Aug 6-10, 2018
Family Camp

photos by Stewart Dean
View more!

Family Camp at Ashokan

Monday, Aug 6 – Friday, Aug 10, 2018

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… the Farewell Dance


While we work on the classes for this year, you may view info and photos from the last Family Camp

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 2017 at Ashokan

211 photos & 11 videos of Family Camp 2017 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” (called Kids Camp i.e. 2 to 5 years), “Older kids”, (6 to 8 years) and “9 to adult.” All other classes will be for mixed ages. 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.

2018 Family Camp Staff

Sarah Gowan and Bill Quern Guitar, Concertina, Accordian, Banjo, Fiddle, Mandolin, Songs, Appalachian Clogging, Morris and French Dance, Theater Arts, Toys, Crafts, and Fun Stuff

Box and String is the duo of Bill Quern and Sarah Gowan. Sarah and Bill play instrumental traditional roots music and dance from the American Appalachians, England, Canada, Scandinavia, and France as well as their original music composed in traditional styles. With a combined instrument collection that includes guitar, mandolin, concertina, melodeon, 4 & 5 string banjo, fiddle, harmonica, jaw harp and foot percussion we provide a varied and entertaining program.

They enjoy playing for and teaching traditional dancing – squares, contra, French, waltz – as well as for listening.

Find out more on their website


Karla Notarianni – Ukulele, Piano, Songs, Games, and Stories

We are very lucky to have with us this year, Karla Notoriani. Karla comes to us from Ithaca, New York. She is a long-time and gifted Music Educator. An Ashokan mainstay, she has developed and directed Uke-astras for all ages, Choral music, and children’s dance for too many years to count. Her Jack and Mary adventure stories have fired the imagination of children everywhere, including a very young Tom Krumm.

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

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.


Peter Davis – Music teacher

Peter’s multi-instrumentalism includes clarinet, alto sax, 5-string & tenor banjo, piano, guitar, mandolin and whistle as well as an intuitive approach to a variety of musical genres including traditional folk, blues, vintage pop and jazz forms.

Peter Davis’s parents told him that when he was one year old,  he was scat singing arias from Rigoletto.  When he was five, Peter took piano lessons with an acclaimed teacher, but after six months he was fired as a student because he was playing by ear instead of reading notes. At eight, Peter finally connected with his private clarinet teacher, and continued five years of lessons, culminating in playing the Mozart clarinet concerto. It was in 8th Grade band class that he was handed a saxophone and was introduced to the 12 bar blues progression… and Elvis Presley. By 9th grade, Peter was playing  rock and roll music with older kids in bars around Babylon, Long Island.  At SUNY Binghamton, Peter minored in music, played in a jug and bluegrass band, acted in plays, sang in doo wop and madrigal groups and played reeds for musicals. Peter spent three years in Malawi, Central Africa where he directed his school’s a capella group and jammed South African zulu jive with some of his students.

Peter’s current projects include Annie and the Hedonists,  Whippersnappers, an eclectic string band; Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers, a dixieland jazz band, which is the house band at Saratoga Racecourse each summer as well as Peter, Paul, and George, a group that does elementary school residencies in traditional music and dancing; Lindy Hop Heaven, Peter’s own swing dance band; and The Clayfoot Strutters, a rocked-out contradance band from Vermont.  He loves playing music with Jay and Molly and Swingology…


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 2018 schedule is being developed, you may view information from Family Camp 2017.

Tuition and Meals

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

Adults:  $540
Ages 13-17:  $475
Ages 10-12:  $405
Ages 7-9:  $350
Ages 4-6:  $295
Ages 2-3:  $190
Under 2:  $40

You may select omnivore, no red meat, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free meals. We make every effort to include a range of allergen-free dishes and to inform diners of meal ingredients.


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

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.

What to Bring, When to Arrive and Transportation

  • If you are staying onsite: Sleeping bag or sheets, blankets, pillowcases, towels, soap, toiletries. Pillows are available. 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 both wet and dry weather.

See Important Information about Family Camp for details about what to bring, when to arrive, directions to Ashokan and more.

Work Exchange

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

View photos from Family Camp 2017 by Stewart Dean on Flickr