Camp Sturtevant Contra Dance Weekend

May 24-27, 2019

• Download Camp Flier HERE

The Most Unique Camp in the Angeles National Forest

Historic Sturtevant Camp, was established in 1893. It is the only camp from the Great Hiking Era which is still in operation in southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains. Surrounded by the largest virgin stand of Big Cone Spruce trees in the United States, Sturtevant’s canyon setting provides a unique opportunity to experience the wilderness. Sturtevant Camp is located in the beautiful Big Santa Anita Canyon above the communities of Sierra Madre and Arcadia in Southern California. This is roadless country and requires the visitor to travel by foot through a great variety of vegetation indigenous to southern California.
In this setting we strive to create a Contra Dance camp community that is welcoming, inclusive, and safe for all dancers. We do not gender balance our roster, and have both gendered/non-gendered accommodations. We appreciate and are excited for feedback on ways to make our dance space safer and more welcoming for everyone.
The camp uses gender-free calling, featuring Larks and Ravens terms. We encourage campers to dance any role, with any partner they choose. We strive to create an environment where dancers feel safe and comfortable both in asking for a dance and in declining one. Ask partners kindly, and accept their answers graciously.


Music by Amy Englesberg and Audrey Knuth with Dana Parkinson Calling.

Dana Parkinson Dana started contra dancing in 2009. Through support from her local community and inspiration from dancing at dozens of dance weekends, Dana soon found herself at a Contra Calling Workshop with Cis Hinkle. In no time at all she was calling local dances. She called her first dance weekend in 2012 and has been energizing dancers ever since!

Audrey Knuth Audrey has made a name for herself in the music community, namely as a dance fiddler specializing in New England, Celtic and Old Time tunes. She occasionally has been known to use her audio engineering skills to put her degree to use as well. With her bands including the Free Raisins, The Gaslight Tinkers, Wake Up Robin and Audacious with Larry Unger, she has traveled across the United States (and world) playing for dances and concerts. Audrey’s fiddling features American and Celtic tunes with elements of other traditions including swing and blues and can be described as rhythmically lively and spontaneous; she’s guaranteed to get you up and dancing.

Amy Englesberg Classically trained, brings joy to dancers across the country on piano and accordion. She was raised in the contra dance community, and has been playing for dances since 2010. Amy is based in Seattle WA, and is a member of The Free Raisins, Wake Up Robin, and Saving Daylight.


Registration You can send in application any time, however, a lottery will be held on April 1st if there are more applications received than spaces available. This weekend is not gender balanced. Acceptance notices will be sent after the April 1st. Registration is not transferable. Registration fee is $395 per person. A $50 deposit is required with your application. Balances must be paid in full by May 10th.
Cancellations A full refund will be given to cancellation requests received before May 10th.
Work Scholarships A limited number of partial work scholarships are available. Please contact Dan for more information.
For more information Contact Dan: 626.422.4364 or Lynn:

To register you can fill out this form and send it in with your payment as directed, OR send an email with the information of the form to our registrar, Lynn Ricketts at Be sure to include all information requested. Then follow up by sending a check payable to CDC, to:

Lynn Ricketts, 932 French Street, Santa Ana CA 92701

If you want to use PayPal for payment, please contact Dan,, for instructions.


Deep in the Angeles Forest, under majestic trees, is Camp Sturtevant. Established in 1893, it is the only camp from the Great Hiking Era still in operation in southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains. Surrounded by the largest virgin stand of Big Cone Spruce trees in the United States, Sturtevant’s canyon setting provides a unique opportunity to experience wilderness, an historic location, and contra dance! The four-mile hike leads you up the lush, cool and shady Santa Anita Canyon to the cozy, inviting canyon setting of this beautiful camp setting. Complete with bunk bed cabins, a bathhouse, and a dining and dance hall, with maple floor that has the natural spring of hundred-year-old horizontal pole framing. It is an intimate location for 40 campers. A pack train of burros hauls the food, creature comforts, and fuel up a trail that leaves roads, cars, crowds, disturbance, worry, and the bustle of LA miles away. The quiet canyon setting provides perfect solitude. The camp includes heated cabins, hot showers, a 30-foot tree swing, zip-trolley line, volleyball court, fireplaces, a warren of hiking trails, and the great outdoors for relaxing. It is a place designed for weekend fun, fantastic traditional music and, of course, CONTRA DANCING!


Heated bunk cabins, with gender-specific, co-ed/couple/multiple gender cabin options. Tenting/hammock areas available.


There will be nine nutritious, filling meals, prepared in modern kitchen facilities by our chef Brenda Goodwin, provided as part of the weekend. A variety of refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

The Hike

The historic 19th century camp is only accessible by footpath at the end of a beautiful hike up Big Santa Anita canyon in the Angeles National Forest. It is a fragrant, tree shaded walk alongside a running creek. It is a fun, leisurely hike, with only a 1400 foot gain over the four miles.

We will meet at the trailhead no later than 2:00 PM on Friday to hike in together. We plan on returning to the trailhead by 5:00PM Monday.

Pack Train Portage

The pack train of donkeys and mules will be hauling our food, fuel, equipment and supplies. The pack train will haul your personal items round trip. (15 lbs included with your registration, more for a nominal fee) Items must be delivered at a drop off point (2 or 3 throughout the L.A. area) by Wednesday night. Out of town campers can send their gear ahead of time for inclusion in the pack train.