August 12 - 19, 2018
Escape to Camp Cavell, on the shores of Lake Huron, for a week of dancing, music, art, crafts, outdoor activities, and more, led by world-class instructors! Hone your skills, learn new ones, or just revel in the opportunity to do things you love with like-minded people.
From contras and squares to English country dances and waltzes, from comedy improv to technical tree-climbing, from sunrise to late-night campfires, expect to be delighted. Come prepared to expand your horizons and to be amazed by the creativity and talent of staff and campers alike. We welcome newcomers, old hands and everyone in between. Join us for an unforgettable week of friendship and joy at CDSS’ newest week: Camp at Cavell.
Extraordinary Staff, Fabulous Program
Our staff leads the way in expanding horizons… They dance! They call! They teach! They play! They sing! They make jewelry! Many of them have hidden talents! And they're fun to hang around with, too!
Carol, Gaye and Kathy will delight you with a lovely mix of contras, squares, English dances, and waltzing. Foxfire (Karen and Daron), Audacious (Larry and Audrey), ¾ of Combine (Chirps, Dave, Steve), and Brad will conjure glorious melodies, rich harmonies and lively improvisations to send us into dance ecstasy. In addition to dancing to them, you'll have opportunities during the day to join our staff in making music, with band and singing classes and a daily old-time jam.
The “spice” component of our camp is an exciting and novel addition to the programming. If you’d like to take a break from dance and music for a bit, or even spend your entire day (and evening!) doing other things, we have plenty of offerings, indoors and out. This year’s outdoor activities feature expanded, advanced offerings, including kayaking to Lexington Harbor.
As if that’s not enough, every day will feature an assortment of camper-led sessions. We don’t know what these will be yet, because you haven’t told us. What would you like to add to the mix?
The sunrises and moonrises over Lake Huron have to be seen to be believed – and you can see them from the dance hall. The beauty of this camp is absolutely breathtaking.
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. The bottom line: catch up on your sleep before you come to camp! See you on the shores of Lake Huron….
~ Carol Ormand, Program Director
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.
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)
|7:30-8:15||Hot Breakfast served cafeteria style|
|9:00-10:00||The Best of Both Worlds: American and English Dances||Carol Ormand|
|Playing for Dances||Larry Unger, Audrey Knuth|
|Iroquois Raised Beadwork||Karen Ann Hoffman|
|Outdoor activities||Cavell staff|
|Old-Time Jam||Chirps Smith, Dave Landreth, Steve Rosen|
|Comedy Improvisation||Karen Axelrod|
|Outdoor activities||Cavell staff|
|11:30-12:30||Swimming and Bookstore staffed|
|2:00-3:00||Contras and Squares||Kathy Anderson|
|Spice Camp Sing||Daron Douglas|
|3:15-4:15||English Country Dancing for All||Gaye Fifer|
|Calling Squares||Kathy Anderson|
|Iroquois Raised Beadwork||Karen Ann Hoffman|
|5:00-6:00||Open Mic Calling: feedback from||Kathy Anderson|
|8:00-10:30||Evening Dance, Music & Spice|
Madison, Wisconsin caller Carol Ormand is beloved throughout the dance community for her smooth and unflappable style, wickedly fun dances, and penchant for keeping all the dancers on the floor smiling. Carol’s enthusiasm, paired with her clear and efficient teaching, creates a delightful dancing experience for beginners and veteran dancers alike. Her relaxed style will keep you coming back for more. When she's not calling, you're likely to find her fiddling, taking photographs, singing, quilting, dancing, or examining beach sand through a hand lens.
Kathy Anderson is widely admired for her exciting squares, quirky contras, and swift, clear teaching. She has long been a favorite caller across the U.S., Canada, England and Denmark. Kathy's smooth delivery and intriguing repertoire make for an entertaining and engaging dance experience.
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.
Brad Battey has been playing for dances for almost as long as he can remember. A high-energy fiddler, he can be found playing contra and English dances around Ann Arbor most weeks with Big Fun, The Ruffwater String Band, or other fabulous SouthEast Michigan musicians. He has played for dance weeks and weekends from Illinois to Denmark and Cape Breton to Texas. He has also been known to play fiddle and nyckelharpa for English and Scandinavian couple dancing.
Daron Douglas is a captivating fiddler for American and English dance traditions. She plays with the dance bands Foxfire and Goldcrest. Daron also brings a rich repertoire of songs from her great-grandmother, who was one of Cecil Sharp's informants in the southern mountains. She has been on the staff at CDSS dance camps, at Ashokan and at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. She now lives and plays music in New Orleans.
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 has served on the CDSS Board and has a passionate interest in organizing to support dance community leaders & organizers.
Karen Ann Hoffman
Karen Ann Hoffman is a citizen of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. Her works are in the permanent collections of the: Smithsonian Institution -NMAI, The Wisconsin State Museum, The New York State Museum, Indianapolis Childrens' Museum, Memorial Hall Museum, Deerfield, MA, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS , and the Iroquois Indian Museum, Howes Caverns, NY. Karen Ann’s award winning Beadwork has been displayed at: Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, Evanston, IL; Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Appleton, WI; The Neville Museum, Green Bay, WI; The Castellani Art Museum, Niagara Falls, NY; The Ukrainian National Museum, Chicago, IL Karen Ann was a member of the Skanikwat Project, Nakuru, Kenya, Africa. The project, led by Samuel Thomas, used tribal beadwork as a medium to foster peace across languages, races, religions, and continents.
Hailing from Honolulu, Audrey Knuth moved to Boston in 2008 to attend Berklee College of Music and to explore the thriving New England folk scene. After graduating, Audrey has made a name for herself in the music community, as a dance fiddler and audio engineer. With her bands, The Free Raisins, The Gaslight Tinkers, Audacious (with Larry Unger) and Wake Up Robin, she has travelled across the US and Europe, playing for dances and concerts. She’s equally adept at teaching workshops, and has been on staff at various camps including Pinewoods, Ashokan Northern Week, BACDS American week and Halsway Manor. Audrey’s fiddle playing can be described as rhythmically lively; she's guaranteed to get you up and dancing.
Dave Landreth has toured and taught old-time banjo for decades, as a solo performer and with the Allen Street String band, The Combine, Knock Knock Hoosiers, Dugout Canoe, the Hoosier Crackerjacks, the Vigortones, the Elder Bullies, and as duo with Chirps Smith and all have appeared at festivals, dances, dance camps, workshops and venues of all sizes. He is often heard to say “Playing with these guy is a blast and if it wasn’t I wouldn’t do it”
A Kentucky native now living in Houston, TX, Kendall Rogers is a piano player who also dabbles in accordion, DADGAD guitar, bodhran and whistle. In addition to being a regular member of the Houston-based Irish band The Jig is Up!, Kendall enjoys participating in contra and English Country dancing, whether playing, dancing, calling or running the sound board. This year he also joined the board of directors for the Houston Area Traditional Dance Society. Kendall has also led piano workshops at the O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat and Youth Camp for the last several years, in addition to playing piano at their ceilis.
Steve Rosen has been a driving force in the Midwest old time scene for 35 years, laying down guitar rhythms and driving banjo with the Volo Bogtrotters, as well as dozens of other bands, has played for hundreds of dances, festivals and bars, mostly old time as well as bluegrass and country, and teaches banjo and fiddle at the Old Town School of Folk Music. One of his favorite hobbies is run-on sentences.
Lynn “Chirps” Smith has played fiddle for more than thirty years. He specializes in playing Midwestern dance tunes. Over the years he has played with the Indian Creek Delta Boys (with fiddler Garry Harrison), The Polecats (with fiddler Mark Gunther), and The Volo Bogtrotters. Current bands include dance bands the Little Egypt Pepsteppers and VigorTones, as well as his latest group, the New Bad Habits. Chirps has played square & contra dances for almost as long as he has played fiddle. Early on he cultivated a strong interest in Midwestern fiddle music- he is a lifelong resident of Illinois after all. The Delta Boys searched out senior fiddlers in IL and collected & learned many fine old tunes. He has learned a lot from fiddlers in the surrounding states as well. He has taught classes at August Heritage Workshops (Elkins, WV), the University of Wisconsin String-Along Weekend, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington, the Montana Fiddle Camp, Blue Ridge Old-Time Week (Mars Hill, NC), and numerous weekend workshops at festivals and dance weekends across the country. In 1997 he was recognized as a master Illinois fiddler and awarded an Illinois Arts Council Apprenticeship Grant with teenager Stephanie Coleman (now an acclaimed fiddler in her own right).
Larry Unger has been a prolific tunesmith and full time musician for over 20 years, and probably logs more road miles each year than any other contra dance musician, playing guitar, banjo, piano and bass with numerous bands. Larry's broad musical interests include old-time, blues and swing AND he's a great teacher too.
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.
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. There will also be scheduled shuttles to transport campers from and back to DTW; seats can be ordered online. Border crossings to and from Canada require a passport and are located at Detroit, MI/Windsor, Ontario or Port Huron, MI/Sarnia, Ontario.
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. 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
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
Submit your Online Registration or payment. You will be asked to login, or, if you are new to CDSS, create an account. There is also a Full registration form PDF document you can snailmail, fax or email us with your payment. Please note that you must fill out both the registration form and the appropriate waiver(s).
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.
Pay your balance online You should have received an email that tells how much is due. You will need to fill in that amount due.
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 listing the accepted people on your registration. The email was sent to only one email address per registration. Accepted campers will also receive an email listing your contact information, housing and job requests, your meal preferences, emergency contact information and other details with a process for updating that information. Here are link to several printable bits of important information.
Acceptance Information: This includes the cancelation and refund policy.
Pay your balance online You should have received an email that tells how much is due. You will need to fill in that amount due.
Getting Ready: A page with some hints on life at camp.
Packing List: Suggestions of things to bring
Directions to Camp
Printable page of class descriptions
Here is a link to buy Van seats from Detroit's Airport: DTW.