Zac Brown has been busy lately. From closing out 2012 with an incredible performance at the invite-only Ram Jam, to putting in time at the 2013 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, to maintaining his status as one of the top musicians in the game, the country music star has what most would describe as a very full plate.
Despite the demands on his time, Zac was gracious enough to answer a few questions when we caught up with him at the Ram display at SHOT Show. The topics we covered ranged from his Ram Truck, to his truck philosophy, and finally, to Camp Southern Ground, his charity and passion project.
RamZone: For the past year, you’ve been driving a Ram Truck that will soon be auctioned off for charity. What model is that truck, and what do you like most about it?
Zac Brown: I’ve been in the Laramie Longhorn Edition Crew Cab. The truck is super comfortable, and the RamBox is great. It can hold everything you need; you don’t need a separate tool box.
RZ: What do you think your next truck will be?
ZB: I really like that Ram Mossy Oak Edition. It’s refined and ready for the outdoors too.
RZ: What do you use your truck for most?
ZB: Oh man. We do all kinds of crazy stuff. We have nine projects going at any one time. So, it’s never the same thing. We ride around the property. We’re always hauling something, moving furniture, that kind of thing.
RZ: In your opinion, should you keep a truck in pristine condition or get it out in the mud and dirt?
ZB: If you can’t use a truck for what it’s made for, then what’s the point? These are really nice trucks—but that’s the fun part about it—they’re nice in that they’re made to perform. I’m a function-minded person. I like things to work. I don’t care that my truck is all clean and shiny; I’m not a guy that washes his truck. I just get in it and go.
RZ: What’s the mission of Camp Southern Ground?
ZB: There are really two missions for Camp Southern Ground. The first one is to create an amazing experience for kids who have developmental disorders, for underprivileged kids, and for mainstream kids who just want to sleep away at camp. For all these kids, we want to make the experience as memorable as possible. We want to teach them about things that matter, how to get along with each other, and how to open their minds to things they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to experience.
The other thing is that for the rest of the year, the camp will be used as a research facility. We’ll bring in people I call “thought leaders”—doctors and researchers—in order to share the newest advancements in the treatment of developmental disorders. That end of it will be connected to universities and similar programs all over the world.
We’re not just about servicing the kids who are at camp for nine weeks; we’re hoping to impact millions of lives by empowering all these brilliant people to create new curriculums for rehabilitation programs in public schools. We’re trying to create a standard of treatment and rehabilitation.
RZ: Will you have a role in the day-to-day running of the camp?
ZB: My role is to bring all the brilliant people together, to give them a place—a facility—where they can help to impact kids’ lives. I want to be at the camp as much as I can be. I want my girls growing up and working there. I want them to learn about helping others and about the things that matter. I want them to have that perspective.
RZ: What was your inspiration for the camp?
ZB: I was a camper growing up, I was a counselor, and for three full summers I was a permanent staff member working with kids. It impacted me in a big way. Being a part of these programs made me want to dedicate my life to the same.
RZ: Ram Trucks is donating trucks to Camp Southern Ground. How do you think they’ll be put to use?
ZB: We’ll use them for everything, from hauling mulch to carrying people, landscaping, maintenance, and for shuffling workers around. There are a lot of uses for those trucks, not just utility, but for getting people comfortably where they need to go.
RZ: Sounds great! Thank you so much for your time.
ZB: Thank you.