My final day working as an RA at the 2010 National Guitar Workshop in Los Angeles was Friday, July 16. I posted summaries of the other five days here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5. Not much happened on the last day, so I'll include some closing thoughts about the week.

The big event of the morning was the annual shred-off competition, hosted by faculty member Dave Martone. I missed most of it, but here's the final round. The kid on the left with the 7-string won. Grand prize was a new Parker guitar.

I got my paycheck midday from the director, Steven Novacek. It was the first time I've ever received a hug along with a paycheck. Steven and assistant directors Nate Jarrell and Darren Wagner did a fantastic job, and it was a huge pleasure to work for them.

Los Angeles is currently the only NGW campus operating on the west coast. They used to run camps in Seattle and San Francisco as well, but they were dropped a few years ago. I heard some talk of possibly reopening the Seattle campus. I would love to see that happen. I grew up in Seattle, and most of my family is there, so I'd gladly make the trip if I had another opportunity to join the staff (or perhaps faculty someday).

Speaking of faculty, every one of the teachers at the camp was amazing. All were consummate professionals on their instruments and, from everything I observed, excellent teachers to boot.

Classes were over and students were leaving by lunchtime. The staff had everything cleaned up and stored for next year before dinner. I had only spent a week with these people, but they felt like family. I made a lot of permanent friends in a short time, most of whom I'm unlikely to see again for a long time. It was a great experience with great people, and I'd love to take part in this operation again.