Family Travels 7,000 Miles for Band Camp at SWOSU


Stonebarger Family
Phil Stonebarger (left) and his two children—Erin and Parker—traveled 7,000 miles to attend Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s band camp on the Weatherford campus. They currently live in Yokosuka, Japan.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University boasts the largest band camp in the state of Oklahoma, and one family traveled all the way from Japan to participate in the 57th annual band camp that concluded July 13 on the Weatherford campus.  

Parker and Erin Stonebarger made the 7,000 mile journey, along with their father Phil Stonebarger, to attend this year’s camp.  The Stonebarger family lives in Yokosuka, Japan, where they are stationed through the Department of Defense (United States Navy). Father Phil directs middle school music.

Before they moved to Japan in 2003, the Stonebargers were residents of Enid.  

On their trip back to Oklahoma to visit family and friends, they decided to attend SWOSU’s camp. Phil was an instructor at the camp, while Parker studied trombone and bass, and Erin honed her skills on percussion and the oboe.

Parker said he enjoyed his time at SWOSU and definitely wants to return. Erin cited the many wonderful people she has met and friends she has made as her favorite moments. Other students have questioned the family as to why they would travel such a distance for camp, but Phil said the answer is easy, “SWOSU Band Camp is simply the best around.”

This year’s SWOSU Band Camp had its largest attendance in nearly 30 years with 552 students attending the week-long camp.