Mendocino Folklore Camp
(archival info - Final Folklore Camp was 2019)
The Mendocino Woodlands is located in a beautiful redwood forest about 175 miles north of San Francisco, California. One-half hour inland from the scenic town of Mendocino, our camp has three clusters of rustic (no electricity) four-person enclosed cabins on somewhat hilly terrain with stone fireplaces, clothes closet and balconies, a spacious dance hall, and plenty of tenting sites. Each cluster has its own bathhouse with lights and hot showers. After classes you can hike in the forest, take one of the offered excursions with the park Naturists or take a dip in the river at the nearby swimming hole.
Folklore Camp’s Workshops offer a wide variety of both formal and informal learning opportunities, taught by a talented, knowledgeable, world-class teaching staff. Our workshops offer INTERNATIONAL dance, instrumental and vocal techniques with a particular slant toward the Balkans and Europe. Unique to Folklore Camp are our cultural happy hour celebrations where teachers share their country’s folklore and traditions. With a camp size of about 100, we offer an inclusive, intimate and supportive atmosphere in which to learn. We welcome both beginners (with little or no previous knowledge) and advanced levels (with years of
experience) to our workshops!
Mendocino Folklore Camp starts at late afternoon on Saturday with registration and ends the following Saturday after breakfast with everyone out by 9:30 a.m. During dinner on the first night, there will be an introduction of staff and teachers, who will do a short demonstration of their class materials. Then during the evening program, our three featured dance teachers will preview their classes by teaching a quick dance.
Classes begin Sunday morning, and are held each day through Friday’s review sessions. We close camp with an afternoon, outdoor “International Market Place”; shopping (vendors welcome, bring your wares to sale!), snacks, drinks (the bar will be open), and student class presentations. Directly following will be dinner outside in the grove (weather permitting), teacher & staff acknowledgements, then the last of the week’s great live music parties (be sure to stay for the last Lesnoto.. it's a tradition!), and one last rockin' Kafana late night. Phew! Who could ask for more?
the WORKSHOP CLASSES
Multiple dance classes are offered DAILY: Classes with instruction by ethnic dance specialists who will be sharing either their own country’s dances and regional styling, or dances and regional styling gathered academically through years of intensive research, performance and/or study.
Everyone's welcome! Our teachers allow for all skill level of dancer in their classes, so feel free to jump right in. Plus we often offer the occasional “experiential” dance class... just for fun and to broaden Folklore Camp's world dance experience.
We offer at least one daily singing class (sometimes two) of international folk songs (all levels welcome!) Teachers focus on vocal production, technique, ornamentation and regional styling. During the week we also have an after dinner Balkan Sing Along, a 60's/70's campfire sing along, and LADARKE with the Tamburica band (another tradition!). Singing classes will participate in the student showcase on Friday.
We offer 3- 4 international music classes daily (all levels welcome!) Teachers focus on learning tunes, technique, ornamentation and regional styling. Toward the end of the week the band/ensemble classes usually play a tune during the evening party for dancing. AND all music classes will participate in the student showcase on Friday.
the AFTER Dinner Hour, Dance PARTY and Late Night KAFANA
The after-dinner hour is a mixed bag of Folklore presentations, singing, and/or a DJ'd "dance hour" with our featured dance teachers. Then at 8:30 p.m. our “live music” dance party begins with programming provided by our fabulous camp band (see below). Late night fun continues in the KAFANA with scheduled performances and impromptu jam/singing sessions till closing. Also stop by for a late night snack, steaming cup of hot-cocoa, or a sip of brandy with your feet up in front of the fire.. it's your destination for a little relaxing decompression from the day!
the 2019 CAMP BAND
Bill Cope (co-director) - multi-instrumentalist, vocals
Linnea Mandell (co-director) - multi-instrumentalist, vocals
Michele Simon (vocal coordinator) -vocals, Balkan Drumming
Janie Cowan - bass
Adam Good - tambura/guitar/ud
Paul Morressett - fiddle/brac/vocals
with Other guest artists including Erik Hoffman, Craig Kurumada, & more.
the FOOD & FINE DINING
Folklore Camp is known for the excellence and cultural diversity of our food. Our chef this year, Tod Nysther and his fantastic crew, will once more be offering up delicious ethnic foods from around the world, including three full meals and two light snacks daily. In addition, there will be themed appetizers plates during our happy hour folklore celebrations, and a late night treat in the after hours Kafana.
You can expect Fresh breads and baked goods, soups, salads, main entrées & desserts all delivered with artistry, imagination and the highest in culinary expertise. We use organic when possible, and offer vegetarian and vegan options.
we WELCOME FAMILIES
Many of our dance and music classes are “kid friendly” depending on your child's skill and maturity level. In 2015 we're also offering a Children's Folk Dance and Children's Folk Singing class, designed especially for our younger crowd and their parents... or anyone wanting to learn how to teach children are also welcome.
Other activities for kids include folk crafts, participating in “family friendly” outings with the Woodlands’ Park Naturalist (such as hikes to big tree, group trips to the swimming hole and a tide pooling excursion). Parents should be aware of the adult nature of our camp, which includes available alcoholic beverages
Part-time registration is limited and available only after May 1st, 2016. Please contact the registrar for further information, part-time pricing and/or to put your name on the waiting list for one of our part-time registration packages when they become available.
We do offer, on a limited basis, a Work-Exchange Scholarship. Those who work on ‘the crew’ have about half the fees waived in exchange for a few hours a day helping out in the daily running of camp. The work consists of general cleaning (specific duties are explained and assigned at camp) as well as set-up, take-down, and other odd jobs that arise throughout the week. You must be able to lift and you'll definitely work, but it will not inhibit your ability to be involved in the majority of camp classes and activities.