August 5-12, 2017
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, we are also offering couple dancing, Irish Sets, rapper, and English clog dancing this year. Singers and musicians will have the chance to participate in harmony singing, family band, and swap songs and tunes in a relaxed environment with an after lunch song circle, and a before dinner musicians jam. Children’s classes will be taught by caring and talented staff and will include traditional singing and dancing. Your days will be full of choices in dance, song, crafts, mumming, fun games, and swimming in the crystal clear lake. Just before dinner we will meet at the green chairs for story time. Twice a day campers will 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 day will end with a dance party and late night activities as roving monitors check on little ones asleep in their cabins.
Ogontz Camp is the perfect setting for all of this joyous fun. It 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 will nurture your body and soul, fueling you through an unforgettable week.
Please come help us celebrate the joy of traditional music, dance, and story! Come to Ogontz!
~ Lily and Paul Leahy, Program Directors
|9:00-9:55||kids can be dropped off at their class at 8:55|
|(2-3)||Playtime for Little Campers||Bettie Zakon-Anderson|
|(4-5)||Music and Dance||Mary Alice Amidon|
|(6-7)||Ogontz Adventures||Erika Roderick|
|(10-12)||Morris Dance||Luzy Huzzard|
|(13 & up)||English Country Dance||Joanna Riener|
|(13 & up)||One-Shot Potpourri couple dances and more!||Steve Zakon-Anderson|
|10:15-11:10||Kids will be taken from class to snack and on to their next class|
|(2-3)||Stories and Games for Little Campers||Erika Roderick|
|(4-5)||Exploring Ogontz||Bettie Zakon Anderson|
|(6-7)||Stories From All Over||Mary Alice Amidon|
|(8-9)||Music and Dance||Peter Amidon|
|(10-12)||Social Dance||Joanna Reiner|
|(13 & up)||American Dance||Steve Zakon-Anderson|
|(13 & up)||Rapper||Luzy Huzzard|
|11:20-12:10||Morning Gathering: dances, songs, show & tell|
|12:30-1:00||Buffet Lunch Served|
|1:30-3:30||2-Hour Swim Block All ages, 9 & under/parent|
|1:30-2:25||All ages Napping|
|(8 & up, 7 & younger w/parent)||Community Art for All Ages||Bettie Zakon Anderson|
|(All ages, under 8 w/parent)||Song Circle on the porch||Keith Murphy|
|(All ages, under 10 w/parent)||English Clog||Luzy Huzzard|
|2:35-3:30||All ages, 9 & under w/parent Swimming or napping|
|(13-19)||Teen Class||Erika Roderick, Natty Smith, guest dance teachers!|
|(8 & up, younger if passionate w/parent)||Family Band||Owen Morrison|
|(8-12, 20 & up)||Mummers Play||Paddy Swanson|
|(8 & up)||Musicians Jam Time at the green chairs||Becky Tracey|
|(All ages, under 8 w/parent)||Games with Fynn!||Fynn Crooks|
|(10 & up)||Harmony Singing||Peter Amidon|
|(Pre-registration)||Teachers Training Course||Kari Smith|
|4:50-5:20||Stories at the Green Chairs||Peter Amidon|
|8:00||Pied Piper/Bedtime for children 9 & younger/All Camp Sing Circle|
|8:05-10:30||After Glow and Evening Dance Party|
|9:15||Bedtime for 10-12 year olds|
|12:30||Bedtime for teens (Wednesday - Teen Game Night - 1:30am)|
Lily Leahy grew up dancing and singing at CDSS’ Family Week at Pinewoods and has been hooked ever since. She started dancing Longsword and Morris at age 10 on Hop Brook Morris, and continued on to dance with Boston-area based Orion Longsword for 14 years. She has taught longsword, morris dancing, and other traditional dances and songs to children for both Revels Education Programs and at the Wellesley Community Children’s Center After School Programs, where she worked full time up until having her first daughter 9 years ago. Lily currently resides in the Cork area of Ireland with her husband and two daughters. She is a music educator and conductor of a children's choir at a local school and enjoys singing with two choirs, one of which she has recently started and conducts. Lily has had the pleasure of teaching at Family Weeks at both Pinewoods and Ogontz and is very much looking forward to returning to Ogontz this summer!
Although new to the dance world since meeting his wife Lily, Paul Leahy has wholeheartedly embraced it. Paul has been a regular at dance weekends and camps over the past decade and a half. And although he started out by being dragged there, Ogontz Family week is now the highlight of his Summer. Paul is an enthusiastic singer and watcher of dancing (but has been known to partake in the odd twirl from time to time).
Mary Alice Amidon
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. Peter Amidon, a founding member of New England Dancing Masters, publishers of books, CDs and DVDs of traditional dance for children and community dancing, leads workshops on leading dance with children and communities throughout the United States, often headlining (with Mary Alice Amidon) at state and national music teacher conferences. His choral arrangements are being sung by community, church and hospice choirs throughout the U.S. and the UK. He has led dancing and singing with children and adults at CDSS Camps for thirty-five years.
* Karen Axelrod
Karen Axelrod is highly regarded for her creative piano playing at English, American and Scottish dance events around the country. She is in the band Foxfire, Alchemy with Eric Martin and Rachel Bell, and Peregrine Road with Rachel Bell. Karen plays accordion with 3rd String Trio, a band that plays old world cafe music. She also plays accordion for Orion Longsword. She loves the ensemble aspect of playing for dancing, as well as the close connection between what the musicians do and what the dancers do. When not playing music, Karen spends her time coming in last in marathons.
Fynn Crooks used to have a fear of hurdles, but she got over it. Oh, that’s terrible! As a storyteller, humorist, and teacher Fynn has been sharing bad jokes, tough riddles, and a healthy enthusiasm for life with her students, young and old, for a decade. She loves leading group games to encourage communication, cooperation and just plain goofiness. You might find Fynn launching a rubber chicken across camp, leading a silly circus, lifeguarding, telling a folktale, teaching the art of marshmallow catapults, or just dancing with wild abandon. Whatever she does, you’ll sure want to join in the fun - her energy is infectious, but don’t worry, she washes her hands often!
Lucy Huzzard has been dancing clog since childhood and now tours with the hugely successful Demon Barbers/The Lock In as a clog dancer. She studied Folk and Traditional Music at Newcastle University on her trusty melodeon (now traded in for a bigger model) and spent a year in Sweden studying Swedish folk dance at the Eric Sahlström Institute. She has also competed at the Dancing England Rapper Tournament (DERT) multiples times as well as judging the competition in 2016 and has danced and played for Cotswold morris. She's thrilled to be invited to teach on this side of the pond and hopes to spread the folk dance love!
Owen Morrison is an accomplished rhythm and lead guitarist, at home in many styles of traditional music. His playing, laced with rhythmic power and skillful finesse, has made him popular among dancers and fiddlers alike. Owen has toured the U.S. and abroad with bands such as Elixir, Airdance, Night Watch and The Morrison Brothers Band. A frequent staff member and Program Director at Pinewoods, Ashokan, Augusta, and many other camps.
Naomi Morse grew up surrounded by music and dance in the folk communities of New England. She is known for her energetic and driving fiddle playing for both contra and English dancing in many bands, including Night Watch, Housetop and the mega-fiddle-band Childsplay. She has toured extensively with the world music ensemble Northern Harmony and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she sings professionally.
Keith Murphy has been immersed in music and dance since his childhood days in Newfoundland. His distinctive rhythmic sound on guitar, mandolin, piano and foot percussion has helped drive several great contra dance bands including Nightingale, Wild Asparagus and Assembly. Having performed at many dance events throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as overseas, he brings a wealth of experience and sophistication to his playing.
Joanna Reiner has taught English dance, Scottish dance and longsword for over a decade. Her calling has taken her from Amherst to Ann Arbor, from NEFFA to Hey Days, including several sessions at Pinewoods Camp. Joanna led the Philadelphia-based Germantown Country Dancers English dance demonstration team for many years, is an avid dance gypsy, and in her spare time, works to support her dance habit.
Erika Roderick has been dancing her whole life. A graduate from Tom Kruskal’s “Rapper Academy”, Great Meadows Morris and Sword, where she was a founding member of Candyrapper, she now helps teach rapper and morris every week! She lives in Cambridge, MA and currently dances with Muddy River Morris, Orion Longsword, Candyrapper VSOP and Maple Morris. When she isn’t busy dancing, she is a Fifth Grade teacher in Boston. She is looking forward to being back at Ogontz this summer!
Kari Smith has been teaching adults and children various forms of seasonal display dance for 30 years. She is the foreman of Guiding Star Clog Morris, and a founding member of The New Dancing Marleys. When she is not at camp, she teaches educators to integrate the arts across the curriculum in addition to her anti-bias educational work around gender diversity. She loves to sing and dance, and to get others singing and dancing!
Natty Smith was raised in the New England folk dance community. He began Morris dancing on Tom Kruskal's children's team Hop Brook and then Great Meadows Morris and Sword in Sudbury, MA. He currently dances and plays for Candyrapper VSOP, Pinewoods Morris Men, Maple Morris, and Thames Valley International. Natty’s distinctive fiddle style, influenced by New England contra dance traditions traditional English styles, can be heard all over New England, Canada, and often England in the spring and summer. Since fiddling for morris and sword can’t pay the bills, Natty also teaches High School English in Salem, MA.
Patrick Swanson began his career in London as an actor at the Arts Theatre. In 1969, he toured Europe with La MaMa Plexus and subsequently got his world theater education from Ellen Stewart at La MaMa E.T.C. in New York. His numerous directing projects include opera, ensemble, music theater and circus. He was a founding stage director of Circus Flora and is currently Artistic Director of Revels. Patrick taught acting and improvisation at the London Academy of Dramatic Art, the London Drama Centre, and New York University. Directing credits include the Spoleto USA festival; Houston's Alley Theatre and Boston's Charles Playhouse. His Actor's Shakespeare Project production of King Lear with Alvin Epstein was nominated for three 2006 Elliot Norton awards. His most recent acting performance was for Gloucester Stage in their 20th anniversary production of Fighting over Beverley. For Revels, Patrick has directed a contemporary version of the medieval mystery plays. He writes and directs all Cambridge Revels scripts and with music director George Emlen, serves as consultant to the other nine Revels production companies.
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. Becky has a distinctive clarity of tone, a rhythmic attack owing much to French-Canadian playing and the melodic quality of Irish music. Her unmistakable sound has made her a defining presence among dance musicians.
* Bettie Zakon-Anderson
Bettie Zakon-Anderson has been dancing most of her life and enjoys sharing the fun of music and dance with people of all ages. She has taught a variety of couples dances, from hambo and waltz to swing and Zydeco, at camps and weekends throughout the U.S. for the past twenty years. She is the business manager of Vävstuga, a Swedish weaving school in Shelburne Falls, MA.
* Steve Zakon-Anderson
Steve Zakon-Anderson has been calling contras, leading workshops for callers and teaching couples dance for over 25 years. He has performed at dance camps and festivals in 36 states, including Pinewoods, Ogontz, Buffalo Gap, Lady of the Lake, Augusta and Brasstown. His own dance compositions are well known to dancers and other callers. Steve's clear teaching, energetic calling and sense of humor have made him a favorite of dancers of all ages and abilities.
* ADVISORS, PLUS
ABOUT OGONTZ CAMP
Ogontz is a beautiful 300-acre camp near Lyman, New Hampshire, nestled in the White Mountains halfway between Lisbon and Littleton, three miles or so off Route 10. It had been used as a girls' camp for over 50 years, and in recent years has been dedicated to music, including being the summer home for the Chorus of Westerly (Rhode Island). CDSS has held programs at Ogontz since 1999.
The camp, with its own secluded lake, is surrounded by acres of woods and sunny open spaces. The Dining Room has a warm rustic charm with wooden floors and windows on three sides looking out towards the lake and open grassy fields. Meals include lots of fresh bread and desserts from the large camp bakery. There is a beautiful dance hall equipped with a hardwood floor, a stage and fireplace. Several nice meeting spaces, including a barn loft, are used for our programs. A very special and popular spot to relax, read, listen to stories or just take in the scenery is a large grouping of Adirondack chairs, spread out under a large tree and overlooking the lake and in view of the surrounding mountains. The waterfront has a shallow, sandy beach, as well as places for diving and deep swimming, sailing, kayaking and canoeing. There are also swing sets, tennis courts and a special arts and crafts room. Also on the property are hiking paths following streams and waterfalls. Their New Ogontz Hall is under construction.
Ogontz Camp is a unique place and has its own traditions. The Kent family, who runs the camp, offers a friendly welcome to all guests.
The camp is about a three hour drive from Boston, MA, and six hours from New York, NY.
The program begins with swimming and an informal tour of camp on the afternoon of the first day; followed by an orientation meeting and dance after dinner.
Arrival time is after 4:00pm on the starting Saturday. Departure time is by 10:00am the final Saturday.
You will need to bring a flashlight to find your way around at night. A battery powered or wind up alarm clock and insect repellent may be useful. If you are on a special diet, you may need to bring your own particular food. An ice chest for drinks and snacks to share at after-dance parties may be handy. A specific packing list is sent with acceptance information.
Don't forget to pack your swimsuit, raincoat, sweater, towels, bed linen, and blankets or a sleeping bag and pillows. An extra blanket could be needed.
The nearest stores are a 15-30 minute drive away.
All participants are assigned on-site housing in the month before camp starts. Space is limited; we can't guarantee that all specific requests will be filled. Requests may be made on the Registration Form or with information sent later.
The rustic accommodations at Ogontz offer beautiful vistas and fresh mountain air. The Adirondack-style cabins (roofed platforms) have open sides, one wall of storage and rolldown tarps for privacy, and are generally without screens although mosquito nets are available. Each cabin accommodates a family of 2-6 people on single beds (usually). All have electric light. Shower rooms and toilet facilities are nearby. You have the option of bringing a tent (or two) to pitch on the cabin floor for added privacy and protection from bugs if it would make your family more comfortable.
Even mid-summer evenings in the New Hampshire mountains can sometimes be cold; you can be prepared by bringing extra blankets and even a soft hat to sleep in.
Housing is assigned in the month before camp starts and will be assigned based on the age of the youngest family member. Each family will be assigned its own cabin.
In the cooperative spirit of camp life, all campers have a daily job to help camp run smoothly.
Jobs are usually a half hour or less per day, every day, and the same job all week. Jobs are assigned in the month before camp starts; you have the opportunity make specific requests about your job assignment either on the Registration Form or later with your Registration Status Form.
We can't guarantee that all specific job requests will be filled, but please let us know if you have a preference or limitation (e.g., dust allergy, unable to lift heavy objects, can't stay up late, can't get up for breakfast).
At family sessions parents are generally assigned a job with their young children.
General job categories are:
- Dining room: breakfast, lunch or dinner (set/clear tables)
- Kitchen (serve food, clear, wash dishes, make coffee/tea)
- Sweeping (pavilions, community areas)
- Party help (late night party setup/cleanup)
- Clerical (office, bookstore, auction)
- Greeters (must be able to arrive by 2:00pm)
- Gopher (campstore, auction, lifting)
Some of the jobs start before breakfast. Please let us know if you are happy with an early job.
PHONE & COMPUTERS
Though your plate will be full with activities while at camp, for those of you who must keep in contact with work or home, there are options. There is first class mail and UPS service. We do ask that laptops and cell phones be kept out of the awareness of other campers. Even if you can't, others want to enjoy this time away from the reminders of work-a-day living.There is a touch-tone phone for camper use; you will need a calling card to make long distance calls. Cell coverage is spotty at best.
DEPOSITS AND PAYMENTS
Online payments can be made with Mastercard or VISA. We can only take the amount you approve, so balance payments need to be initiated by you.
Mailed-in registrations can be paid by Mastercard, VISA or by check, made payable to CDSS, in U.S. Funds. Mail to CDSS, 116 Pleasant St Suite 345, Easthampton, MA 01027
A deposit of $150/person/week, if not paying full amount, is needed with registration.
Full cost depends on the Week and, at family programs, the ages of children.
Full payment for sessions starting before August 1: due May 20
Full payment for sessions starting on or after August 1: due June 20
There is a fee of $25 on any late payment.
Deposits/payments are processed upon receipt. In the case of cancellation from the wait list or from a session, a refund will be issued as per our cancellation policy.
Registration can be completed online or Registration Form (pdf) may be mailed, hand-delivered, e-mailed or faxed to the CDSS office. Registration confirmation and status will be sent out after April 1. If you wish confirmation that we received your application, please send a stamped, self-addressed postcard or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking to pay your camp balance? You'll find the payment form here.
We offer work scholarships to any camper in need, and named scholarships to practicing teachers, leaders and musicians. Please read about our scholarship programs before applying. Scholarship applications will be considered at the time of registration and should therefore accompany the Registration Form.
Donation in support of Scholarships are needed and gratefully accepted. If you are able to help another person benefit from our programs, you can do so by making a contribution along with your registration or at our online store. In addition, at each week of our summer camps, we hold auctions which raise money for future scholarships.
If you have registered and been accepted, you should have received an email from Steve Howe that includes your Registration Status Form and an attached file titled Information for Accepted Campers. The email was sent to only one email address per registration. The body of the email is the Registration Status Form; please contact us with any specific updates and corrections to that form including your contact information, housing and job requests, your meal preferences, expected arrival time and emergency contact information. Here are link to several printable bits of important information.
Acceptance Information: This should have been attached to your Registration Status Form email.
If we do not yet have your signed Waiver, please do that now.
Getting Ready: A page with some hints on life at camp.
Packing List: Suggestions of things to bring
Directions to Camp
A letter from the Program Director
Printable page of class descriptions
Family Bio: Please use this form or a sheet of your own design for posting at camp and the historical notebook.