July 9, 2020

At Drum ’N’ Splash 2020

DS20 Bachteler MikeFireSpin 800Mike McConnel lights up the Meadow with dazzling fire spinning.

Drum and Splash was fun …. and weird … but mostly fun. It was particularly amazing seeing everyone this year. Covid has certainly changed my perspective on seeing and hanging out with chosen family and friends. These moments are just extra sweet because they are so rare. Seeing friends, hanging out with chosen family, sharing space and experiences was something I used to take for granted. Now, there are no guarantees when the next time will be. I can’t believe I’m saying this and double true if you know me … I miss people. I miss hugs. I can’t believe I just owned that … lol. It was so weird feeling like that and then feeling this little edge of fear creeping in … c o v i d. I refuse to capitalize the “c” anymore, I am not giving it any more power.

DS20 Bachteler FairieParade 800aFairie wings grace the Dragon Parade Saturday Night.

The Fire circles were amazing. The fire burned so bright and so clear, the wood was perfectly seasoned. It was warm and dry. The rhythms were gentle and flowy. The dancing was ecstatic and joyful. We had flutes and soaring free spirited moments and moments of profound graceful silence. We went to a bunch of different classes. Honestly more than I’ve probably ever attended in total over the years. It was fun to hang out with people and try new things. Yup … right now Dave’s going who are you and what have you done with my woman lol. But its’ true, we really missed you all and I am so grateful that you all are ok. I missed the meal plan and hanging out with everyone and sharing a meal together. Totally support the why, just honestly missed it. Heard a lot of folks saying the same thing. The fireworks where spectacular this year, Thank you Will & Amy and crew. They are always amazing but this year they just seemed so much more special. I think because a month or two ago the last thing I thought might happen was being able to spend the 4th watching fireworks at the Farm or the Mountain if you prefer.

DS20 Bachteler KenFirestick 800aKen Crampton inspires and herds the Satruday Night Drummers with an impressive firestick!

I struggled trying to find balance between social distancing, defining my family group and wearing a mask in the heat and while dancing and drumming. I believe most of us did. We talked a lot. We talked about our covid experiences and our thoughts on it. We talked about our fears and our risks and what we personally found acceptable. We listened to each other. We compromised. We moved when we felt uncomfortable in our distance. We asked others to move if needed. We wore masks when we felt we needed to. We asked others to wear them when we felt comfortable asking. We found a balance. We found our points of acceptable risk and we accepted the potential consequences of our choices as individuals and as a community. Definitely a fine example of a community coming together and compromising individually for the balance of all. Pretty darn good work for a first try. Not perfect but solid progress. I believe this Drum & Splash may end up being one of my most favorites because of this.

DS20 Bailey HemlockHole 800'N' Splash! Chilling in the best swimming holes in Central Pensylvania!.

We didn’t make it over to new camp this year and looking forward to someone sharing their experiences.

– Maura & Dave

And there's more...

DS20 OPW JohnnyStrum 800Johnny Strum and friends delighted us on both sides of the river.

The River Cadence Stage in New Camp was a tremendous success at this years Drum & Splash, featuring down tempo EDM, live acoustic, and even a few Celtic Folk sets. Our camera did not do justice to the night-time lighting, after hours the stage became a destination of choice into the wee hours. Our thanks to the Artists who donated their time and talents. And especially to The Normal's who organized and managed the River Cadence stage

DS20 OPW RivCadenceStage 800The River Cadence stage sparkles in the Old Firest in New Camp, just over The Rainbow Bridge.

Over in Main Camp Nina Amaya's Kasbah was a dash of color and dance, while Ken Crampton and Erro Gutshall kept the beats-on in The Drum Circle. More presenters brought everything from Japanese Taiko to Interpreative dance. We paid for the Fireworks before the pandemic struck, so there were plenty of Oooo's and Ahhhh's Saturday night.

Drum & Splash more than doubled in size from last year, with almost 250 people as our final tally; and 10% of them young children. Just how we like it! And we have more plans for the River Cadence Stage in 2021. Hope you will join us!

– Orren Whiddon