A Familiar Voice

Tamarack Camps caught up with “The Voice” contestant and former Tamarack camper and song leader, Joshua Davis.

Interview by Tamarack Camps Alumni Relations Director, Gabe Neistein

Eugene, Adam, Joshua Davis and Brian Indian River Kennedy 1992

Photo: Eugene, Aaron, Joshua Davis and Brian. Indian River – Kennedy 1992

What were your greatest memories of Tamarack?

Joshua: I was a camper at Tamarack from DeRoy to Specialty and then went to Kennedy and the Western Trip. The summers spent at camp were wonderful. I remember loving games like capture the flag and the ropes course, trust exercises and building a temporary but tight-knit community of friends. The summer I spent at Camp Kennedy was especially memorable.

I remember building such incredible relationships with the campers and staff and felt such a strong sense of camaraderie. Solo hikes, boundary waters canoe trips, learning to live in accord with nature, I’ll never forget those experiences. Coming back to camp to work as a song-leader was an amazing time as well and helped me to realize that I wanted music to be my full time gig.

What did going to Tamarack teach you about yourself?

Joshua: I’m so grateful that I got the chance to go to camp. So many kids never get a fresh start. Camp for me was a chance to reinvent myself, to change my narrative. There’s nothing like a little distance. Getting away from everyone that knew me – including my parents – allowed me to trust myself, learn to be more independent, and to shake off anything that I felt was keeping me tied up.

How have your experiences at Tamarack benefitted you later in life?

Joshua: The most important lesson I learned at Tamarack as a camper and later as a song-leader was how to build community. We build such strong bonds at camp, and there’s something magical that happens because of that bond. I’ve been successful in my career because of my community. Reciprocity, building sustainable relationships, treating each other well, focusing on collaboration and cooperation instead of competition – this is how we build long lasting friendships, partnerships and careers.

What advice would you give today’s campers?

Joshua: Take a look around, whether you’re with your family, peers at school or at camp, this is your community. Treat it well and it will treat you well. Everyone has something important to teach you. Listen, learn, be good to one another, and be open to new experiences. We’re all strange in our own ways. Embrace it in yourself and others. Don’t hide it. Have fun!

What are you hoping to get out of your experience on “The Voice?”

Joshua: Music has taken me all over the world and has allowed me so many incredible opportunities. I feel grateful to be learning from the coaches and other contestants on “The Voice.” I’ve always thought of myself as a songwriter first, then an instrumentalist, and a vocalist last. This experience has already taught me to look at my voice like an instrument. I’ve grown as a singer. I’m hoping to bring that spirit of Michigan – of collaboration and cooperation and hard work – to a bigger stage and wider audience.

The Voice airs Mondays/Tuesdays 8/7c on NBC.

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