BACDS American Dance and Music Week,
July 3-10, 2010
BACDS American Dance and Music Week, July 3-10, 2010


American Week - Coming Back For More


American Week Leaves Couple Weak Kneed!


What I Did On My Summer Vacation


American Week Kicks Butt!

by Christine and Given Harrison

Last July, we experienced a whole summer's worth of fun packed into 7 days within the deep, cool green of a redwood forest when we attended American Week Camp at the Mendocino Woodlands. Upon arrival, the staff greeted us with welcoming enthusiasm, making sure all of our special needs were met and setting the tone for this creatively planned and expertly run week of music and dance.

The variety and appeal of daily activities made it hard to choose what to do each day. Music workshops ranging from ear training to band dynamics given by nationally known musicians, themed dance sessions with virtuosic callers on an historic dance floor, classes on flat footing, waltzing, calling, story telling, and more filled the days for musicians as well as dancers. There were unexpected surprises between classes like the puppet show, the stuntology demonstration, hat making, even one camper's standup comedy. Between sessions, the huge fire ring was an inviting gathering spot for socializing with fellow campers and staff. Extra events before breakfast and others lasting late into the night and early morning hours added even more fun to this week long party.

Meals were imaginative, desserts were killer, and campers' special dietary requests were well met. Meal time in the cozy dining hall was everyone's chance to share stories about their day and spend time getting to know new camper friends. The perfect ending for each lunch was lounging at the fire ring and listening to our staff storyteller's imaginative, entertaining, and sometimes moving tales.

At midweek, the highlight of the day was The Picnic in the Meadow. With beach chairs, blankets, and instruments, the campers walked to a clearing in the forest for an afternoon of picnicking, relaxation, games, storytelling, music, napping. After an alfresco buffet lunch, some sprawled on blankets in the sun, some rested in the cool shade as we watched or participated in sack races, Frisbee tosses, and the launching of water balloons from a human-sized sling shot. The most satisfying part of this picnic was watching all these adults have such childlike fun.

Aside from the nonstop fun and activity, other things about camp make us want to return. The setting was ideal. We felt far enough from "civilization", yet the appealing town of Mendocino was a few minutes away. The sight and scent of redwood and the sounds of wildlife, the shaded, bending trails, the dance-friendly temperatures all made for the perfect spot to spend the week. Cabins with wood burning fireplaces, clean and convenient bathrooms and showers, all the hot water you want, even shampoo, soap and lotion stocked in every bathhouse added a touch of luxury to the camp experience.

The powerhouse of artists on staff was an irresistible draw and guaranteed campers a memorable week. Not only did we get to enjoy their talents, but also had opportunities to get to know them personally. Making new dance/music friends who came to camp from all over the country made camp even more fun. The camp ran flawlessly from beginning to end, thanks to the behind the scenes efforts of the staff who's goal was to make sure every camper had a grand experience.

We've signed up for American Week again. Have you?

We've signed up for American Week again. Have you?

- Christine and Given Harrison