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Family Camp 2024

Monday, August 5 - Friday, August 9

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. 

This year’s staff announced below!

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!” 

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!
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!
MATEO CANO & MARIA PUENTE FLORES will bring traditional Son Jarocho from Veracruz, México 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. Maria and Mateo will teach how to play the jarana (8-stringed traditional instrument) and how to sing and dance in the traditional Son Jarocho style.
MAGGIE SHAR (Little Roots) co-founder of Little Roots, is an award winning banjo playing, guitar playing, singing educator originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has been playing guitar since she was twelve and has been playing banjo since 2004, learning from Adam Hurt, Riley Baugus and Bruce Molsky among others. In 2003, she graduated from Hampshire College with a focus on music, education, and healing. She then went on to receive her M.S. from Antioch University New England in 2007 with a focus on environmental education and social justice. Maggie is fueled by the curiosity of children and strives to make each child feel a sense of belonging and success in their learning process. She strongly believes in the power of music to generate joy, healing, love, connection, and community for people of all ages.
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.
MIA FRIEDMAN (Little Roots) is a fiddler and singer as well as a composer and educator. Her song “Across the Water” won the 2010 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the folk category, and she was the 2006 New Hampshire Highland Games Scottish Fiddle Champion. Mia started playing fiddle at the age of six and has been singing for as long as she can remember! She began writing songs at the age of nine and started playing banjo and guitar when she was seventeen. She has been teaching private and group lessons in the Boston area and Western MA since 2010. In addition to Little Roots, Mia teaches Community Music School of Springfield and leads elementary and high school string programs in five public schools in Springfield, MA. She is the orchestra teacher at The Hartsbrook Waldorf School, has a private studio of fiddle students, and teaches at many traditional music camps during the summer.
JOHN KRUMM 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.
SARAH GOWAN & BILL QUERN 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!
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 safe canoeing technique and fire-building and will serve as our camp lifeguard for specific afternoon swimming hours!
VICTOR LISSABET is a music and ensemble educator comfortable with all ages of students. 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!
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 Mike and the teens on the jamming and Song Lab.

MIKE MERENDA is a songwriter who enjoys collaborating with young writers and players to make fun new creations. He'll be teaching guitar/banjo mini-lessons and partnering with Ruth on the teen Song Lab.

Additional Info:

Payment/Cancellation/Refund Policy

You may pay in full or hold your place with a deposit of 25% per person if registering 4 or more weeks before camp. Full payment is due 4 weeks before camp begins. 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 your 25% deposit between 4 and 2 weeks before camp.

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

Schedule Overview


    Follow signs to check-in.
  • 4:30pm: SITE WALK
  • 6pm: DINNER
  • 7:30pm: JAMS & ACTIVITIES


  • 7:30-9:00am: BREAKFAST
  • 9:30-12:30pm: CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
  • 12:00-1:00pm: LUNCH
  • 5-6pm: FREE TIME (Esopus Courtyard)
  • 6-7pm: DINNER
  • 7:30-10pm: GAMES, DANCING, STORIES


  • 7:30-9:00am: BREAKFAST
Pricing & What's Included!

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.

Food & Drink

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 24 people 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.

What To Bring

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.

What Not To Bring
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.

Directions & Transportation

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

DRIVING DIRECTIONS   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.

Covid Safety Policy

We recommend but no longer require everyone test for COVID-19 in the 24 hours before arrival. 

All refund requests due to a positive test, COVID exposure, or COVID-related concerns will be honored (less a $50 administrative fee).

We will provide onsite rapid testing upon request.

Additional FAQ's
CAMP WAITLIST & PRIVATE LODGING WAITLIST (only join if ADD CAMPER button at top of page is disabled or your preferred lodging choice is greyed out in that form.)

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.

M&D Need-Based “Pay it Forward” SCHOLARSHIPS We are holding 5 deeply discounted spots (includes tuition, meals & bunk) to provide a learning opportunity to gigging musicians and music, vocal, and dance teachers who will be sharing out their newly learned skills with a wider community. We prioritize new applicants each year and notify all applicants within 1 month before camp begins.


EMAIL: events@ashokancenter.org
CALL 845-657-8333 x3

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about camp!

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