“It’s a soul-nourishing reminder of the power of music and dance to connect people and bring joy.”

–Ellen Saltonstall
July 13-20, 2024 // Plymouth, MA
Bring your whole family tree to these woods

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As of June 17, this session is over-subscribed. If you register, we’ll add you to the waitlist and let you know when space becomes available for you.

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Children performing a longsword dance

Program Description

Community. Song. Dance. Laughter.

Join us among the Pines for a week full of magic and joy, music and dance, for young, old, and everyone in between. Family Week at Pinewoods is a rejuvenating and inspiring way to spend time with your children, your grandchildren, your nieces and nephews, or other children dear to you. Together, we participate in the rich traditional music, dance, and song program offered by our skilled staff.

Morning classes are enjoyed by age groupings, with younger participants delighting in traditional song, dance, stories, and crafts, facilitated by expert children’s educators. Meanwhile, teens and adults choose from an array of energizing community dance classes. Teens are welcome to join in adult activities throughout the day, but also have a daily class of their own where they will work together to create an exciting rapper sword dance. Other class highlights this year include Morris dancing for the 10–12’s with Natty Smith, Community Art with Ann Percival, inter-generational music-making (singing or dance band) after lunch, Sean-nós step dancing, Irish set dances, and more. In addition to classes, there are two all-community gatherings (morning and evening) where the staff and campers alike share stories, songs and talents. There is also time in the afternoon for campers to offer one-off classes, so bring your talents to share!

An intergenerational line of dancers

Nestled between two pristine New England ponds offering daily idyllic swimming and canoeing, 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 skilled staff.

~Naomi Morse, Program Director

Schedule

Saturday Arrival Schedule:
3:00 pmThe earliest you can start arriving at camp
4:30-6:00Welcome Party & lifeguard on duty for swimming
6:00 Tour of Camp starting from the Camphouse
6:30Dinner
7:30Orientation gathering
8:00Bedtime for ages 9 & under
8:15-10:45Opening night dance
9:15Bedtime for ages 10-12
10:45 onwardOpening night party
Saturday Departure Schedule: 
7:45-8:15 amBreakfast
10:00 amFinal departure

Daily Schedule

7:45 amBreakfast
9:00-9:55Class Period 1
10:00-10:55Class Period 2
11:00-11:15Refreshments
11:15-12:00Gathering
12:30 pmLunch
1:40-2:25Class Period 3
2:30-4:00Swim time
4:00-4:15Snack time
4:15-4:45Class Period 4
4:50-5:30Class Period 5
6:00Dinner
7:00-8:15Community Dance & Evening Gathering
8:00Bedtime for ages 9 and younger
8:20-10:45Evening dance
9:15Bedtime for ages 10-12
11:00 onwardAfter-dance activities for ages 13 and up

Class Descriptions

Period 1

Ages 2-3: Play Party with Jennifer Armstrong

Jennifer will share songs, stories, movement, and instruments (fiddle, banjo, penny whistle, shruti box, parlor pipes) and host a lullaby swap every day. Come with favorite lullabies to share!

Ages 4-5: Sing & Play with Erica Morse

We will sing songs, play singing games, and learn finger plays. We will enjoy singing picture books and make simple crafts. Come ready to sing and play together!

Ages 6-7: Dancing and Singing Games with Katy German

It’s a dance party!  We will learn some dances that make us laugh, dances that go to good songs, and dances that we can share with others. There are so many to choose from, we’ll need an extra week!

Ages 8-9: Smorgasbord of Fun with Ann Percival

Mornings with Ann will be a smorgasbord of singing games, ukulele playing, cranky making and singing…lots of singing! 

Ages 10-12: Dance to the Music with Mary Wesley

How does music support us as dancers? How can we become better dancers by connecting with the music? A playshop to explore rhythm, timing, style, and flair through dancing, singing, and fun!

Ages 13 & up: English Country Dance for All with Margaret Bary, Karen Axelrod and Anna Patton

What better way to start your day? Wake up your body and mind with English country dance. Repertoire will include historic treasures and modern delights in a variety of moods and energies. Dances will be accessible to beginners, while offering style tips and challenges for all.

13 & up: Cotswold Morris: Oddington with Natty Smith and Alex Cumming

In this class, we will learn the steps and idiosyncrasies of the Oddington tradition as currently danced by the Pinewoods Morris Men. The class will focus on symmetry, momentum, and dancing with intention. We will learn the basics of 2–4 dances. Come ready for a work-out! Morris dance experience will be helpful but dancers of all levels are welcome.

Period 2

Ages 2-3: Rise & Shine with Erica Morse

Come sing songs, learn finger plays, and move to the music! We will have fun getting to know each other, getting to know how our bodies can make music, and exploring camp!

Ages 4-5: Dance & Play with Katy German

Come ready to dance, wiggle, and move your body all around.  We will learn some fun singing games, dances, and other activities all designed to get us moving from head to toe.

Ages 6-7: Musical Frolics with Ann Percival

During their second morning class period the 6–7’s will create piece of community art, sing, dance, and frolic in all things musical.  

Ages 8-9: Longsword with Lily Leahy

How do wooden swords stick together to make a star? We will learn the secrets of English longsword dancing, create our own figures and then weave them together into an original dance. Participants should wear shoes or sneakers that stay on securely.

Ages 10-12: Border Morris with Natty Smith and Alex Cumming

Leaping and dancing with grace and power! We’ll learn a few Border Morris stick dances that will bring joy to the dancers and thrill our audience. Come wearing sneakers!

Ages 13 & up: Sean-nós Irish Dance with Rebecca McGowan

Sean-nós (“old style”) Irish dance is improvised, low to the ground, and expressive step dancing, closely tied to traditional music. We will start building basic steps and also create — the focus is on making great rhythm. If the idea of improvisation makes you nervous, come for lots of laughs and fun playing with steps in a very low-key way! Bring a pair of flat hard-soled shoes.

Ages 13 & up: Mornings with Mary — Contras, Squares, and more! with Mary Wesley, Owen Morrison, and Naomi Morse

Tap your toes and kick up your heels with a grab-bag of great dances from Mary’s collection. 

Period 3

All ages (under 9 with a parent): Community Art with Ann Percival

This is a class for everyone — no previous experience necessary. We will gather and make art- chatting laughing and sometimes singing.  We will use fabric, glitter glue, ribbon, glue guns, paint and so much more.  Join us for a relaxing, creative time — you will go home with a beautiful piece of art. 

Ages 8 & up: Harmony Singing for All with Anna Patton

Come join Anna Patton’s Pinewoods choir, singing harmony arrangements of American songs from the 20th and 21st centuries. We’ll learn several songs that are easy to jump in on plus one more ambitious centerpiece song that has a bit of crunch to the harmonies. Music will be provided and singers who want to learn by ear are welcome too.

Ages 10 & up (younger with permission): Community Band with Joanne Garton

All instruments and voices welcome to cook up arrangements of tunes and songs for the dance floor and beyond! Learn melodies, harmonies, bass lines, and chords to form our own camp band based in traditional Scottish, Irish, and New England repertoire.

Ages 13 & up: Irish Set Dancing with Rebecca McGowan

Enjoy fast-paced figures danced in square sets to jigs, reels, polkas, slides, and hornpipes. No experience needed, we will dig into the footwork and intricate figures that give set dances their uniquely Irish flavor and lift, and get to know some of the favorites danced around Boston.

Ages 10 & up: Woodcarving with Thomas German

Woodcarving class for all skill levels. We will focus on safe carving techniques while making spoons, butter knives and pendants. We will also learn characteristics of common woods, sharpening basics, and how to get started with carving on your own. Participants will be able to create 1–2 projects during the week. $7 materials fee. 10–11s with an adult. (Class size limit to 20 for safety.)

Late Afternoon

All Ages: Stories with Jennifer Armstrong

Once Upon A Time is for everyone!  Jennifer will tell simple, epic, silly, and heartwarming stories with music and movement threaded through, as well as sharing favorite folk tales with a twist. Come join the story circle and live happily ever after.

Ages 10 & up: Instrument / Singing Jam

Description coming soon!

Ages 13-17: Teen Class: Rapper with Margaret Bary

Curly, Single Guard, and Moving Fixie are some of the rapper sword dance figures we will tackle in teen class. While our feet step in time to the music, our hands will tie our flexible swords into knots above our heads. Teamwork is key in this vigorous dance form from northern England.

Camper-led Activities

Sign language, a boat trip, nature walk, jam session, grandparent social hour at Pinecones, lawn games at the dining hall, whatever!

Dance Terminology

English country dancePositional
Contra danceLarks/Robins

Registration and Fees

Camp fees cover all accommodation, meals from dinner on the arrival day to breakfast on the departure day, and all of the various dance, music, and song events in the program. 

Adults (16+)$1,080
13-15$975
10-12$835
7-9$700
4-6$600
2-3$390
0-1$75

You can find more information about the registration process here. If you need financial assistance in order to attend, please go to our scholarships page.

Staff

Joanne Garton

Family Week at Pinewoods
Joanne Garton

Fynn Crooks

Dance Music & Spice, Family Week at Pinewoods
Fynn Crooks

Aaron Marcus

Family Week at Pinewoods
Aaron Marcus

Alex Cumming

Dance Music & Spice, Family Week at Pinewoods
Alex Cumming

Lily Kruskal Leahy

Family Week at Agassiz Village, Family Week at Pinewoods
Lily Kruskal Leahy

Ann Percival

Family Week at Agassiz Village, Family Week at Pinewoods
Ann Percival

Karen Axelrod

English Dance Week, Family Week at Agassiz Village, Family Week at Pinewoods, Harmony of Song & Dance
Karen Axelrod

Jennifer Armstrong

Family Week at Pinewoods
Jennifer Armstrong

Thomas German

Family Week at Pinewoods
Thomas German

Owen Morrison

Contra Dance Musicians Course, Dance Music & Spice, Family Week at Pinewoods
Owen Morrison

Natty Smith

Family Week at Pinewoods
Natty Smith

Mary Wesley

Family Week at Agassiz Village, Family Week at Pinewoods
Mary Wesley

Rebecca McGowan

Family Week at Pinewoods
Rebecca McGowan

Erica Morse

Family Week at Pinewoods
Erica Morse

Anna Patton

Contra Dance Musicians Course, Dance Music & Spice, Family Week at Pinewoods
Anna Patton

Margaret Bary

Family Week at Pinewoods
Margaret Bary

Katy German

Family Week at Pinewoods
Katy German

Naomi Morse

Family Week at Pinewoods, Program Directors
Naomi Morse