Campers' Week at Pinewoods

August 22 - 29, 2009

This week is over -- see you next year!

Information for registered campers: Camper letter (June), Skeleton Schedule

There is a nice article in Making Music about our Family Camps.

Tentative Schedule

Campers' Week at Pinewoods
Tentative Schedule
7:45 - 8:15 Breakfast
9:00 - 9:50 Morning Classes, divided by age group
10:00 Refreshments
10:15 - 11:00 Morning Gathering
11:00 - 12:00 Swimming, Bookstore staffed
12:15 Lunch
1:30 - 2:20 Quiet Activities / Rest Time
2:30 - 3:20 Afternoon classes, divided by age group
3:20 - 3:35 Campstore open
3:30 - 4:20 Swimming, Bookstore staffed, classes
4:00 - 4:20 Tea
4:30 - 5:20 Late afternoon classes
6:00 Dinner
Singing Games
7:30 - 8:25
Evening Gathering
8:00 Pied Piper / Bedtime for children 8 and younger
8:30 - 11:00 Evening Dance Party
9:20 Bedtime for 9-12 year olds
11:00 - 12:00 Optional after-dance activities

Program Description

Look at Family Programs for general information; here are details about this particular program and staff.

Come to Pinewoods this summer and experience the magic of Campers' Week! This is a special week that combines the talents and imagination of campers of all ages with those of a truly amazing staff. In addition to an exciting program led by our professional staff, there will be opportunities throughout the week for campers to join the band, lead a song, tell a story or offer a class of their own.

Each day will be filled from morning until night with a wide variety of activities. Morning and Evening Gatherings will draw us together as a community to share songs, stories and dances. This is a wonderful chance for everyone, young and old, to strut their stuff.

Kids from 3-12 will participate in staff-led classes. Mary Cay Brass, Andy Davis, Robin Davis, Ellie Grace, Sarah Henry and John Krumm will share their love of music, dance and storytelling with your kids. The teens will have their own class, led by Ellie Grace, and are encouraged to join the adult classes.

It wouldn't be Campers' Week without great dancing, and it wouldn't be great dancing without great dance leaders. Scott Higgs and Lisa Greenleaf, two of the finest, will each teach a daytime class as well as share the evening dance program. The afternoon Community Dance, led by Mary Cay Brass, was so much fun last summer that we are planning to do it again this year. Morris and rapper, both Campers' Week favorites, will be hard to pass up with Joe Kynoch and Sarah Henry teaching the classes.

Music and songs of many traditions and styles will surround you throughout the week. Lend your voice to the Community Sing with Mary Cay, or join the song swap on the porch hosted by Caitlin Felsman.

Don't forget to bring your instruments. There will be lots of chances for camper and staff musicians to jam, play for daytime classes, and join the band to play for evening dances.

Although it's hard to fit everything in, you will want to leave time in your day for swimming, boating, crafts and just hanging out. A nap might not be a bad idea either, since the evening is also packed with events that you won't want to miss. During the Evening Gathering, kids 8 and under will be led off to bed by the Pied Piper. After a few more stories and songs, we will head off to the evening dance party. It must be too early for bed, because there is still more to come. After-dance events, both planned and spontaneous will tempt you to stay up just a little longer.

This is only a sample of what's in store for you at Campers' Week this summer. The rest is up to you, and the possibilities are endless! Together we will create a community that honors past traditions and creates new ones. I hope to see you this summer. It won't be the same without you.

-- Kathy Talvitie, Program Director


Mary Cay Brass conducts three choruses in southern Vermont and western Massachusetts, focusing on community-based music from many lands. She has worked for the past 15 years for the Vermont-based summer singing camp Village Harmony and last summer led a group of 30 campers to Bosnia where they learned secular and sacred music of that country's various ethnic groups. Using traditional music to create community is her life-long passion and commitment. Since the early 1980s she has been playing for traditional New England contra dances all over the country. On both piano and accordion she has the rhythmic drive and energy that make her a much sought after musician. Personal Webpage

Andy Davis, a music educator in three Vermont public schools, is an accomplished dance caller, musician and song leader. He tours with the group Nowell Sing We Clear and is a founding member of New England Dancing Masters -- publishers and presenters of traditional dance to schools and community groups. Personal Webpage

Robin Davis has been participating in community folk music and dance activities much of her life, including healthy doses of Cotswold and Northwest clog morris. A retired professional baker, Robin is now in her sixth year teaching preschool and is NEARLY FINISHED with a teaching license. She enjoys gathering children and adults together to DO ART, such as modular origami, Ukranian egg dying, bookbinding, printing and paper collage. She sings with the River Singers, a large multicultural choir, and a hospice singing group called Hallowell. She has led children's classes at Pinewoods, Ogontz and Lady of the Lake family weeks, and will do art, singing and games with the children this week.

Caitlin Felsman has recently taken a break from her folk music roots to pursue a career in opera. This May she graduates from Tufts University with a BA in Music and Anthropology. She maintains a busy performance schedule in and around Boston, as well as teaching voice lessons and theater classes for kids. Having spent most of her life in Southern Africa, Caitlin brings with her a rich tradition of folk music from around the world. After many years as a camper, Caitlin is thrilled to be joining the talented staff!

Ellie Grace is a percussive dancer, multi-instrumentalist, and singer who performs and teaches as a solo artist, as part of a renowned duo with her sister (Leela), and with several highly respected bands and dance companies. Ellie is a powerhouse on the dance floor and, though still young, a remarkable and patient teacher, having taught for years at universities, camps and schools across the country. Ellie has enough energy and warmth to light up a room and she is not afraid to use it in abundance to get you dancing and making music! Personal Webpage

Lisa Greenleaf returns to Campers' Week to share her love of community and her sense of humor. She has been busy calling at dance camps across the country and in Europe and looks forward to sharing old and new dance favorites.

Sarah Henry is a leader in the rapper, longsword and morris scene in NYC, where she dances with Half Moon Sword and Ring o'Bells Morris. For more than 30 years, she has performed and taught a variety of traditions, including leading workshops at Pinewoods, Buffalo Gap, Country Dance*New York's True Brit weekend, the Sidmouth International Folk Festival in England and coaching New York's dynamic youth rapper team, New Moon Sword. She's thrilled to come back to Campers' Week with her family to share the run of English ritual dance with the adults, teens and 10-12s.

Scott Higgs returns to Campers' Week with lively contras and sparkling English dancing to delight novices and experts alike. In demand across North America for weekends and workshops, Scott takes particular pleasure in Pinewoods family programs, helping enthusiasts of all ages explore the joys of dance. Personal Webpage

John Krumm has been performing traditional and vintage music for over 38 years. He is perhaps best known as a caller of square and contra dance, but he also has an international reputation as a composer of rounds. He composes for the people he knows and their situations and celebrations. John sees American traditional dance at its best as an expression of the individual in the context of a caring and creative community, and as a celebration of our ability to enter into such communities as we make our way through a fast-changing world. In his dance teaching he draws on his experience with the dances and children's games of the U.S., Quebec and the British Isles to help contemporary communities express their "solidarity in diversity." John sings and plays guitar, fiddle, banjo, piano and mandolin. He teaches all of the above plus a variety of music theory and composition classes. Having 33 years experience in progressive education as a music and dance specialist, he also enjoys helping other teachers to develop their art.

Joe Kynoch. longtime member of the Pinewoods Morris Men, was introduced to the morris by Renald "Cajy" Cajolet and others while a college student in Amherst. Well known for his graceful and fluid dance style, he has taught morris, rapper and longsword here at Pinewoods and in the Boston area. Joe and his wife Robin were Campers' Week Program Directors for several years and are still king and queen of our chips and salsa social hour.

Robin Kynoch Got whistle? Robin has one, and she's not afraid to use it! Robin has been playing tinwhistle for contras, English and ritual dancing for over 25 years and has been playing at Campers' Week for almost that long. She also plays at Irish sessions and ceilidh dances, and is a member of several Irish musical groups in the Boston area. Robin knows lots of tinwhistle tricks and is currently learning how to play the Irish button accordion, a "truly humbling" experience. Robin will be coordinating the musicians for daytime classes.

Kathy Talvitie first attended Campers' Week over 20 years ago and has been a regular ever since. At home she is active in the Delaware Valley dance community as a player, dancer, organizer and composer. She loves to play piano and guitar for both English and contra.

Class Descriptions

Children's Classes 9:00 and 2:30 

The age groupings for children's classes are tentative; they will be set after registration is complete.

Littles (age 3-4)
Robin Davis will lead the little ones each morning in songs, stories, games and creative art projects.

Smalls (ages 5-6)
In the morning this group can look forward to wonderful storytelling and singing with Andy. In the afternoon they will explore creative movement games and singing with John. He will offer songs and dances from a variety of cultural traditions and nurture their self-confidence and love of singing and dancing.

Middles (ages 7-9)
These kids will enjoy singing, dancing and stories in the morning with Mary Cay and in the afternoon with Andy.

Talls (ages 10-12)
You're in for an exciting week of dancing, singing and group games. In the morning Sarah will share her love of ritual dance. Come to Ellie's class in the afternoon for some clogging and great singing.

Teen Class

Ellie's warmth and youthful exuberance will delight the teens. She will offer percussive dance, part-singing and spirited group games.

Adults (ages 13 and up)
Most of the offerings will be determined by you, the campers, but here are a few highlights that will be offered by the staff. Scott returns to Campers' Week to share his joyful collection of English country dance favorites, old and new. Lisa always brings warmth and humor to her classes, and you won't want to miss her great selection of contras and squares. In the afternoon, you can look forward to rapper with Sarah and morris with Joe. Both of these classes will offer something for dancers of all experience levels. Don't miss the opportunity to sing with Caitlin in the morning and Mary Cay in the afternoon.

Community Gatherings and Other Happenings

Each day we will come together for morning and evening gatherings. Your host in the morning will be Caitlin Felsman and in the evening, Andy Davis; bring your favorite songs, stories, tunes and dances to share. Mary Cay will lead the Community Dance, and we hope to see you all there. There will be great dancing every evening; Scott and Lisa will coordinate the programs and John will lead the band. You are the special ingredient, so come ready to dance, play in the band or call a dance.