Aug 8-12, 2016
Family Camp   Recently updated !

Family Camp photos by Stewart Dean
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Family Camp
Monday, Aug 8-Friday, Aug 12, 2016

An all-ages, hands-on experience in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, nature, crafts and pure play! Something for the whole family.


Join us at Ashokan Family Camp this summer. Bring your parents, your kids, and your friends, and share music, dancing, singing, storytelling, puppet-making, nature trails, traditional crafts, and quality time in the great outdoors… age-old activities that enhance well-being and bring people together.

This is not a simply a kid’s camp, but truly an experience for all members of the community, with or without children. Librarians, teachers, and anyone who works with children will find ideas and materials to enrich their curriculum.

From babies to teens and parents to grandparents, Ashokan Family Camp will leave you with hearts full of music and family memories that will last a lifetime.

• Begin or improve on the guitar, fiddle, mandolin, ukulele, or banjo.
• Join community sings (rounds, chorus songs, call & response, and more).
• Enjoy square and contra dancing and Appalachian clogging.
• Hike nature trails, swim, and enjoy other outdoor games and activities.
• Make puppets and join a puppet show.
• Try blacksmithing, broom-making, and tinsmithing. Bring home a family heirloom.
• Take part in jam sessions.
• Join the band. Join a parade.
• Make musical instruments from junk.
• Write songs and learn to lead songs.

About Classes and Age Groups

We offer classes in a variety of age groupings. This year’s camp will feature two classes a day based on age groups: “Early Childhood”, “Younger”, “Older”, and “13 and Up”. Other classes will be for mixed ages, and of course we will all gather to sing, dance, jam, and listen to stories twice each day. In all mixed-age classes, we request that children 4 and under be accompanied by an adult.

2016 Family Camp Staff

Eshu Bumpus by Susan Wilson

Eshu Bumpus – Storytelling

Eshu captivates his audience with a variety of African, African-American, and World folktales leavened with music, humor, and mystery. Eshu is a renowned storyteller, an accomplished jazz vocalist, and a master at physical characterization.
His primary mission is to help raise the level of confidence of those he works with through creating, writing, and telling stories. He helps people to develop tools that break the story creation process down into accessible tasks and activities that are as enjoyable as they are instructive. Through this process, Eshu hopes to encourage literacy and communication and to forge a strong sense of community through our most human of activities, storytelling.

Visit Eshu’s website

Jody KruskalSong and dance leader, concertina, instrument making

Jody is known for his engaging performances and distinctive sound on the Anglo concertina. His unique harmonic and rhythmic style has been energizing contra dancers for over 25 years. He is a genius of instruments made from junk, and his world-famous parades of instrument makers and players of all ages are a sight—and sound—to behold.

Visit Jody’s website at

Grian MacGregor – Puppetry, puppet-making

Grian finds inspiration for her puppetry from her life experiences. She is a gardener, chicken wrangler, beekeeper, writer, mask-maker, dancer, recycler, traveler, collage artist, and creator of wearable art. Her charming puppet characters are loaded with personality, and her stories are timeless in theme. She’s brought her magic to communities from Edinburgh to Ecuador and Maine to Mexico, guiding children down the joyful path of puppetry. The Ivy Vine Players Puppet Theater is more than half-way to its goal of presenting puppet shows on
every continent on Earth.

Visit Grian’s website at

Tom Krumm – Fiddle, mandolin, ukulele, band

Tom is one of those all-around young musicians with a gift for teaching, jamming, and playing in any ensemble. He attended his first Ashokan Music & Dance week when he was 6 weeks old and has grown up surrounded by traditional music and dance. He is a classically trained violinist and accomplished fiddler. Tom is a frequent staff member at Ashokan Fiddle and Dance camps, and teaches beginners and advanced students on fiddle, mandolin, and ukulele. Tom is in his second year at the Berklee College of Music, in Boston, MA.

Ellie Grace – Clogging, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, singing, teen liaison

Having spent a lifetime steeped in diverse musical traditions, Ellie is a singer, multi-songwriter, and percussive dancer who grew up traveling across North America performing with her sister and her parents as The Grace Family. Ellie’s music has a strong grounding in traditional American and Old-time string band styles, but crosses over into the contemporary folk realm.

Visit Ellie’s website


John Krumm – Camp coordinator, song leader, instrumentalist, dance caller

John takes his decades of experience in progressive music education and his skill on guitar, fiddle, banjo, piano, and mandolin, and turns them into a musical joy machine. He loves to sing with folks, compose rounds, fiddle tunes and songs. He calls and plays for square and contra dances. John sees American traditional dance as an expression of the individual in the context of a caring and creative community. It is a celebration of our ability to create such communities in this fast-changing world.

Visit John’s website 


Stan FowlerStan Fowler – Lifeguard, ranger, bon vivant

Stan Fowler, aka Dance Ranger, brings over thirty years of life guarding experience at dance and music camps from across the country to Ashokan Family Week this year. A US Coast Guard vet, former NPS park ranger and current life guard trainer, he brings a life time of water, dance and outdoor experience to camp. With twenty years on the staff at the family week in California, he is known and loved as lifeguard, prevailing expert, wild man, water sprite, and reigning muse of revelry.


J’Mae Shemroske – Early Childhood Specialist

We are very pleased to have J’mae Shemroske working with us at Family camp this year. J’mae is a certified Early Childhood teacher with degrees in Outdoor leadership and Natural Resource Management. She brings a wealth of experience from her work at Dance camps, and Waldorf Schools as well as her own wonderful farm camp “Wild Droplets” in the Saratoga Springs area. J’Mae is a Doula/Childbirth Assistant and has two of her own children, who will be joining her at Ashokan Family Camp this Summer.

Tentative Class List

Subject to change Teen Band, Fiddle, Mandolin, Ukulele, Guitar, Banjo, Singing (Rounds, Harmony, Singing for the fun of it), Folk Dance (Squares, contras & more), Home Made Instruments, Puppetry & Puppet Making, Community Rhythm, Slow Jams, Nature Walks, Talks & Crafts!

While the 2016 schedule is being developed, you may, view the 2015 Family Camp Schedule Here

Tuition and Meals

Tuition includes all classes, dances, workshops, and meals. Work exchange is available.

$499 Adult
$439 Ages 13-17
$374 Ages 10-12
$324 Ages 7-9
$274 Ages 4-6
$174 Ages 2-3
$35 Under 2

Lodging is additional.

You may select regular, vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free meals. We make every effort to include a range of allergen-free dishes and to inform diners of meal ingredients.

Payment/Cancellation/Refund Policy

You may hold your place with a partial deposit per person. Full payment is due no later than six weeks before camp begins.

Partial refunds are available until two weeks before camp begins. To cancel, please log into the account you created when registering on Regonline and select the option to cancel. Cancellation fees apply.

Please refer to our official payment/cancellation/refund policy for important deadlines and dates for this camp.


Enjoy the full Ashokan experience and choose comfortable onsite lodging as part of the registration process. More information and costs here.

What to Bring

  • If you are staying onsite: Sleeping bag or sheets, blanket, pillowcases, towels, soap, toiletries. There are light quilts in each private room and a small number of light blankets for those bunkhouse residents who are unable to bring one of their own. If you will need us to provide one, please let us know well in advance and we’ll do our best.
  • Flashlight, camera.
  • Clothes and shoes for wet and dry weather.

See this What To Bring/Camp Summary for more details about what to bring, the schedule for camp, directions to Ashokan and other important information.

Work Exchange

A limited number of work exchange positions are available to partially defray the cost of the camp. A list of available positions can be found here.

Indicate your first three choices of positions during online registration and make a deposit of $150 or more to hold your registration.

Contact us by phone (845) 246-2121, or email for details.


Please do not call to register or send in your check before registering online.

If you prefer to pay by check, or with a credit card by phone, you may select that option when you register.

You can pay in full now, or hold your spot with a partial deposit per person until six weeks before camp begins, when full payment is due.

View photos from Family Camp 2014 by Stewart Dean on Flickr

View photos from Family Camp 2015 by Stewart Dean on Flickr