Community Feedback Survey

June 23, 2024

Dear Pinewoods Community,

Photo Credit: Sue Flint

The Pinewoods Camp, Inc. (PCI) Board of Directors is working on a strategic plan for the Camp we love.

Last summer, we spoke with many of you during the various camp sessions. We are asking for feedback from our entire community on several important areas for Pinewoods.

Please take 10-15 minutes to fill out the Community Feedback Survey. We appreciate your input and will use the collective feedback to inform our priorities for Camp. The survey will be open until June 24. Thank you, and we hope to see you at Camp this summer!

Click HERE to begin the survey.

Phot Credit: Anna Alter

Photo Credit: Sue Flint

Photo Credit: Grant Yost

Fine Companions: Remembering Pinewoods Before 1975

June 15, 2024

SAVE THE DATE FOR SUMMER 2025

“Fine Companions: Remembering Pinewoods Before 1975”
Tuesday, June 10 – Friday, June 13, 2025 

In 2025, Pinewoods Camp will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. As one of many Pinewoods Camp Centennial projects, a committee of volunteers is putting together a special anniversary session in Summer 2025 that focuses on memories of Pinewoods from 1944-1975 — from the year Lily Conant inherited Pinewoods Camp until the completion of the sale of the camp to Pinewoods Camp, Inc.

The focus will be on community and being at Pinewoods. The programming includes English and American musical traditions offered during most of the sessions in those years. 

What Will Happen at the Session?

Because we anticipate hosting a number of older campers (in their 70’s, 80’s and, hopefully, 90’s), we are structuring this session to allow for maximum participation of these participants. Therefore, this session emphasizes lighter programming with more time for socializing.

The session will include:

  • A social gathering on opening night in the camphouse
  • Daytime English Country dancing, gatherings with singing and or stories, instrumental sessions, swimming, socializing, and tea
  • A workshop that explores archival material about Pinewoods Camp and opportunities to capture new material to add to it, specifically your memories and stories
  • Two short evening dances on Wednesday and Thursday nights, followed by a camphouse gathering officially ending at 10:00 pm
  • Dances selected from a combination of 1960s and 1970s programs (in Genny Shimer’s notebooks) and requests by the participants at the time of registration (English, classic contras, and singing squares)
  • A golf cart shuttle will circulate around the roads at camp to assist those who need the use of it.

Staff

English calling and dance facilitator: David Millstone
Calling terms at the dances will be as they were during those years, so the callers will refer to men and women for placement as well as positional calling (e.g., first corners).

Musicians: Alchemy – Karen Axelrod, Rachel Bell, and Eric Martin

Song leader: Jeff Warner

Options for Attending the Session

  • Option 1 – Full participation / Onsite Sleeping: Come to camp and stay onsite.
  • Option 2 – Full participation / Offsite Sleeping: Campers will have the option of arranging for sleeping accommodations offsite and coming to camp during the day and evening. (Please note: we can provide suggestions for housing, but campers will be responsible for making their own offsite arrangements.)
  • Option 3 – Day Visit / Thursday only: Former Pinewoods community members who are only able to visit briefly are welcome from mid-morning through late afternoon on Thursday, June 12.

Who should attend?

If this sounds interesting to you, please join us! Registration will be open to any and all campers who wish to attend. Priority will be given to people who attended camp prior to the late-1970’s, and those people who have not returned in recent years because of the strenuousness of programming at regular summer sessions.

Please spread the word to anyone you know who might be interested.

Questions?

Registration will open in January 2025. However, if you have further questions now, please contact Marney Morrison or Susan Creighton.

Program Directors: Marney Morrison and Susan Creighton

Email:

Liaison to the PCI Centennial Committee: Michal Warshow

Additional advisory committee members: David Conant and Brad Foster

2024 COVID Guidelines

March 21, 2024

Pinewoods Camp, Inc
COVID Guidelines for Campers
Updated 3.1.24

Here are the updated COVID guidelines for attending Pinewoods Camp for the 2024 season. We reserve the right to make changes to this policy in response to potential changes in COVID conditions. Program Providers may choose to apply their own additional guidelines that may be stricter than what we outline here, and, if so, we will support their decisions. But at a minimum, to attend Camp, we require the following:

VACCINATIONS

COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters are not required for the 2024 season. However, we do encourage all eligible campers to get the most recent vaccine/booster.

TESTING

  • Campers are required to bring a minimum of 4 rapid antigen tests per person for sessions lasting 4+ days, and 3 tests for sessions lasting 3 days or less. Please note that this minimum amount includes extra tests in the event of the need for additional testing.
  • Campers and staff staying 4 days (3 nights) or longer will take a COVID test (rapid antigen or NAAT: 1) upon arrival at camp, 2) 24 hours after arriving at camp, and 3) 48 hours after arriving at camp.
  • For sessions 3 days (2 nights) or less, campers will test twice: 1) upon arrival at camp, and 2) 24 hours after arriving at camp. 
  • We strongly encourage testing prior to departing for camp, especially for those traveling long distances. 

MASKING:

  • Masks are optional for the 2024 season however they are strongly encouraged for the first 24 hours of each session. In this community, masks are welcome for as long as an individual wants or needs to wear them
  • Please bring a supply of high-filtration masks (N-95, KN-95, etc) in case COVID conditions change and wearing masks is required.
  • If a camper/campers test positive for COVID, campers, PP staff, and crew may be required to wear high-filtration masks.
  • Campers may be asked by PCI to wear high-filtration masks whenever engaging in any camper jobs in the kitchen or dining hall at PCI’s discretion.

PRIOR TO COMING TO CAMP

  • By attending Camp, campers and program providers agree to the points on the PCI Attestation. Anyone not able to say “yes” to each point should have a conversation with their Program Provider.
  • In the week prior to arriving at Pinewoods, we kindly ask incoming campers and Program Provider staff to wear high-filtration masks in indoor public areas (grocery stores, movie theaters, concerts, public transportation, dances, etc).  

We look forward to dancing, singing, and enjoying music with you this season.

Pinewoods Camp, Inc. Board of Directors

Winter Zoom Series: The Six Ponds Region – Past, Present, and Future

February 8, 2024

Rooted in Resilience, the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe 

Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe's First Pow Wow held in 1928, at 128 Herring Pond Rd, Plymouth, Massachusetts. Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe Archives

Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe’s First Pow Wow held in 1928, at 128 Herring Pond Rd, Plymouth, Massachusetts. Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe Archives

Tuesday, February 27
7:00pm
With Jackie Saltalamacchia
View the presentation HERE

Discover the rich tapestry of history woven by the ancestors of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, who inhabited the lands surrounding present-day Plymouth for thousands of years prior to the Pilgrims’ arrival in 1620. As the sole Tribe allotted lands in Plymouth, Massachusetts, their enduring connection persists with the continued ownership of land in the region. Join us on a journey through the captivating and storied history of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, a narrative that extends far beyond the pages of the past and resonates powerfully in the present day.

Mehtugq Week
(Jackie Saltalamacchia)

Bio
Mehtugq Week, also known as Jackie Saltalamacchia, proudly stands as a spirited firekeeper and embraces their identity as a Two-Spirit member of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe (HPWT). Mehtugq draws inspiration and purpose from the deep connection to their lineage as a direct descendent of Sachem Quachattacett in the “royal” line of Monument Ponds/Herring Pond Wampanoags. Fueled by this ancestral connection, Mehtugq is motivated to channel their efforts with unwavering dedication towards the betterment of the HPWT. Click HERE for their full bio.

 

 

 

The Ninth Great Lot and the Six Ponds – Some Historical Notes

1889 USGS Map – Six Ponds Segment


Tuesday, March 26
7:00pm
With Sam Chapin
View the presentation HERE

Having spent many years in and around Long Pond listening to stories from his elders and currently residing in his grandparents’ house (who never threw anything away), Sam Chapin has a wealth of knowledge about the woods around Pinewoods Camp and life around Long Pond. Join us as he shares some stories, old photographs, and more.

Sam Chapin

Bio
Sam Chapin has been involved with Pinewoods Camp for many years in a variety of roles. He lives on Long Pond, where he spent summers as a child, the fourth generation of his family to do so. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for Wildlands Trust and is the local historian extraordinaire.

 

 

 

 

The Biodiversity and Conservation of Six Ponds
Tuesday, April 23
7:00pm
With Karen Grey, Chris Jacobs, Steve French, and Blake Dinius
View the presentation HERE.

A Green Heron Stalks it's Prey at the Edge of Round Pond

A Green Heron Stalks it’s Prey on the Edge of Round Pond. Photo Credit: Chris Jacobs

Karen Grey, president of Wildlands Trust, will introduce the history and ongoing conservation efforts in the Six Ponds area. Following her presentation, a panel of educator naturalists will discuss the region’s flora and fauna, natural history, and its unique habitats.

Bios
Blake Dinius has spent over 15 years in insect research and education. Currently, Blake serves as the entomologist educator for Plymouth County Extension. He has a lifetime love of insects, spiders, centipedes, and all things entomology-related.

Karen Grey is the President and Executive Director of Wildlands Trust, headquartered on Long Pond Road in Plymouth. Wildlands Trust is one of Massachusetts’s oldest and largest land trusts, ensuring the protection of nearly 14,000 acres of natural and agricultural lands. As Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, Karen thoroughly enjoys her perch at the intersection of amazing humans and beautiful land.

Chris Jacobs is the Executive Director of Pinewoods Camp. In addition, Chris is a curious naturalist with a particular affinity for native plants and aquatic macroinvertebrates. She serves as the Vice President of Wild Ones – South Shore, MA Chapter, which promotes the use of native plant in gardens and landscapes.

Steve French is a Field Teacher in the Southeast Region for Mass Audubon. Prior to working for Mass Audubon, Steve volunteered for the organization for over 10 years in many capacities including membership on the Sanctuary Advisory Committee.  He is a Mass Audubon Field Naturalist Certificate Program graduate and retired small business owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in Hanover. A graduate of Northeastern University with a background in Information Technology has been an active community member supporting conservation causes across South Shore.

Steve has been leading presentations, hikes, walks and excursions all over the Southeast utilizing his extensive knowledge of birds and regional history. His passions include nature, hiking and kayaking.

 

 

Lost and Found 2023 Season

September 16, 2023

Please let us know if any of these articles belong to you by emailing . Please include the session you attended, the item with description, and your contact information,

Please Note:

  • some items have already been claimed and picked up
  • items may not be pictured in the correct week if they were found later in the season
  • please consider making a donation if items are shipped back to you

2023 COVID Policies

May 30, 2023

With the advent of the 2023 camp season upon us, PCI would like to share our COVID policy and the rationale behind it with our community. Our priority as an organization is to keep everyone at Camp safe and healthy, and to strive to keep it open and running for all to enjoy. 

Rejuvenative time at Camp is perhaps even more important these days, given the various stresses and strains in our culture, and we want as many people as possible to benefit from the camaraderie of being there. 

It has become clear from past summers that any negative impacts on a session not only affect that current session, but have repercussions for subsequent sessions as well. We want to give everyone their best possible chance of attending and enjoying Camp this summer.

One unique aspect of Pinewoods is the engagement of our crew, paid and volunteer, with campers and programs throughout the summer. We are striving to balance the needs of our crew with those of our campers so that we can continue to keep Camp running and ensure that everyone has a positive camp experience. 

As a result, we are publishing the following updates to the COVID policy for attending Pinewoods this summer. We reserve the right to make changes to this policy during the summer in response to changing conditions. Our program providers may choose to apply their own additional guidelines that may be stricter than what we outline here and, if so, we will support their decisions. But at a minimum, to attend Camp, we require the following:

VACCINATIONS

All campers must provide proof of vaccination against COVID. This includes a minimum of the original vaccination series (two (2) Moderna, two (2) Pfizer, one (1) Johnson & Johnson, or two (2) AstraZeneca vaccine(s)) OR the bivalent booster. This includes all participants over 6 months of age.

TESTING

  • Campers and staff staying 4 days (3 nights) or longer will take a COVID test (rapid antigen or NAAT): 
  1. upon arrival at camp, 
  2. 24 hours after arriving at camp, and 
  3. 48 hours after arriving at camp.
  • For sessions lasting  less than 4 days (3 nights), campers will test twice: 
  1. upon arrival at camp, and
  2. 24 hours after arriving at camp.
  • We strongly encourage testing prior to arrival at camp, especially for those traveling long distances. 

MASKING:

  • We require all campers and staff to wear high filtration masks indoors, which also includes dance pavilions, for the first 24 hours at Camp. After 24 hours have passed and there have been no reported cases of positive COVID tests, masks will become optional, but encouraged. 

PRIOR TO COMING TO CAMP

  • By attending Camp, campers and program providers attest to the following points on the PCI Attestation. Anyone not able to say “yes” to each point should not attend Camp.
  • In the week prior to arriving at Pinewoods, we kindly ask incoming campers and Program Provider staff to wear high-filtration masks in indoor public areas and in gatherings with any people who aren’t in their households. 

We hope these measures will allow everyone to enjoy their time at Pinewoods this summer while feeling safe and staying healthy.

Pinewoods Camp, Inc. Board of Directors

2023 Work Weekends

May 8, 2023

Pinewoods Work Weekends provide an opportunity to assist in helping to open Camp; cleaning the cabins and pavilions and clearing the trails. Volunteers with a will to work are welcome; no special skills are required!

Housing and delicious camp meals are provided and evening activities vary, initiated by those attending, and often include board games, story telling, and jamming.

Please register at least three days in advance. Children ages 12+ are welcome. If you are interesting in bringing a child under the age of 12, please send an email to Chris Jacobs, Executive Director, at executivedirector@pinewoods.org

2023 Opening Work Weekends

Saturday – Sunday, May 20 & 21

Saturday – Monday, May 27 – 29

Save the Date – Fall Work Weekend

Saturday – Sunday, September 9 & 10

New Names for Two Pavilions

February 7, 2023

Happy New Year Pinewoods Community,

The final stage of a two-year journey is at an end. We are pleased to announce the new names for our dance pavilions originally named C# and C# minor. 

Thank you to everyone who suggested names and participated in this renaming process. Your input and ideas inspired the Pinewoods board members throughout this process.

“Hands Across” is the new name for the pavilion set in a grove of trees down past the vernal pool behind the Pinewoods Camp office. Hands Across refers to the many ways dancers from different traditions reach out to other dancers; the ways singers sometimes join hands connecting everyone in a ring; the way Pinewoods participants—campers, Program Provider staff, teachers, musicians, faculty, performers, and Pinewoods staff and crew—come together and join their hands across generations; and how the pavilion itself holds all these various people across traditions and over time, through the past, present, and future.

“Pine Hollow” is the new name for the smaller pavilion beside the road between the camp entrance and the Camphouse, at the bottom of the path from the Bampton-in-the-Bush cabins. Geographically, a hollow is a small, sheltered place. It is also, like the hollow in the palm of your hand, a place that can hold. This pavilion holds music, dance, song, stories, laughter, memories, people, passing birds and animals, wind and sounds in all seasons.

Hands Across and Pine Hollow will be featured on new signs and maps. Program Providers and their staff are asked to use the new names in all written communications and printed schedules, and to make an effort in spoken announcements. Children and newcomers will find it easy.  We recognize that it may take the rest of us time to adjust to this change. We ask that everyone be patient and respectful with each other as we learn to use the new names.

The names C# and C# minor will always be important parts of Pinewoods’ history. Details for where and how we share the history at Camp are part of the ongoing work of the board. We expect to have some sort of display completed by our Centennial in 2025. 

The Pinewoods Camp Board of Directors look forward to the 2023 season and hope to see you there.

Pinewoods Camp, Inc. Board of Directors

The Secret Life of Pinewoods’ Pianos

November 17, 2022

by Eileen Cecelia Callahan

The pianos of Pinewoods Camp live a unique life. The usual habitat for a piano is a parlor or living room in a private home, a community hall, or perhaps a church sanctuary or concert hall. In all these places, they are sheltered from the elements and may even enjoy air conditioning in the summer.  Pinewoods pianos, on the other hand, spend their summers essentially out of doors in the woods, and spend the winter tucked up in the camphouse or in Pinecones, stuffed with mothballs (to deter mice from nesting in them) and listening to the wind blowing through the pines. 

Have you ever wondered why the acoustic pianos at Camp have signs on them that read “Please do not unplug the piano?” It’s because the pianos have dehumidifier rods in them valiantly trying to counter the effects of the local microclimate, formed in a pine forest between two ponds, on the wooden mechanisms inside the piano cabinet.

The “uncontrolled environment” at Camp means that, despite the dehumidifier rods, our pianos require the frequent attention of a piano technician both to keep them in tune and to make repairs. Furthermore, the piano in the C# dance pavilion is played many hours each day—probably only a piano in a conservatory practice room gets as much use – and so the cycle of normal wear and tear is accelerated. 

Pianos in a private home might go years between tunings but the Pinewoods pianos get tuned at least once per week during the summer. The pianos in the C# and C# minor bandshells also get moved to the camphouse in the fall and then back to the bandshells in the late spring. 

Over the years since Pinewoods’ incorporation in 1975, our pianos have been well looked after by four different technicians. Here’s a little bit about them.

John Kelsey

John was a work weekend regular from the 1970s into the 2000s. In addition to being a trained piano technician, he was also an ethnomusicologist trained at Wesleyan, who learned to pilot a small plane in order to carry out his fieldwork in Papua New Guinea. It’s not clear how he got connected to camp—I don’t believe he was a dancer. Jacqueline Schwab, camp manager in the 1980s, thinks he may have known Gerda from the days when the Conants lived in Hartford. 

Louis Gentile

Louis Gentile, of Quincy, MA, has been moving Pinewoods’ pianos faithfully every fall and spring since at least the 1980s. Also a piano technician, he specializes in restoration of player pianos.  

Louis says the Pinewoods moves are a marker for him of the change of seasons. He comes with a small Toyota pickup truck with a lift on the back and a couple of dollies, and moves the two uprights from C# and C# minor in hardly any time. He often comes with an assistant, but I know for a fact that he has done the job alone on at least one occasion. The right tools can make just about any job easy! 

Louis thinks he got connected to Camp because he moved a piano for Jacqueline Schwab when she lived in Cambridge. His memory is uncertain, but in addition to moving the pianos twice a year, he may have also tuned them for a time in the late 70s and early 80s.  

Ann Dietlin 

Louis Gentile and assistant moving piano in 2022
Photo by Chris Jacobs

Ann began tuning for us in the early 1980s. She and Louis were mentored by the same older piano technician, and Louis is likely to have referred her to us.

Ann was our most local tuner, having gone to high school in Plymouth. She later lived in Carver and Middleboro and had a career as a church musician. 

Sadly, Ann died suddenly in March of 2000. We were naturally quite anxious about finding another tuner in time for the camp season. It was a great relief when Chris Brown, who had substituted for her numerous times when she attended an annual church musicians’ conference, agreed to drive down from Cambridge for a regular tuning gig. 

Chris Brown 

Chris Brown, a technician and concert pianist, began tuning at Pinewoods regularly in the summer of 2000 and continued through 2019. 

There was no piano tuning, alas, in 2020, as Pinewoods was closed because of the COVID pandemic. PCI Executive Director at the time, Carl Mastandrea, realized that Chris was likely to have been hit hard financially by the loss of the work, as were many musicians and other gig workers affected by the pandemic shut down. In response, Carl offered to teach an online photography class for the Pinewoods Community.  He requested donations for the class, a portion of which would be given to Chris. In the end, Carl was able to send Chris $1,000, and reported that Chris was incredibly touched at the generosity of Pinewoods campers, most of whom he had never met. 

Tragically, Chris was killed in a car accident in the fall of 2020. 

Louis Gentile tuning the Pinecones piano, July 2022
Photo by Chris Jacobs

Louis Gentile Redux

Seeking a recommendation for a new tuner, we contacted Louis Gentile.  Bringing things full circle, Louis offered to add the summer tuning to his piano moving responsibilities.  

Louis starts work very early in the morning, and on tuning days he can often be found in his truck in the Pinecones parking lot, having finished turning all the other pianos and waiting patiently for the 5-minute breakfast bell to ring. He has adopted this as the signal for when it is “safe” to start tuning the piano in the Pinecones living room – if anyone is still sleeping, he’ll just be helping them not to miss breakfast!

The sounds of the pianos being tuned were always a soothing background to changeover days for me in my years as manager and Executive Director (1994 – 2002). I hope that those campers who read this will take a moment, when next they are dancing to music played on one of our trusty pianos, to reflect on the faithful behind-the-scenes work that keeps our pianos, under less than ideal conditions, always ready to produce beautiful music under the skilled hands of our community’s fine pianists. 

Pinewoods Covid Update

June 30, 2022

Dear Pinewoods Camp Community:

As you may have heard, we have had an outbreak of COVID-19 among dancers at Folk Days and among our crew. We, unfortunately, had to end Folk Days a day early, and CDS-Boston Centre decided to cancel the July 4 weekend session.

This is naturally an unfortunate turn of events, and we understand this might be causing anxiety for community members. We want to assure you that we are taking the following steps to mitigate risk and allow Camp to reopen as safely as possible for all future sessions:

  • We have had PCR tests administered for all crew, and those individuals that were negative will test again on Saturday, before the next camp session (ESCape) starts.
  • We have temporarily implemented an N95 mask policy for all crew.
  • We use Force of Nature, an EPA-registered hospital-grade sanitizer, to disinfect surfaces.
  • We are working with Program Providers to move more activities outdoors.
  • We will be installing a tent in the clearing outside the Dining Hall so we can move tables outdoors to reduce crowding during meals and provide a sheltered area for other activities.
  • We will continue our program of regular antigen testing for the crew.
  • We are temporarily minimizing interactions between crew and campers to ensure infection does not spread from crew to campers and vice versa.
  • We will be implementing heightened testing requirements for entrance to Camp.
  • We will be asking campers to sign a Covid attestation, which we are currently developing.

We are taking this situation very seriously and are putting these measures in place to address our current outbreak and avoid future outbreaks. We may also implement additional measures before camp restarts as well as over the course of the summer.

This week has required tough decisions and intensive work for Pinewoods and our Program Providers. We ask for your patience as we navigate the changes we need to make. We know you will have additional questions and we will address them when we can. Please address questions to Chris Jacobs at .

We thank our entire camp community for working together to keep everyone as safe as possible so we can continue to celebrate the magic of Pinewoods this summer.

We look forward to welcoming you to Camp and sharing dance and music with you under the pines!

Pinewoods Camp, Inc. Executive Committee
July 1, 2022

Long Pond at Sunset
Photo Credit: Emilie Moore