August 9 - 16, 2020
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.
Extraordinary Staff, Fabulous Program
Come Join Us
The staff is just the foundation of this camp; you're the ones who make it happen! The only prerequisite is a willingness to join in the fun in whatever way is most authentic for you. Camp is both a great place to renew friendships and to learn new skills. New folks are encouraged to jump right in--- this inclusive community is excited to embrace you. The bottom line: catch up on your sleep before you come to camp and bring your most open mind! See you on the shores of Lake Huron…
~ Gaye and Rachel Fifer, Program Directors
This week will host a special American Dance Musicians Course with Julie Vallimont and Noah VanNorstrand.
This is an adult program. We can accept people as young as 13; anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. We expect any minors to be fully involved in the programming.
Spice Program by CDSS staff
- Moth Style Storytelling - Renee Brachfeld
- Alexander Technique - Jaige Trudel
- Edible Plant and Plant Identification Stroll - Jeremy Lekich
- Art - Diane
Camp Cavell Run Programs
(No additional charge, covered in registration fee)
- Technical Tree Climbing: This activity is unlike any other that you have experienced before! As a climber, you will use arborist safety equipment that includes a rope system and harness to work your way up a tree. Enjoy the view as you tower over friends below. You may climb up to 35 feet in one of our beech trees! (2 groups - 30 minutes each)
- Kayaking at Camp Cavell (Beginner to Intermediate): The kayaks we use are Old Town Loons and are special kayaks that are very stable for the beginning kayaker. We will do introductory lessons and will go over boating safety to help ensure that no one tips. If the lake is too rough, we will kayak in the stream. Everyone must wear a life preserver and stay with a guided group. (1 hour)
- Archery & Atlatl: Try your hand at Archery! We provide a trained instructor who will give basic lesson and safety orientation. Afterwards, it’s in your hands! This is definitely a “bullseye” for all ages! (30 min)
- Great Lakes Walk & Talk: Our Great Lakes Session is a walk and talk about history, nature and the lake shore. We first do a hands-on presentation and then spend the rest of the hour looking for treasures along the shore. We cover topics such as fossil identification, how sand is formed, beach mechanics, lake formation, zebra mussel invasion, and much more. (1 hour)
- Hayride w/sing along: Our hayride takes you for an enjoyable tour out into the rural community for a scenic ride. To immerse yourself further, you’ll be sitting on festive, yet comfortable, straw bales. Singing is strongly encouraged. (1 hour)
- Stream Ecology: By stepping into our streambed, you will be stepping back in time and onto an ancient sea floor! Examine the biodiversity and the amazing ecology found within a 20 foot radius of our starting point. See the stream’s determined action to change the topography of Camp Cavell. Dig samples of clay deposited 500 million years ago. There is an easy entry point to the stream bed with only a 8 stair steps. During the last part of the session those who are able can continue on downstream. (2 hours)
- Create Your Own Walking Stick: Use your creativity to make a one-of-a-kind walking stick to remember your time at Camp Cavell. Camp will cut the stick for you, but you become the designer. You can decorate it by carving your name, stamping a leather “dangle”, wood burning, and more! Start your special walking stick this year and add to it each year you come back! (2 hours)
- Orienteering: Here is your chance to learn how to navigate with a compass! This is an important survival skill when your gps fails you! This orienteering activity teaches the basics of map reading, using a compass and ways to make your own compass in an emergency. You can also try your orientating skills on our trails. (1 hour)
(Additional fee, pay at camp, est. fee $50-100 based on number in group)
- Kayaking in Lexington Harbor (More Advanced): Experienced paddlers will enjoy this kayak excursion out of downtown Lexington, only a ten minute drive from Camp Cavell. You’ll have a great time kayaking around Lexington Harbor. We will share information on the history and geology of the ancient rocks with thousands of fossils that make up the harbor walls. You will also have the opportunity to try beginners rock scrambling (or just watch), and explore cave like areas within the walls. If the lake and weather allow, we can venture out further into Lake Huron. (1/2 day including travel time - Off Site)
- Horseback Riding Trail Ride: With Pine River Stables (1/2 day including travel time - Off Site)
|7:30-8:30||Hot Breakfast served cafeteria style|
|11:30-12:30||Swimming, Bookstore staffed|
|3:15-4:15||Swimming and Period 4|
|5:00-6:00||Period 5: Camper-led classes and activities|
|8:00-10:30||Evening Dance Party & Spice Alternative|
Gaye Fifer has been calling at dance weekends for many years. Her pleasant style and graceful teaching put dancers at ease and set the stage for a great dance experience. She has also taught numerous waltz workshops at virtually every dance weekend in the East. She now lives in Pittsburgh, PA. and travels whenever she gets the opportunity. Gaye is currently President of CDSS and has a passionate interest in organizing to support dance community leaders and organizers.
Rachel Fifer was first introduced to contra dancing when her father dropped her on her head as a particularly wild neighbor swung him off balance. Gaye Fifer leapt dramatically off the stage, only to discover that baby Rachel was unharmed, yet would have a lifetime connection to contra dancing. Rachel has since sampled every dance and music style she could. She is fascinated by the history of our creative communities and the ways that we honor our roots by continuing to both remember our past and move towards intentional progress. Let's explore and celebrate our roots of movement and music together!
Aaron Marcus is well-known throughout the country for his performances with Frost and Fire, Giant Robot Dance, and locally with The Turning Stile, and Keys to the Cellar. Aaron brings exuberant energy, danceability, subtle lyricism, and spontaneity to any band arrangement, whether an accompanist on piano or clogging while playing tunes on concertina. Aaron incorporates a variety of old and new styles into his playing and composing, including traditions of the British Isles, Sweden, New England contra dance, West Africa, classical piano, Cape Breton, and the Appalachians. His CD with Frost and Fire, Midwinter Spring, showcases a number of his original compositions. Aaron most loves to teach percussive step dance, and play for English, Scottish and contra dances locally in Central Vermont. When not dancing, Aaron works as an endangered-species botanist, and will happily tell you about all the cool plants of Pinewoods.
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.
Diane Sutliff has worked in many art forms, from painting, drawing, and textiles, to costume construction, cigar box guitars, and Franken-fiddles. Right now, she is mostly focused on pottery and human potential. Since 1995 she has taught thousands of kids and adults to draw, both in public schools and at her own neighborhood art classes. She currently teaches pre-K through 8th grade artists at several schools in Chicago. She likes to give her students tips and tricks, provide lots of opportunity for choices, and then tries to get out of the way!
Julie Vallimont performs nationwide on piano and accordion for contra dances, English and Scottish dance, French bal folk, and concerts. She is known for her sensitive accompaniment, skill in matching the music to the dance, and music with heart. Drawing on teaching skills developed over fifteen years as a natural science educator, Julie enjoys leading workshops and teaching. She is also an experienced live sound engineer. When she has time, she makes crankies, paper art, and pottery.
Sarah VanNorstrand has been calling, organizing and teaching contra, square, and family/community dances for over ten years. She has a clear and engaging teaching style and a great repertoire of dances to share. Instantly hooked from her first contra dance as a teen, Sarah’s love of social dancing and her joy in sharing it is evident and infectious. Above all, her goal as a caller is to make sure the dancers are having a wonderful time connecting with the music and each other.
Jonathan Werk has played oboe with the Kanata Symphony Orchestra since 2007, when he joined as a way to continue playing music while studying engineering at university. Jonathan received his Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering in June 2011 from Carleton University, and in September 2012, he started a Bachelor of Music at the University of Ottawa, studying oboe with Charles Hamann. At the University of Ottawa, Jonathan has performed with the university’s wind ensemble, orchestra, choir, and played in the pit orchestra for the university’s opera production. Outside of his studies, Jonathan has played in many Ottawa musical ensembles, including the Ottawa Wind Ensemble, Ottawa Chamber Orchestra, Carleton University Chamber Music Ensemble, Carleton University Baroque Opera Ensemble, Sinfonia Ottawa, and the Ottawa Youth Orchestra. In addition to playing classical music, Jonathan’s love for music extends into many genres of folk and world music, and has led to him playing oboe, penny whistle, bombarde, and didgeridoo in the contra dance band “Stolen Goods”.
Jamie Platt has been running sound for dances, dance weekends, concerts, festivals, and other special events in the DC area and beyond for many years. He works hard to make sure that the musicians are happy, so they devote their attention to making great music. He’s honored to work with such a wonderful staff.
Life at Camp
ABOUT CAVELL CAMP
Camp Cavell spans 55 acres of woods on Lake Huron with 1800 feet of shoreline that provides spectacular and sweeping lake views from almost all buildings. The rustic camp is located 4 miles north of Lexington in the ‘thumb’ region of Michigan with its many quaint towns and ice cream stops. Arriving at camp, you’ll drive through the winding forested entrance until you suddenly see the water, cabins, and lodges.
Two large log lodges have great wooden dance floors and are the primary locations for the dance and spice programming and evening activities. The main lodge has a full length outdoor porch and fireplace facing Lake Huron for quiet times, singing, visiting, or watching the freighters go by. Summer nights are cool, the air fresh, and the stars very bright on Lake Huron, so binoculars and plenty of layers of clothing are recommended. The second lodge has an enclosed sunny back porch, and it houses the kitchen. Both lodges have interior fireplaces and bathrooms, and are connected by a paved walkway. Steps and ramps weave down the hillside from the main lodge to the beach on Lake Huron for waterfront activities. Meals will be served in a large outdoor covered pavilion overlooking the lake and grounds.
GETTING TO CAMP CAVELL
The camp is a three to four hour drive from Toronto, ON, Fort Wayne, IN, Marion OH, and Grand Rapids, MI. Via air, the Detroit airport (DTW) is 84 miles away, Flint Bishop Airport is 65 miles, Capital City Airport in Lansing is 109 miles and Cleveland is 133 miles. Car rentals are available at each. Border crossings to and from Canada require a passport and are located at Detroit, MI/Windsor, Ontario or Port Huron, MI/Sarnia, Ontario.
To get to CDSS programs at Cavell from Detroit Airport (DWI), book a flight that arrives by 1p.m. and reserve a seat There will also be scheduled shuttles to transport campers from and back to DTW; seats can be ordered after January 1. on the 2 p.m. van to camp – this is the earliest we will be ready to receive you. The van runs from Detroit Airport right to camp. You can also reserve a seat for your 10 a.m. departure on the last day of camp, suitable for flights 1 p.m. and later. Please reserve your van seats at least 10 days before you arrive. We cannot guarantee space for late reservations. Van seats are $30 in each direction.
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 Sunday. Departure time is after a final gathering and by noon the final Sunday.
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; there is some refrigeration available. 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. A fan is often welcome, or 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.
Most of Camp Cavell cabins are set up for 4 to 5 campers. Those in Northwood and Southwood have indoor bathrooms, showers, and closet areas. Brookside has a bathroom/shower house instead of in-cabin bathrooms. Brookside has a new bathroom/shower house facility.
There are some cabins for two couples that can be outfitted with a partition or curtain for additional privacy. There are no single person cabins, but there are a very limited number of private rooms. Camp Cavell has some double bed size mattresses and bed frame extensions that will be available in certain cabins for couples. Tenting and RV camping are also available in the Brookside area. Additional accommodation details will be provided with the information packets sent later.
General housing categories are:
- Closer to or further from evening activities
- Quiet, or late night party areas
- Hookups (4)
- Tent Camping
Housing will be assigned in the month before camp starts. We can't guarantee that all specific requests will be filled but will do our best. Housing requests should be made on the Registration Form or with information forms sent later.
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).
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)
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.
Cell coverage is spotty at best.
The fee for the week is TBA
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.
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.