A Day At Camp Kiya – 2009


Written by Jill Egland, year one, 2009.

Wake up, hit the showers. Get to the mess hall. Smells terrific – that’s because the kitchen team is using local produce and organic ingredients to cook up some of the best-tasting meals (veg and non-veg) you’ve ever had.

Morning Improv Class in the Mess Hall
Morning Improv Class in the Mess Hall

Choose your first morning workshop — that’s a hard one! There’s five to pick from! You get into a conversation with some others who are pouring their second cup of coffee.

Jamie Laval’s fiddle class ’09

The conversation continues as the group of you meander down the trail to a clearing behind the cabins. A dozen chairs are in a circle. You duck into your cabin and grab your fiddle. You’re nervous because it’s the first time you’ve actually played it in front of anyone since high school. Two hours later, you’re chuckling to yourself — and checking the location for the next workshop.

Michael Gutin’s Contra Dance Band Class
Michael Gutin’s Contra Dance Band Class

Lunch sneaks up on you. There’s another great meal waiting, with fresh baked cookies for dessert. You grab a couple extra and head up the hill to the first afternoon workshop. But then, local nature guru, Jon Hammond, saunters by, followed by a group of hikers. It’s too good to pass up…

bridge-09-smYou hear the music before you see the group playing it. There’s still a half hour before dinner, but the jam that’s sprung up next to the mess hall has made everyone oblivious. Someone calls out to you, “Hey! Grab your fiddle!”

Jamming in the Mess Hall



It’s after dinner, and the band is setting up in the mess hall.  Everyone helps move tables and chairs.

The contra dance caller starts out easy and gradually introduces more complex steps.

Wayne Thompson Calls a Dance
Wayne Thompson Calls a Dance

The music is infectious. You jump up.


There’s a break for ice cream sundaes and then it’s back to more dancing.

It’s late. You head to your cabin with every intention of turning in, but there’s a bonfire in the fire pit, and a group of people jamming nearby. You grab your sweatshirt and come back out to listen. You look up. There’s a billion stars canopied above you. You stuff your hands in your pockets and find half of a cookie from lunch. Sweet.