Join the Delaware County Historical Association at 1pm on Saturday afternoon, April 13 for a book signing and illustrated talk delivered by author and attorney Bill Horne. In addition to Bill, three folk musicians will present songs presented during the presentation, chosen because they are related to the subject matter. There will also be recordings of songs from the 1940s and 50s made at Camp Woodland.

The Improbable Community tells the story of Camp Woodland founded in 1939 by a group of idealists inspired by the spirit of New Deal reform. They put their vision of American democracy into practice by creating a racially and ethnically inclusive summer camp for city kids located in the remote and scenic mountains of upstate New York. The camp’s innovative programs profoundly influenced campers for 24 summers from 1939 through 1962.

Unlike some experimental communities that isolate themselves and withdraw into a world of their own, Camp Woodland by design sought to have its diverse population of campers and staff (most from the New York City metropolitan area) become part of the rural, traditional community in which they lived. It was able to earn the acceptance and respect of its neighbors through a program of honoring and preserving the community’s music, folklore and history. Local musicians, storytellers and artisans participated along with Woodlanders in musical and dramatic performances that celebrated the rich cultural resources of the region. Camp Woodland quickly became a center (and later, a model) for the preservation of local traditions that attracted musicologists and musicians, like Pete Seeger, who supported and participated in its programs. Bill Horne grew up in Queens and was a camper at Camp Woodland from 1950 through 1960.

Folk Singer Pat Lamanna was a camper at Camp Woodland from 1955-61 and learned to play guitar and wrote her first songs there. She recently won awards for her songs at the South Florida Folk Festival. One of her songs, "Peace Pilgrim," is featured on Pete Seeger's album, "The Storm King." She has three solo CDs to her credit.

Folk Singer Mickey Vandow grew up in New York City where Charity Bailey and Pete Seeger introduced him to Folk Music. He spent five summers at Camp Woodland where he learned and performed the songs collected from local singers. Each year there, he performed in the annual Folk Festival of the Catskills. After a thirty-year hiatus while he taught Theater and Video Production as a Professor at the State University of New York in Cobleskill, Mickey returned in 2002 to performing folk music and recording a CD with Camp Woodlander Eric Weisberg, "Songs We Used To Sing” and another CD called “Mickey Vandow Sings Songs From The Catskills.”

Folk Singer Billy Scribbles hails from the Catskills. He first learned to play the 5-string banjo from Pete Seeger while a member of the Beacon Sloop Club and continued his musical education in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where he's performed on stage with acts like the Steel City Jug Slammers and Raymond Fairchild. He's currently a travel writer for WPVM, and an amateur folklorist researching the folk roots of his homeland in the Catskills.

Bill Horne’s talk and the musical performance will begin at 1pm. FREE ADMISSION. Bill will be available to sign copies of his book, The Improbable Community.

DCHA is located 2 miles north of the village of Delhi at 46549 State Hwy. 10. For more information, please call (607) 746-3849, or email: dcha@delhi.net