Frankfort, IL—November 2019… Best known for unique and inspirational, week-long residential camps that enable children battling and surviving cancer to “be kids again,” Camp Quality USA also offers specialty weekend camps and other events year-round for young “Cancer Warriors” and their families. The camps, which include 24-hour onsite medical care, are free to the children and their families; the families need only find transportation to and from camp. Camp Quality USA’s 17 residential camps served 713 Cancer Warriors and 259 of their siblings in 2019.
Recently the all-volunteer team at Camp Quality in Frankfort, Illinois, faced the fact that their 20-year-old sound system was failing, and it had to be replaced. In search of a solution, Camp Equipment Coordinator Rick Chaloupka visited the Guitar Center store in Country Club Hills, Illinois, where a representative recommended a pair of Harbinger V2315 powered loudspeakers.
The V2315’s 2,000 watts of Class D amplification and 15-inch speaker and high-fidelity compression tweeter can deliver up to 127 db SPL of clear, clean, accurate sound—easily enough to handle the camp’s indoor and outdoor applications. With Harbinger’s Smart Stereo™ technology, two V2315s can link in a stereo system, with volume and tone for both loudspeakers controlled from the master unit. Each V2315 has a built-in three-channel mixer with Bluetooth input, enabling the loudspeakers to handle the Illinois camp’s needs without requiring an external mixer.
Clearly the Harbinger V2315 loudspeakers would be an excellent solution for the nonprofit camp—if the Camp Quality team had the resources to acquire them. “Every one of our activities is offered free of charge,” relates Illinois Camp Quality executive director Mary Lockton. “We provide everything based on fundraising and grants, and here in Illinois, all of our staff are volunteers, including me, our medical staff, and all of the camp staff. One unique thing about the way we run camp is that every child has what we call a “companion,” which is a counselor who spends the entire week with them. From Sunday morning when they arrive until Saturday morning when they leave, a companions is with each child 24 hours a day, one-on-one—and all of those people are volunteers too.”
Given that every possible resource goes to providing a great experience for the children, Chaloupka and Lockton thought it worth asking Harbinger whether the company would consider donating a pair of V2315s to the nonprofit camp. They quickly got the answer they hoped for: ”Yes!” “We were super excited and very impressed with how quickly and easily Harbinger followed through,” Lockton reports. “We don’t always encounter that. We were delighted that Harbinger was willing to jump onboard and help us out so quickly.”
The camp’s old sound system was a fixed install and could only serve one purpose. In contrast, the new Harbinger V2315s are highly portable and versatile. “During the week of camp, the speakers will be outside on speaker stands because we eat our lunches and dinners outside, and that’s where we have our announcements,” Lockton notes. “In addition, we have outdoor movie nights, and we’ll run the audio from the movie through the the Harbinger system. Rick Chaloupka recently tested them outdoors, and he said they sound great!”
The Illinois camp gave the V2315 system its first workout at a recent indoor family event for about 80 people. “All the kids who registered for camp are invited, along with their parents and siblings and the companions,” details Lockton. “The event includes a big arcade and laser tag room, and they have unlimited use of the arcade games and whatever they want to do. It’s a fun time for the kids to see their friends from camp, families get to spend some time together, and the kids get to see their companions that come to the event. In addition to using the system for announcements, calling out raffle winners, and so on, we used the Bluetooth input to play background music from a phone, which worked fine, with no dropouts.”
Shortly after the family event, Camp Quality hosted their national conference in Illinois, which drew 125 staff members from around the country, and the Harbinger V2315s got another workout. “The Harbinger speakers were amazing at the national conference,” Lockton enthuses. “They worked great for our guest speakers, playing videos and music, and so on. We also will take them to other year-round events because of their portability and Bluetooth capability.
With 2,000 watts a side, hearing everything clearly was no problem. “The sound system is set up in a common area that’s about 1,000 square feet,” Lockton estimates. “Even with the noise of the arcade games, kids playing, and people talking, the music and announcements were clearly audible everywhere in the room. The sound quality was very clear, much better than our old system, and the Harbinger V2315 speakers are much easier to use.”
Lockton looks forward to using the Harbinger V2315 system at a larger Camp Quality reunion event in November. “At that event, we hope to have a DJ, although the DJs donate their time so sometimes they get a paying job and have to cancel,” she notes. “But if that happens, we can play music with the Bluetooth input. We’re very pleased with the new system, and we thank Harbinger for their donation.”