Category: Camp News

Social Media 101: Youth to the Rescue or How to Promote the EEFC on Facebook


Hello friends!

My name is Jennifer Shearer (although some of you may know me as Jenna Shear), and I’m one of those “Camp Kids” who’s been lucky enough to attend Camp more times than I can remember. I’m helping out with the EEFC’s Social Media presence and wanted to highlight some of the quickest, easiest, and 100% free ways to support our amazing community.


Like us on Facebook!

It sounds silly, but the more “likes” we have, the cooler we look. Especially to Millennials, one of the demographics we’re specifically targeting for the continuity of Camp. Plus, just by merit of being popular, Facebook will give the posts we write more “oomph,” and push them out to more people. You can find our Facebook page here:


Share our posts.

Like, comment, or better yet, SHARE our posts on Facebook! Facebook decides which posts are “important” based on how many people interact with our work via “likes,” comments, and “shares.” In other words, engaging with our posts through the simple click of a button will drastically increase how many people see our posts and how many new potential campers we can contact.

A “like” tells Facebook that we’re important. A comment carries about the same weight as a “like” according to Facebook’s algorithms.

However, a “share” is weighted differently. A “share” will post our post to your profile. You’ll have the option to write some commentary about the post, or you can just share it as is. Facebook prefers “shares” to “likes” and comments, so if we’re featuring a teacher or event you love, please use the “share” option to really show us how much you care.

Super duper bonus points if you do all three! Here’s an image of the menu bar located at the bottom of each individual post for your liking and sharing pleasure:

share us on Facebook


​Write us a review.

If you scroll down on our Facebook page, you’ll notice a section for reviews in the lefthand column. Please write us a little testimonial! Again, this tells Facebook that we’re popular and important and is another item that potential campers take into consideration when deciding how to spend their money. Camp is wonderful, so we’re sure you’ll have plenty to talk about. High fives to those who have already written reviews!

write an eefc Facebook review

Tag us.

Tag us in your posts about Camp and use #balkancamp2016. Tagging and hashtags are clickable links that build a web of connections between posts. This web helps Facebook understand what is important to you and who else might be interested in it. A tag for the EEFC will link people directly to our Facebook page. A hashtag will link you to a list of posts that include the same hashtag. Last year, we had great success with our hashtag trial run at Iroquois Springs, and this year we’d like to take it even further. It’s most helpful to us if you lessen the privacy settings on the posts you’re hoping to share with the community via tags and hashtags.

Here’s a How-To for tagging pages on Facebook.


Type last year’s hashtag into Facebook’s search bar at the very top of your screen to enjoy memories from last year!

hashtag the eefc


Follow up in person.

Did one of your friends “like” a post you shared from the EEFC’s page? Send them an email to follow up on their interest, or better yet, bring up Camp the next time you see each other. Social Media has its place, but nothing beats word of mouth and that personal touch.

If you’ve made it this far, please give yourself a big pat on the back. That was a lot of information! If you need clarification on any of the above points, I’m happy to help, and if you have ideas or want to volunteer, I’ll connect you with the right people.

Thank you so much for reading, and long live the EEFC!

—Jennifer Shearer


Editors note: it is with immense gratitude that we thank Jenna for providing this easy to understand guide to promoting the EEFC on Facebook. Now all we need to do is get out there and do it!!!!


Bay Area EEFC Scholarship Created

Greg Jenkins |

Longtime Mendocino Kids’ Band teacher Greg Masaki Jenkins reports:

Balkan Evenings is a series every Sunday night at Cafe Revolution (22nd & Bartlett in San Francisco, from 8:30-11:30) organized by Sean Tergis that features Bay Area Balkan bands or an open brass jam with a rotating house band. Since this last time it fell on the day after the Mendocino Balkan Camp, I knew it would be mobbed, and I had the idea to use the proceeds to raise money for a half-scholarship for camp. We ended up raising $515, which is more than enough!

We made some money from the bar but most of our take came from tips contributed by the musicians. The whole thing wouldn’t have been possible if the following folks (most who have been to Mendo before, some returning from their first year!) hadn’t shown up and donated their time and kefi:

Peter Bonos, Tano Brock, Dan Cantrell, Shane Cox, David Fine, Joey Friedman, Darren Johnston, Jenavieve Kachmarik, Larry Leight, Will Magid, Matthew Fass, Marco Peris, David Solnit, Evan Stuart, Balder ten Cate, Sean Tergis, Wayne Van Lieu, as well as Mendo 2014-15 sax and clarinet teacher Vlado Pupinoski, who brought the music to new heights of excitement and soulfulness.

It was a great party, complete with a crowd-surfing Ivan Velev (getting dangerously close to the ceiling fans) and a packed house full of joyous dancers. Special thanks to all who passed the bucket around. Proceeds will go towards the EEFC Kef Scholarship Fund, and will be designated for a Bay Area musician and first-time camper—hopefully someone who will join us for future Balkan Evenings!


Consider donating to the EEFC Scholarship fund.

Want to help raise funds in your own community, to support the work of the EEFC? We’re happy to help get you started. Contact us.

Share Camp. Spread the Word.

Download a flyer or request postcards.

Post all around your town. At the local music shop, music school, dance centers. Bring them to events—Balkan and otherwise. Email them to your friends, fan club, or class list! Invite people to JOIN THE CIRCLE!

Color 8.5″ x 11″ flyers
Download a PDF (1.6 MB)
Download a jpg

Black & white 8.5″ x 11″ flyers
Download a PDF (6.2 MB)
Download a jpg

Balkan Music and Dance Workshops 2015

Once again the Program Committee is hard at work building a teaching staff for each workshop. While they continue to juggle schedules, travel plans, and more, they have put together a sneak peek at a few of the 50+ teachers that we can expect this summer.

We are very excited to bring to you a preview of some of the wondrous new offerings you can expect at this summer’s workshops. This is just a small representation of the forthcoming slate, so rest assured that you will see many familiar and treasured names appear when the finalized program is announced shortly.

Yours in music and dance,
EEFC Program Committee: Demetri Tashie, chair, Belle Birchfield, Erin Kurtz, Lise Liepman, Brenna MacCrimmon, Rachel MacFarlane

The Sneak Peek:
We are delighted to welcome Bob Beer back to Mendocino after an extended absence. Bob, who has been living in Turkey for many years studying various musical styles, will be offering a class in kemençe/Pontic lyra and a Turkish singing class.

Ethnomusicologist and multi-instrumentalist Kalin Kirilov will be teaching accordion and a Bulgarian ornament/theory class at both east and west coast workshops.

Milo Destanovski, a native of Berovo, Macedonia, will be back to teach zurla at both workshops, and, new this year, will be leading a Macedonian dance class at Mendocino. He will be joined at the east coast workshop by Jessica Ruiz, where they will offer multiple levels of zurla instruction and lead the Macedonian village ensemble.

Miamon Miller, master of Romanian music, will teach a violin class and direct the Trans-Carpathian ensemble at Mendocino.

Known for his early fieldwork in Bulgarian and Serbian folk dances, Martin Koenig will be teaching Vlach dances and more at Mendocino.

For our devoted dancers on the East Coast, we welcome back Joe Graziosi (Greek) and Steve Kotansky (Albanian and other Balkan) to Iroquois Springs. Stay tuned—more dance teachers are in the works.

The Rhodopes are well represented by Maria and Vassil Bebelekov as they add their Bulgarian magic to the Woodlands and the Catskills, Vassil leading gajda and bitov ensemble and Maria Bulgarian singing classes.

The inimitable Merita Halili and Raif Hyseni will weave their Albanian enchantment once more at Iroquois Springs.

Vlado Pupinoski, who taught to rave reviews last year at Mendocino, will be offering Macedonian clarinet and sax classes on both coasts this year.

If you missed Ljubomir Živkov’s Serbian singing class at Iroquois Springs last year, this year he’ll be offering two classes of songs from the former Yugoslavia.

Tapan will be finessed by Matt Moran at Iroquois Springs and Jerry Kisslinger at Mendocino.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. Please stay tuned as there will be lots more information coming soon, when we announce the full, confirmed slates as soon as workshop registration opens next month.

Richard Herbert “Dick” Forsyth

March 10, 1929 – November 26, 2014

Richard Herbert “Dick” Forsyth of Newton, Mass., died on November 26, 2014, in Cambridge from several medical problems including influenza, pneumonia, and amyloidosis. He was surrounded by his wife and three children (one by telephone) during his final hours, which were peaceful. He was 85.

Dick was born March 10, 1929, in Chicago to Lowell and Esther (Olson) Forsyth. He earned a BS in Chemistry from Grove City College (Grove City, PA) in 1951. He married Diana Bowden of Cardiff, Wales in 1959, and moved to the Boston area. They had two children, Kristina and Matthew, and divorced in 1974. He married Martha Schecter in 1976, and adopted her son, Peter.

As a young man, Dick enjoyed driving in rally races. Throughout his life, he entertained a wide variety of interests, most shared with his family. After an early career in chemistry, he pursued his interest in audio recording technology, and audio engineering and electronic repair were a central element of his various jobs until he retired. His interest in audio recording intertwined with Martha’s passion for Bulgarian folk music and culture. In recent years he began singing, and joined several groups, ranging from traditional Balkan to Sacred Harp singing. He also enjoyed exploring esoteric TV, movies, and literature, an interest he actively shared with Kristina.

Dick is survived by his wife, Martha; his daughter, Kristina; his son, daughter-in-law, and grandson (Matthew, Mary, Colleen); and his son, Peter. He is preceded in death by his sister, Nancy.

Dick’s remains were cremated without ceremony shortly after his death. A memorial will be held in early 2015. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Dick’s rich and varied life.

Stay in touch with his family, and find out more about Dick.

Update from Executive Director Jay House

It has been a busy summer, with two wonderful camps, and the June launch of Kef Times in its new, easy-to-share format, as well as its expansion to a thrice-yearly publication (look for a new issue on or about Sept 15). Now, as I see back-to-school pictures spread across Facebook, and prepare to send my own daughter to kindergarten here in NY, in just about a week, it begins to feel like Fall.

There is something about the change of season and new start of each school-year that makes me feel like renewal. With that in mind, I am excited to get back into the swing of giving you all monthly updates about EEFC news and accomplishments.

We have a lot of fresh energy in this area, inspired by the board’s commitment, made in our Spring 2014 board meeting, to an active role in fundraising for the organization. I am also really happy to be working with a strong chair of the development committee, board member Amy Mills, who has recently signed on in this capacity. Here are a few highlights.

  • Amy, along with board and fundraising committee member Nancy Leeper, and I are about to start working on the end-of year donation/membership renewal letter. Please stay tuned for that in November (and as a reminder, if you are a member, memberships all run on a calender year, and therefore are up for renewal as of December 31, 2014).
  • We are pleased to share that the spring fund drive generated $6,000 in donations. Our goal was $15,000, but we learned a lot from our first time out, and will come back in the spring of 2015 to reprise the effort.
  • Even more exciting, we are very happy to share that an anonymous donor has committed to a two-year gift of $10,000 per year for general support. We learned this while at Iroquois Springs, and are very excited about the support from the community this shows.
  • Finally, I am delighted to share that between the two camps this summer, we raised $13,000 in scholarship money. I will work with the board and the scholarship committee to determine the best way to use the money, with an eye towards leveraging an unprecedented amount of scholarship money for long-term benefit.

There is also quite a bit of financial work going on right now, as Traci and Rachel reconcile camp expenses and income, all of which is necessary for developing a 2015 budget in time for the start of the EEFC’s new fiscal year on October 1. That takes a lot of focused energy, and means that we don’t yet know the full picture of the year, financially speaking, but we are dedicating our energies there now.

This month, in advance of the fall board meeting (Sept 18-20, in NYC) I will be developing the 2015 budget, which the board will review at the meeting. In the past, we have struggled to have this ready, due to the tight turn-around between the end of the East Coast Camp, and the end of the fiscal year.

None of this could have happened without the support, both in terms of volunteer effort, and memberships and donations, that you, our community contribute. Thank you for your part in the work we do.

Next month, look for my update in the next issue of the all-new Kef Times which will now be appearing three time each year.

Thanks for reading, and please keep in touch with me if you have questions, comments, or concerns about what’s happening with the EEFC.


Posted By Jay House, Aug 29, 2014

Fall 2013 Board Meeting Summary

by Corinna Snyder, EEFC Board President


The Board posts our Board meeting notes on the website — here is a link to them. We agreed it would be good to also provide a summary of our meeting outcomes, so I’ve written one up, and here it is. It’s lengthy – as you can see we have a lot to do!

First and foremost on our to do list is fundraising. As you’ll read below, while we exceeded our fundraising goals, we still ran at a deficit this year, and we have run at a deficit for a few years now. We need to turn this around, and we will do so – and we will need your help!

Please reach out to me, or any other board member, including Jay, if you have questions – any one of us would be happy to hear from you.

Fall 2013 Board Meeting Summary
We confirmed the Strategy and Goals for the EEFC that we developed at the spring meeting:

  • Transition the Board out of operations: Our goal is to have our staff to take on the day-to-day operations of the organization so the board can focus on long term planning, fundraising, and governance. We are calling this Chart the Course.
  • Demonstrate our reach beyond the workshop programming: We want to bring the joy of Balkan music, dance and folkways to more people that we can reach just through our two workshops. Examples might be publications, online resources, educational programming. We call this More than Camp.
  • Raise the profile of the EEFC: We want the EEFC to be recognized as a significant resource for those interested in Balkan music, dance, and culture. We call this EEFC = The Source.

We agreed that to help the organization achieve these goals, we need a fourth goal: Improve our financial, technological, and organizational capabilities. We are calling this Build the Base.

Our realities:

  • Workshop costs are rising
  • Fundraising needs to grow
  • All staff are part-time and hours are limited
  • We depend on work exchanges and volunteers
  • Camp attendance at the Mendocino camp is lower than we want it to be
  • There is both opportunity and need for other revenue generating program offerings to offset workshop deficits, and
  • We need more consistent communications to our community.

Looking forward we want to:

  • Do more of what we do well
  • Better support people’s desires to help
  • Work better as an organizational team
  • Experiment with partnerships
  • Expand our reach beyond camp
  • Develop a fundraising plan, and
  • Continue to improve communication and transparency.

What we have accomplished this year, and our goals for the next 6-12 months

Financial Update
The finance committee and our intrepid staff have transitioned our books to conform to the Unified Chart of Accounts (UCA) protocols, a standard for nonprofit bookkeeping and accounting with categories that align with those on Form 990, our annual report to the IRS. By using this format, we can demonstrate to others that we are responsibly managing our finances. Now we can see our financial position in real time, and can compare our estimated costs and revenues to our actual costs and revenues with greater ease. In addition, our budgeting process is now integrated into our bookkeeping system, making the process easier, and letting us run scenarios. This is a huge and positive change: in the past, when I was asked to authorize an unexpected cost, it was difficult to determine the potential impact or what we needed to do offset the cost elsewhere. Those days are over! Lastly, this change puts us in a much better position to apply for grants from foundations, who like to see the ability to follow UCA protocols as a sign of good financial responsibility.

HUGE thanks to the finance committee (Biz, Jay, Doug, Nancy) and Traci for making this happen, and thanks to previous board members and staff who worked hard to keep us fully in compliance with the IRS, and our books clean—we are building on what you all started and/or stewarded for so many years.

Going forward we will be developing a multiyear budget to better plan for financial need, we’ll raise tuition a small amount annually to keep pace with rising costs of workshops, and we’ll continue to keep a close eye on our expenses at Iroquois Springs.

Financial FYI: Our camp at Iroquois Springs, as it is currently structured, does not break even. The cost to rent the facility (including food), which is the vast majority of the total cost, is fixed. We don’t want to pay our staff less or diminish the quality of our program, and we want to continue to provide as many work-exchange opportunities as possible to make it easier for more people to attend camp. Jay and I are analyzing different scenarios that we hope will result in a balanced budget for IS. Your ongoing support via the annual campaign, membership, and auction/donation/volunteering will help.

Technology Update
Jay and community volunteers have cataloged the different systems and software packages the EEFC uses to manage documents and data. Long story short—many systems can’t (or won’t) talk to each other and we have lots of documents floating around, with too much resident on local hard drives.

This year, a community-sourced tech team will recommend a technology infrastructure that gives staff and the board easy access to up-to-date, comprehensive, and accurate financial, membership, and other operational data and documents. Thank you in advance, tech team!

Board Operations Update
We need to update our bylaws to reflect recent changes (e.g., the new position of Executive Director), and to allow our community be a more active part of our committees by opening up committee participation to non-board members. Our new secretary, Ann, will lead that effort. We will also update the Policies and Procedures document to reflect the new roles and responsibilities of the ED and the organization. Nancy will lead that effort.

Fundraising Update
This year we raised more than we forecasted, which was great news. Congratulations to everyone who participated in that effort. Going forward, we will improve the membership program, and build relationships with individual donors. The EEFC will ask new programs (publishing projects, children’s education programs, etc) to help raise funds for their own efforts, including pursuing outside funding for support.

Marketing/Communications Update
New board member Elena Erber has begun creating a marketing and communications plan for the organization. This will help us produce regular community updates, provide an effective push to sell spots in both of our workshops (which has the potential to have a serious impact on the EEFC’s bottom line), and help us develop effective outreach to new organizations and individuals.

Workshop Update
We know it takes a village to create our two villages every year—but just how much of a village? We want to better understand what it takes to make the workshops happen. This year we’ll be asking the board, staff, work-exchange and volunteers who does what, what skills are needed, and how many hours does it take, to make it all happen. We hope this will help us find a way to better manage the cost of producing the workshops, and better recognize the contributions many of you make to create our workshops.

New Programs
We have community members who want to lead two pilot programs:
In-school program in NYC to teach Balkan repertoire, by ear
Cocek Nation, involving multiteacher rehearsals outside of camp, two or three performances, and a recording.
We raised $2,400 total at the IS auction for these two new programs, and there was very positive community support. These are also likely grant proposal candidates—expect to hear more in the future. Thank you IS campers for your support – you showed remarkable generosity, and just as importantly, you showed us you want to support the next generation of musicians, and you understand the value of bringing music education to children who may not have access to any arts education.

EEFC’s current resources include:

  • · Forum Folkloristika, the songbook, Kef Times, FAQs, and the listserv archives.

We discussed possible future programs, such as edited online discussions (similar to what happens now on the listserv on an ad hoc basis among recognized experts), an online resource center, and a YouTube channel. The publications committee will lead this effort, including developing a plan to pursue grant funding.

The Board agreed that the scholarship application and selection process needs to be better defined and communicated, and that if that is done well, the board will not need to have as much (or any) representation on the committee. This is a great example of our “Chart the Course” goal. Ann will lead that effort.

Scholarship FYI: Crum/Kef Scholarships are funded by donations to the EEFC scholarship fund. The average awards each year are three full positions per camp, with some awardees receiving full scholarships, some receiving partial scholarships, usually half or three-quarters. Stefni Agin Scholarship averages one full scholarship per year, and is funded by Jerry Agin and an anonymous donor. The Balkan Night Northwest Scholarship is a half or full scholarship for a resident of the Pacific Northwest and is funded by Balkan Night Northwest.

Workshop Programming
The committee is transitioning to longer range planning to allow us to coordinate workshop programming with other EEFC efforts, such as publications, and fundraising efforts, and to make it easier to program for more areas of interest on a more regular basis. It also will let us hire teachers who may need more lead-time to commit to teaching at our workshops.

Our goal is to have 1, 2, 3 and 5 year plans running concurrently, and to have “guest curators” who will work with core workshop programming committee members to recommend a full compliment of teachers for a particular slate that they are steeped in ( i.e Romanian, Bosnian, Sephardic, etc).

Summary by Corinna Snyder, EEFC Board President