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HarvestBall
jwg

A trip to Woodstock

No, not to Max Yasgur's pasture in NY - this is not a retro entry.

Yesterday the LCFD camp committee visited Camp Woodstock in Ct, the site of the next Gender-role-free dance camp on the weekend of May 12-14. I've been there several times before since I was the chief search committee searcher but we wanted the Tom, the Programmer, and Yvonne, the Registrar to see the place to be properly prepared to plan activities and answer registrants questions. Camp is primarily a contra dance camp but we will have some English Country Dance with pinkfish calling and modern western square dance with otterpop58 calling.

I ran into a bit of the afternoon snowstorm at 10:30 am on the MassPike (the 3-6" turned out to be ~1" so we didn't get a chance to try out our new snow shovels this morning), and it was a bit cold as we were escorted around to see the dance places, and the housing, etc.

This is a really nice location with lots of tall trees and much of it is quite close to the lake. Unlike many of the camps I visited it seems to be very well maintained. They have wisely chosen to not paint the wood siding of their buildings so that you don't see peeling paint everywhere. This camp is a summer kids camp, is partially winterized, has during-the-week kids programs and rents out on weekends to adult groups, mostly college age. We had lunch there - along with a couple of small college groups - lunch included some pretty good clam chowder and fried crab puffs so that will hopefully bode well for the food. Housing there is in several dorm buildings with large rooms, several ~8-person heated cabins, and lots of unheated cabins for those who want more privacy.

Amazingly enough the YMCA that owns the camp owns almost all the land around the lake so there is exactly one private house on the opposite side of the lake. We will have boating/canoing (there has to be a lifeguard) and some people will probably go swimming - I assume the ice that covered the lake yesterday will be gone by then! A camp in NH that we had selected several years ago had an unfortunate fate in that the neighbors on their lake had gotten the town to pass a noise ordinance that prevented live music at night - thus we couldn't use it and a big swing dance camp that used to be there had to move.

Less than three months and it will be time for camp. The band is Spank Me! who among other things has a leopard skin costume scheme - I've got a couple of hats but might look for something else. And that should give me plenty of time to figure out a variety show act - I never got one together for the last camp.


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Now I understand why Camp Walt Whitman didn't work out -- the noise ordinance thing. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

I'm glad to hear that the location and facilities seem nice. How many dance spaces are there? What is the piano situation? The latter will, of course, dictate what sort of variety show number Ilya and André come up with. (I may or may not be pulled into that number.)

Since Roberta Sutter will be at the piano, I assume that means I won't be needed to help with English this year. Not that anyone ever *asks* me... I just tend to push my way into it to wangle a work-exchange arrangement! Heh heh.

There is no piano there now so, Roberta will have to bring her own/rent one (I'd better check with Tom to make sure she knows this).

There is a main dance hall where most of the dancing will be done. There is a second space (actually the old dining hall) that we can use. It is in an unheated building so if it is cold it might not be the right spot to use. The backup up is the dining hall, but it has a very smooth concrete floor so it is much less desirable.

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