difficult to explore musical talent. “Why is this happening?” you’re wondering. This is a question that must be answered. You may not know this, but when a student does not show up for classes, it cuts down the budget for that particular class. If one student or more ceases to show up, then the class is cut. Another reason the music program was cut in Happy Camp High was the fact that the federal government would not fund the program because they want the students to learn the basics, such as math, history and English. With the loss of the music program in our school, we must find a way to integrate these programs back into the school curriculum.

There is no music program at Happy Camp High School. The loss of this program upsets me for many reasons. First of all, there are many students that can play an instrument, but have difficulties trying to learn the instrument. Many students, myself included, have to teach themselves by using the Internet or buying music books from a music store. Even then, I don’t really know if I’m playing the notes right. There is no guidance. I love playing the electric guitar; however, it’s hard for me to teach myself how to play. I wish a high school music program was available to any student who wants to learn.

Music is not only an excellent activity to learn, it also helps with many of your brain functions. Scientists say that music works the part of the brain where math is processed. Math is a very important subject in life to learn. If you can play an instrument you are most likely able to do math with no hassle.

The thing that most people don’t understand is that music is not just an extra curricular activity just to do to get easy credits for high school. It is part of everyday life. All the music you hear on the radio everyday is because someone might have taken a music program in their school. If you are exposed to music in school now it could become your career later in life.

With the budget for schools going down hill, the music and arts programs are usually the first to be cut. The federal government believes that music is not important to the school curriculum, when in reality it is what students need. If students had an outlet to get away from stress, they may possibly stay away from drugs. It would keep students minds on something they enjoy doing.

This will be a problem for many years if we don’t act now. There are options to ending this outrage. Schools could appeal to our elected representatives in our state and federal governments to fund the music programs.

This could happen. but without the proper agreements from the community this program will never progress in our schools.

If music was back in our schools then people with gifted talents can grow. Please help me and other students bring the music program back to the school curriculum. Don’t let music disappear from existence forever.

Happy Camp Is Like A Fish Bowl

A View From My Hill

Wild flowers at Wingate River Access

Happy Camp Is Like A Fish Bowl

By Linda Martin

Happy Camp is a small town and there’s no bad side of town. Every side is just about like any other. And this causes some people discomfort.

You see, if you’re used to being able to live on the good side of town in a larger community, it is a step down to come to a place like Happy Camp where we’re all together – the good, the imperfect, and whoever comes to live with us.

We’re deep inside the Klamath National Forest – a group of less than 1500 souls. Some were born here. Some have had family here for many centuries and others for more than one century. But many of us have no idea where our ancestors came from. We were born in this country which is not our ancestors’ native land, and we struggle to find a place we can call home. We’ve been drawn to this remote mountain community either by the hand of fate or the will of God, where we learn that Happy Campers are all like one big extended family. We’re together here, deep in the most remote part of the forest, trying to make the best of it.

So if you’re reading this website thinking you might want to move here as many have done before you, consider this. In Happy Camp we’re not just talking about the unity of mankind. We’re living it. There are no bad people here, but there are plenty of imperfect ones and if we’re going to be honest we’ll admit that everyone is imperfect. There are those who let it show and those who try to hide their imperfections, but in general we’re all pretty much alike.

Though there are no bad people here, there are bad drugs that cause some of our citizens to act in ways others consider to be irresponsible and immature. And in a larger town most of those people would be living on ‘the other side of town’ – forced by economic necessity to rent places that we can not see or be bothered by because we never go there.

Well in Happy Camp, we don’t have that type of luxury. There’s no bad neighborhood. All neighborhoods are pretty much alike with both good and troubled people in them. And though we may complain about our neighbors, they are still like our cousins, brothers and sisters, and they’re probably not going away any time soon. So like any big family there are sometimes petty arguments, then we usually get over them because that’s what people in families do.

So if you’re used to luxury living, it is possible Happy Camp isn’t the place for you. True, you could buy a home outside of town and only drive into town to get your mail and groceries, but then you’d miss the true beauty of Happy Camp. By true beauty I mean the friendships and comaraderie you find by associating with all classes of people here. Yet this apparently is not for everyone.

As editor of this news site I have met people who learned about the town from this site and came here to buy property. Please consider this your warning. Though Happy Camp is a beautiful and isolated community in the middle of a gorgeous national forest, we’re not all upscale and if you find that bothersome, you may want to look for other lodging.

However if you love humanity, care about people, and want to join together with all classes to help and find new kinds of friends, this is a great fishbowl to be in.


Linda Martin is the editor and publisher of Happy Camp News. She writes novels in her spare time. Her writing website is at

Courteous, Concerned Community Dialogue Furthers Happy Camp Progress

by Judy Bushy

In my column in the “Pioneer Press”  last week, I said that the present Happy Camp Health Services Board, considering comments from the majority of voting members, chose not to give the building to another organization and that  “The Karuk Tribe has already put a new building for these services on their property between Second Avenue and the Highway.”

I was mistaken that the new modular was for the doctor’s offices and services that are presently in the Happy Camp Health Services Building. The modular moved unto the property will house program staff moved from the building next to the Administration Building; information technology and self-governance. The building next to the Administration Building was originally designed for a Medical and Dental Clinic and that is the area being remodeled, at considerable cost, for the medical services. The former Council Chambers will be the medical reception, medical records and nurses station. That wing is being remodeled for examination rooms. 

That is why the Karuk Tribe of California notified the Happy Camp Health Services that they were NOT interested in buying or leasing the Happy Camp Health Services building and said they planned to be moved out by end of September.To hold a NEW board of VOLUNTEERS responsible for past years isn’t really fair since they coveyed their desire to listen and learn what needed to be improved.

Even though I usually ask readers to respond and share with me, I don’t get large volumes of mail in response! Last week was an exception; I received quite a few calls about the column.  A caller might have given me information on corrections,. since she said I was ignorant, and was writing illegal slander, but never gave me a speck of information on what might need correcting. I did ask, but the phone slammed down! I’m still of the same mind, that Happy Camp needs mental health and similar services which are not adequately available, and that a community group, everyone working together, like the Happy Camp Health Services has always been, could help in this regard. I’m a good listener, but after calling names, no one gave me any specifics. We just don’t need more vacant unused buildings sitting around for years when there are nearly a dozen organizations that need places to meet. We can help each other when we can work together more effectively. I’m happy to listen to anyone’s views, but a few pertinent facts might be more effective than bluster and name calling.. I listened quietly to the name calling but got hung up on when I asked for help in understanding their point of view.  


The speaker who rudely accused John Godwin of the Happy Camp Health Services of rudeness when he is the quietest, kindest and a hard working volunteer who called the meeting to hear all views, made me wince. That is why Leon Hillman’s comments to friends and neighbors that whatever the disagreement, we will go on being friends and neighbors was so moving. Sharing viewpoints helps us all learn, when it is done in that frame of reference.

We respect the fact that Tribal members families and also many other members of the community and their families were also active in building the clinic building. The land, milled lumber, and many hours of labor were donated by the mill and citizens of the community. Wasn’t it a wonderful accomplishment they achieved together! It reminds me of the Memorial Log Building which was built with community working together, to provide education for our children, also, (although that was before my time!)

 We need more mental health services in Happy Camp and lease of the building to an organization working with Behavioral Health, is one way that it could be provided. Also, I see some value in some organization that could be the whole community working together, not exclusively for any particular group to the exclusion of others. Amazing things can be accomplished when we work together!

Give me a call, I’ll be happy to hear your views. If I’m busy at the moment, I’ll be happy to call you back. Also appreciate your telling me of any news and announcements that you have to share. That is why living along the wild beautiful Klamath River in the midst of the green forest, with blue skies above is so wonderful. We have great neighbors, mostly courteous and concerned about the community.

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