Family Week at Pinewoods
July 18 - 25, 2009

Program Directors
Marney Morrison
Owen Morrison 

Mary Alice Amidon*
Peter Amidon*
Ira Bernstein
Shawn Brenneman
Claudio Buchwald
Betsy Blachly Chapin
Hank Chapin
Jim Morrison
Erica Morse
Naomi Morse*
Judi Rivkin
Becky Tracy
The Storycrafters
+Jeri Burns and
+Barry Marshall

* Advisors, plus
 Steve Howe

Family Week at Pinewoods

July 18 - 25, 2009

The week is over -- see you next year!

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

Daily Schedule

Family Week at Pinewoods 
Daily Schedule

Daily Schedule 
click for tentative Detailed Combined Daily Schedule 
7:45 - 8:15 Breakfast
9:00 - 9:55 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
1:35-2:30 Early afternoon classes / Rest time
2:45-3:40 Afternoon classes, divided by age group
3:50-4:35 Late afternoon classes or
3:50-5:00 Swimming, Bookstore staffed
4:45-5:15 Stories at the Camphouse
6:00 Dinner
7:15 Community Dance
7:50 - 8:45 Evening Gathering
8:30 Pied Piper / Bedtime for children 9 and younger
8:45-10:45 Evening Dance Party
9:30 Bedtime for 10-12 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.

Betsy Blachly Chapin will lead a Teachers Training Course concurrent with this week (pre-registration required).

There's no more fun way to create a community than by dancing, singing, learning and merry-making together, and there's no better place to do this than Pinewoods Camp. Situated between two beautiful ponds and dotted with several fabulous dance pavilions, Pinewoods is the ideal setting for a week with family and friends. In between all the revelry, campers and staff alike come together for three meals a day featuring excellent food you don't cook. That's a vacation!

Along with contras, English country and community dancing, we are continuing our emphasis on percussive dance with foot wizard Ira Bernstein in residence teaching flatfooting as well as clogging and Jim Morrison teaching rapper. There will be a heightened emphasis this year on singing, playing for dancing, and on storytelling. The renowned team, The Storycrafters, will share stories and teach storytelling classes. You can listen to stories sung in an after lunch class, and there will be chances to listen for stories in ballads and dance stories in singing games. There will be jam sessions every afternoon, a daily musical procession, and players in the band class will play for a dance every day. One harmony singing class will be for teens and adults, and the other for all ages after lunch when all the classes this year are designed for inter-generational experiences.

For over 30 years, Family Week at Pinewoods has succeeded in creating new generations of tradition bearers while supporting positive family relationships. For our family, this week gave us experiences, skills and fun together that lasted throughout the year and for a lifetime. We still love to share time together in this way and look forward to doing so with you. Please join us!

-- Owen and Marney Morrison, Program Co-Director


Mary Alice Amidon is a warm and engaging music educator who is passionate and dedicated to song, dance and storytelling with young children. She is a multi-instrumentalist, an accomplished singer of traditional song, and a composer of new songs. As a performer she is gifted in forging a bridge between story, music and listener. As a song leader she inspires open-hearted, full throttle participation.

Peter Amidon fell into the world of traditional music in 1975 and has never turned back. He is thrilled to now be able to make a living as a freelance musician/educator/publisher: telling stories to all age groups, leading harmony singing with adults and teaching and leading dance with children, teachers and families. This year Peter will be Master of Ceremonies for our family dances, teach dancing to 10-12 year olds, and bring out the musical best in us in harmony singing class.

Ira Bernstein has been performing and teaching traditional Appalachian clogging for nearly 30 years. He tours internationally as a solo dancer and has been a member of the Mill Creek Cloggers, the Fiddle Puppets, Marlboro Morris and Sword and the American Tap Dance Orchestra.

Shawn Brenneman got her start dancing to records with her 4-H group in WV, the Rupert Stompers, who performed in matching outfits. Her love of dance and music deepened through experiences like Berea Christmas School and years as a dance gypsy. For the last 9 years, Shawn has been calling, playing and organizing contra dances fairly constantly. She plays the piano in the band House Red and frequently tours as the caller with other bands. She's excited to bring her nephew to camp.

Claudio Buchwald, born into a musical family and raised in Peru until aged ten, delighted in and adopted some of the new music forms he met here in the U.S. He plays old-time music with the Monks and plays also for contras and squares, English country dancing, morris and salsa. During the school year, he teaches first and second grade at the Harmony School in Bloomington, Indiana.

Jeri Burns received a harp when she finished her Ph.D -- the perfect accompaniment for her work as half of The Storycrafters, a premiere storytelling duo who Publisher's Weekly calls "top-notch family entertainment." For a generation, Jeri and her partner Barry Marshall, have taught and told stories in schools, libraries, festivals and events where families gather. Here at Pinewoods, they will tell stories and teach storytelling classes while their son studies Ira Bernstein's feet.

Betsy Blachly Chapin is a music educator at Bank Street School in New York City teaching both the youngest students and the teachers in training. She is a certified music therapist working in a variety of clinical and challenging environments (homeless shelter day care centers, for example). She will be leading the Teacher Training Course that runs concurrently with Family Week.

Hank Chapin, Jack of Many Trades, will be mumming, singing, dancing, teaching, calling and generally stirring the Family Week community into troupes, bands and sets. After dinner, he'll lead us, with instruments, in a procession from the dining hall to the family dance at C#. He'll also call you to the Morning Gathering and encourage entertainment at odd hours of the day and night.

Barry Marshall, the other half of The Storycrafters, began telling stories in college. He went to England to soak up the subtleties of language, came back, and met his partner Jeri at a contra dance. Since then, they have been performing and teaching their unique brand of award-winning, musical, tandem storytelling all over this country and overseas. Barry plays drum and banjo.

Jim Morrison's preoccupation with traditional dance and dance music customs over the past 40 years has enlivened folk events, provided a basis for the creation of morris, sword and historic dance groups, and generally kept things interesting for contra, square, ritual and historic dance enthusiasts. Long ago he worked for CDSS; now he dances with the Albemarle Morris Men and plays fiddle in the Morrison Brothers Band.

Marney Morrison, program co-director, has been part of the conversation that envisioned, structured and improved CDSS family weeks since 1975. In 1983 she and her husband Jim, and a crew of fun loving and creative pioneers, developed and directed the first of the CDSS family camps in a new facility. During the school year, as a Newcomer Program teacher, she welcomes children who don't speak English, many of them born in refugee camps, into our school system.

Owen Morrison, program co-director, is a professional musician who plays fulltime for dances and concerts around the country. He grew up surrounded by traditional music and studied classical music in college. At Family Week he has been musician, teacher, dishwasher, dancer, mummer, explorer and kid who just wanted to have fun. Owen will be running the evening gatherings, organizing the evening dance music and playing for classes and dances.

Erica Morse grew up in Marlboro, VT and now teaches in the very elementary school she attended as a child and where she encourages creativity through project based learning. Singing, gardening and weaving are some of her favorite activities to do with her students. Marlboro is one of those lucky places that, although very small, is infused with traditional music and dance. In addition she grew up coming to Family Week in the summer. She currently dances with Marlboro Morris and Sword and sings and plays bass as a member of Housetop.

Naomi Morse grew up surrounded by music and dance in the folk communities of New England, including Pinewoods Family Week. She is known for her energetic and driving fiddle, playing for both contra and English dancing in many bands, including Night Watch, Housetop and Childsplay. She has toured extensively with the world-music ensemble, Northern Harmony, and lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she sings professionally.

Judi Rivkin has been teaching and leading English country dance for more than 15 years. Workshops she developed in Seattle, and which now continue in Princeton, NJ, have been the stimulus for dancers of all experience levels to grow and expand their enjoyment, knowledge and repertoire. Recognized for her clarity, good humor and welcoming style, Judi has led workshops and dances at festivals, camps and for groups across the U.S. and Canada.

Becky Tracy grew up dancing to her father's calling and scratchy 78s of Don Messer's fiddle playing. She has fiddled with the bands Nightingale and Wild Asparagus for the last 15 years and has played in many, many lovely places including Hawaii and France. Excited to return to Pinewoods after a couple of years hiatus, Becky is looking forward to playing for classes, leading the All-Comers Camp Band and watching her son Aidan remember Pinewoods.

Class Descriptions

Children's classes by age group -- 9:00 and 2:45

Ages 2 and 3
Twice a day the 2 and 3 year olds will play, sing, create, explore and experiment with Marney.

Ages 4 and 5
In the mornings with Betsy, the 4 and 5 year olds will jump, skip, march, hop and leap. They will also sing a lot of songs and play instruments. In the afternoon, they will make things with Erica, sing entirely different songs, and dance. Erica grew up coming to Family Week and may have special places to share.

Ages 6 and 7
Mary Alice will lead the 6 and 7 year olds in singing games, dances and songs for a morning filled with movement, music and stories. In the afternoon Claudio invites the same group to laugh and guess, dance, sing and play games. Come and enjoy!

Ages 8 and 9
Mornings for the 8 and 9 year olds will be in the time-honored sword dance class, this year with Hank. He will warm up or cool down the class with songs and social dances. In the afternoon this group will do a combination of group storytelling games, creative dramatics and story-theatre with The Storycrafters. Come prepared to have fun in both classes!

Ages 10 to 12
In the mornings, Peter will lead this group to new heights in contra and English dancing skill, with Becky and Owen for the band. Each class will start with storytelling. In the afternoons 10 - 12 year olds have the rare opportunity to learn both a morris dance and Appalachian flatfoot and clog steps from the unbeatable team of Jim Morrison and Ira Bernstein.

Ages 13 and up Morning classes (9:00 - 9:55)

English County Dance -- Judi Rivkin / Naomi Morse, Claudio Buchwald
Judi will present old and new favorites of the English country dance repertoire in a way that welcomes beginners and is fun for everybody. Music by Naomi and Claudio will turn a morning class into a dance party every day.

Flatfooting -- Ira Bernstein / Jim Morrison
Ira will teach traditional Appalachian flatfoot dance steps and techniques. The focus will be on improvising with a smooth, relaxed physicality and on the musicality of the steps.

Storytelling -- The Storycrafters: Jeri Burns and Barry Marshall
In this workshop we'll cover basic story learning and telling techniques, and tips and tricks for telling many popular kinds of stories, including: ghost stories, fairy tales and others. We can also, through playful exploration of storytelling games and techniques, foster an oral tradition in the home. Through example and exercise, we'll establish the many ways that storytelling can infiltrate a family's culture and improve communication, language skills and imagination.

Ages 13 and up Afternoon classes (2:45 - 3:40)

Contras -- Shawn Brenneman / Owen Morrison, Becky Tracy
Shawn will delight all comers with old favorites and new favorites. What could be better than contra dancing to the lovely tones of Becky and Owen as the afternoon light filters through the trees?

Harmony Singing -- Peter and Mary Alice Amidon
Peter and Mary Alice will lead campers in rafter shaking harmony singing. This year they bring a new collection of arrangements of folk songs, spirituals and songs written by folks steeped in traditional music. Participants will be working from written music as well as learning songs and harmonies by ear.

Early Afternoon Classes (1:35 - 2:30) Intergenerational classes or rest period

All non-program activities for campers under 13 must have adult supervision; at these classes children under 8 must be accompanied and assisted by a parent

Napping or family time (99 and under)
Some of us need time to be away from a group whether with a book in the cabin or in a canoe on the lake. Campers under thirteen must have adult supervision.

Storybooks Sung (all) -- Mary Alice Amidon
This is a listening opportunity to be restful in a group. Mary Alice presents illustrated picture books, singing the texts; many of the tunes are her compositions. This is a daily concert and rich storytelling combined.

Singing (all) -- Naomi Morse
Come and sing in a relaxing atmosphere after lunch. We will sing a variety of songs, including rounds and 2-3 part harmony songs from the Balkans, America and beyond. Everyone is welcome; word sheets and music will be provided but all songs will be taught by ear.

Becky's All Comers Camp Band (all) -- Becky Tracy
This year the dance band is open to all campers who have the desire to play and the willingness to play along with Becky's competent direction. Bring your instrument of choice and Becky will find you a role to play in the band. The band will play a tune at the beginning of the family dance each evening. Experienced musicians will find themselves challenged and learn techniques for leading a diverse group successfully and supporting the dancers.

Crafts (8 and up, 6-7 with parent) -- Erica Morse, Shawn Brenneman
This is an opportunity to use your hands and eyes and make things for an hour while visiting with your fellow campers. Erica and Shawn are busily developing projects to appeal to a wide range of campers.

Mummer's Play (10 and up, 8-9 with parent) -- Henry Chapin
Bring your bodies, your fellowship, your humor and your willingness to play to the Mumming class. That is all you need! The rest will follow.

Clogging (10 and up, 9 if passionate) -- Ira Bernstein / Claudio Buchwald
Ira will teach Appalachian clogging steps (Green Grass Clogger style). Emphasis will be on learning repertoire steps and linking them together in sequences. Some square dance figures may also be introduced, if there are enough students in the class.

Late Afternoon Classes (3:50 - 4:35)

Daily Jam (All Musicians)
Led by different staff members and focusing on a different musical tradition each day.

Rapper (13 and up) -- Jim Morrison / Naomi Morse
Danced in small tight sets with flexible, two-handled swords, rapper is a fast-paced display dance that incorporates intricate patterns with percussive footwork. Newcomers and experienced rapper dancers alike are welcome to join Jim in this late afternoon class.

Stories on the Porch -- The Storycrafters (4:45 - 5:15)

Barry and Jeri tell stories in a fashion never heard at Family Week before. They tell stories in tandem, sharing the storytelling, passing the stories back and forth like a basketball, using their voices and also instruments to further the tales. Not to be missed!