A week of Scandinavian culture at the music and dance camp in northern California, this year to be held June 11-18, 2011.
Mendocino Scandinavian Music and Dance Camp, located at an historic site in the redwoods, has been a tradition for more than 30 years. Campers stay in rustic cabins and enjoy activities in the lounge, dining and dance halls. Wonderful meals are served, many with a Nordic flavor.
Daily music lessons are led by teachers from Sweden, Norway and the U.S. Fiddle, Hardanger fiddle, nyckelharpa and accordion are among the instruments taught. Each teacher is featured in a “mini-concert” during the week, before or after dinner, in the dining hall and The Linscott Dance Hall. The Linscott family has been very active here and in the dance community. Thanks to the generosity of many donors, the camp recently received a new dance floor which is enjoyed by the Scandinavian dancers as well as all the other music, dance and folklore camps that use this facility. Dance teachers hold classes in Swedish and Norwegian dancing each day, and each night dancing and music from different regions is featured. The dancers and musicians come from all over the San Francisco Bay area, Southern California, Washington, Colorado, Sweden and Norway. There have also been campers here from Japan.
There are also presentations of different cultural, historical and arts from Scandinavia, including singing, baking, language and fiber arts. One of the younger campers I met has been a member of the VASA Lodge, www.vasaorder.com, in Southern California, and her VASA Youth folk dance group has toured Sweden twice. Many of the participants are active in their local music and dance groups throughout the year such as: www.norcalspelmanslag.org, www.skandia-folkdance.org (Seattle), and www.ngls.net (Norwegian) and some also participate in a camp on the east coast, www.nordicfiddlesandfeet.org, which will be held in New Hampshire this year.
At Scandia Camp Mendocino, one evening a fun auction is held to help raise funds to continue the camp. There is also a banquet where many of the campers wear traditional folk costumes, and the musicians lead the group to a candlelight dinner with a promenade featuring traditional music.
There have also been traditional weddings performed at camp.
This is a wonderful international program representing diplomacy in action. Many of the campers form lasting friendships here, and there are many links built between this country and Sweden and Norway. In these difficult economic times, many people find they are not able to take a vacation away from home, and the “stay-cation” is becoming popular. Attending this camp is an ideal way to meet and get to know people from around the globe, and for many it is right in your own back yard.
If you are interested in finding out more, see www.scandiacampmendocino.org. Last year about 100 people attended the week-long Scandia Camp. Perhaps you would like to join this year!
Submitted by Laurel Paulson-Pierce, Scandia camper, nyckelharpa player and VASA Lodge member