The first five days

Hello all! My name is JacyRayn, and for the short span of the 2016 Summer Tour of the Berea Festival Dancers, I’ll be taking over the blog and giving a bit of insight to our activities and performances!

First, a bit about me so I’m not a stranger! As I said, my name is JacyRayn and I’ve been a festival dancer now coming up on a year. This is my first summer tour and I’m so excited to write about the trip! I run my own blog which you can find here. I’d love for you to drop by and say hello!

We had a fantastic idea to do some daily updates while we’re on the trip but only to have the idea four days late. Therefore, the first post will be a quick run-down of our first four days and then on a regular update everyday after. On with the post!

THREE DAYS BEFORE THE TRIP/THURSDAY: The Berea Festival Dancers have a long-standing relationship with dance friends down in Tennessee! So, every year we invite them to come along on the summer tour and dance with us. They arrived on Thursday to help set up the pop-up campers and prepare food to take on the road!

DAY 1/SUNDAY: This day was pretty slow and mostly consisted of loading up the vehicles and hitting the road! We drove about 6 hours to our first destination, Wooster, Ohio! After a few stops and a refuel, we made it just in time to go to a contra, preform at the Grange and join locals before heading to our first campsite to set-up. Here is a link to our performances at the Grange! Thank you to the lovely people who invited us and who helped arrange this! We stayed with Jennifer’s brother in Ohio and he so kindly let us invade his house.

DAY 2/MONDAY: Monday started out nice and early. It was our first day that we didn’t have to drive a ton and we had exciting activities! After everyone willingly (not for long) rolled out of bed and ate breakfast, we preformed at the YMCA *breaks out into song* and then we swam! Of course we’re on a dance tour… So what did we do while swimming? We danced! You can find that piece of joy here. After cooling down, we headed over to Wooster College and took a tour of the college, which was pretty rad. Fast forward to supper and we headed over to a local Mennonite church with a local dance group we met our first night and they cooked us a fabulous supper. The Berea Festival Dancers taught some signature BFD dances to the Madrigal dancers. Then we headed home and off to bed!

DAY 3/TUESDAY: After a quick bite to eat and final clean up, we left sunny (and mostly air-condition-less) Ohio for our second stop, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A three hour drive and soon Pine Cove Beach Club was in our sights. It wasn’t long after the campers were popped up that everyone was in a intense game of water basketball and speeding down slides! And when at a water park, you dance in the water, again. Then our super cool dance instructors (that’s you Jennifer and Chrissy) know that sometimes you gotta have some snacks for a long trip, so we had canteen. In short, there’s a box of goodies and drinks that we can take from to save for the next day.

DAY 4/WEDNESDAY: Honestly Wednesday was a day for the books. We hooked up and said bye-bye to Pine Cove and lots of naps, music, and weird conversations late, we arrived at Hershey Chocolate World. You heard me. Chocolate. From making your own Hershey bar to way too sweet milkshakes, it was a fantastic day. We even got to go through a cute little ride that explained how the chocolate was made! On top of that, after settling into our new campgrounds we held the first parlor of the tour. Parlor is something very special and one of my favorite things about the tour so far. It’s a time when everyone sits around a fire with the warm glow on their face and you can hear the gentle song of people singing and telling stories together. From spoken word and to the good reports jar, it’s all an unforgettable experience.

DAY 5 /THURSDAY: This day kick-started with breakfast and then a trip to Shartlesville, PA. We visited the Roadside America Lionel Train House which was really awesome! After lunch on the lawn their, we headed back towards camp to Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA. We can all mark that one off the list and say we’ve “been there and done that”. We got to preform on cobblestone out in the courtyard and then we meandered around for a bit there. When we got back to the site our dinner crew whipped up yummy spaghetti and we played some intense rounds of gaga ball!

I believe that about sums the first five days up pretty well! They’ve been a blur but have all had so many special moments that all just can’t be put in to words. Tomorrow we leave  and have a long drive to Williamsburg, Virginia. Till then! (Don’t forget to swing by my blog if you’d like!)



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