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Trad Camp

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Young Tradition Vermont Trad Camp 2020 was held as a series of online workshops (instead of at the Lake Champlain Waldorf High School in Shelburne, Vermont), due to safety concerns about Covid-19. Workshops ran each day July 27-31, 2020. (workshops are available by clicking on the “Trad Camp Online 2020” tab above).  Core instructors invited to 2020 Trad Camp included Pete Sutherland, Brian Perkins, Oliver Scanlon, Annika Amstutz, Sam Bartlett, and Ada Schenk. Special guests and part week instructors included Heidi Wilson, Romy Munkres, Anita MacDonald, and more.

Trad Camp is a concentrated opportunity to be inspired by, learn about and perform tunes, songs, and dances in a variety of traditional styles. Age range is 7 or 8 through early teens. Campers participate in several group sessions each day with a variety of core staff and guest instructors. Sessions include beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Instructors are among the best and most respected musicians and teachers in the region, and a few from other parts of the world. The camp meets from 9am and 3pm each day and opportunities for late afternoon/evening and post-camp showcases and performances, including a Friday afternoon showcase featuring instructors, students, and guests for friends, families, neighbors and anyone else who wants to attend.

You can also sign up for an e-mail mailing list for Trad Camp by sending a request to Trad Camp Manager Yasi Zeichner at or Young Tradition Vermont Executive Director Mark Sustic at

Note: If you are interested in Trad Camp, but location or dates present a challenge, there is often a similar camp in central Vermont, presented by the Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture. Visit their website for details:


An example of the daily schedule from 2019:






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Trad Camp 2020 – Virtual Workshops

We asked each of our core instructors for 2020 to make some fun workshop videos for all who are missed in-person camp! Here, you will find workshop videos teaching tunes on fiddle and mandolin (but you can follow along on any instrument if you know your notes!), some chords and a fun song with body percussion, percussive dance steps (so you can dance to music at home!), and cool harmonies and rhythm syncopation.

There are also some videos from past years of Trad Camp, from some guests who visited and taught dances and songs.

Videos are arranged by instructor. Some videos were only available until September and have been taken down.

We still paid core instructors in 2020, and any donations you can send this way will help! We suggest $5 per 1 hour session – do what you can, and we’ll do the same! You can do that via or send it to us at PO Box 163, Fairfax 05454, or scan this code with your phone:


Videos from 2020 Core Instructors

Ada Schenck

Easy Cape Breton fiddle tune:

Advanced Cape Breton fiddle tune:

Intro to Cape Breton step dance:

Cape Breton Dance part two:


Annika Amstutz

Bonnie Tammie – For people who have held a fiddle before, but may not know many tunes:

Intro to Ukulele – A basic and speedy intro to playing uke:

Off She Goes – An intermediate jig, with a bunch of fiddle and some multi-instrumental tips packed in too:

Fine Times at Our House – A funky and slightly more challenging (though not too hard) old-time tune. Lots of tips and techniques that can be applied elsewhere included in the video:


Brian Perkins

Two Chord Spectacular:

The Other Day I Met a Bear (part 1) – with guest appearance from former camper and youth leader Ella Staats!:

The Other Day I Met a Bear (part 2):

Linkum Doddie:


Sam Bartlett

Party Tunes – My Baby Loves the Schottisch and the Party Tune:

Dorky Jigs: Dungannon Sweetheart & Little Burnt Potato:

Clog de Parizo:

The Newmarket Polka:


Pete Sutherland

Syncopation for Fiddlers! How to Dance with the Beat (guest Tristan Henderson!):

Pete and Zach Mills play some tunes and chat:

Pete and Oliver together!


Fiddle backup workshop:



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Trad Camp is great fun, but it’s important to keep playing/singing/dancing the rest of the year, and there are some great opportunities in our area!


Many of our instructors offer lessons throughout the year.  Young Tradition Vermont maintains a directory of teachers of traditional music.  You can use the information listed there to get in touch with a new instructor.


There are contradances throughout the state, and anyone is welcome to join in.  Mad Robin Callers and Queen City Contras in the Burlington area are frequented by some of the same organizers and instructors seen at Trad Camp.  You can use this link to find a dance near you.


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We are joined by amazing instructors, some returning and some new, some local, and some from further afield, some for the entire week, and some for parts of one or more days.

Here is some information about the Trad Camp core instructor role:

Core instructors teach at camp all week, and are usually folks that have come year after year and have settled into filling particular roles that balance what the others bring. We usually go to them first year after year, then fill in as needed if someone needs to rotate out, which hasn’t happened much.  These core instructors don’t just show up on Monday and leave after the last event on Friday during Trad Camp week….. they also help recruit campers and help with the evening events during Trad Camp week.

The folks who teach at Trad Camp teach privately or otherwise, and most are local or easy to connect with electronically so that campers have options to go to them after camp if interested in taking lessons to get deeper into the music or dance. They usually teach a variety of instruments, from a variety of genres, from beginner to intermediate, and can teach some kind of movement/dance associated with the music; or can teach singing (including harmony), and can combine instrumental, movement/dance and singing into something that works for groups during camp.

We also rely heavily on folks who are teaching to be ambassadors and recruiters for the camp, encouraging potential campers from the students they teach, interact with, and spend time with. We have gravitated toward having folks who are linked with other parts of what YTV does, and thus cross-connect Trad Camp with other programs – Fiddleheads, Touring Group, Young Tradition Festival (including the contest and the mentor-student showcase), instrument petting zoo, instrument loan program, etc. We also try to work in “legacy campers” as instructors: older teens and young adults who have been attending Trad Camp for years, and have had experience as youth leaders/assistants at camp, or as members in the Touring Group, etc., and are now able and interested in teaching. This is part of an attempt to create more teachers, leaders, managers from those who have had the experience of being involved in Trad Camp over previous years.

2020 Core Staff

More bios coming soon!

Pete Sutherland is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Known for his fiery fiddle tunes and his wonderful teaching, Pete has been on staff at dance and music camps from coast to coast. He is a veteran of many touring and recording groups including Metamora, Rhythm in Shoes, The Woodshed Allstars (among others) and is a founding member of The Clayfoot Strutters. His latest ensemble is the multi-generational trio Pete’s Posse. Pete has been both teacher and mentor to many young musicians, and we’re delighted that he will teach a variety of fiddle classes and do some singing with us at Trad Camp this summer.

Brian Perkins is a performing musician and music educator. As the beneficiary of a strong public school music education program he is determined to return the favor by helping youth and adults express themselves and their shared culture though music. He teaches traditional New England and American folk song and accompaniment on a variety of stringed instruments. He also specializes in traditional New England dance tune performance on mandolin and trumpet. This summer at Trad Camp he’ll teach the beginner ukulele class in addition to sharing accompaniment techniques with all kinds of string players and singing and jamming with everyone!

Oliver Scanlon had early training in viola which led him to a stint with the Vermont Youth Orchestra, and as a fiddler, mandolinist and tunesmith he was introduced to his mentor Pete and the parallel universe of fiddle music at the age of nine. His enthusiasm led him to seek out further learning and performing opportunities through Mark Sustic’s “Fiddleheads” program, and to begin attending music camps where he has studied various styles with Alan Jabbour, Kimberley Fraser, Eric Favreau and other master fiddlers. In 2008, Oliver and few talented middle school friends formed the group which became The Irregulars, a six piece outfit that has played scored of local dances and festivals. In 2013 he both co-founded Pete’s Posse and became the youngest member of Pete’s long running dance band The Clayfoot Strutters.  He has a solo CD ‘The Pond Jam’ and is featured as a musician, singer and composer on CDs by Pete’s Posse.

Annika Amstutz started playing piano when she was six, and after a year surprised her parents by requesting to switch to the fiddle.  Since then she’s continued playing piano, worked on guitar and mandolin, fallen in love with cello for several years, explored ukulele and penny whistle, and dabbled with a few other instruments; however, fiddle has always brought the most joy to her heart.

Annika grew up attending camps and workshops and taking the occasional lesson from a variety of far flung fiddlers. As a result, she loves playing a variety of styles, and occasionally Irish ornamentation leaks into her Bluegrass licks. After graduating with a degree in Education and Psychology, she taught Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, and 4th grades before turning her attention more fully to music and private lessons. She draws heavily on my experience as a classroom teacher in teaching fiddle and differentiate her instruction to meet the needs of her students. In addition to teaching private lessons to students of all ages, Annika is also a Director of the Fiddle Orchestra of Western Massachusetts and regularly plays with a variety of bands throughout the valley. When not playing or teaching fiddle she is most likely knitting, skiing, wishing it was snowing, or chasing her backyard chickens.

Ada Schenk is a young fiddler, banjo player, and dancer from central Vermont. She grew up participating in a variety of Young Tradition Vermont programs, including showcases, the concert, and the Touring Group. Last year she was a guest teacher at Trad Camp, and is trilled to be on board for the full week this year, teaching and working alongside several of her longtime mentors. Ada plays mainly Cape Breton style fiddle, but has exposure and interest in many traditions, and enjoys sharing tunes and dances with students of all ages. Currently based in Boston, she is a violin-making student at the North Bennet Street School, where she takes pride in testing new instruments with the finest trad tunes!

Sam Bartlett is a traditional musician known throughout the United States contra dance circuit for his mandolin, banjo, and guitar playing as well as his original music. His compositions have been profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered and his playing has been featured on the Thistle & Shamrock, and in two Ken Burns documentaries, Prohibition and The Dust Bowl. As a native Vermonter, Sam grew up going to contra dances and has been a member of a broad swath of well-known ensembles: Wild Asparagus, the Clayfoot Strutters, Reckless Ramblers, Notorious, the Sevens, and Rodney Miller’s Stringrays. Sam has also performed and recorded with a virtual who’s who of old-time musicians, among them: Garry Harrison, Brad Leftwich, Paul Brown, Rafe Stefanini, Pete Sutherland, Dirk Powell, and Rick Good.

When not doing music, Sam is a performer, writer, and illustrator of Stuntology (those kind of dumb but hilarious maneuvers humans do when avoiding boredom…) He is the author of The Best of Stuntology (Workman, 2008) which is sold internationally and 
translated into Finnish and German. As an artist, Sam has for the past 20 years played a role in the resurgent interest in the 19th century entertainment form, the moving panorama, or “crankie show.”

“I only wish I’d been given his book when I was nine.” -Ira Glass, Host of PRI’s This American Life.





2019 Performers/Instructors

Jane Oxnard (core instructor, 2019) is a fiddler, singer and dancer from Northumberland in England.  She has been a member of several trad ensembles there including the Sage Gateshead’s Folkestra and the Northumbrian Ranters, made up of talented young traditional musicians from across Northumberland.  In 2012, Jane and her sister Ailsa traveled to Burlington with the Northumbrian Ranters, and 2 years later, the Ranters hosted the Young Tradition Touring Group in England. She returned to Vermont 3 years ago to teach at Trad Camp and perform at Deb Flanders’ annual summer concert in East Calais.  She has had the opportunity to meet and perform with musicians from around the world, and grew up in a strong Scottish tradition of the border counties, which heavily influences her playing, singing and dancing.

Sarah Hotchkiss (core instructor, 2019) is a Vermont fiddler and banjo player who has been teaching in Northern Vermont for over two decades. Much of this time she spent teaching strings in private and public schools, and directing the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra as well as leading numerous camps, workshops and events for fiddlers and folk musicians throughout the state. She now devotes herself to her Woodbury Strings Studio and is a regular on the faculty at Northeast Heritage Music Camp. Sarah has special training working with young children: her gentle and patient approach has made her an ideal instructor for beginning and intermediate students. Sarah will teach beginner fiddle at Trad Camp and will help our youngest campers and newest fiddlers find joy in their instruments.

Jeremiah McLane (core instructor, 2019) is a composer, accordionist, pianist and educator with a diverse musical background including blues, jazz, Celtic, Québécois, French and other roots influenced music. He is the founder and director of the Floating Bridge Music School and has served on the faculties of the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, the Summit School for Traditional Music in Montpelier, and at the Upper Valley Music Center in Lebanon, NH. He also teaches regularly at summer music programs throughout the United States including Ashokan, Centrum’s American Festival of Fiddle Tunes, Swananoah, Maine Fiddle Camp, Acadia Trad Festival, Lark in the Morning, John C. Campbell Folk School, Pinewoods, Bay Area CDSS Camps, and many others. In 2016, Montpelier Times-Argus music critic Art Edelstein named Jeremiah musician of the year, citing his contributions in teaching, recording and performing is his various configurations. Since 1990 Jeremiah has released over thirty-five recordings, includingThe Wind Among the Reeds with bagpiper Timothy Cummings, which won the Montpelier’s Times-Argus Vermont album of the year award for 2016.

Anna Butcher (core instructor, 2019) is a longtime camper and youth leader at Trad Camp, and we’re excited to welcome her back to camp this year as an instructor! Anna is a fiddler and singer just out of high school from Stamford, Vermont. She has attended every Trad Camp since it first began and has been involved with the YTV community for over eight years. Anna has participated in the YTV Touring Group for both the Cape Breton and Scotland tours.  Her style of music has been heavily influenced by fellow instructors Pete Sutherland and Oliver Scanlon.

Village Harmony (Monday guest) is an umbrella organization for various singing camps and activities. A group of teens from a touring summer camp group, led by Heidi Wilson, Avery Book, and Gideon Crevoshay, will visit Trad Camp 2019 to share repertoire which will include thrilling harmony-singing traditions from around the world: traditional and contemporary American shape note pieces; Georgian, Corsican and Sardinian traditional songs; social movement songs; and some of Heidi’s original pieces.

For more information on the visiting group, visit:

Benedict Koehler and Hilari Farrington (Tuesday guests) are known across North America as teachers, and when pressed, performers of Irish traditional music.Founders of the Vermont School of Irish Traditional Music, this couple has helped to create a vibrant Vermont Irish music scene where tunes are played in the older traditional styles. Over the years, and partly as as a result of Benedict’s work as a maker of uilleann pipes, their home in the hills of East Montpelier has welcomed hundreds of Irish musicians of all ages, with many a tune played around the kitchen table.

In their spare time they tend the wood stove in the winter, grow vegetables in the summer, and herd cats throughout the year.

Joanne Garton (Wednesday guest) fuels her music with her love of dance, mixing her pervasive passion for Scottish culture with the drive and rhythms of the New England dance floor. Ten musical years in Montreal and two in Scotland provided ample influence and inspiration. Now a resident of Montpelier, Vermont, Joanne plays in sessions, teaches music and dance to kids and adults, performs on stage with The Turning Stile, and of course, steps out on the dance floor. When not playing the fiddle, or even while playing the fiddle, Joanne works as a geologist, graduate student, and mother.



Moira Smiley (Thursday guest) is a Singer / Composer who creates and performs new work for voices.  A musical polyglot, and vocal shape-shifter, her voice – and composing – are heard on feature films, BBC & PBS television programs, NPR, and on more than 60 albums. She accompanies herself with banjo, accordion, piano and percussive movement, and when she’s not leading her own group, moira smiley & VOCO, Moira has toured with Indie artist tUnE-yArDs, Irish super-group, Solas, The Lomax Project and Billy Childs’ “Laura Nyro Re-Imagined”.  She’s also toured with Paul Hillier’s Theater of Voices and KITKA.  Recent solo performances include TED, Stravinsky’s ‘Les Noces’, the London Proms Festival, features on BBC Radio3, and ABC Australia’s Books & Artsprograms. She is a well-known choral composer (recent commissions included for Los Angeles Master Chorale) and arranger, with millions of singers around the world singing her works. In 2018, she released a solo album and choral songbook called ‘Unzip The Horizon’.

Jeh Kulu

Jeh Kulu (Friday guest) is a talented ensemble that offers exciting, high-energy performances that give a taste of the vibrant culture. Through music and dance, people of all ages and abilities can experience a taste of West African culture. Dance and music are part of daily life there, used to celebrate birth, death, marriage, the harvest and other rites of passage. In Jeh Kulu’s performances, they seek to re-create this community experience and foster insight into a different and fascinating culture. Following the African tradition of participation, Jeh Kulu welcomes audiences to join them in dance, music, and song.


Christine Bellec (guest throughout week) was educated and received prizes in flute- playing, musical training, harmony and teaching at the Conservatory and at the University of Paris. As a musician and teacher for twenty years, she discovered the wooden transverse flute in 1990 and met Jean-Michel Veillon, Jean-Luc Thomas, Stéphane Morvan, Davy Maguire, Harry Bradley, Timmy McCarthy, Catherine Perrier, Charles Quimbert, Alan Pierre and Jean-Luc Le Moign, musicians, singers and dancers from Brittany and Ireland. Through the influence of traditional and early music (in France, Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Quebec, Bulgaria, India and Japan), she transcribed these repertoires on her wooden transverse flute, mixing improvisation and creation. She then developed new instrumental techniques to produce the best effect in terms of musical phrasing and pulse. Her travels in Europe and North America, specifically Quebec and recently the United States, have led her to conduct workshops and give concerts, mostly in Brittany, and at the same time play in training programmes and festivals. Being naturally attached to her culture and because of the correlation between singing, dancing and instrumental music, she emphasizes her desire to share and pass on her skills.


Bill Ellis (morning workshop guest) is Associate Professor of American music at Saint Michael’s College, and a YTV board member. Born in Lynchburg, VA., he is the son of banjo composer Tony Ellis and the godson of bluegrass patriarch Bill Monroe. An acoustic blues musician and writer by profession, Ellis holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Memphis and a Master of Music degree in classical guitar performance from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. He also spent nine years as the pop music critic for the Memphis daily paper, the Commercial Appeal.  Among his recordings are Conqueroo, picked by Acoustic Guitar magazine as one of 2003’s best albums, and the Jim Dickinson-produced God’s Tattoos, winner of Best International Blues Recording by a Solo Artist at the 2007 Bluestar Awards in Australia. In 2004, a House of Blues Radio Hour special on “New Voices of the Blues” spotlighted Bill, and he has toured extensively including gigs with his father at the Kennedy Center, U.S. State Department tours of Cuba and Belarus, and the New Yorker Festival with actor Steve Martin. In addition, he co-produced the 2005 Handy-nominated album, Big Joe Jumps Again!, by late Cincinnati barrelhouse piano master Big Joe Duskin.  Among Bill’s writing honors are a 2002 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for print media and a 2004 first place Arts & Entertainment win in the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards, the oldest and best-known feature writing accolade for American newspapers. An avid world traveler, Bill lived through much of the 1990s in Japan. He is a member of the Memphis chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and a voting member of the Grammys.

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The 2019 Trad Camp crankie song was “Lady Isobel and the Elf Knight”, a version of a song from the repertoire of VT ballad collector and musician, Margaret MacArthur.


Here is a video of the 2018 Trad Camp crankie, performed end-of-week showcase in 2018. The song was “Blow Your Horn Hunter” (also known as “The Jovial Hunter”), also from the singing of Margaret MacArthur.







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 Trad Camp: Camper-related Questions and Answers

This information should give you some general ideas that may help with preparing for the week. If you have questions not answered here, please ask!  Email

Why Trad Camp?

What is Waldorf education?

Why the Lake Champlain Waldorf High School?

Where is Lake Champlain Waldorf High School?

How are instructors selected?

What’s the schedule?

Where can you park?

Do you need to check in with anyone before the first day?

What will be happening at the end-of-week potluck, showcase and dance on Friday?

When should you arrive?

What should you bring?

Should you bring a cell phone?

How many people will be participating?

Can you invite family, friends, guests?

What should you wear?

What is the Teen Volunteer program?

Will there be refreshments/food available?

Will someone be taking photos, videos?

How do you reach the people in charge?

Will all campers be there every day?

What instruments are campers bringing?

Are there any unifying elements across instructors,or a progression of skills taught in the sessions? 

Will there be a common repertoire that instructors will focus on?

Will printed materials be available from instructors?

Will recordings be made of material taught during sessions?

Are there physical/kinetic activities for campers during the day?

What if a camper plays an instrument like guitar or piano, and is primarily oriented toward accompaniment?

What is a crankie?

Why Trad Camp?

Trad Camp is an attempt to provide an affordable opportunity for children and youth to learn about playing, singing and dancing in traditional styles from top notch instructors, with a concentration of teachers who can be available locally for follow up instruction after Trad Camp is over.

Trad Camp is designed to supplement, not duplicate, similar and related programs in the area.  What sets Trad Camp apart is its traditional music and dance focus, beginner to advanced levels, affordable cost, exclusive focus on children and youth, youth and young adult involvement as planners and coordinators, range of teachers and learning options, Chittenden County-based, day camp vs. residential, no meals or overnights, late afternoon/evening opportunities, and learning and performance opportunities for campers throughout the calendar year.

Camp includes several different instrument classes for beginners, intermediate, and more advanced players.  Other sessions are designed for singers and dancers.  We expect tune players to sit in on singing and dancing session and  there are times on the schedule when EVERYONE will be expected to dance or sing.

What is Waldorf education?

Young Tradition Vermont has held Trad Camp at the Lake Champlain Waldorf High School building in recent years (we were at the elementary school building for a couple of years prior to that).  We are grateful for and excited by the opportunity to once again partner with the school and use its beautiful spaces and fill it with trad music and dance!  While Trad Camp is not a Waldorf program, we acknowledge what this space is designed and used for most of the year.  A few students who attend Waldorf also participate at Trad Camp, and some campers have enrolled in Waldorf schools after going to Trad Camp.  Here is some information about what goes on during the school year.

At the Lake Champlain Waldorf School (LCWS), students experience a classical education that awakens their gifts, focuses on their well-being, and helps them discover their place in the world—and how they will make a difference in it. The rich, inter-disciplinary curriculum integrates demanding academics and hands-on learning with the arts, movement, music, and the outdoors. The distinctiveness of Waldorf education lies in how the children are taught, not just what they are taught. Enriching the mind as well as the heart and will, Waldorf teachers intentionally create an environment in which students learn how to trust and work with each other, master self-discipline and independent thought, and discover their capacities for compassion and responsibility. As students progress through the grades, they gain an increasingly complex and nuanced understanding of literature, history, the arts, math, science, geography and foreign languages. Equally important is their growing ability for innovative thinking, resilience, collaboration and the ability to re-imagine the world. This is the beauty of a Waldorf education.

Information about the school and its approach will be available throughout Trad Camp if anyone is interested in getting more details, or you can visit, or

Why the Lake Champlain Waldorf High School?

Trad Camp is an opportunity for LCWS and YTV to promote several mutual goals:

  1. Establish teacher-student, mentor-mentee and other relationships between campers and instructors that can continue after camp
  2. Establish friendships and social groups between campers that can continue after camp
  3. Ensure that campers have a broad range of opportunities that can be expanded upon
  4. Ensure that campers and instructors represent diverse economic, social and cultural populations
  5. Ensure that participation is affordable and that no one is denied access or turned way solely because of finances
  6. Ensure that families with children with life-altering/life-threatening situations are supported
  7. Lake Champlain Waldorf School (LCWS) and Young Tradition Vermont (YTV) collaborated on Trad Camp in 2013 and have worked on various events together over the years.  We also have a lot of student/participant crossover (students at LCWS participate in lots of YTV activities, including Trad Camp).

Where is Lake Champlain Waldorf High School?

122 Bostwick Road in Shelburne, on Route 7 south of Shelburne, near the entrance for Shelburne Museum….. turn on Bostwick Road, headed west, toward Lake Champlain.  The school is the first building on the right after you turn off Route 7, headed west and down the hill.  It used to be the Vermont Morgan Horse Farm and Museum.

How are instructors selected?

We choose our instructors using a variety of criteria.  Trad Camp instructors:

  1. have experience with teaching and/or leading groups of young musicians at other camps, schools, and festivals, and during private lessons
  2. have a track record of ensuring opportunities for young musicians and dancers to perform
  3. have the ability and willingness to be a bridge between a variety of styles (e.g. New England, old time, Celtic, etc.) and genres (e.g. traditional, classical, blues, jazz, etc.)
  4. are able to teach repertoire and styles that are easily applied to sessions, contra dances, and showcases
  5. are able and willing to teach players of a variety of instruments in the same session (e.g. not just fiddlers)
  6. are available for private lessons after Trad Camp has concluded if asked by camper families
  7. are able and willing to teach novice through advanced levels, and switch many times during the day

In addition, we expect instructors to help out as Trad Camp ‘ambassadors’ (i.e. recruiting participants, distributing flyers, forwarding e-mails, etc.) and prefer instructors who are willing to co-teach.

What is the schedule?

The building is open for registration/drop off by 8:30am each day.  Camp programming runs from 9am-3pm each day, and we try to clear the building as soon after 3pm as possible.

We start the day with an opening session and orientation and some all-camp activities. The morning includes several short sessions that run concurrently (instrument lessons, singing sessions, dance classes).  A lunch break and some time for socializing is followed by concerts and master classes by our special guests.  The afternoon is mostly filled by rehearsal for a series of small ensembles (campers meet with one group all week).  We close the day with another all-camp activity. A full schedule with instructor names and activities will be available on line and posted during camp week.  

As soon as we’re done at 3pm on Friday, everyone will participate in the end-of-week potluck, showcase concert and dance.  Besides food and performances by campers and instructors, we’ll welcome some special guests.  Families, friends and neighbors are encouraged to attend.


Where can you park?

There is plenty of space in the parking lot.  Please don’t park on the roadside or anywhere to would block access to the building or other cars.

Do you need to check in with anyone before the first day? How does check-in work?

Just show up on the first day, anytime after 8:30am, ready to get started at 9am.  We’ll have you check in when you arrive, and make sure we’ve got all the right information.  We’ll need written permission for any ‘off campus’ activities (e.g. leaving the building) and any pick ups that are different than the person doing drop off. Drivers should be prepared to leave us an emergency number at drop off that we can use if needed.

All campers are asked to check in after 8:30am, before 9am.

Everyone is asked to meet their rides by 3pm at the main entrance to the building, to use the main entrance to arrive and leave for the day, and to make sure they are checked in and out by a camp organizer when arriving and before leaving the building.


What will be happening at the end-of-week potluck, showcase and dance on Friday?

We’ll start with the showcase as soon after 3pm.  This is open to family, friends, neighbors and anyone else who wants to come.  It will feature performances by instructors from the camp, and as many campers as are willing, playing things they have learned during the week.  Potluck items should be brought at 3pm.  We will not have any cooking facilities available at the school. Before the end of the showcase, we will do a participatory dance or two with as many people as possible participating.

We’ll have utensils, napkins, cups, paper plates. Please bring something to share with a half dozen or more of others, including something to serve from and any utensils that would be needed for serving.  Don’t forget to clean up and take what’s left at the end.

When should you arrive?

No earlier than 8:30am, no later than 9am.

What should you bring?

Whatever you need for snacks and lunch.  An instrument!  Something to record with, as you wish.  A clock or watch if that is helpful to you.

If you need a fiddle but don’t have one, you can rent one for the week from the Burlington Violin Shop for Trad Camp.  Contact them directly before the week starts to make arrangements for that 802-862-0349.

Should you bring a cell phone?

You may, but we encourage you to leave it off if at all possible. Cell phone use should be limited to using it as a clock to keep track of time, recording lessons, and/or calling parents, rides, etc. if there are emergencies or other complications. Turn off the ringer during camp hours.

Keep it and other valuables with you at all times.  It’s a fairly safe environment, but we want to make sure no one loses anything by misplacing it or having it taken by someone by mistake.  Please don’t use cell phones during camp for sending or responding to text and phone messages or checking/sending e-mail messages during sessions and the lunch break presentations.

How many people will be participating?

We expect to have as many as 60 campers.  At any time there will be at least 5 instructors, and a few guests, plus at least 3 adults associated with Young Tradition Vermont.  There will be more people participating the post-camp showcase, potluck and dance on Friday.  Lunch performances are public events, so there may be some folks visiting camp just for those.

If you know of anyone who might be interested, invite them to come and try it out.  Assuming we’re aren’t at capacity, we can make a session or 2 available to anyone interested in trying it…… all they have to do is show up at the start of each day and make a request.

Can you invite family, friends, guests?

Younger campers are welcome to have a parent along as an observer, but the camp is not open to adults as campers/participants.  See the schedule for public events that you can invite anyone to. Events not listed as free will have some sort of admission/donation expectation.

What should you wear?

Wear comfortable clothing, and keep the weather in mind–it can be quite hot and humid in July!  It’s best to have flat-bottomed shoes for dancing in, although some campers prefer to go barefoot.

What is the Teen Volunteer Program?  

Teen volunteers at Trad Camp attend classes as role models for younger campers, assist with teaching small groups as appropriate, complete a number of logistical tasks (making nametags, filling water jugs, handing out lunches, cleaning up at the end of the day) and generally provide support to instructors throughout the day.  We expect them to perform for the campers and families at least once over the course of the week, and invite them to use their special talents throughout the week.  We ensure that they have access to our talented instructors, and that they have the opportunity to attend master classes with guest instructors if they wish.

Teen volunteers should be:

  • 14-18 years old
  • Current or former members of the YTV Touring Group
  • Familiar with the camp
  • Able to play at least one instrument solidly
  • Comfortable teaching a small group (2-3 campers) to assist an instructor
  • Conscientious
  • Comfortable working with younger children
  • Punctual
  • Helpful
  • Respectful

How we choose our teen volunteers:

After determining the number of teens we need for the program, we begin by contacting those who have worked in years past.  Once we have commitments from any returning volunteers, we fill the remaining slots with campers we noticed would make excellent volunteers, or those who contact us directly asking after the opportunity.  We weigh each of the criteria above in our selection, and also the particular needs of the program that year (ie, sometimes we have enough fiddlers and are really seeking a singer to support a particular class).

Will there be refreshments/food available?

Please bring what you want and need for the morning and afternoon breaks, and for lunch. There will be access to drinking water, but bring a bottle from home if you can.

Will someone be taking photos, videos?

Yes. Several of us will be taking photos and videos throughout the week.  None of these will be used for anything other than promoting future Trad Camps without additional permission.

How do you reach the people in charge?

Mark Sustic 802-233-5293 or 802-849-6968 (YTV President)

Yasi Zeichner 802-485-9242 (Trad Camp Manager)

Will all campers be there every day?

No, though a majority will.  There is an option for half-day morning sessions for younger campers.

What instruments are campers bringing?

A majority of the tune players are fiddlers, but there are always several who play other instruments: guitar, cello, and flute, etc.  Instruments can be provided to loan for the entire week, but please contact Trad Camp Manager Yasi Zeichner to check on availability.  Those without instruments can try several out during the week in our sampler classes, and/or concentrate on singing and/or dancing.

Are there any unifying elements across instructors, or a progression of skills taught in the sessions?

Instructors are responsible for creating their own session agendas.  We seek to offer variety: instructors, genres, styles, playing levels, etc. The sessions may end up building on one another due to the small nature of the camp, but except for some dedicated beginner classes, there is no official progression from one session into the next.

We hope that through this broad approach campers will get a sense of who is available for teaching (after Trad Camp is over) and who they might be interested in following up with for more instruction.  Instructors will likely bring business cards or flyers (and campers should ask for them) so that campers can follow up another time if they are interested in talking more about lessons.

Will there be a common repertoire that instructors will focus on?

We’ll have a few tunes and songs that the whole camp learns, and then instructors will choose the rest of the material taught in their classes.

Will printed materials be available from instructors?

Most tunes at Trad Camp are taught by ear.  Some of the instructors (not all) may bring printed materials they will distribute, but often the written music is just a reference for how the tune is played.  If instructors bring printed sheet music for any tunes they are teaching, please make an extra copy for Mark Sustic, and he’ll work on making it available to others, most likely online after Trad Camp is over.

Will recordings be made of material taught during sessions?

We’re going to try to do this and make videos and/or mp3s available after Trad Camp. Instructors will be asked by one of the organizers to record the material taught at some point, if it’s not done during the session.

Are there physical/kinetic activities for campers during the day?

In addition to dancing and some of the lunch breaks, there will be specific times and activities for physical activity, including outdoors if the weather is agreeable.  There are breaks between the sessions, and there is limited down time during the lunch break. Instructors are asked to be mindful of the need and desirability of having campers move around some during the sessions, to not sit and concentrate for the entire block.

What if a camper plays an instrument like guitar or piano, and is primarily oriented toward accompaniment?

Campers who already know how to play chords on their instruments will be encouraged to join the “accompaniment” class.  Our afternoon bands are also a great opportunity to work on accompanying singing or dancing, with some help from an instructor.  During the sessions where tunes are taught, campers who play guitar or piano will learn the same tunes as everyone else.

What is a crankie?

During camp, all campers will participate in creating a crankie, and will learn a song to sing or play for the crankie. A crankie is an old storytelling art form. It’s a long illustrated scroll that is wound onto two spools which are loaded into a box which has a viewing screen. The scroll is hand-cranked while the story is told (or the song is sung). It can be accompanied by a narrative, song or tune.

Here is an example of a crankie by the duo Anna and Elizabeth:
For further information and history on crankies, visit this website: