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NGI Recipient: Margaret Youngberg

Session Attended: CDS Boston Centre - July 4th Weekend (2015)

What an experience!

In many ways, I suppose I was a contradictory choice for an NGI scholarship – I am already a leader in some of my communities, and I worked at Pinewoods for four summers. But, I had never fully attended a camp session until this July 4th, which I wouldn’t have been able to do without the benefit of the NGI scholarship, and what a difference it made.

It took me no time at all to figure out what my NGI experience was going to be: I wanted to strengthen my community ties, especially in an intergenerational capacity. However, figuring out how to do this took a little bit more time! I found myself putting a lot of social energy into the evening dances – I showed up on time, danced with my peer group, my friends, strangers, and folks I had passing knowledge of. I spent time with crew. I sat with many different people at meals, some new friends and some old. I hosted a cocktail party with my cohort. I found myself wanting more time to meet more people…

Additionally, I’m finding that my four-year absence from being at camp has provided me with an excellent space for reflection on what role Pinewoods might serve among folks in my generation, especially in regards to morris dancing. We’re no longer in the time where a small number of people have knowledge to disseminate among folks, which worked well at camp; what teaching formats work well for this time and space now? I obviously don’t have the answers, but I’m enjoying pondering.

I wish I had words to express the many small difficulties I encountered transitioning from working on crew to being a full-fledged camper. They were legion, and they were stressful. I want any former crew member who finds going through a similar transition who might be reading this letter to feel free to approach me to talk about this!

With best wishes and gratitude.