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NGI Recipient: Becky Schwartz

Session Attended: Royal Scottish Country Dance Society - Scottish Session I (2013)

NGI Scholarship Reflection

            I remember when I first heard about Pinewoods. It was a little bit after I’d been dancing for one year. During a dance class, my friend Molly came up to me at warm-ups and starting talking about the camp. “Becky, there’s this great Scottish Country Dance camp called Pinewoods that you have to go to sometime,” she began. “There’s great classes, dancing, and music. People dance until the wee hours of the morning. A bagpiper even wakes you up every morning!” I was intrigued. “What it like to have a bagpiper wake you up?” I thought. At the time, I lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Massachusetts seemed very far away.

Fast-forward one year and I’m living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have one more year of dancing experience and Massachusetts is looking much closer than it used to. I figure I’d better go to Pinewoods after all the good things I’d heard from dancers in Ann Arbor and Philly.

After months of getting blank stares from family, friends, and coworkers when I told them I was going to a Scottish Country Dance camp, I finally arrived on the train at Boston’s South Station. Emily and Dirk kindly picked me up and we were on our way to Pinewoods. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I wasn’t sure what to expect as this would be my first time there.

We arrived right as the dinner bell rang and scrambled into the dining hall. After dinner, I met up with my roommate and friend from Philly, Olivia. She gave me a lovely tour, told me the rules, and whispered the secrets of camp. Before I knew it, it was time to get ready for that evening’s social dance, which was a blast.

The rest of camp went something like this: lots of dancing, classes, swimming, canoeing, partying, and a selection of naps. I loved the dance instructors! The teachers’ enthusiasm and passion was contagious. The incredible music made my feet dance even when they were tired. The people at Pinewoods! These were the nicest, most excited dancers I have danced with. If I got lost in a dance or on the trail back to my cabin, people were happy to point me in the right direction.

Pinewoods is its own place on its own time. The last night of camp, I took a break during the social dance and walked over to the camp office to rest. I sat down on a chair and listed. The music, dancing, and cheering coming from C# embraced and welcomed me into the family.

Thank you again for welcoming me to Pinewoods! I had an incredible time and look forward to coming back next year!