Thanksgiving in the Mountains
Leave this field empty
Friday, November 13, 2015
By Bekah Wright
Pin It

Image from the Bannerman Family Thanksgiving Camp Facebook page

 

Wednesday's article about the Bannerman Family's South American tour sparked conversations.

 

"Those pictures really brought back some memories."

 

"What a great write-up! Thank Lee Anne for me. I tell the story about her ankle in my Cajun Carnval book, D.L. (Menard) is a traiteur!"

 

"I remember stories about that trip being told at an all-day hoe down at Teeter's Barn... What an idea -- 'cultural exchange,' 'good will...'"


Photo of Glenn and Evelyn Bannerman from Glenn Bannerman's Facebook page

 

"Thank you for this reminiscence," Barbara Ford commented to the article's author, Lee Ann Bannerman. "I had no idea about this travel experience, or what a long legacy your parents have had. Bannermans: to eternity and beyond!"

 

I also caught sight of a note from my own mother, which read: "This story brought back many happy memories, especially of Thanksgiving Family Dance Camps."

 

Indeed, it had done the same for me, which led to my own trip down memory lane. Aiding in this journey was a photo discovered on the Bannerman Family Thanksgiving Dance Camp website.


Image from Bannerman Family Thanksgiving Dance Camp Facebook page

 

There I was, circa 6th grade, with a disasterous attempt at a "shag" haircut, and a mouth so full of braces I couldn't close my lips.

 

This sent me digging through my own scrapbooks, where I unearthed a photo or two.

 

Image courtesy of Bekah Wright

 

As you'll note from the photo above, previously published in the Sanford Herald newspaper, my family brought the folk dances back into our day-to-day lives. Here, we're teaching some Girl Scounts how to do the Hava Nagila.

 

Thankfully, the shag haircut was growing out...

 

Photo courtesy of Bekah Wright

 

So the next time we attended Thanksgiving Dance Camp, I was sporting long hair, all one length.

 

As for my cousin, Lee Ann, she'd just been in a horseback riding accident, during which a tree branch took her out. I was impressed by her derring-do.

 

All our favorite things were on tap. There was dancing, of course. And puppet-making followed by performances from these newly created masterpieces.

 

 

 Arts and crafts, games, storytelling and...

 

Photo courtesy of Bekah Wright

 

...cute boys like David Oroshnik. Sigh. Just dreamy. But I digress.

 

 

Image from Bannerman Family Thanksgiving Dance Camp Facebook page

 

Back in the day, Thanksgiving Dance Camp was held at Massanetta Springs Camp & Conference Center, a Presbyterian camp and conference center in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

For several decades, though, it's been at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina (pictured above).


Those stories are for others to tell. Unfortunately, the photos from my scrapbook were my last foray to Thanksgiving Dance Camp. As it did for my mother, dance camp left me with many indelible memories.


Image from Bannerman Family Thanksgiving Dance Camp Facebook page

 

I'm happy to see the traditions continue, with Thanksgiving Dance Camp now in its 46th year.

Puppets still take the stage...

 

Image from Bannerman Family Thanksgiving Dance Camp Facebook page

 

Games get underway (Bogards, you've been subject to me pulling some of these out during our camping trips. "Weave the magic circle...")

 

Image from Bannerman Family Thanksgiving Dance Camp Facebook page

 

Conversations are had and bonds are solidified. Yep, David Oroshnik and I are Facebook friends to this day!

 

Image from Bannerman Family Thanksgiving Dance Camp Facebook page

Then there's the other magic that comes via music and dancing (scroll to the end of this article to see a video of camp in action).

 

Each year, as Thanksgiving rolls around, I'll check my calendar and wonder: is this the year I'll make it back to dance camp?

 

Someday. Until then, blowing big kisses to the Bannermans (below)!

 

Image from Bannerman Family Thanksgiving Dance Camp Facebook page

 

For information about the Bannerman Family Thanksgiving Dance Camp visit http://familydancecamp.com/. You can also learn more at http://www.bannermanfamily.com/.

Leave a comment:
2 Comments
Beth Gunn - Wonderful trip down memory lane!! It great to see camp from a participants view point - thank you for sharing AND you should come back one year soon!!
Nancy Perrow - I love this story! I love the photos of young you and the one of your Dad teaching the Girl Scouts! Thanks for sharing.