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Family Camp 2023

Monday, August 7 - Friday, August 11

Don’t let the summertime fly by without some quality JOY with your kids or grandkids. Ashokan Family Camp is a laid-back, cross-generational escape into nature, music, arts, crafts, and interactive fun & games!

Leave the screens, to-do lists, and household chores behind and experience 3 fun-filled days and 4 starry nights of pure family goodness. Try instrumental workshops and jamming, wildlife exploration & canoeing, drumming, dance & movement games. Create hands-on art projects, hear stories, write a song, and participate in epic campfire sing-alongs.

Parents, librarians, teachers, and anyone who works with children will find ideas, materials, and inspiration to enrich their lives or curriculum; age-old activities that enhance well-being and bring people together.

All activities are optional and are led by a warm and welcoming staff. Camp tuition includes all meals (Sunday dinner through Thursday breakfast.) Select from free camping or one of the Ashokan Center’s comfortable on site lodging options.

Whether your family members are budding artists, musicians, naturalists, dancers, writers, storytellers – or just enjoy being free to explore and “be a kid” – Ashokan Family Camp has a rejuvenating impact at any age! 

From babies to teens and parents to grandparents, you’ll leave with hearts full of music and family memories to last a lifetime. 

Staff includes: Maria Puente Flores & Mateo Cano, Joakim Lartey, John Krumm, Sarah Gowan & Bill Quern, Victor Lissabet, Stanley Fowler, Mike Merenda, Del Orloske, and your hosts Krisha Patenaude, Ruth Ungar Merenda, and Tom Krumm!

Recent camper comments:

“Joyous and talented teachers… from my child’s perspective and mine.”

“I don’t want to leave… the love, sense of community and music.”

“We couldn’t believe how open and friendly everyone was!” 

$660 Supporter 
$535 Standard 
$410 Economy 
$285 Youth Scholarship (available for ages 3-25) 

Please self-select from our 4-tier registration based on your ability to pay. We want to share the joy of music & dance with everyone. Thank you for supporting the Ashokan Center, this camp, and each other.

The above prices cover meals and tuition. Lodging options vary in price and may be selected during registration. Camping is free. 


<< Join the camp Facebook Group to connect with your fellow campers!


Joakim Lartey is a beloved local culture-bearer, storyteller, and percussionist who exudes a deep love for music, children, and nature. Joakim will encourage us all to listen and become inspired by the sounds of the birds, water, and the wind in the trees and to come together as a group for traditional stories and drumming from his birthplace in Ghana. He will help lead the camp band, a percussion class, and participate in group jamming sessions before dinner each night. 


John Krumm lovingly hosted Ashokan’s Family Camp for 5 years and has played and taught traditional music for over 45 years! He views traditional music and dance as an expression of the individual in the context of a caring and creative community. A wizard in the field of education, he has taught people of all ages, and all levels, always integrating a feeling of communal engagement. John is excited and ready to lead you in song & dance, and build an incredible community in the time we have together.


Music and ensemble educator, Victor Lissabet, is very honored and excited to be joining the staff of Family Camp 2022. He first attended Ashokan’s Southern Week in ’02, which was a life-changing glimpse of how a community centered around music brings out the best in us all. Victor will share his experience as a music therapist, as well as musical influences from his Cuban and Colombian background, encouraging us to sing in both Spanish and English. He’ll be teaching guitar, and co-leading the morning singalong and the camp band!


Bill and Sarah play roots music from the American Appalachians, England, Canada, Scandinavia, and France and are tunesmiths of original music composed in traditional styles. Their instrument collection includes guitar, mandolin, concertina, melodeon, 4 & 5 string banjo, fiddle, harmonica, jaw harp and foot percussion. They also teach traditional ritual Morris and sword dance, Scandinavian and French social dance, and American and English clogging styles.

As well as being immersed in traditional music and dance, Sarah and Bill are visual artists and teachers. Sarah was trained as a scenic artist at Temple University, and Bill has a degree in sculpture from Mass College of Art. They are excited to return to Family Camp at Ashokan to lead dances, games, and fun hands-on crafting classes. Join their classes to make masks, nature art, crankies, hats, and musical instruments! 


Newcomers Mateo and Maria will bring traditional Son Jarocho from Veracruz, México to Family Camp this year! Their duo (and their weekly radio show) Pulso de Barro translates as “pulse of the clay” referring to a unifying earth pulse and the building blocks of story and culture. Maria was born and raised in Mexico City and is fascinated by the power of storytelling through words and sounds. Folk music, specifically Son Jarocho, has allowed her to find community and feel rooted in this new territory. Mateo was born in Brooklyn NY and migrated to Veracruz Mexico at a very young age. He continued to develop as a music and dance performer, an executive director in a community center, and a grade school musical instructor in Miami, FL. As a bilingual Mexican-American storyteller and as a member of the Son Jarocho community Mateo has participated in many different projects and is an undergraduate pursuing Ethnomusicology and computer science. Maria and Mateo look forward to their first time at Ashokan. They will teach how to play the jarana (8-stringed traditional instrument) and how to sing and dance in the traditional Son Jarocho style. 

STAN FOWLER, is a retired National Parks Service Ranger, Ashokan Advisory Board Member and long-time Music & Dance Camp crew chief, and safety consultant, and self-proclaimed “Dance Ranger.” Stanley will be instructing campers of all ages on canoeing technique and fire-building and will serve as our camp lifeguard for specific afternoon swimming hours!


Tom Krumm is a Philadelphia-based performer, teacher, composer and arranger who helps everyone find the fun in music! In his childhood experiences at Ashokan and continued education at the Berklee College of Music, Tom was exposed to the nuances of all types of music including Classical, Gypsy Jazz, Swing, Old Time, Celtic, Hip Hop, Pop, and much more. He looks forward to making new friends, co-leading the camp band, offering lessons on the fiddle and mandolin, and leading super-fun jam sessions. He’s happy to try anything – from your favorite cartoon theme to your favorite Stevie Wonder song!

Krisha Patenaude is a creative and caring individual with over 25 years of experience working with children of all ages. She has a diverse background in early-childhood education, currently teaches Kindergarten, and she writes, sings, records, and performs regularly in swing, rock, folk, and jazz bands around the Hudson Valley. Krisha will co-lead morning sing-alongs, fiber arts and crafts, nature journaling, campfire jams – and joyfully facilitate spontaneous learning, music, and fun throughout your family’s stay at Ashokan!

Ruth Ungar Merenda helps facilitate all of Ashokan’s public events and particularly loves Family Camp because it showcases the most powerful strengths of the Ashokan community: enjoyment of nature, hands-on music-making, and intergenerational joy! This year she’ll draw on her theater background to teach a comedy improv class for all ages, and will work with Krisha and the teens to create a new teen-specific setup to include a jamming and songwriting lab. 


Ashokan’s Education Team engages year-round with visiting school groups. They know the coolest places to hike and have lots of fun and learning up their sleeves. Join these warm and welcoming folks for guided hikes, archery, garden smoothies and more! 

This protocol meets or exceeds current CDC and NY State Department of Health guidelines and is subject to revision based on changing conditions and changes in those guidelines. We’ll notify registered campers if there are any significant changes before camp begins. We trust our caring community to find the right balance of caution and fun within these parameters, to make safe decisions, and to treat fellow campers with respect.

In Advance:

We ask everyone to test for COVID-19 in the 24 hours before arrival. 

If you test positive, do not attend.

If you’ve recently recovered from COVID and have been symptom free for 5 or more days without the use of fever-reducers, you may attend. 

All refund requests due to COVID exposure, or COVID-related concerns will be honored.

Longhouse bunk rooms will be capped at 1/2 occupancy. 

Overall camp attendance will be limited to provide ample space for distancing.

On Site:

The Ashokan Center will provide onsite rapid testing upon request or as needed.

Anyone who tests positive or develops symptoms consistent with COVID will be asked to leave the event and will be entitled to a refund.

Masks are recommended while gathering indoors (except when eating or performing.) N-95 masks can be provided on request. 

Whole room exhaust fans in the Performance Hall & Dining Hall will draw a constant stream of fresh air.

Daily cleaning includes disinfectant for all door handles, tables, and any frequently touched surfaces.

You may pay in full or hold your place with a deposit of $200 per person. If making a deposit, full payment is due 4 weeks before camp begins. If you register within 4 weeks of camp full payment is required. 

To cancel your camp registration, email events@ashokancenter.org

• We retain $50 per person for cancellations requested up to 4 weeks before camp begins, and for COVID-related cancellations made at any date.

• We retain $200 per person between 4 and 2 weeks before camp.

• We retain the full registration amount within 2 weeks of camp.


    Follow signs to check-in. Please unload and then return your car to the main lot immediately. If you need your car nearby for health reasons, please request a special parking permit.
  • 4:30pm: SITE WALK
  • 6pm: DINNER
  • 7:30pm: JAMS & ACTIVITIES


  • 8:30-9:30am: BREAKFAST
  • 9:30-12:30pm: CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
  • 12:30-2pm: LUNCH
  • 5-6pm: OPEN MIC (Esopus Courtyard)
  • 6-7pm: DINNER
  • 7:30-10pm: CONCERTS & JAMS


  • 8:30-9:30am: BREAKFAST

You may choose to pay up front or pay a deposit and balance. Balance payment is due 4 weeks before the event.

Registration includes all activities and meals. Lodging is optional and camping is free.

Children under 5 attend for free (under 3 for Family Camp). Campers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

All meals are included. You may indicate your dietary restrictions when registering. We make every effort to include a range of allergen-free dishes and to inform diners of meal ingredients.

The Ashokan Center is licensed to serve beer and wine in Esopus Lodge (the main building). The bar is generally open from late afternoon to early evening. Sorry, by law, guests are prohibited from bringing their own alcoholic beverages into this licensed building.

LONGHOUSE BUNKS: Rooms hold up to 12 people (50% capacity) and are designated women, men, or all gender. Place your belongings on a top or bottom bunk after you check in to claim it. Pillows are available, please bring your own blankets, sheets, pillowcases, and towels. There are 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.

PRIVATE ROOMS: There are a limited number of private rooms that must be reserved in advance at extra charge. Pillows are available, please bring your own sheets, pillowcases, and towelsThere are light quilts in each private room.

CAMPSITES: Camping is available with access to bathrooms and outdoor showers. Please park by your campsite only if you plan to leave your car in place for the duration of the camp.

If you’re lodging with us please remember to bring a blanket and linens (or sleeping bag), towel, toiletries, soap, flashlight, earplugs (for light sleepers). There are light quilts in each private room and we have a small number of light blankets for bunkhouse residents who can’t bring one of their own. Let us know well in advance if you’ll need one.

Flashlight, recording device, camera (or maybe those are all your phone!)

Comfortable informal clothing for wet and dry weather. Some may also bring dressy, wild or fun clothing as well but that is up to you! There’s no laundry on site so bring enough clothes for the camp.

Please, no pets or drop-in guests.

Incoming mail

Your Name c/o Ashokan Music & Dance
477 Beaverkill Rd, 
Olivebridge, NY 12461

Outgoing mail leaves each weekday at 4pm.

Music & Dance Camp Phone (845) 657-8333 x 3 

Cell phone reception is available but spotty. Calls may be dropped but texts are reliably received.

High speed Wi-Fi is available in all buildings.

Physical Address:
Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY 12461

Take NY State Thruway (1-87) to Kingston exit #19.
From traffic circle take Route 28 West (toward Pine Hill).
In 12 miles (shortly after Mobil & Citgo) turn left onto Reservoir Rd.
Cross the Ashokan Reservoir, turn left at the Tee.
Head down the hill, pass the first left (Rt 28A East) and merge onto 28A West.
Take next left onto Beaverkill Rd.
Follow Beaverkill for about one mile, then turn right into the Ashokan Center driveway and follow the signs.

AIRPORT  Albany, NY (ALB) is the closest major airport (about 1.5 hours away). Public transportation is available from the airport to the Kingston bus station, where you can take a taxi to Ashokan. Or contact us at least one month before your program begins for a list of people driving from the Albany area who may be able to give you a ride.

If there are no camp spots or private rooms available above, you may add your name to this waitlist. If space opens up we will contact you.


The Ashokan Center builds community through shared experiences in nature, history, music and art. We have hosted traditional Music & Dance Camps at our 385 acre nature preserve for over 40 years. In 2020 we learned how to host them online and in 2021 we began to reimagine how to gather in person once again. 

Come join the Ashokan family to celebrate, learn, connect, deepen your music, make new friends, and brighten your day. Our events are open to all folks, all ages and all orientations. 

Thank you to the Martin Foundation for supporting Ashokan Music & Dance Camps.