July 13-20, 2019 // Plymouth, MA

Bring your whole family tree to these woods

Program Description

Family Week is a week full of magic and joy for young, old and everyone in between. Nestled between two pristine New England ponds offering daily idyllic swimming and canoeing opportunities, both natural beauty and community spirit are ever-present. Together, we celebrate the charm of living in woodland cabins, eating delicious, home-cooked meals, and participating in the rich traditional music, dance and song program offered by our talented staff.

Morning classes are enjoyed by age groupings, with our younger participants delighting in traditional song, dance, stories and crafts facilitated by expert children’s educators. Meanwhile, teens and adults choose from energizing classes in English country dance, contras, squares, percussive dance and clogging. After lunch and swim time, we are entertained by stories and stunts with our talented program staff, and there are opportunities for intergenerational learning, such as a harmony singing, dance band class, drama, instrument jam sessions, woodcarving, and more. During the camper-led offerings time, everyone is encouraged to organize or lead an activity of their choosing.

Teens are welcome to join in adult activities throughout the day, 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, those not past their bedtime join together for an eclectic and inclusive program of social dancing to live music. After-dance activities include games, an auction, jamming and dancing.

Family Week is a brilliant way to spend time with your children, your grandchildren, your nieces and nephews, or other children dear to you. Adults without children are also very welcome. Whether you’re looking for a community experience, special family time, or a chance to grow your intergenerational dance, music, and song repertoire, Family Week will fill you with inspiration to sustain you through the year. We hope to see you there!

~ Elvie Miller, Program Director


Program Director

Elvie Miller


  • Mary Alice Amidon
  • Peter Amidon
  • Sam Bartlett*
  • Wade Bartlett
  • Daniel Friedman
  • Katy German
  • Thomas German
  • Adina Gordon
  • Abby Ladin*
  • Jane Miller
  • Owen Morrison
  • Matthew Olwell
  • Eric Schedler
  • Karina Wilson
  • Katie Zukof

* Program Advisors, plus:
Steve Howe

Class Descriptions


Playtime Fun (2-3) – Daniel Friedman
Creative Crafts (4-5) – Katie Zukof

Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and dig in to create contemporary and traditional treasures, unleashing our creativity and sense of exploration. Bring along an oversized t-shirt to protect clothing from messy materials.

Rhythms and Folktales (6-7) – Mary Alice Amidon

We will explore fun rhythms with a percussion band as well as hear unknown stories from around the world. Jack tales, giants, faeries and adventures will carry us away each day.

BodyRhythm Team (8-9) – Matthew Olwell

Drawing on material and ideas from a variety of percussive dance traditions, this class will focus on fun and musicality. Creative problem-solving and group composition will serve as vehicles for physical and musical development and experimentation, and students will work together to create embodied musical experiences.

Social Dance (10-12) – Peter Amidon
Music by: Denis Liddy

Peter will lead the 10-12s in gravity-defying contra dancing, ineffably sublime English dancing, transcendent choreography, robustly angelic singing, and a folktale or two.

English Country Dance for All (13 & up) – Adina Gordon
Music by: Karina Wilson, Owen Morrison, Eric Schedler

Start your day with beautiful music and favorite dances from the 1600s to today. All are welcome as we explore dances we love, and the dances we’re about to love. Whether you’ve been dancing for minutes or decades, you’re welcome to join as we savor the dances and music together.

Clogging (13 & up) – Abby Ladin
Music by: Sam Bartlett

We’ll start with basic rhythmic footwork, then build skills and combine steps. Modifiable for any level. If you need to be challenged we’ll play with syncopation. Sam plays the banjo and who doesn’t love that!


Playtime Fun – nature crafts (2-3) – Daniel Friedman
Songs and Stories (4-5) – Mary Alice Amidon

Mary Alice will share her favorite chants, finger plays, singing games and singing picture books with 4s and 5s. Come ready to sing and play together. We’ll hear stories and act them out. Marching band included.

Crafts, Stories and Singing Games (6-7) – Jane Miller

During our busy and active class, we’ll sing, play singing games, tell stories and make craft projects. Bring your imaginations and playful spirits.

Ritual/Longsword (8-9) – Abby Ladin
Music by: Wade Bartlett
Molly Dance (10-12) – Katy German
Music by: Eric Schedler

Who knows how to have a good time? Bored 19th century ploughboys in midwinter, that’s who! And boy, are we grateful to them coming up with this fun style of dance. Molly dancing is a living ritual dance tradition that started in England. Though the formations and figures are often similar to other Morris dance traditions, Molly dancing has a distinctively eccentric flare. Molly dancers are known for being creative, mischievous and rowdy, but generally harmless. Wardrobe items to bring: comfortable and supportive shoes, something that is solid black, and something that is wildly colorful or zany.

Tap Dance (History and Repertoire) (13 & up) – Matthew Olwell
Music by: Karina Wilson

This class will explore tap dance as a unique movement practice from the perspective of technique, improvisation, and historic repertoire. Through learning steps, watching footage, and discussing the cultural and historical context of tap, students will craft their own embodied musical experiences and question constructs of tradition through the lens of American percussive dance.

Contras and Squares (13 & up) – Adina Gordon
Music by: Sam Bartlett, Denis Liddy, Elvie Miller

Whether high energy or sweet groove is your thing, we’ll do it all in this class of American dances. Contras, squares, and maybe a few other formations will be part of this diverse hour. Anyone of any experience level is welcome to join!


Rest Time (0-99)
Open Art (All ages, under 10 with a parent) – Katie Zukof

We will have a wide variety of materials available for collage, mosaics, painting and coloring. In the second part of the week, we’ll explore parade art supplies.

Mumming (8 & up) – Abby Ladin

We’ll put together a rowdy ritual play with knights and fights, greed and good deeds, silly walks and chicken squawks, mirth, rebirth, and hero of great worth!

Community Chorus (8 & up) – Peter Amidon, Mary Alice Amidon

Singing by ear and from written music; a cappella and accompanied by guitar, banjo and piano, Peter and Mary Alice will lead campers in rafter shaking harmony singing of their favorite arrangements of old and new songs.

Woodcarving (10 & up) – Thomas German
Dance Band (10 & up) – Eric Schedler, Karina Wilson

Learn and play some great dance tunes while working on rhythm, arrangement, beginnings, endings, tune changes, and playing as an ensemble.

Callers’ Workshop (10 & up, younger with a parent) – Adina Gordon
Music by: Elvie Miller

This is a class for both current and interested callers of contra, square, and English country dances. Each day we’ll focus on different topics, which might include basic calling, walkthroughs, programming, working with musicians, and whatever you’re interested in. Class will include dancing, discussion, and plenty of practice time.


Stories and Stunts – Peter Amidon, Sam Bartlett

Short ditties, epic folktales, jokes, legends, poems, literary fragments and ballads with one of America’s best loved storytellers, Peter Amidon. The tales will be punctuated with indispensable japes, frolics, tomfoolery, buffoonery, shenanigans, skylarks, horseplay, and capering monkeyshine led by Pinewoods House Stuntologist Sam Bartlett.


Teen Class: Clogging & Polyrhythms (13-17) – Matthew Olwell, Owen Morrison

Beginning with footwork from American clogging and flatfooting, this class will explore multiple improvisation techniques to build layers of polyrhythm. Through the creation of our own phrases, we will find new ways to express individual musicality while improvising, “cyphering,” and holding time.

Instrument Jam Sessions (10 & up) – see schedule for theme and leader

Musicians of intermediate and advanced level are welcome, willingness to pick up new tunes by ear is highly encouraged! Join a different staff musician each day to play tunes you love and learn new tunes. All sessions open to all instruments. Staff musicians will offer specific advice on their own instruments each day. Sunday: banjo; Monday: Irish fiddle; Tuesday: accordion; Wednesday: old-time fiddle (Karina); Thursday: piano/all-comers

Camper Offerings (sign language, a boat trip, nature walk, jam session, grandparent social hour at Pinecones, lawn games at the dining hall, whatever)