Family Week at Ogontz
August 2 - 9, 2014
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For up-to-date info about
availability and wait lists,
see our Dance & Music Camps page.
Program Description: a 1 page version of this page
Daily Schedule: a 1 page daily timetable
Description of Classes: a 2 page description of the classes
For accepted campers: Links to a few important pages and surveys.
CDSS Family Week at Ogontz is our favorite week of the year. It is a week filled with great music, dance, stories and song. It is also a week filled with laughter, community and touching moments that make us appreciate how lucky we are to be part of the CDSS and Ogontz experience. We hope you will join us, all the wonderful campers, and the amazing staff at this week for a fantastic family vacation!
In the mornings we will learn and play in two periods of age-group classes and then come together for Morning Gathering - a favorite time of day when anyone might lead a song, tell a joke, and share their talents. Our afternoons will be ours to fill as we choose with three periods of fun classes, swimming in the crystal-clear lake, or enjoying the beautiful surroundings with friends and family. Each afternoon we’ll gather at the Green Chairs to enjoy stories from master tellers before the dinner bell rings.
We are very excited by the staff that is coming to Ogontz this year, some of whom are new to camp! We welcome multi-instrumentalist and storyteller Trae McMaken and storyteller Cathy Jo Jansson from East Tennessee. Trae will play for contra dancing and clogging, Cathy Jo will engage our children in stories and fun, and they’ll both give us a treat at the Green Chairs. We also welcome Emolyn Liden, musician, clogger and knitter extraordinaire, from Asheville, NC. Make sure you bring some hard-soled shoes, as you won’t want to miss her class! Bring your knitting needles, yarn and projects too, for some expert inspiration. Mandolin and guitar player Max Newman, previous Youth Projects Intern for CDSS, also comes to Ogontz for the first time. He’ll play for both English and Contras and lead the Ogontz Ukulele Orchestra in the afternoon. Bring your ukulele and any extras you might have to share, so you can be part of this fun! Tom Kruskal, renowned leader of all things English ritual, joins his family at Ogontz this year. We are thrilled to have Tom at camp to teach the morning Rapper class and lead a rousing Morris workshop in the afternoon.
If you are excited by the new staff that is coming, you’ll be equally thrilled by our returning friends! Karen Axelrod returns to her usual spots on top of, under and at the piano, making us laugh and dance with joy. The one-and-only Steve Hickman will play for dancing and expertly lead our Family Band class. Bring your instruments, for Steve is a master at getting folks of all ages playing for our Community Dances. The irrepressible DeLaura Padovan is a family dance leader extraordinaire. She will lead the Community Dance each evening and work her magic with the youngest campers during the day. Lily Kruskal Leahy returns to teach Longsword and Bettie Zakon-Anderson will bring cranky box fun. Stefan Amidon returns with his percussive panache and sonorous singing and Zara Bode returns with her exquisite, soulful voice. Stefan and Zara create beautiful harmonies together and will help us do the same in two different singing classes - the ever-popular Harmony Singing class and a new Country Singing workshop of more simple, intimate harmonies and solo moments. English Country and Contra dancing will be expertly led this week by Brad Foster and Steve Zakon-Anderson and the wonderful Paddy Swanson returns to lead another fine Mummers Play.
After dinner we’ll gather at the cozy Recital Hall for the Community Dance and Evening Gathering. As dusk settles around us the Pied Piper will lead the families with children ages 9 and under to their cabins where the parents will put their children to bed. We ask the whole camp to join the Pied Piper in singing our camp lullaby from the circle of cabins before processing to the magnificent Ogontz Hall for the Evening Dance. Soon the parents will be able to join the dancing while roving monitors listen attentively for any children stirring in their cabins. If a child needs a parent to return, a monitor will come and get them at the dance. It is always best if you prepare your children for this aspect of camp. Similarly, after singing the 10-12s their goodnight song at the dance, they will need to go quickly and quietly to their cabins, being extra careful not to wake any of their younger, sleeping friends. Please remind them how much their being quiet helps everyone in camp have a better time. These caring moments and all the magic throughout the day builds our community and fills us with a contentment that sustains.
Our family looks forward to sharing this special week with your family! See you at Ogontz!
Warmly, Bettie and Steve Zakon-Anderson, Program Directors
The American Dance Musicians Course will run again, led by Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy. How lucky we are that Keith and Becky will also bring their talents to our evening dances, adding to the phenomenal music on stage! The Teachers Training Course also returns, led by Kari Smith. We look forward to helping these teachers experience the traditions we all hold dear so they can spread the joy to their students.
Printable Information for Accepted Campers
You can log in to access your registration information including any balance due. If you don't remember your user name or password, follow the Log In directions. Please email us with any updates, corrections or questions.
Here are links to further details:
The Program: one page Program Description
- Daily Schedule
- Class Descriptions
- Class Questionnaire: Please give us an idea of the classes you will take. Also available online.
Getting Ready: Details for being at camp.
Getting to Camp: Driving Directions
9:00 Kids' Classes
Age 3-5 Songs, Movement, Rhythms and Projects: DeLaura Padovan -- Playtime with DeLaura will keep our youngest campers busy and happy.
Age 6-7 Silly Songs, Silly Games, Silly Dances: Lily Kruskal Leahy -- Lily brings the silly to these lucky campers. Come prepared to laugh, dance, sing and act.
Age 8-9 Cranky Box Theater: Bettie Zakon-Anderson, Cathy Jo Janssen -- Bettie and Cathy Jo will help you bring your own stories to life and capture them in your own cranky box theater.
Age 10-12 Appalachian Clogging: Emolyn Liden / Trae McMaken -- Emolyn will show you the basic moves to get your feet keeping the beat. You’ll be clogging and free-styling with the band before you know it.
9:00 Adult Classes
English Country: For the Joy of Dancing: Brad Foster / Karen Axelrod, Max Newman -- When Brad was a teenager, his first dance teacher taught him the joy of dance, a lesson he'll never forget. He'll share that joy with you through a mixture from old favorites to new dances, and from easy dances to moderate challenges. Most of the dances will be in the modern historical ("Playford") style, with an occasional traditional dance for variety. The class is designed with something to learn for people with all levels of dance experience.
Beginning Rapper: Tom Kruskal -- Tom has been teaching rapper to all ages for many decades and his expertise will get new and experienced dancers alike to a new level of this fast-paced and spirited ritual dance. Wear hard-soled, supportive shoes and get ready to team up and move.
|10:00-10:10||Morning Refreshments: Teachers watch kids through snack and class transitions|
10:15 Kids' classes
Age 3-5 Creeping Creatures for Young Tellers: Cathy Jo Janssen -- Little storytellers will enjoy narrative play-learning, exploring traditional folk and fairy tales through rhythm and rhyme. At the end of the week, these tiny tellers will return home with their own finger puppet characters.
Age 6-7 Moving and Grooving: DeLaura Padovan -- We’ll be moving and grooving, dancing and singing and having a wonderful, playful time together.
Age 8-9 Longsword: Lily Kruskal Leahy / Tom Kruskal -- Lily will teach the Longsword class, a folk tradition from the north of England, while her dad, Tom, plays for the dancing. You will learn a “calling on song” that welcomes the dancers to the stage and play some fun group games to help everyone get to know each other and as an excuse to be silly.
Age 10-12 Continental Drift: Country Dancing from England to America: Brad Foster / Karen Axelrod -- We'll do a wide range of classic, modern and traditional English country dances plus contras, squares and mixers. Some of these will be repeated in the evening dance.
10:15 Adult Classes
Contras: Steve Zakon-Anderson / Trae McMaken, Max Newman -- We will explore the varied shapes of American dancing. There will be many contra dances, as well as some squares, circles, triplets, etc.) and a sampling of choreography from many different eras. Most of all we will have fun together dancing to wonderful music played by Trae and Max.
Shape Note Singing: Stefan Amidon -- Experience the untamed beauty of a shape not sing. We will go through the shapes and basic layout of a sing for newcomers and then sing your favorites from The Sacred Harp as well as more recent compositions written in the shape not tradition. Everyone is invited to call a song, stand up to lead, and sing to your heart’s content.
Appalachian Clog: Emolyn Liden / Steve Hickman -- We’ll learn some great foot percussion and be ready to free-style at the evening dances. We’ll also team up and learn some really fun group routines. Sure to be a flat-footing good time for all.
|11:20-12:10||Morning Gathering: songs, dances, show & tell|
|12:30-1:00||Buffet Lunch Served|
1:30 Mixed-age Classes
(All ages) Napping, walking, relaxing or...
(8 & younger w/parent) Favorite Storybooks: Zara Bode -- Bring your favorite storybooks from home and Zara will share some of her favorites too. This will be a quiet and relaxing hour for families with younger campers - not quite a nap, but a chance to refresh, recharge and snuggle your little ones while Zara reads.
(All ages, under 8 w/parent) Community Art: Emolyn Liden, Karen Axelrod -- Ever wanted to learn to knit? Emolyn happens to be a professional knitter and teacher! She will get new knitters started, with fingers or needles, and help experienced knitters with questions and design. Bring your unfinished or dreamed of projects from home. Bring your needles and yarn. Emolyn and Karen will have a few other fiber-related projects to add to the week as well. A bit of a fiber potpourri.
(8 & up, younger if passionate w/parent) Family Band: Steve Hickman -- Steve will get us ready to play for the Community Dance each night. All abilities and instruments welcome! Get ready - you have a gig Sunday night.
(10 & up, younger w/parent) Ukulele Orchestra: Max Newman -- Not ones to be put off by a fear of making mistakes, the Ukulele Orchestra will put forth a collaborative effort to arrange a number or two in the most fun and goofy way possible, led by the shining principle that you don't need to know much about playing the ukulele to have a blast with it. NOTE: We will have extra ukuleles, but anyone who can bring (or lend) a ukulele to class will be applauded heartily.
(10 & up) Morris Dance: Tom Kruskal -- Join the Family Week at Ogontz Morris Team (FWOMT - also the official sound sticks make when clashing). A great opportunity to learn from teacher extraordinaire Tom.
|2:35-4:35||2-Hour Swim Block All ages, 9 & under/parent|
2:35 Mixed-age Classes
(All ages, 9 & under/parent) Swimming --
(13-19) Teen Class Potpourri: Karen Axelrod, Bettie Zakon-Anderson -- A little dance, rhythm and song, some creative artistry, some improv games and more! If you play an instrument, bring it.
(10-12, 20 & up) Country Singing: Zara Bode, Stefan Amidon -- A chance to kick-back on the Boat House deck and sing! Zara and Stefan will introduce us to the genre known for simple, but beautiful harmonies and heartfelt solo moments.
3:50 Mixed-age Classes
(All ages, 9 & under/parent) Swimming --
(8 & up) Mummers: Paddy Swanson -- The artistic director of Revels will lead us in the creation of another spectacular mummers play. Join the troupe and play your part.
(13 & up) Harmony Singing: Stefan Amidon, Zara Bode -- Take a break from dancing or running after your kids and take part in the joy of harmony singing. We’ll learn traditional two, three and four part songs, from traditional sources, done up in traditional and contemporary arrangements. Most songs will have music, but we may learn some simple songs by ear.
Stories at the Green Chairs: Trae McMaken, Cathy Jo Janssen
These two great storytellers will take us on a daily journey from the woods of Michigan to the hills of Appalachia with some re-imagined folk tales woven in for good measure. A wonderful way to close out each day together at the Green Chairs.
|8:15||Pied Piper/Bedtime for children 9 & younger|
|8:30-10:45||Evening Dance Party|
|9:30||Bedtime for 10-12 year olds|