Eric 'RicStar' Winter Music Therapy Camp

June 11-13, 2020 (adults)
June 15-17, 2020 (youth)

The Eric 'RicStar' Winter Music Therapy Camp is a one-of-a-kind, inclusive day camp that provides opportunities for musical expression, enjoyment, and interaction for all persons with special needs and their siblings.

Organized in two sessions, based on age, RicStar's 2020 Camp will take place on:

  • June 11-13 for adults
  • June 15-17 for children, adolescents, and young adults

More Than Just a Camp

This camp was created to honor Eric Winter, a 12-year old CMS music therapy client with cerebral palsy who had a passion for music and a dream of starting a music therapy camp. Shortly after his passing in 2003, Eric’s parents, Dick and Judy Winter, along with Cindy Edgerton, CMS' Director of Music Therapy Clinical Services, made the dream a reality and founded RicStar's Camp. Eric's parents continue to honor their son as advocates for individuals with special needs, with his mother, Judy Winter, leading the way as an author, speaker, and nationally recognized voice on special needs parenting issues. Learn about Judy's commitment and work.

Discover more stories about Eric and RicStar's Camp through news articles, past camp videos, and awards.

Eric 'RicStar' Winter

Judy Winter: A True "Women of Worth" Honoree

Selected as a 2019 L'Oréal Paris "Women of Worth" Honoree, Judy Winter, was one of ten women from across the country to be acknowledged for creating positive change in our world - a true honor for such a deserving person. Judy was recognized for her selfless advocacy and commitment to the ongoing success of RicStar's Camp, receiving $10,000 for the camp, and brought national awareness to a camp that continues to change lives with music. 

Watch the story of Judy Winter: 2019 L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth Honoree

Please share this video and help continue to bring awareness to this one-of-a-kind camp.

Video/Photo credit: Sam McConnell, Lukas Hauser and Nilaya Sabnis & team.

Judy Winter (photo credit: Nilaya Sabnis for L'Oreal Paris)

What to Expect at RicStar's Camp? Making Music and Fun!

During each camp, the days will be filled with fun and engaging music therapy activities, including song writing, rock 'n' roll combo, beats and blues, percussion playing, improvisation, and more! On the final day of each camp session, friends and family are invited to attend the Be A Star Showcase - a concert proudly performed by RicStar's campers, siblings, volunteers, and music therapists. Check out the fun from last year!

CMS is Able Eyes Accessible! Take a virtual tour of CMS to familiarize yourself with the building before you arrive for camp.

Ready to Register?

View the camp pricing and registration materials

The Secret to Our Success: Camp Volunteers!

The success of RicStar's camp would not be possible without amazing volunteers. Focused on ability and inclusion, this incredible camp provides life-changing experiences for everyone involved, including volunteers. There are two volunteer options: 

RicStar's Camper and Volunteer

Become a Volunteer or BuddyUp

There are different music therapy groups, all divided according to age, which require volunteers and BuddyUps to help them run smoothly. What's the difference between a volunteer and a BuddyUp?

  • Volunteers are those who have graduated from high school (as of 6/15/19)
  • BuddyUps are volunteers who are in middle school or high school

To become a volunteer or BuddyUp

  • Complete the Volunteer Application or BuddyUp application and return to CMS 
  • If you are 18 years or older, you must also complete the Background Check and return it to MSU Human Resources (address and email are listed on the form)
  • Attend the MANDATORY volunteer training for 2020 on TBD

For more information, contact Cindy Edgerton at

More on RicStar's Camp Over the Years

Discover more about the history and successes of the Eric 'RicStar' Winter Music Therapy Camp.

Eric 'RicStar' Winter with original music therapists

Judy Winter LOreal Women of WorthJudy Winter, 2019 L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth Honoree

October 15, 2019, Judy Winter was named a 2019 L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth Honoree for her selfless advocacy for children with special needs and commitment to the ongoing success of RicStar's Camp. Judy was one of ten women from across the nation to be selected for this prestigious award and recognized for her extraordinary work to make a difference in the world. In support of Judy's mission, she was awarded $10,000 to go toward RicStar's Camp. Through November 15, 2019, supporters from across the country participated in an online/social media campaign to vote for the L'Oreal Paris National Women of Worth. Although this honor was awarded to another incredibly deserving woman, Judy Winter has brought national recognition to RicStar's Camp and will continue to inspire and change lives in not just our community, but the world. Read Judy's story.

Watch the 2019 L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth feature on Judy Winter.

November 30, 2019, Judy Winter was recognized by Governor Gretchen Whitmer
for being the second Michigander selected as a L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth honoree and the influential work she has done to empower young people in Michigan through RicStar's Camp.
View letter of recognition from Governor Gretchen Whitmer (PDF)

Dick and Judy Winter, Cindy Edgerton, and Jaime DeMott with State of Michigan Tribute2017 State of Michigan Special Tribute to the Eric "RicStar" Winter Music Therapy Camp - 15th Anniversary

On June 15, 2017, State Representative, Samir Singh, along with State Senator, Curtis Hertel Jr., signed an official State of Michigan Special Tribute commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Eric "RicStar" Winter Music Therapy Camp as well as commending Dick and Judy Winter, the MSU Community Music School, and the many selfless individuals for making this camp a success and providing the life-changing benefits to individuals of all abilities throughout Michigan. View the State of Michigan Tribute

2013 Advocate of Music Therapy Award

Dick and Judy Winter, co-founders of RicStar's Camp were awarded the Advocate of Music Therapy Award at the 2013 American Music Therapy Association conference in Jacksonville, Florida. The purpose of this award is to honor a person(s) who is not a music therapist, but who has significantly contributed to the music therapy field. Nominated by the Michigan Music Therapists Executive Board, the Winters have been recognized both state-wide and nationally for their advocacy. 
Learn more about the American Music Therapy Association
View full list of American Music Therapy Associations award recipients
Couple receives music therapy award (Michigan Music Therapists, Feb. 2014)

2012 City of East Lansing Crystal Award

Congratulations to RicStar's Camp at the MSU Community Music School - winner of a 2012 City of East Lansing Crystal Award. This program honors individuals, groups, organizations, and businesses that have gone above and beyond to enhance the quality of life in East Lansing. RicStar's Camp was the recipient in the Business category.  
Read the full recipient bio 
Community Music School, Professor Dale Bartlett Recognized with City of East Lansing Crystal Awards (MSU College of Music, 2012)



Help make camp possible for everyone! 

Give to the Eric 'RicStar' Winter Music Therapy Camp Scholarship Fund.


Follow RicStar's Camp

 @RicStarMTCamp      @RicStarMTCamp