General Overview

CDSS camp scholarships and work exchanges are a vital part of creating inclusive and welcoming spaces at camp. Scholarships and our work exchange program help make our programs financially accessible to people who couldn’t otherwise afford to come. In 2023, we awarded more than $53,500 in scholarships and work exchanges, all made possible by generous donations from CDSS members and supporters, and by fundraising auctions at camp. If you are able, you can make a donation to scholarship funds when you register for camp. Help us share the magic of camp with as many people as possible!

Scholarships are grants given to campers for up to the full fee, including tuition, room, and board. We have three types of scholarships:

  • Affiliate Matching Scholarships: Your local organization may be able to sponsor you or contribute towards your travel costs. If your group is a CDSS Affiliate, we will match their contribution up to half of the full camp fee.
  • Named Scholarships: We have some scholarships with eligibility criteria based on dance and music experience and other demographics. Anyone with financial need can apply. Based on the input you provide here, we will choose which named scholarship is the best fit for you; you don’t have to apply for a specific one
  • General Scholarships: We have limited general scholarship funds for anyone with additional financial need or as an alternative to the work exchange opportunities below.

Work Exchanges: In the spirit of community, all campers are assigned a job to help camp run smoothly. Camper jobs generally require about 30 minutes a day. A work exchange involves a bigger time commitment in return for a reduced camp fee.

If you are applying for a work exchange or scholarship and are unable to pay the $150 registration deposit, please email (, and we can process your scholarship application without a deposit payment.

How to apply

When you register for camp, the registration form will give you the option to add a scholarship and/or work exchange application for yourself or any other member of your party. You can also log into CDSS Commons after registration to add a new scholarship request or edit details.

The work exchange application will ask you to select from the available options for the session you are interested in.

The scholarship application will ask you:

  • How much you can afford to pay to come to camp, and whether you could come to camp without financial assistance from CDSS
  • Whether a CDSS Affiliate Organization is offering you matching support
  • Demographic questions which may help match your request with specific funds
  • About your dance, music, and song activities which may help match your request with specific funds
When to apply

All scholarship applications received by March 24 will be processed together, and applicants will be notified by April 1. Applications received after this date will be processed in batches as they arrive.

How scholarships and work exchanges are awarded

We hope to award and fully fund as many scholarship and work exchange applications as possible.  To make sure we don’t unfairly prioritize those who can apply to camp by the March 25th lottery date, we may partially fund some scholarship requests in a first round. We may increase partial awards in a subsequent round, up to the full request amount, as we are able.

In 2024 our scholarship priorities are

  1. Applicants receiving a matching scholarships from our Affiliate Matching Scholarship program or one of the Pinewoods Camp, Inc. matching programs
  2. First- and second-time campers
  3. Campers applying to one of our intensive courses
  4. Campers who can be funded by one of our named funds

Your registration deposit is fully refundable if we aren’t able to offer the assistance you need to attend.

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Additional Details about Work Exchanges and Scholarships

Work Exchange

Description: Work exchanges reduce the camper fee by $250 for most sessions, and generally entail about 90 minutes of work per day. Work exchanges shouldn’t interfere with class time, so campers receiving work exchange funds will still be able to fully participate in the program. The types of jobs differ by facility and session. It can include washing dishes, helping the camp staff with set-up and tidying for parties and other camp events, and assisting the camp operations manager with various other tasks.

Who can apply? All campers age 14 and up are eligible for work exchanges.

How to apply? Start by registering for your chosen camp program (see Registration page). On the registration form, indicate that you’re applying for work exchange and fill out the additional form. 

Named Scholarships

Description: Named scholarships are established to honor individuals who have made exceptional contributions to CDSS’s mission, or to support a particular educational purpose. These scholarships are usually offered in addition to a work exchange, and they allow for a larger reduction in the camper fee than the work exchange alone.

There are a variety of named scholarships with different purposes and eligibility criteria. You can view a list of them below, but you won’t be asked to apply for a specific one.

Who can apply: Anyone with financial need can apply for a named scholarship. Based on the input you provide in your application form, we will choose which one is the best fit for you.

How to apply: Start by registering for your chosen camp program (see Registration page). On the registration form, indicate that you’re applying for a scholarship and fill out the additional form. You will be asked to provide details about your dance, music, and song activities, and about your financial needs.  This will help us match you to an appropriate Named Scholarship.

Affiliate Matching Scholarships

Description: CDSS has almost 300 affiliate groups across the US and Canada, representing a broad range of dance, music, and song organizations. Through our matching scholarship program, CDSS matches contributions made by affiliate groups sending their members to camps. For example, if the group offers $200, CDSS will match this amount, and the camper will receive $400 total aid. CDSS offers a guaranteed match up to 50% of the camp fee – so if your local group can cover half of the fee, then your camper fee will be covered!

Are you a leader or organizer of a CDSS Affiliate? Your group can benefit from supporting members of your community to participate in our camp programs. Our camps provide high quality instruction from some of the best musicians, callers, and dance teachers. We aim for participants to go home at the end of the week feeling inspired and bringing new skills to put into practice in their local communities. 

We will match up to $1,100 for each affiliate. In the event that requests exceed the available funds, priority will be given to applications from people who haven’t yet attended one of our camp programs.

Who can apply: All CDSS Affiliate groups are eligible to nominate up to two members of their community.

How to apply: Start by registering for your chosen camp program (see Registration page). On the registration form, indicate that you’re applying for a scholarship and fill out the additional form.  Have a key person (a board or organizing committee member) fill out this additional form and send a check to CDSS. 

Pinewoods Camp Matching Scholarships

Description:  CDSS offers three matching scholarship programs in collaboration with Pinewoods Camp, Inc.  These scholarships help promote diversity in the folk arts community by helping campers on limited budgets access transformative experiences that might otherwise be unavailable to them.

New Generation Initiative (NGI) Scholarships

NGI scholarships are intended for campers between the ages of 15 and 30 who are new to Pinewoods Camp and are interested in leadership roles in traditional music, dance and song. 

Need-based Scholarships

Need-based scholarships are intended for any age camper who needs financial assistance to attend camp. Preference may be given to those who are new to camp.

BIPOC Scholarships

BIPOC scholarships are intended for any age camper who identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color. Recipients may be experienced or new to our music and dance traditions; preference may be given to those who are new to camp.

How to apply: Start by registering for your chosen camp program (see Registration page). On the registration form, indicate that you’re applying for a scholarship and fill out the additional form. 

Sponsors and Mentors

If you know of someone who would benefit from a Pinewoods matching scholarship or are interested in serving as Sponsor or Mentor for a particular individual or session, please fill out this form and encourage that person to register for camp.  Note: Sponsors do not have to attend a session with the recipient.

Pinewoods scholarship recipients are encouraged to share stories and feedback in a survey after they return from camp. To get a sense of how transformative this experience can be, view stories from previous recipients posted on the Pinewoods website

Canadian Resident Scholarship

Description: CDSS is setting aside funds to help Canadians attend our camp programs. This is in recognition of the additional costs involved in international travel and currency exchange. Our Canadian members and affiliates are a valuable part of CDSS, and we want to make sure they have access to our camp programs.

Who can apply: All scholarship applicants living in Canada are eligible.

How to apply: Start by registering for your chosen camp program (see Registration page). On the registration form, indicate that you’re applying for a scholarship and fill out the additional form. 

Media Scholarship

Description: CDSS is looking for talented photographers and videographers to help document our camps. This is a work-exchange position where you would receive a discounted place at camp in exchange for acting as our official photographer. You would only pay the room and board fee for the week. We would expect you to spend approximately 90 minutes per day working as a photographer, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the camp week.

How to apply: Start by registering for your chosen camp program (see Registration page). On the registration form, indicate that you’re applying for a scholarship and fill out the additional form. 

In 2024, a media scholarships is available at this week:

  • Cascade of Music and Dance

Fill out this additional application form to tell us more about your photography and videography work.

List of Named Scholarships

Scholarship FundIntended Use/RecipientsDescription
CDSS General Scholarship FundTo supplement work exchanges as neededThese supplement work exchanges in cases where the need exceeds the normal work exchange award.
CDSS Youth Scholarship FundAges 15 – 30 or 13 – 30 (Cavell)This fund is used specifically to make our adult weeks financially available to youth age 15 – 30 (13 – 30 at Cavell). Used in conjunction with a work scholarship, this fund could reduce the camper fee by 1/3 to 1/2.
CDSS Canadian Scholarship FundTo support campers from CanadaThis fund allows us to offer extra support to Canadian scholarship applicants to offset the costs of international travel and currency exchange.
Steve Adams Memorial FundMorris/sword dancers with financial needSteve Adams was a longtime dancer with the Marlboro Morris Men, Thames Valley International, and the Green Mountain Mummers, who died on September 11, 2001. His family and friends asked that we set up a memorial scholarship fund in Steve’s name. The fund offers scholarships at CDSS summer programs to ritual dancers with financial need.
Early Music LeadershipPromising students of early music who have not previously attendedProvides annual scholarships to CDSS’s Early Music Week at Pinewoods, to promising students of Early Music, with leadership potential, who have never been to Early Music Week.
Mary Kay Friday Memorial Scholarship FundAll adult dance weeksThis fund was established in 2001 after Mary Kay’s death, through gifts from her many friends. Mary Kay, of Washington, DC, was a dancer and dance caller, and an invaluable organizer in both the Folklore Society of Greater Washington and the Baltimore Folk Music Society. She served on the CDSS Governing Board and Executive Committee from 1988 until her death, including a term as Secretary, and had been a CDSS representative to the Pinewoods Camp board since 1999. The Fund provides scholarships to our adult dance weeks for those who might otherwise be unable to attend, as a legacy to Mary Kay’s spirit of inclusiveness and joy.
May Gadd/Phil Merrill FundAspiring leaders and musicians of English or American danceThe Gadd/Merrill Fund was established in 1979 to provide funds for special programs that advance the aims of the Country Dance and Song Society. May Gadd was a guiding light for CDSS from 1927 until her death in 1979; she served as National Director until 1972. Phil Merrill was Music Director for many years and inspired numerous musicians and dancers; he died in 1985. The Fund is used each summer to grant scholarships for aspiring leaders and musicians at our summer programs.
Michele Godbout Memorial Scholarship FundYoung folk singers and musiciansThe Godbout Fund was established in 1976 in memory of a bright young dancer and folk musician, active in CDSS until her accidental death at age 18. The Fund aims to provide two permanent scholarships to Pinewoods Camp, one at Harmony of Song and Dance and one to a dance week. The intent is to award the scholarships to persons who would greatly benefit from the Pinewoods experience and who could not otherwise attend.
Ed and Christine Helwig FundPeople involved with dance research and reconstructionThis fund was established in 2000, in memory of Ed Helwig, longtime dancer and CDSS supporter from Larchmont, NY. Ed was one of the founders of the Country Dancers of Westchester, and was a notable fundraiser for Pinewoods Camp. With his dedicated interest in historical dance manuscripts, he was a lifelong inspiration and support to his wife, English dance leader and historian Christine Helwig. The unique and valuable function of this fund is primarily to provide scholarships and other support for dance research and reconstruction.
Bob and Kathleen Hider FundEnglish country dancers at English Week and Cascade of Music & DanceThe Hider Fund was established at the request of the family of Bob and Kathleen Hider of New Jersey upon Robert’s death in 1996. Kathleen joined CDSS in 1927 when it was still the English Folk Dance Society, and held the highest award given by EFDSS, the Folk Certificate in English Country, Morris, and Sword Dancing. She died in 1991. Robert was a longtime member of CDSS who was involved in folk dancing from his teen years. He was a teacher of English country, morris, and sword dance, as well as a square dance caller and folk singer. The Fund provides scholarships specifically for English country dancers to attend our summer programs.
John Hodgkin Scholarship FundAll family programs with preference for families who are new to CDSS camps.John Hodgkin of Philadelphia and New York City was a longtime CDSS supporter and our treasurer for many years. He worked tirelessly during his life in support of our programs and activities. (Pinewoods English and Family Week campers will long remember him as the Hobby Horse.) This fund was established by gifts from his family and friends after his death in 1994, for use at our family weeks, with preference given to those who haven’t previously attended.
Jennifer Wedgwood Lehmann Scholarship FundRecorder and viol players at Early Music WeekFor many years throughout the 1980s, Jenny Lehmann of New Jersey was a member of the Early Music Week at Pinewoods faculty. The memorial fund was established in 1993, seeded by donations from the Princeton Recorder Society and by Jenny’s husband. It provides a scholarship to Early Music Week for recorder and viol players.
Ed & Marjorie Potter Family Scholarship FundFamilies to attend the Cascade of Music and Dance WeekThis fund honors Ed and Marjorie Potter’s legacy of supporting inter-generational dance, music, and song throughout their lives, especially during many years of bringing their own grandchildren with them to CDSS’s family programs at Buffalo Gap, Timber Ridge, and Pinewoods camps.
Peter Redgate Memorial Scholarship FundDancers and musicians aged 15 – 30 with financial need at English Dance WeekThe Redgate Fund was established in memory of Peter Redgate, a dancer and musician from London and Toronto, Ontario, who died in 1999. Peter was born in England, and danced on several morris and country dance teams there before immigrating to Canada in 1958. He was an active dancer and musician in both London and Toronto. Because of his skill and grace as both a dancer and musician, he was much in demand by English country dance groups and morris teams. The Fund provides scholarships to English Dance Week at Pinewoods, giving particular preference to applicants between the ages of 15-30.
Karl Rodgers/PMM ScholarshipMorris and sword dancers, leaders, or musiciansThe Karl Rodgers scholarship is made possible by an annual gift from the Pinewoods Morris Men, who offer it in memory of Karl Rodgers. Karl was a founding member of the Pinewoods Morris Men in 1964. A few years later, he helped found the Village Morris Men in New York City; soon afterwards, he helped establish the Greenwich Morris Men. He was squire of the Pinewoods Morris Men in 1972, and started the team’s newsletter, which became the springboard for the American Morris Newsletter. Karl’s other main interest as squire was in providing aid for morris dancers to attend the English dance sessions at Pinewoods, for the purpose of eventually becoming teachers and foremen themselves. His efforts led to the PMM Scholarship, which was established by the team in 1974. After Karl’s death in 1978, the team formally renamed the scholarship in his memory.
Chuck Ward Scholarship FundTraining for English country dance musiciansChuck Ward was a pianist, accordionist and organist who co-founded the English Country Dance Society of San Francisco (now Bay Area CDS). For over fifty years, Chuck enlivened the dance world with his splendid playing. In celebration of his 2007 CD of English country dance tunes and of his retirement as organist at Santa Rosa’s Church of the Incarnation, CDSS and BACDS created this fund to support training programs for novice and experienced English country dance musicians.
Bruce Weigold Scholarship FundFolk singers and musicians; morris and sword dancers, leaders, or musiciansThis scholarship fund was created to honor Bruce Weigold (1954-1990), funded by donations from his family and friends. Bruce was an artist, a blacksmith, and a printer, as well as a dancer, musician, and instrument maker. He was a founder of the erstwhile Rose and Thorn Morris team. The scholarship is awarded to a wide variety of campers, reflecting Bruce’s many interests – a folk singer or folk musician, or a morris or sword dancer, leader, or musician.
Janie Winkles Scholarship FundEnglish Dance Week, with a preference for people from the SouthJanie Winkles of Little Rock, Arkansas, was a member of CDSS and a Pinewoods camper for nearly 20 years until her death in 1996. She was a founding member, officer, and teacher of the Arkansas CDS, and squire of the Arkansas Traveller Northwest Morris and Garland Team. The fund in her name was created by friends and fellow dancers to be used for scholarships to English Dance Week at Pinewoods, with a preference for people from the South.