Camp ‘Greatest thing that ever happened’ to Brett Dennen

Singer-songwriter Brett Dennen called summer camp the “greatest thing that ever happened” in an article on the Mercury News entitled “Brett Dennen and summer camp.”

“I started going there when I was 10,” Dennen said of Camp Jack Hazard in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in Dardanelles, California. “My second year, all I wanted to do was be a counselor and play at campfires. Camp was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.”

The article’s writer, Patrick Brown, remembered meeting Dennen shortly after arriving at the camp in 1997 and seeing his first Dennen concert around the campfire that evening.

“With a backdrop of a roaring campfire and another counselor by his side, he played ‘Fire and Rain,’ ‘Southern Cross,’ ‘Cat’s in the Cradle,’ ‘Across the Great Divide’ and many other songs I instantly loved. By the end of every week, even the toughest kids and counselors were singing along teary-eyed.”

Brett was loved at camp for more than just his abilities around the campfire, Brown recalls.

“The kids loved him,” he wrote. “At lunch, they’d sometimes chant ‘Turtle!’ and Dennen would do a spot-on turtle impression eating a plate of lettuce without his hands.”

Click HERE to read the rest of the article. Unfamiliar with Dennen’s music?

Here’s a good place to start.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

1 Comment

  1. I just wanted to make a couple of notes for your article. Camp Jack Hazard currently has a business address in San Francisco, but the camp is actually located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in Dardanelles, CA. I was also hoping that you might be able to change the link that you make available for CJH. The proper website is We are so happy that you have done this write – up and would love to have the content direct interested parties to the right place. Please let me know if you need any additional information!
    Emily Peck

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