Camp Week decsriprion

Harmony of Song & Dance offers an incredible diversity of music and dance experiences. The day begins with the all camp sing, a powerful harmony singing experience involving a combination of learning by ear as well as written music. Different staff lead the camp through a wide ranging repertoire of rousing and inspiring harmony singing, accommodating all forms and levels of experience. This is followed by a period dedicated to dancing, again with something for everyone - a class specifically for those with little to no dance experience as well as more challenging classes in contra and English with the finest in dance music and dance instruction.

The afternoon program offers shorter workshops on a range of themes in traditional singing, harmony singing, instrumental playing, English ritual dancing and more social dancing. In the evening, there are inspiring staff concerts, followed by a full dance program of both English country and contra dance.

The days are packed with learning opportunities but set in an atmosphere of great conviviality. Instrumental jam sessions and rollicking pub sings set in the incomparable peace and beauty of Pinewoods make this week a haven for lovers of both song and dance.

Early Music Week offers joyful opportunities and challenges to players, singers and dancers of every level, from beginners to the highly experienced. As classes unfold through the week, we will explore and discover the innovation and creativity that lie behind some of the world’s most vibrant and compelling music, listening and playing with deeper understanding, as well as dancing together and enjoying all that the Pinewoods community has to offer.

Instrumentalists may focus intensively on their primary instruments, enjoying the opportunity to play or sing with others in mixed ensembles and find time to explore something completely new. Singers can delve into early music repertoire in small groups, sing in a chorus and/or collegium, and try an introductory instrumental class. Everyone is invited to enjoy English country dancing, with instruction during the day for all levels. This elegant, low-impact, fun and welcoming style of participatory dance is the highlight of every evening. Dances are led by expert callers with music played by an elegant live band. All are warmly encouraged to participate.

Our family programs provide many opportunities to share traditional English and Anglo-American dance, music and storytelling as well as the beauty of the outdoors with children. This is a great way to spend time with your children, your grandchildren, your nieces and nephews, or other children dear to you. Each age grouping has a maximum number of spaces available. Adults without children are also welcome. We offer new material and many insights for teachers, librarians, and others working with children who wish to incorporate traditional music and dance material into their curriculum.

Along with contras, English country and community dancing, there are classes in morris, sword and clog as well as many opportunities for singing, storytelling, jam sessions and musical processions. There are also be crafts and many surprises. Family Week never fails to fill us with a level of inspiration that sustains us through the year. We hope you can join us.

Campers’ Week is pure magic. Young, old, and everyone in between attend as couples, singles and families. People who fell in love with dance and music just recently, others who have been doing this since the cradle. Together we make the woods ring with song, dance, music, stories and laughter. Most of all, Campers’ Week is about YOU! Anyone can teach a class or workshop at Campers’ Week, or lead a song, play a tune, call a dance, tell a joke or story, host a party, share a skill. We start out with a basic schedule of classes offered by the talented staff, and then together we add to it, embellish it, improvise and surprise each other.

The basic schedule includes a period each morning and afternoon when younger campers join with others of their age for classes in music and dance, while the rest of us choose from dance, music, song, crafts and whatever else people dream up. Teens are welcome to join in adult activities, but also have a daily class of their own. Twice a day, the whole community gathers together to enjoy performances, dancing, singing, stories and silliness led by the campers and staff. After the evening gathering, there is an evening dance, where those not past their bedtimes can enjoy a lively combination of American and English social dances. After-dance activities include skit night, an auction, a “pub sing”, jamming and dancing.

Campers’ Week offers a special opportunity to camper musicians, who form the bands for the evening dances and who have many chances to play for the varied daytime classes. Musicians at every level are welcome to join the Community Band and if you don’t play yet, maybe you’ll learn the basics from one of the many talented people who are happy to share their skills. Love to sing? Join the Harmony Singing class or an informal song swap on the porch. And of course, there are always games, swimming, boating, relaxing, and just chatting with new and old friends. Come be part of the joy that is Campers’ Week!

This is a wonderful week of connecting with traditions and rituals, while building community with new and old friends. The culture of participation and involvement is contagious! We have a great program for adults, children, families and young adults featuring a mix of English and American dance, northwest morris, rapper, clog, song, music, arts and crafts, nature walks and more. Adults can participate in their classes all day, while children enjoy age-appropriate dance and music options.

The teaching/calling staff is entertaining and inspiring, the musicians are superb and the schedule allows you to do as much as you could possibly want. In addition to classes, there are two all community gatherings (morning and evening) where we share stories, songs and talents. There is time during the day for a nature walk, swimming, canoeing and hanging out with friends. After dinner, we parade to the hall for a community dance which includes everyone in the fun. The evening dances combine English and contra, with bedtimes for the younger ones at appropriate intervals and adult dancing into the night. After the dance, there is always a late night activity which gives everyone a chance to shine and play.

On the last day, we have show and tell, a big parade, a pool party and lots of dancing. We would love to have you come to join in our week of traditions, making them yours as well.

Join us for a special CDSS family week at Ogontz, where the magic of tradition, humor, friendship and community brings us back year after year. This week is filled with singing, music, dancing and fun for all ages and this year we have an incredible staff of singers, multi-instrumentalists, and dance leaders! And as always, we invite campers to bring their talents to share as well!

Along with our traditional dance offerings of contras, squares, and English country dance, singers and musicians have the chance to participate in harmony singing, family band, and swap songs and tunes in a relaxed environment. Children’s classes are taught by caring and talented staff and include traditional singing and dancing. Days are full of choices in dance, song, crafts, mumming, fun games, and swimming in the crystal clear lake. Just before dinner we meet at the green chairs for story time. Twice a day campers get the opportunity to come together in a camp gathering to sing, dance, and enjoy entertainment by our talented staff and campers. And as always, our days end with a dance party and late night activities as roving monitors check on little ones asleep in their cabins.

Ogontz Camp offers woodlands and wide-open spaces where children can play, a mountain stream for exploring and a pristine lake that hosts a family of loons - perfect for swimming and canoeing. Whether you are having supper on the outdoor dining deck or simply relaxing in the circle of Adirondack chairs under the old white pine, you will enjoy peace and contentment as you take in the beauty of this piece of heaven in the foothills of the White Mountains. Delicious home cooked meals and fresh baked breads nurture your body and soul, fueling you through an unforgettable week.

Started in 2016, Dance Music & Spice at Camp Cavell is a new concept for summer dance camp programs. It includes the traditional folk music, dance, and song activities familiar to CDSS members and its camp participants, but encompasses a broader range of folk traditions and related activities. The intention is to serve a broader constituency in the folk community with the emphasis still being on the values that we, as dancers, musicians, and singers, hold so dear. Spice means an offering of a variety of programs, including Great Lakes beach ecology (nature), active outdoor camp activities (e.g., kayaking, tree climbing, and birding), gourmet cooking, games, and folk art activities such as quilting, photography, and possibly puppetry, weaving, or felting. Spice programming events will also be offered in the evenings in parallel to the usual evening dances.

Spice is Nice because…

  • Some who come to camp bring a friend, partner, or spouse who doesn’t dance, sing, or play music as much as they do. Spice programming offers a parallel track of activities that allows everyone to be firmly engaged in the camp community.
  • Some are not able or do not want to dance all day and into the night, but would like to engage in other activities and learning experiences for part of the day, while remaining involved in traditional dance, music, and song activities.
  • Some are looking for a range of folk-based, outdoor, or camping experiences that are complementary to, and thereby enhance, their participation in traditional music, dance, and song.
  • Some want to expand their dance, music, and song camp experience to include other folks who share similar community based values, and they want to interact with those folks in a greater variety of ways.
  • Some look to CDSS for leadership and guidance in growing their home dance communities and implementing broader community outreach, and CDSS’s Spice programming at dance camp will provide that guidance.

Join us for a wonderful week of English dance, music, and song! Experience the tremendous vitality of English country and display dances, stirring tunes, and rousing English songs, all with world-class teachers and superb musicians, in the magical setting of Pinewoods Camp.

During the day, challenge yourself by choosing something new – or relax and enjoy the familiar – from a packed schedule of classes. Evening dances will include a wide range of English country dances accessible to all, with exhilarating music from our extraordinary staff of musicians.

All ye who revel in all of these traditions! English Week is where we greet old friends and make new ones, tread familiar paths and plunge into uncharted territory, revel in classic, beloved, and innovative repertoire, and learn new skills to take back to our own communities. Please join us!

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