August 20 - 27, 2016
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 from sun up ‘til the wee hours. 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. Past camper-led sessions have included crafts, storytelling, instrumental workshops, jam sessions, song swaps, joke sessions, games, yoga, theater, collaborative construction projects, bird watching, swing, tango, morris, sword and every kind of dance you can imagine. No one knows exactly what to expect this year, because each Campers’ Week is unique.
The basic schedule includes one period each morning and afternoon when younger campers join with others 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. Why not try a new dance form or craft. 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!
~ Margaret Bary, Program Director
The Basic Program – to be added to by campers
Wee Ones (ages 0-3): Every morning Deirdre Murtha will engage our youngest campers and their caregivers in a joyful experience of music through fingerplays, songs, instruments and simple dances.
Smalls (ages 4-6): Kathy Reid-Naiman and the Smalls will begin the day singing, signing, dancing and learning about bees. In the afternoon, Deirdre Murtha will lead them in chanting and dancing, playing percussion instruments and singing musical stories.
Middles (ages 7-9): The Middles will start the day with a potpourri of songs and dances with Hannah Naiman. In the afternoon, will be more singing and dancing, and shadow puppet stories with Jody Kruskal.
Talls (ages 10-12): The Talls will learn a variety of contras and squares, and create new dances with Lisa Greenleaf. Later in the day, Gillian Stewart will teach Morris and lead them on a whirlwind tour through Anglo-American ritual dance, exploring connections between the different traditions.
Teens (ages 13-17): Hannah Naiman and the teens will sing the songs, dance the dances, play the games, and have a blast, learning how to carry traditions from this generation to the next "as we pass them on."
Adults and teens can start their day with a with a wide palette of English Country Dances led by Jenny Beer including, “dances that move, dances that flow, dances for flirting, dances for show.” In the afternoon, Lisa Greenleaf’s session of Contras and Squares will feature a selection of dance with an emphasis on good connection and skillful style. Jenny and Lisa will also offer a Caller’s Symposium, a daily opportunity to practice and discuss the art of calling for contra or for English.
Gillian Stewart will teach Rapper, an energetic sword dance from northern England. Open to both beginners and experienced dancers, participants will learn new figures and sharpen up the ones we know. All ages are welcome to Harmony Singing with Deirdre Murtha where we will enjoy the harmonious possibilities of singing together by ear, from written music, and from many genres. Or join the Community Band conducted by Jody Kruskal, where campers of all instruments and levels will play some fine dance tunes, and develop skills in band technique, arrangement, rhythm, harmony and improvisation.
Feel like singing during morning swim time? Join in Singing on the Porch, a daily song swap. Eager to play for dancing? Robin Kynoch will coordinate daytime musicians, matching up willing players with classes that need them; and Kathy Talvitie will make sure that our evening dance bands run smoothly. Everyone at camp is encouraged to share something with the rest of us at our daily gatherings. Michael Gorin will organize talent for Morning Gathering; Evening Gathering will be programmed and hosted by Hannah Naiman.
Each evening at Campers' Week ends with an all camp gathering, an evening dance, and post-dance activities. As dusk settles over the Camphouse gathering, a Pied Piper leads families with children age 8 and younger to their cabins, where the parents put their children to bed. 9-12 year old children join in the first half of the evening dance, until their bedtime. While adults and teens are at the evening dance, roving monitors listen for wakeful children. If a child is uncomfortable, the monitor will alert the parents at the dance. Families are expected to prepare their children for these scheduled bedtimes.