Aug 7-11, 2017
Family Camp

photos by Stewart Dean
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Family Camp at Ashokan
Monday, Aug 7-Friday, Aug 11, 2017

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

Here’s a video from last year’s camp… Tom Krumm’s Contra Band Practice

staff  |  class list  |  tuition  |  lodging & what to bring


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.

Best of Family Camp 2016 at Ashokan

120 photos & 4 videos of Family Camp 2016 by Stewart Dean
(view more on the Flickr website)

About Classes and Age Groups

We offer classes in a variety of age groupings. This year’s camp will feature two time periods a day based on age groups: “Early Childhood”, “Younger”, “Older”, and “12 and Up”. At 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

2017 Family Camp Staff


Joakim Lartey – Storytelling, West African Percussion

Joakim is a drummer/percussionist, storyteller, educator and sound designer. He was co-founder, lead singer and percussionist of Woodstock’s Futu Futu.
He is engaged in a lifelong exploration of recording technology and the fusion of traditional/ancient and contemporary musical forms. He has collaborated/played with Natalie Merchant, Jack DeJohnette, John Hall, Baba Olatunji among others…
He currently performs with the duo Joakim & Chris [with guitarist Chris Lane] and The Sonark Trio [with multi instrumentalist Thomas Workman and cellist Gabriel Dresdale]
Joakim is specializes in storytelling, drumming and rhythm workshops, school residencies, group dynamics facilitation and selected presentations on the music and culture of Ghana and the African Diaspora.

Visit Joakim’s website at:

Peter DavisGuitar, Clarinet, Sax, Banjo, Piano, Song leading, and more

Of the scores of musicians billed as “versatile,” Peter Davis may be most deserving of the accolade. Proficient on an astonishing variety of instruments, including clarinet, alto sax, 5-string & tenor banjo, piano, guitar, mandolin and whistle, Peter boasts an intuitive approach to all manner of traditional folk, blues, vintage pop and jazz forms. He currently plays with at least seven bands doing all kinds of gigs, from the ridiculous to the sublime, including concerts, festivals, schools, racetracks, weddings and private parties of all kinds.

Visit Peter’s website at www.

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

Sarah Gowen Guitar, Concertina, Appalachian Clogging, Vintage, Vintage, Morris and French Dance, Theater Arts, Toys, Crafts, and Fun Stuff

Sarah Gowan plays guitar and English concertina with dance bands Coracree, Rumpus, the Big Phat American Klee Band, Boxwood, Live Wire and the French dance music group Cabriole. She performs with FiddleKicks Cloggers and can be seen on MindTV’s “World of Dance” featuring Fiddlekicks and has performed all over North America and in England. Her background in theater and a love of traditional crafts and toys often finds her up to whimsical handmade fun, set to music and song. Sarah and her husband Bill Quern are tune composers and recently released a tune book of 70 of their original tunes called “Dancing Between the Notes”. They were happy to provide genre assistance to the recent publication “Rise Again” by Peter Blood and Annie Patterson. Sarah also compiled and edited “Tuneadelphia” a tunebook for the Philadelphia community band SPUDS.

Visit Sarah’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 third 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

J’mae Shemroske working with us at Family camp again 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.

Rachel Roozen – Instructor

Rachel grew up in Maryland, right outside of our nations capital. Her father owned a garden center so her love for nature started at a very early age. She attended Lynchburg College, in the foothills of the Blueridge Mountains of Virginia, where she studied Environmental Science. After graduation Rachel began her work in the environmental Education field, working here in New York as well as down in the Georgia mountains. Rachel then spent two years working at a nature-based preschool in Northern Virginia. She has been part of the Ashokan team for the past four seasons and is excited to start another! Rachel loves spending time in the forest and is excited to help connect students with the great outdoors!

Rachel is a Program Director at The Ashokan Center


Ally Britton – Instructor

Ally was born and raised in New Jersey. She studied Ecology and Natural Resources at Rutgers University, and was inspired to work in Environmental Education upon graduation. She has worked at several different environmental education centers around the country, and has been with The Ashokan Center for the past 2 years! Ally loves leading kids into the woods, catching frogs and other critters, and showing students what our natural world as to offer.

Ally is a Program Development Manager at The Ashokan Center

staff  |  class list  |  tuition  |  lodging

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, clogging & more), Puppetry & Puppet Making, West African Percussion, Slow Jams, Nature Walks, Talks & Crafts!

While the 2017 schedule is being developed, you may view information from Family Camp 2016.

Tuition and Meals

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

Adult  $525
Ages 13-17  $465
Ages 10-12  $395
Ages 7-9  $340
Ages 4-6  $290
Ages 2-3  $185
Under 2  $40

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.


staff  |  class list  |  tuition  |  lodging & what to bring

View photos from Family Camp 2014 by Stewart Dean on Flickr

View photos from Family Camp 2015 by Stewart Dean on Flickr

View photos from Family Camp 2016 by Stewart Dean on Flickr