We'll probably put a tentative schedule on the website close to camp, but there are typically revisions up until camp (and it's not unknown for sessions to be relocated at camp).
The general expectation is that you're coming to camp for the weekend and to participate in the community experience, not that you'll drop in for the specific classes you're interested in.
As of 2008, Fall Weekend is primarily an English and Display dance, music, and song weekend. We anticipate that you can spend all day doing country dance, or spend all day doing display dance, or go back and forth between them. There'll probably be ale-like pickup display dancing in the evenings, as well as an evening country dance ball. There may be soupcons of other forms (couple dancing, contra dancing, Irish) but no guarantees.
During the daytime, the class programs will be some kind of mixture of English, contra, squares, couple dancing, performance dance (clog, Morris of some kind, sword), music, and caller/teacher workshops.
After the formal program ends, campers traditionally make their own fun. Pickup social dance, music jams, ritual dance, late night games, singing, and socializing are all found in the dance hall, dining hall, and Cary Lounge after hours. We undertake to provide the spaces for this kind of fun, but putting activities in those spaces is up to you, the camper.
There are a couple of good venues for late night singing. The Cary Dorm lounge is very comfortable. This is participatory singing, not performance, so songs will be best received if they have brief verses and choruses that are easy for the group to learn and join in. There are no competence requirements for singing along, but you can just listen if you feel uncomfortable singing. These are unofficial camper activities, not official camp functions, so we can't decree what will be sung or who will be in charge -- that's up to the campers.
For the last several years, each Fall Weekend has had a different theme.
These have included bats, circus animals, gargoyles, refrigerator magnet
poetry, and so on. So what's the deal with the theme? The idea is that it's a
chance for campers to participate creatively in the atmosphere of camp, whether
by making up refrigerator magnet poetry, finding clothing or jewelry depicting
cows, wearing a gargoyle mask to the dance, or whatever strikes your fancy. It
also gives us something to put on the flyer, and carry through to button design
and decorations. Campers are not obliged to do anything about the theme; we
just think it seems like extra fun. If you have ideas for future themes, let
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LOGISTICS: FOOD/LODGING/TRANSPORT QUESTIONS
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I GET THERE?
[Suggested by material from the Spring Weekend FAQ.]
First, park. TURN OFF YOUR CAR ALARM.
Then, check in at the main dance hall (Helgesson Hall on map). Pick up your registration materials, including badge, any room reservation, maps, program, and other information. If you have any monies due, please have them ready. You can also drop off any pot-luck contributions. If you have any questions, now's the time to ask.
Next, go ahead and unpack. There's a separate parking lot closer to the Miller and Morris dorms if that's where you're staying. After you've found a room, fill out a piece of paper (available at the registration table) with your name and room number and put it on the dashboard of your car, where it can be read through the window. While it's still somewhat light, stroll around a bit and get oriented - or come to the dance hall and help with setup.
Probably, if you tell us about them in advance. (It would be problematic to do 100% rabbinically-certified kosher, because the kitchen isn't set up for it and they don't have two sets of dishes, but for most other needs we can fix you up. The cooking staff at Monte Toyon is good at this kind of thing, if given enough warning. We don't do all-organic food because it would drive up the costs too much, sad to say.) You can tell us your needs on your registration form. The sooner we know, the likelier we'll be able to do something about it.
If you need food different from the general run of campers, you get to jump the food line and go into the kitchen to pick up your special vegan or wheat-free dishes.
If you have very unusual requirements, you may need to bring your own food. Some very limited refrigerator space is available; let us know you need it.
Sorry, no. We'll do our best, but we're limited by how many campers are willing to give rides. We've never left anyone stranded yet, and we don't intend to. However, the whole camp committee is busy setting up camp, and we can't drop everything to go pick you up.
The most convenient airport is San Jose.
Here are some good ways to guarantee you WON'T get a ride:
For safety's sake, you should allow 2.5 hours from Silicon Valley, three hours from San Francisco, three and a half hours from the East Bay. (Under ideal conditions, it takes about an hour to get from Palo Alto to camp, but you'll be traveling at rush hour, in competition with weekend getaway traffic, on a narrow and twisty mountain road, with no good alternatives if an accident blocks it, so conditions can easily not be ideal.)
CAN I BRING MY WINNEBAGO?
Although the trip to camp can be accomplished almost entirely on the freeway
and only the last few miles are on surface streets, there are a couple of
narrow patches which make it difficult to get any big RV in. There's only
one good place to park a Winnebago, and there are no utility hookups.
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The camp provides twin-size beds with bare mattresses. You need to provide sheets, pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, towels, bathmats (if you don't want to share the camp-provided one) and so on. The rooms are heated, so you don't have to worry about Arctic conditions - but you may still have to negotiate a comfort level with your roommates. (Maximum of four in a room in Cary, 12 in Miller/Morris). If you're coming from out of town or for some other reason would find it very inconvenient to bring bedding, we may be able to work out something. But we need to know in advance.
We don't want finances to bar anyone from coming to camp.
There are work-trade discounts which reduce the fee by about one-third. If you take one of these, you are expected to actually do work, which won't be extremely onerous but may involve missing a few minutes of class time or getting up earlier than you'd ideally want to. (You're supposed to appear before each meal and help move tables, for example.) If you have some physical problem let us know, and we'll see if we can give you work you can actually do. (Some work-trade jobs will require people with particular skills and track records.)
In addition, there are a few scholarships that make it possible to get in free. Berkeley Morris administers a partial scholarship for any ritual dancer (the Dana Pettingill Memorial Scholarship); and the camp managers administer the Karl Uggla Memorial Scholarship, for anyone in financial need.
We may also be able to work out a payment plan if you can't afford the whole fee at once. Get in touch with the registrar before the application deadline and discuss the options.
WHEN WILL I FIND OUT IF I'M ACCEPTED OR ON THE WAITING LIST?
WHEN WILL I FIND OUT IF I'M ACCEPTED OR ON THE WAITING LIST?
If you're really concerned, get in touch with the registrar individually -- but don't bother checking until a week after the postmark deadline.
No, sorry. For one thing, we're legally obligated to pay a per-person "day-use" fee to the camp for anybody associated with us who sets foot on the grounds during camp. For another, trying to build a sense, however fleeting, of a camp community is subverted by having people drop in and out. And the size of our camp is already limited to the number of people we can fit on the dance floor. If we're maxing out our space with full-time campers, we can't have additional visitors. But if you stick around and go to the Santa Cruz contra dance Sunday night, you can dance with your local friends.
Sorry, no. (See the last answer.) Fall Weekend staff contra/square callers and musicians frequently appear at the Santa Cruz contra on the Sunday night of camp, and you'll be very welcome to go there.
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