RainyCamp 2018 Registration is open

rainy-camp-logo-horz3 Ravensdale, WA January 26-28, 2018

RainyCamp Online Registration is open. This camp runs Friday through Sunday and features huge sing-alongs, workshops, a concert and an auction.

Food is catered by the chef at Lake Retreat, and includes a salad bar with Lunch and Dinner.  Workshop spaces are well appointed. We are planning a Digital Studio in a cozy space that seats around a dozen.

Accommodations are rooms containing 2-8 bunk beds and many rooms also have at least one double or queen bed. Most rooms have private bathrooms and showers.  Rooms are heated and number of them have views over the scenic lake.

The weekend begins with a huge song circle and continues with sing-alongs, jams and workshops varying from foreign to funny to maritime.  Costs begin for early member adults at $135 and up.  There are discounts for youth.  For more information, visit the RainyCamp.org web site or email us  or call 7×24 the message line 425-998-6134 and we’ll call you back.

Rainy Camp: A First-Timer’s Impressions

By Jennifer White

It went on, I later discovered, for an hour and a half. It began after the Saturday night participants’ concert, spontaneously, in a corner of the lodge-a handful of people and a guitar or two, singing one song that somehow became another. When I walked over to join in, it had become “Freight Train,” then a spiritual, then “This Land is Your Land,” and the game soon became clear: keep it going with no breaks, same chords, different songs. Before I left to check out the Celtic jam in the Longhouse, the group in the corner had swelled to at least twenty people, another guitar or two, a fiddle, and some richly resonant harmonies.

I came to the west coast trolling for new experiences, and Rainy Camp was certainly a new experience. The weekend (February 9-11) was the grand finale to a six-week internship at the Seattle Folklore Society. As I’m from New York, I didn’t expect to know anyone at a three-day folk song camp in Carnation, Washington-and I didn’t. In the end, it didn’t matter. I learned the songs as I went along, tried to sit with someone different at every meal, and went to every workshop I could (seven in all). The range of material was impressive (sea songs, storytelling, music from several different cultures and time periods…the list goes on), and the participants were a rich resource in themselves. On the ride back, I asked Bruce Baker how many songs he estimated the group knew in all, between all the participants. He shrugged. “Thousands.”

How can I describe Rainy Camp? I attempted it in my journal. Simultaneously restful and exciting. Entertaining. Beautiful. Heartening-because there really is no other word for seventy or eighty people in one wide, wood-walled room, harmonizing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” (my choice at the giant Friday night song circle). I can’t recommend it highly enough. Considering the impressive knowledge, talent and skill of many of the Rainy Camp attendees, it should have been a least a little intimidating-but it wasn’t. It was a complete immersion in music, and for someone who is new to music of the traditional kind, it was remarkably free of new-kid anxiety. I toted my viola along, and when I finally got up the courage to take it out and really use it-at that Celtic jam mentioned earlier-I was doing more playing than worrying. As for the rain, I don’t think it came; but if it did, I don’t remember.

I was inside, singing.