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Southern Week 2024

Sunday, August 11 - Saturday, August 17

Jay Ungar & Molly Mason host a fun and friendly full-week of Southern traditional music and dance from Old Time Appalachian to Cajun, Creole and Zydeco. Enjoy a week of music, dancing, and friendship in a gorgeous natural setting. There’ll be daytime classes, pre-dinner cultural history sessions, evening jams, song swaps, and dances to rollicking live music, plus special evenings like the Old-time Radio Hour, Mardi Gras Parade, Camper’s Night, and Honky Tonk Night. Beginners are welcome! Have fun learning and playing together!

Staff Includes: Sparky & Rhonda Rucker, Val Mindel, Rachel Eddy, Rhys Jones, Sharon Leahy & Rick Good, Becky Hill, Kevin Wimmer, Rina Rossi, The Old Fashioned Aces (Blake Miller, Amelia Biere, AJ Srubas, Jo Vidrine), Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys, Erica Weiss, Mike + Ruth Merenda, Tom Krumm, and your hosts Jay Ungar & Molly Mason. 

“I truly liked all of it. The schedule was relaxed but full of options.”

“I loved the community and wonderful people. Excellent, kind, and patient staff. We had so much fun dancing and singing. Also, the food was delicious – thanks for the veggie options!” 

“I enjoyed the organic feel of everything. There was a good structure in place but plenty of flexibility. The people were welcoming, knowledgeable, and generous.”

Can't spend the week - or feel like coming one night early? Check out the pre-camp dinner & dance.

Southern Week Shindig 2024

August 10, 2024 - August 10, 2024

Dine, dance, or just enjoy a great evening of Cajun, Créole, Zydeco, and Old Time string band music under Ashokan’s outdoor pavilion! Learn dance basics and then join in the square dance, Cajun, and Zydeco party.

Tickets & Info

JAY UNGAR & MOLLY MASON, Your Hosts - Waltzes & Slow Tunes, Backup Guitar, Old Time Jams
SPARKY & RHONDA RUCKER - Beginning Blues Guitar, Beginning Blues Moutharp, Socio-Political, Economic and Ethnic origins of Euro and African American ballads
BECKY HILL - Square Dances, Flatfooting, Clogging
ERICA WEISS - Cajun and Zydeco Dance, Old Time Guitar
KEVIN WIMMER - Blues Fiddle, Cajun/Creole Fiddle
RINA ROSSI - Square Dances, Old Time Guitar and Bass
The Old Fashioned Aces - Cajun Fiddle, Accordion, Guitar, Bass, and Songs
Blake Miller, Amelia Biere, AJ Srubas, Joe Vidrine
JEFFREY BROUSSARD & THE CREOLE COWBOYS - Creole and Zydeco Music, Accordion, Guitar, Percussion and Band Class\
Jeffery Broussard, Gerald Broussard, Ethan Moody, Gary Francois and Garrot Jack
VAL MINDEL - Appalachian, Country and Gospel songs and singing styles
RACHEL EDDY - Old Time Fiddle, Banjo, Mandolin, Songs
WAYNE FUGATE - Mandolin for all, tunes, techniques and Practice Lab too!
RHYS JONES - Old Time Fiddle, Banjo, Songs
SHARON LEAHY & RICK GOOD - Team Clogging, Morning Yoga, Country Harmony Singing, Old Time Banjo Song

Mike: Clawhammer Banjo

Ruth: Fiddle, Uke, Singing

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


  • 6pm: DINNER
  • 7:00pm: EVENING DANCE & JAMS
  • 10pm: SNACK



  • 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: EVENING DANCE & JAMS



  • 10am: BRUNCH
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.