Balkan Music &
Dance Workshops

Every summer the EEFC presents two week-long summer camps. Follow the links below to read all about and register for the 2024 workshops!

June 15-22, 2024
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August 10-17, 2024
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Find out almost everything you always wanted to know about the EEFC’s in-person Balkan camps.


Kids at Camp!

Our in-person workshops are a great experience for families. Get the scoop to ensure everyone has a blast!


We award full scholarships to our in-person workshops.
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Camper Information West Coast

West Coast Balkan Music & Dance Workshop

Welcome to the 2024 Mendocino Balkan Music & Dance Workshop! Here are details about camp life, accommodations, what to bring, and how to get there.

Table of Contents

Click on links to jump to sections below.


  • Print out directions/contact info/packing checklist before you leave—cell service is not guaranteed in the Woodlands! (See Directions to Camp below.)
  • Bring warm bedding! (See What to Bring below.)
  • Note new “EZ Drive-Thru Registration” procedure. (See Arrival & Departure below.)

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Registration, Balance Payments, Cancelations, & Refunds

Please see the West Coast Registration page for full information about our registration, refund, and cancelation policies. Please don’t forget to fill out the Risk & Liability Waiver Form and any Parent/Guardian Forms as soon as possible, no later than a week before camp begins.
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Directions to Camp, Important Contact Info & Checklist

Download a printable PDF here that you can take with you. This document includes detailed driving directions to the Woodlands, as well as important phone numbers, addresses and emails‚ and a handy checklist for packing. Driving directions are also located on the West Coast Workshop page under the red tab marked “Directions.” We strongly recommend you download or print out driving instructions before you set off for the Woodlands as reception can be spotty in the forest.
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Arrival & Departure

Arrival. This year we are offering a one-stop Drive-Thru Registration for your convenience! Upon arrival at Camp 1, please proceed directly to the marked registration area by the dining hall to receive your cabin assignment, parking pass, and name badge; and to affirm—on the honor system—your negative COVID test results. You may arrive any time AFTER 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 15. If you find yourself in the area before 3:00, consider having lunch or coffee in the lovely seaside town of Mendocino before you head inland. Please note that parking space is limited at the Woodlands, so after unloading, all cars must be moved to designated parking areas. See the map below for directions to the Drive-Thru Registration location.

Departure. We must completely vacate the premises by 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 22. No activities except a cold breakfast are scheduled for that day, so you will have just enough time in the morning to clean your cabin, pack, and say your goodbyes.

Cabin Assignments. You must check in at the registration table before proceeding to your cabin or tent space. Our Housing Coordinator will have all cabin spaces assigned before camp starts, using the preference information you supplied when you registered. Check-in will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 15. No one will be available to give you your cabin assignment or check you in before 3 p.m.

Part-time check-in begins outside the dining hall at 5 p.m. on your scheduled arrival date (look for registration sign with your name on it). Dinner begins at 6:30, so plan to arrive between 5 and 6, so you can unpack before it gets dark.

Privacy. We expect that all available cabin spaces will be filled. Please bring a tent if you desire more privacy.
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Rides to Mendocino

If you need information on transportation from the Bay Area to camp (and back), please fill out this form provided by our Logistics Coordinator, Shireen Nabatian, who will try to assist you in arranging a ride to Mendocino. Please make your own arrangements if possible. We must accommodate teaching staff first, but we can connect you with others who have space in their cars or who may be willing to share the cost of a rental car (note there is no public transit to the Mendocino Woodlands). Also, if you are flying into the Bay Area (Oakland or San Francisco), it is a 4-hour drive without stops to Mendocino. Plan your flight schedule accordingly: arrive in the Bay Area by 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 15 (or earlier), and schedule your flight home after 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 22.

If you have a car, we need your help transporting teachers, campers, and camp cargo! Please help us out by filling out this form if you can lend a hand. Thanks!

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Accommodations & Facilities

Facilities include rustic (no electricity) 4-bed cabins with fireplaces and balconies, a friendly dance hall, and a separate dining hall. Each group of cabins has a bath house with toilets and hot showers. Common buildings (bath houses, dining and dance hall) have electrical outlets for your device-charging needs. There are swimming holes nearby in the Big River, and lots of hiking trails in the woods. The forest terrain is fairly hilly and rugged in places, but there is plenty of flat space for tents. If you have questions or concerns about your housing, please contact Housing Coordinator, Kim Wollter (email or phone 541-484-4477).
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What to Bring

Download a handy checklist here!

The cabins at the Woodlands have cots with foam mattresses. You will need a good sleeping bag or other bedding, and a pillow. Bring an extra blanket to put under you for added insulation at night. It’s colder than you think in the woods! Average temperatures in June range from highs in the low 60s to lows in the mid-40s. Other necessities include a good flashlight and a battery-powered lantern (there is no electricity in the cabins), towels, toiletries, warm clothes (evenings can be chilly, and nights downright cold). Bring your own coffee cup and water bottle, vitamins, bandaids, tissues, hangers (there are closets in the cabins), mosquito/tick repellent, and, just in case—rain gear and poison oak relief medication. Please label your cup, flashlight and other important possessions. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!

For classes, you will also need your musical instruments, song words, a recording device, and extra batteries. Don’t forget your EEFC songbook for group sings. Most classes are held outdoors, so bring folding chairs or cushions if you like.

Weather. Be prepared for all kinds of weather: warm or cold, dry or wet, and don’t forget that flashlight! Please feel free to contact the office if you have any more questions about what to bring.
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Logo Merchandise

This year we are offering a beautiful selection of EEFC swag adorned with our signature santouri rosette design, including t-shirts, hoodies, totes, and aprons. Visit our Store by July 21 to order for home shipping. (The deadline for ordering for pickup at Mendocino has passed, alas.)
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Staying Healthy at Camp

Staying healthy at camp is a priority for all of us. At this time (depending on current levels of COVID transmission in the United States), the EEFC does not require proof of vaccination to register for and attend the Mendocino camp (yay!). We will ask you about your negative COVID status when you check in, and ask that everyone take common-sense precautions around travel and exposure to crowded spaces before you arrive on site. And there are lots of other important ways to stay healthy! Our Wellness Advisor will share simple tips and care practices during orientation. Basic first-aid items are available at the Kafana for your bumps and bruises. Please bring with you any medications and pain or allergy relievers you think you will need. If you did not do so on your registration form, please let us know if you have any medical conditions that we should be aware of. This information will be kept strictly confidential. No official medical care, diagnosis, treatments, or prescriptions are available on site. The closest hospital is in Fort Bragg, a 30-minute drive from camp. In the event of a medical emergency, alert camp staff immediately.
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Fire Hazard

Despite the fact that California’s drought is officially over, there is always a fire hazard at camp, so be careful with cigarettes. Smoking (including e-cigarettes) is not permitted inside any structure (including dining hall, dance hall and cabins). Smoking/vaping is permitted only in a designated area away from all buildings. Candles, kerosene, or oil lamps are NOT permitted in the Woodlands! Pack a battery-operated lantern for your cabin.
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No pets of any sort are permitted at the Woodlands.
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Parking & Tenting

The Woodlands has strict parking and tenting rules. There is no parking of vehicles in the Meadow, nor pitching of tents or parking on designated sensitive areas. RV and camper van parking is limited to the basketball court area. All vehicles must be parked where they are not blocking others or blocked in by others. Park your car “head out” to allow for orderly evacuation in case of emergency. Full parking/tenting guidelines will be available at the registration desk, where we will also ask you to fill out an ID form for your dashboard and/or tent flap.
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Chef Tod Nysether and crew will prepare our delicious meals. We ask for your patience during meal service. These folks work in a very small kitchen, and do their best to serve meals on time, so please—no grumbling while you wait in line! (Singing is an acceptable alternative to grumbling.) Also, mealtimes are as posted at camp: the kitchen can’t serve seconds until everyone has been through the line once, so please show up on time.

Special dietary needs. Our kitchen crew aims to please, but we cannot be responsible for special diets other than vegetarian. Also, you cannot be a selective vegetarian—if you sign up as one, it is a decision you must follow for the entire week. If you wish to eat vegetarian meals at camp, please make sure your name is on the list at registration. If you have any dietary allergies that the kitchen staff should be aware of, please inform a registration worker, and you will be directed to the appropriate kitchen staff person. If you have other dietary needs, we ask that you please provide for yourself.

Food in cabins. If you bring your own snacks, be sure to provide a metal or heavy plastic container (such as a cooler) to store them in to keep them away from the Woodlands’ population of opportunistic mice.
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Although we have a hard-working crew of work-exchange folks to wash dishes and clean the bathrooms, we ask everyone to help with meal service, kafana set-up, service, Donation Store organizing, or other chores a few times during the week. You will be asked to sign up for these tasks at registration. After registration, the sign-up board will be posted by the main door to the dining hall. At the end of the workshop, everyone is responsible for cleaning out their own cabins. We ask that you help by returning all trash and recycling items to the bins by the kitchen and unused wood to the woodpile.
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Parents & Kids

We value and welcome children at our workshops, but remember that your kids are your responsibility at all times. Please be aware that EEFC rules state: “In the event a child is allowed to remain unsupervised in a dangerous situation after being warned by the EEFC Staff, the EEFC Staff have the authority at their discretion to require that the family leave the camp.”

Kids + Parents/Guardians Meeting. On Sunday, during lunch, all kids, their parents or at-camp guardians, the director of the Woodlands Nature Center, our camp medical consultant and Balkan camp administrative staff members will meet so we can all get to know each other and develop a plan of activities, games, nature hikes, and not-so-planned hanging-out-without-those-boring-noisy-grownups. At this meeting we will also set behavior guidelines together. This meeting is mandatory for all parents/ guardians and kids age 2-17, who all get to jump to the head of the lunch line to attend!

Kids’ Kafana. From 9 p.m. to midnight every evening the far side of the dining hall is reserved for children’s activities. Bring games, art supplies, and other diver- sions for your own kids to use here, and to share with others. We kindly ask adults to respect the kids’ use of this room during the posted hours.
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Alcohol Policy

Along with great live musical entertainment, our evening Kafana café-bar offers a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for sale. We also offer complimentary wine at the Friday lamb roast. But please be aware! Even though we’re on vacation from the Real World, we still must follow California law—we can neither serve nor sell alcoholic beverages to people under 21 years of age. We trust that if you or your loved ones fall into this category, you’ll help us comply with these restrictions. Campers who violate this policy (either underage drinking or providing alcohol to an underage camper) may be expelled from the workshop at the discretion of the EEFC Staff.
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Workshop Schedule

A complete workshop schedule will be distributed at registration. The first day officially begins with dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 15. Afterward, we will have an orientation session where you will meet the staff and your fellow campers. At this session, we will provide a short introduction to the facility and our workshop, which is especially important for first-time participants, but everyone should plan to attend. Following the orientation, the teaching staff will briefly discuss and demonstrate what will be covered in classes. After the meeting, we will check out loaner instruments to those who have signed up in advance to borrow them. The first of our nightly dance parties will end Saturday’s activities in the dance hall. Classes begin on Sunday morning. Please be aware that some of the classes you may want to take may be scheduled at the same time. We do our best to arrange a logical mix of classes over the five time slots, but some overlaps are unavoidable. There are many other activities to participate in if you have a free class period. Sleeping is always a nice option.

New camper? Balkan camp can be a pretty intense experience your first year! To make it a little easier for you, a gracious volunteer will be pairing you with an experienced camper to help “shepherd” you through the week. And on Sunday you and your “shepherd” are cordially invited to a special New Camper Happy Hour at 6:15 in the Kafana!
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Class Levels

Here is a guide to help you choose which classes are appropriate for you to take.

  • Beginner: You are new to this instrument/singing. (N.B. We don’t offer beginner-level classes in conventional instruments that are easier to learn in regular life , i.e. clarinet, violin, trumpet, etc.)
  • Intermediate: You have some proficiency in this instrument/singing: can match pitches, accurately replicate phrases heard by ear, and play at speed.
  • Advanced: You have technical mastery in this instrument/singing: you are focused on stylistic details and self-expression within the form.

If you are interested in a class that is not at your level, you are welcome to audit! Please remember that the pace of instruction will not be geared to you, and hold your questions till the end of each session. If a class does not have a designated level, all are welcome.
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The Auction

The Tuesday-night Auction raises vital funds for the EEFC—and is also great fun! The proceeds help us pay for scholarships, pay teachers and staff, rent our beloved camp facilities and much more. Bring a costume, artifact, recording, book, musical instrument, homemade item, or nostalgia piece. Or donate a service—from the whimsical (juggling lesson, break- fast in bed) to the practical (massage, computer consultation). Whether silly, serious, melodious, or romantic, your thoughtful donation makes a difference. For more information, contact Auction Maven, Myroslava Symonenko.
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Instruments: Borrowing & Lending

Bring your own instruments, and any you are willing to lend others, especially if you’ve listed them on your registration form. We usually need extra tapans, doumbeks, frame drums, Thracian and Rhodope gajdas, tamburas, and kavals. Remember to label instruments you are lending. If you need to borrow an instrument, we’ll do our best to provide one for you, but it may not always be possible. If you want to study standard “Western” instruments (clarinet, accordion, etc.), please bring your own. If you can lend instruments or need one and did not indicate so on your registration form, please contact our Instrument Coordinator, Jeff Garaventa (email; 510-846-5332). Jeff will pass out instruments on site after the orientation meeting to those who have requested them in advance, and will collect them after the ensembles play on Friday night. Finally, please attach ID tags to all of your instrument cases. We’ll have extra tags at the registration desk.
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Recording at Camp

Please be considerate about audio or video recording. During classes, ask your teachers if they mind if you record the class. Outside of classes, we have an open recording policy, but please be as sensitive and unobtrusive as possible.
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If you have items or services to sell, such as recordings, books, costumes, jewelry, massage, instrument repair, etc., you must register with the EEFC office before you set out your wares. We have very limited space at Mendocino to display items for sale, and space will be allotted on a first-to-register, first-served basis. We strongly suggest that you bring a small table or rack on which to display your wares. We neither encourage nor discourage vendors, but we do require a 10% commission on your gross sales, which will be collected at the end of camp. You keep the books.
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The Donation Store

In addition to all the great music, dancing and friendships we enjoy at camp, you can also bring home a fabulous new wardrobe, great folkloric items, jewelry, recordings, books, and all sorts of amazing and unique stuff while helping the EEFC make ends meet! All the items in the Store are donated by community members, and 100% of the price of each item goes to EEFC. We encourage you to lighten your load at home and bring items to add to the store’s inventory. Donate anything in good condition that you think your fellow campers would enjoy. If you have lots of items, you can help the staff by sending things to Linnea Mandell in advance, so the storekeepers can prepare your items for sale before camp. For more information or to donate items, contact Linnea directly here.

And remember, there is New Merchandise Every Day at the Donation Store!
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Phones & WiFi

Reception is erratic in the Woodlands, but improving (some carriers work better than others); and there is no WiFi (the nearest WiFi is available at internet cafés in the town of Mendocino). Cell phone use, including text messaging, is not allowed during classes or official activities. If you need to use your phone, please keep the ringer off and step away from others to talk or text. We’ve established these guidelines for the comfort of ALL participants, so we thank you in advance for your compliance and for your respect of your fellow campers.
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