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NGI Recipient: Echo Lustig

Session Attended: Country Dance and Song Society - Harmony of Song & Dance; English Dance Week (2021)

Though many weeks have passed since the end of Harmony and English Weeks at Pinewoods, I am still living in the many joyful memories that those weeks in July and August created. After the beginning of my summer didn’t go as planned, the scholarships that made it possible for me to attend Pinewoods really changed the trajectory of the summer.
The night before Harmony week began, my family’s car broke down. My parents started to panic that I wouldn’t be able to get to camp, but I had faith in our community and calmly started sending texts. Sure enough, without any trouble, I was able to find someone willing to pick me up from the bus station near camp. Usually I’m the anxious one, so my calmness was meaningful. I trusted the Pinewoods community, and my trust only grew stronger in the next two weeks I was at camp.
I have fond memories of working with a group of campers to write a terrible contra dance in one workshop. I learned songs in the Community Singing workshop that I have already taught. Having the opportunity to start to write a brand new morris dance and workshop my contra calling and all the other things I got to do at camp was something I desperately needed at this point in the pandemic. My room in my apartment is covered in pictures from camp and my heart is full of the memories.
Right after camp I went to school, where I went on a transfer student orientation program backpacking and rock climbing. A special moment on this trip was feeling compelled to teach a song I had learned at camp one night. After I taught a song around the campfire, something that I am not too comfortable doing, another participant decided to teach a song. If there was something to take from the Pinewoods experience, I think it happened in that moment. Something I learned at camp inspired someone else. Being able to be at Pinewoods this summer was so special. Thank you for making it possible.