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NGI Recipient: Eric McDonald

Session Attended: CDS Boston Centre - July 4th Weekend (2007)

I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to attend July 4th weekend at Pinewoods Camp! I’ve considered myself a “folkie” for about a year, now. Although primarily a musician, I started contra dancing last summer. Since then I’ve also picked up Morris and Rapper. It was amazing to find a place where all these things and MORE were right at my fingertips. Mix that with the best company you could want, lots of parties, singing, good food, and you have the way to live. Everything I needed or wanted was at my fingertips. I was housed, fed, taught and entertained!
My only regret was that I could not stay forever.

Something about Pinewoods separated it from similar events I’ve been to. Part of it was the unforgettable environment. I will always remember sitting on the dock with friends and reveling in the beauty of nature and the wonderful things happening all around me. Pinewoods centered me. It made me feel content with my life and who I am. I made friends, I got to know old ones better, and I feel that I took away from camp memories that will stay with me and help me in the future. I felt welcomed by the enthusiasm of long-­?time campers to get me involved; to mentor me and get me dancing and playing as much as possible! I woke every day, and jumped right into learning. With the help of Pinewoods teachers, I expanded greatly on my skills in rapper and Morris, learning a creative approach to rapper (slip jig) and an original Morris tradition. I was introduced to English country dancing for the first time at Pinewoods. I was able to really get a feel for it, dancing to the best calling around.

There was a whole contingency of folks my age. Some have been coming for as long as they can remember, others only the last few years, or like myself, for the first time. But every one of us was given special attention. We were being shown the ropes, so to speak, so that this community and this camp, this haven, will continue through the next generation. I felt a part of that contingency, and I mean to stay with it. I mean to come back every year possible for the rest of my life. Next year, though, I’ll be washing dishes!

I’m really grateful that I got to have this experience and I really hope I’ll be able to return to July Fourth Weekend in future years.