August 2 - 9, 2014


Photo by Denise Smith

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!



Program Directors

Bettie Zakon-Anderson
Steve Zakon-Anderson

Stefan Amidon
Karen Axelrod*
Zara Bode
Brad Foster
Steve Hickman
Cathy Jo Janssen
Tom Kruskal
Lily Kruskal Leahy
Trae McMaken
Keith Murphy
Max Newman
DeLaura Padovan
Kari Smith
Paddy Swanson
Becky Tracy

* Advisor, plus
Steve Howe


7:45-8:30 Breakfast
9:00 Adult Classes
10:00-10:10 Morning Refreshments: Teachers watch kids through snack and class transitions
kids will stay at their class locations
10:15 Adult Classes
11:20-12:10 Morning Gathering: songs, dances, show & tell
12:15-12:30 Bookstore staffed
12:30-1:00 Buffet Lunch Served
1:00-1:30 Bookstore staffed
Mixed-age Classes
2:35-4:35 2-Hour Swim Block All ages, 9 & under/parent
Mixed-age Classes
3:35-3:45 Afternoon Snack
3:35-4:45 Bookstore staffed
Mixed-age Classes
Stories at the Green Chairs: Trae McMaken, Cathy Jo Janssen
5:50 Dinner
7:15 Community Dance
7:45-8:30 Evening Gathering
8:15 Pied Piper/Bedtime for children 9 & younger
8:30-10:45 Evening Dance Party
9:30 Bedtime for 10-12 year olds
11:00 After-dance Activities
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