21st Year • Endicott College • Beverly • Massachusetts • USA

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Beantown Camp

Thanks for a spectacular Beantown 2017! Join us next year back at the beautiful Endicott College for Beantown Camp #22, from June 28 to July 5, 2018!

Gordon Webster at Beantown Camp 2016

Gordon Webster has two new albums in the works and an Indiegogo Campaign to help make them happen!

Many of us in the Boston area have known Gordon for a long time and watched him grow into one of the most in demand musicians on the worldwide Lindy scene. Not only is he a superb musician and bandleader, he’s a super nice guy. We are fortunate to have him play in our area multiple times a year. He’s been a long time Beantown regular, and this year for the first time he’s on the instructor lineup, teaching some musicality classes. In more recent years, his band has been closing out the week with two fabulous nights of music. You always want to go out on a high note, and with Gordon, you know it will be magical!

Now is our chance to show Gordon some Lindy love and support! He has an Indiegogo campaign to raise the much needed funds to complete the production of his albums. Plus there are perks! Be sure to check it out, and if you would like to contribute, there are only 10 days left!

Beantown Camp

As the First Time special discount slots are down to the last 1 available for the whole shebang or week, we’ve added one more opportunity before they are gone for good! On Thursday, April 6, we are holding a last chance sale for First Timers. Between 6:00pm and midnight, First Time discounts will be held open for ALL first timers who register during that period. (Whole shebang and week options only.) 

If this will be your first time attending Beantown, take advantage of this excellent opportunity to register at a significant discount. If you have friends, classmates or students who are interested and have not attended, please pass the word. The first time discount CAN be combined with the international discount.

For everyone else, Early Bird discounts are in effect through April 30!

Register Now

Join the Beantown Camp 2017 Facebook event.

Beantown Camp

Campers are already registered from across the USA as well as internationally. Follows have been especially fabulous at registering early. Leaders, we need you to catch up! Please get in your registration so we can avoid having to start a wait list for follows.

Beantown 2017 is scheduled from June 22-29. Do the Whole Shebang or Week option to get the full load of track classes, mini-tracks, as well as optional and specialty classes, along with many other fun activities. Each day brings its own special features. You won’t want to miss them!

Beantown 2016 Photo Booth

Beantown 2017 is scheduled from June 22-29. We have an excellent lineup of world class instructors, some very exciting plans for 5 nights of live music, plus many extras and fun activities throughout the week.

Do the Whole Shebang or Week option to get the full load of track classes, mini-tracks, as well as optional and specialty classes. Each day brings its own special features. You won’t want to miss them!

Registration is going live on Tuesday, February 7! Here are some things to look out for:

  • 4 Tiers Early Registration First Timer Discounts 
  • 4 Tiers Early Registration Discounts
  • International Discounts
  • On-Campus Housing Options

Jam with Campus Five

Hope you’ve been having a fantastic summer! We’ve been having good weather here in the Boston area, getting us out to enjoy the great outdoors. Time has flown since camp ended, although there’s been a lot of “Beantown” still going on at our house, wrapping things up for 2016.

Planning starts early each year, and with it being our 20th, we wanted it to be extra special. Somehow, no matter how last minute things ended up, our plans all came together. However, that is only part of the story. The atmosphere at camp was so fantastic from the very start to the very finish. The happy faces, the heartfelt moments and the sheer joy was what it all comes down to.

Camp Social

Our vision for Beantown from the beginning, which we still feel today, is for a week of complete immersion in dance, learning, challenge, inspiration, positivity, camaraderie and a whole lot of fun. Being on the Endicott campus has enabled us to do so much, with the fantastic facilities, the beautiful beaches, and the perfect setting. There’s the convenience of living on campus, sharing meals, creating our own little community. The weekend can be super busy, but then there is the rest of the week, allowing a chance for other activities, more time for classes, social dancing and hanging with fellow Beantowners. It adds so much to the whole experience.

Soul Party

When we started, we didn’t think about the future and how long we’d be going. It is amazing that it has been 20 years! Over time there have been a lot of changes, and each year we take a fresh look to make plans for the next one. As for 2016, Beantown was pretty much everything we had hoped it would be. We loved the amazing spirit on campus, we loved seeing so much participation, and we loved all the smiles. Beantown would never be what it is without the help and contributions of so many people, some behind-the-scenes and some front and center.

First there is our long time team of friends who help with setting up camp and preparing for opening day, as well as handling duties during the week. They are the go-to people in time of need and we don’t know how we could do Beantown without them. Rachelle Gaudet, Suzanne Gaudet, Joe Toth, Martin Frechette, Meredith Patneaude, Denyce Zabrecky, Benson Wong, Betty Stone and Margaret Marks, thanks for always being willing to help us with the craziness.

Norma Miller

Next up we would like to thank Beantown’s very special guest, the legendary Queen of Swing, Norma Miller! This year she was everywhere. She sang with the bands, she danced with Nathan’s tap group, she entertained us with her stories.

Instructors

Classes are a major component of Beantown and therefore require an excellent cast of instructors. However, the role of instructors is much greater than teaching. Beantown is a week full of activities and the teachers are involved in so many of them. We are a team, all working together to create the best experience possible. That requires not only talented dancers and teachers, but just as important, fantastic people.

Many of our instructors have been with us a long time, and we could easily single out each one, however, we want to mention a few who have been a big part of all that Beantown has become.

Peter Strom is so much Beantown. Over the years he’s given us many laughs, wonderful presentations, Beantown Bounce finales, as well as hosting the late night Soul Party. There is something special about those Beantown Soul Parties, bringing everyone together, letting loose and just having fun!

Bobby White always brings something great with his “bar talks” and presentations. One of the best ever was this year’s presentation with Norma. We especially enjoyed the clip of Norma that she got so excited about. Maybe something she’s never seen before.

Beantown Bounce with Michael, Nathan and Evita

Evita Arce has been doing the majority of organizing Beantown Bounce the last few years and it is always a highlight of the week. This year’s overflowed with talent, one fantastic number after another. Thank you so much to everyone who performed and gave us such a spectacular show. The creativity and how everything gets pulled together in so little time never ceases to amaze.

Jon Tigert has kind of grown up during his years at Beantown and he even shares his birthday with us. We call him the “entertainment director” because pretty much everything Jon does is entertaining. We appreciate all of it, most especially his constant smile, exuberant attitude and willingness to jump into anything we ask him to.

Gordon Webster and Friends

Another big component of Beantown is the social dancing and for that you need fantastic music. We certainly had that, starting off the weekend with Taryn Newborne and The Real Deal, making their Beantown debut. It’s always a treat to have Jonathan Stout & his Campus Five, and this year was extra wonderful with Hilary Alexander back with the band. As for many years, the perfect way to finish off the week with Gordon Webster & Friends. With a line-up like this to count on, you know you can’t go wrong!

The DJ crew rounded out the music and did an excellent job. Special thanks to Allen Kerr. As Head DJ at Beantown, there are a lot of extra activities he was involved with that are not usually part of the job. No matter what we asked, Allen has always delivered and is a pleasure to have on the team.

MC Edgar Herwick

Emcees are key to an event as they often set the tone and create atmosphere. Besides Jon, Edgar Herwick is often on the mic, adding so much to everything he does. Besides his easygoing style, what we appreciate so much about Edgar is how he takes what you ask him and always pulls it off in just the right way. Thanks also to Jasmin Hains for handling the meal time announcements. Jasmin may worry that his English isn’t perfect, but what he doesn’t realize is that announcements are more enjoyable with a lovely French accent!

We’ve worked with Judy Pritchett with the Frankie Manning Foundation Ambassador program, but this year was the first time she actually attended Beantown. It was a big pleasure having Judy on campus all week, plus she gave two presentations, one on Frankie Manning and one on the Big Apple. Both were wonderful and included things even long timers like us haven’t seen before.

Beantown's Got Talent

There’s a lot going on with a week of Beantown and all the planning in the world is not enough without a fantastic team to make it happen.

Michael Strickland came early to set up all the sound systems and handle the bands for the first half of the week. We have a lot of rooms, so that means a lot to set up. Maduka Chidebelu-Eze handled the 2nd half of the week, with special activities to set up along with the live music and breaking down all the equipment.

Jason Volk was our lead support this year, doing some of many things, including helping Michael and Maduka, some staff pick-ups, setting up for different activities and breaking camp. One of those jobs that requires being ready whenever something is needed.

Davis Thurber is our head videographer, with help from Chris Hugo. This year Davis was especially quick with getting videos out. As an example, the Wednesday late afternoon class performances were up on YouTube before dinner! Because of the great job he did while at camp, we were able to get the class review online downloads and DVDs done in record time this year.

Advanced Jack and Jill Finals with Campus Five

Jenna Applegarth is in charge of both the competitions and the auditions/track placements. Despite that they are both happening during the same time period, she handles everything with calm and control. Jenna’s job is extra challenging at Beantown due to the different options for attending, adding multi layers into the track placement process. Thanks also to the judges and everyone on Jenna’s crew for making these challenging activities run so smoothly.

Steve Berman and Charlie Wieprecht were our main drivers this year. This is a job that most people at camp wouldn’t notice, although to us, it is an amazing help to have the right people handling it. We have a lot of staff to get to and from the campus. The job may start out straightforward, but then there are shifted travel plans, delayed or cancelled flights and unexpected last minute additions. Enough to drive a person crazy! These guys couldn’t have been more patient and gracious. Thanks also to everyone else who filled in where we needed help.

Tom Hagar and Robert Hatcher handled photography for this year and it’s been great seeing the photos rolling out on Facebook since Beantown. They did a great job of capturing all the fun we had! Thanks also to Byron Hon. He should just be on the crew as he must devote just as much time to all the wonderful photos he takes.

Photo Booth

Our good friend Don Fish once again did a fantastic job with the graphics for the t-shirts and hoodies, photo booth banner, buttons and wherever else we used his images. We give him vague requests and he puts them together far better than we ever could imagine. Thanks also to Steve Carmel for making the giant 20 for the photo booth, far surpassing what we envisioned. As hoped, Beantown Campers made good use of them in the photos.

There are so many others who helped out during the week and we truly appreciate each one of you! Tara Weinstein hosting the open practices, Lori Michelle doing the stretch classes, Taryn Newborne and the rest of the check-in crew, the Beantown Café crew, Martin’s roadie/water crew, and everyone else who played a part in making our week happen.

One other important thank you we want to be sure to include is to Sarah Sullivan and Nicole Zuckerman for doing their very important presentation on the “Culture of Consent”. This was an excellent program that included information, discussion and exercises. We hope that in the future we can have something like this again as we need to be aware in our community of what exists, how to handle situations and how best to create an environment that allows everyone to feel safe, supported and welcomed.

Camp BBQ

As to our Beantown campers from near and far, you truly are the best! We feel so grateful to have this opportunity to bring together so many from all over the U.S. and beyond to share in the world of Lindy Hop that we love so much. It was fantastic to reconnect with friends we’ve not seen for awhile as well as to welcome all the first-timers. Thank you to all those who recommended Beantown to friends and students and to all the group organizers. So much of what makes Beantown so special and unique has to do with the energy, spirit, friendliness and joy that comes from all those who attend. It can be daunting each year to get to opening day, however, it is seeing everyone put so much of themselves into the week which makes it so worthwhile. This is what we hope for and thank you all so much for making it happen!

See you at Beantown 2017, June 22-29!

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Beantown CampBeantown Camp registration has been open for almost two weeks! Of course we sweated it out on opening night when everything went to overload. Once it all got rolling, it was excellent to see registrations pouring in.

Early Bird discount prices are currently available. Plus there are still some First Time discounts for those attending the week or whole shebang for their very first Beantown. Great bargains are still to be had!

Some of the housing options have filled, although there is plenty of available housing on campus. Be sure to check out some of the new options for 2016.

More exciting announcements are on the way!

Register Now

Join the Beantown Camp 2016 Facebook event.

Beantown Camp

Beantown Camp Opening Soon!

Who knew back in 1997 when we held our first Beantown Camp that here we’d be in 2016 just about ready to open Beantown #20! So much has happened over the years and we are excited and grateful for how Beantown has evolved to become the amazing event that it is today.

This year Beantown runs from June 23-30 and will be back at Endicott College in Beverly, MA, a beautiful oceanfront location just north of Boston.

Here are just some of the reasons why you want to attend Beantown Camp 2016:

  • Immersing yourself in a week of classes with an amazing collection of the world’s best Lindy Hop instructors!
  • Dancing to some of the hottest Swing bands: Taryn Newborne and The Real Deal, Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five (two nights) and Gordon Webster (two nights)!
  • Being entertained, awed and inspired watching the instructors perform in Beantown Bounce!
  • Dancing with awesome Lindy Hoppers from all over the U.S. and beyond!
  • Spending time with Norma Miller, living legend and original Lindy Hopper!
  • Saturday Camp Social in a gorgeous shoreline setting!
  • Fun competitions!
  • Good times at Beantown Karaoke!
  • Camp BBQ with lawn games in the beautiful Misselwood Tent!
  • Bonding with classmates while trying to master that new move!
  • Entertainment galore at Beantown’s Got Talent!
  • Finding your Soul at a late night dance party!
  • Three fabulous meals per day with many options to choose from!
  • Rolling out of your bed and down to the beach for some relaxation time!
  • Hanging at the pub with your new and old friends!
  • Finishing your week filled with joy, exhilaration and lots of Lindy Love!

Important Beantown News

The past year presented some major challenges with Endicott College and Beantown, with the biggest issue concerning having minors on campus. The college has been undergoing some changes and starting with this year we will not be able to have anyone under 18 on campus. We were provided an exception for a handful of specific minors coming with key staff.

The changes taking place at Endicott are similar to many colleges these days. Some are eliminating all their summer programs to avoid the extra risks. Much of it has to do with all the scandals we hear about in the news. We were very worried about our being able to return this summer and, after meeting with the college president, were incredibly relieved we would be welcome back, although with some new parameters.

We are sad about having to restrict those who may come to Beantown, however, we are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to continue to hold our camp at this wonderful venue. So much of what Beantown has become is due to the spectacular setting, facilities and staff at Endicott. We can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Beantown Camp

Beantown Registration Announcement!

Registration is going live on Saturday, January 30 at 5:00pm EST!

Here’s what to look out for: 

  • First Timer Discounts
  • Special Tiered Early Bird Discounts
  • International Discounts
  • New On-Campus Housing Options

Much of the current info on the website is from 2015. Although this year’s camp will have many similar features, there are always some changes. More details will be available soon as the website is updated this week.

If you’ve never done the whole shebang, THIS is the year!

View the website for more information!

Join the Beantown Camp 2016 Facebook event.

We are still catching up with post-Beantown and it doesn’t seem like two weeks have passed already! This has been quite the year to say the least. There were some serious challenges to contend with, which thankfully didn’t take away from having an amazing week of camp. For that, we couldn’t be more grateful.

We started with an incredible roster of instructors and bands and they all delivered with top notch instruction and night after night of fantastic music. That in itself should be enough, however, it is more than that. What we appreciate most is how the staff give so much of themselves to Beantown. Whether it is Bobby White giving a bar talk, Peter Strom playing all night for the Soul Party, Gaby Cook running a solo practice session, Evita Arce hosting Beantown Bounce, plus everyone who participated in the community discussion. These are just some examples as the entire week was full of so much more. Having this fabulous team makes everything better.

Peter Strom

Speaking of Beantown Bounce - it was on high voltage from start to finish. Thank you so much to everyone who performed and everyone who worked on the crew. Beantown Bounce was the turning point for me when I could relax, smile and know we would be okay. Spirits were lifted!

Beantown Bounce

Allen Kerr was not only head DJ, but also covered many of the special events. The entire DJ staff did a fabulous job throughout the week. Jenna Applegarth had the almost thankless task of running the auditions. (We thank her!) That is not an easy one, especially with all the different time periods. She also ran the competitions and in both cases was helped by an excellent crew.

Competitons

Taryn Chidebelu-Eze headed up check-ins along with Arleene Norman and the rest of the welcome crew. You all are the first interactions campers have at Beantown and we thank you for getting everyone off to a great start.

Endicott College

Steve Berman and Carl Vick headed up our driver crew. That’s an underrated job which requires patience and flexibility. We have a lot of staff to cover and appreciate everyone who helped with bringing them to and from camp.

Edgar Herwick & Norma Miller

Edgar Herwick did a fabulous job as emcee, although what we love him for most is how perfectly he welcomed special guest Norma Miller. Thanks also to Jon Tigert for not just putting together an outstanding Beantown’s Got Talent, hosting another fun-filled Karaoke, but also for setting just the right mood with your easy going emceeing and willingness to jump in whenever asked. Jasmin Hains wonderfully handled all of our barely prepared and last minute meal time announcements.

Karaoke

Beantown photos are continuing to pop up. Tom Hagar and Hans Harmadi did an excellent job capturing the week at camp. Thanks also to Byron Hon and everyone else for posting your wonderful photos. Davis Thurber and Chris Hugo handled videotaping and more videos will continue to be rolled out.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped in any capacity on all the work crews. Every single person makes a difference to making Beantown the best it can be. Plus a special thanks to all of you who so willingly dropped everything to help with re-doing the Callahan floor on Sunday. We appreciate every one of you.

There are some extra special thank yous that must be made!

Maduka Chidebelu-Eze, head sound technician, was that and so much more. We couldn’t have a nicer more supportive person dealing with the week long tasks that make classes and other events happen. Maduka was the voice of calm and reason at our biggest moments of despair in the wee hours of Sunday morning, wondering what we were going to do about Callahan to get us through the next day and the rest of the week. The Tuesday relocation of the Gordon Webster dance to Callahan was for most a simple room change. For Maduka, it was dismantling everything he had moved into Gully’s and putting it all back together in Callahan. He didn’t even grumble at us with that request and we couldn’t be more grateful for his kindness and patience. Thanks also to Xander Norman for his tremendous help with setting up and breaking down the sound systems among the many things he did all week. If we needed him, he was there.

Maduka Chidebelu-Eze

Once again we have to thank Don Fish for his wonderful graphics for both the photo booth and the t-shirts. We give him vague requests and he comes up with something fantastic:-) His work permeates everything Beantown and we feel so fortunate to have this wonderful friend who we’ve known since the very first Lindy Hop class we ever taught back in Providence.

Beantown Stuff

To that special foursome of Suzanne Gaudet, Rachelle Gaudet, Martin Frechette and Joe Toth, you all are the best. Early Sunday when we had little time to get out the word of the room changes and clear out Gully’s to make the space bigger, we knew who to contact for help. From packet stuffing, setting up camp, the photo booth, check-ins, the Beantown Cafe, Beantown Shop, water crew, camp breakdown and even sewing sparkly Beantown letters onto Norma’s hat, these guys help with all that and more. We mean it with all our hearts when we say we couldn’t get through a Beantown without you.

Martin & Suzanne  Joe & Rachelle

Our friends Meredith Patneaude, Denyce Zabrecky and Benson Wong are also a tremendous help to us each year. They are also part of packet stuffing, the set up crew and Beantown Cafe as well as helping with anything we ask of them. Having friends who will step up when you need them is all you can really ask for.

Thank you to every single person who recommended Beantown and helped to bring together a fantastic group of Beantown campers. Lunou Samson Poirot and the gang from Quebec are simply amazing. We have never seen a group of dancers grow even closely to the rate they have. Their enthusiasm spills over to Montreal and Ottawa. We love their camaraderie, friendliness and spirit.

Chicago again brought a very large group of dancers headed up by Carl Linder and Karrie Willis. Friends from NYC and surrounding areas returned, once again bringing many new and previous campers. Javier Johnson, you are doing good things in CT and we saw a large increase of dancers attend.

Connecticut

Through the support of all the instructors plus many other campers, this year was the best attended camp ever. However, numbers aren’t everything. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer, friendlier or more joyful group of people. Beantown Campers are the best!

Beantown wouldn’t be what it is today if we hadn’t found Endicott College back in 2005. The beautiful setting, the beaches, the wonderful facilities, and mostly the friendly and supportive staff. As the college campus has changed over the years, we have been able to grow along with them. We never could have envisioned all that we’ve been able to offer at this most special place.

Endicott College Dining Hall 

Beantown campers are hungry! Paul Belski and his dining staff outdid themselves. Not only do we have a beautiful new dining hall, the food was fantastic. We very much appreciate all the effort they make to help us have the absolute best Beantown possible.

Hug

It was not the easiest of years, and we are uncertain as to what the future will hold, but we want you all to know that we felt the love and support and it made all the difference in the world to us. Plus thank you for the group hug. It was truly epic:-)

Sincerely,
Aurelie & Tony

P.S. If you had a great time at Endicott College while at Beantown, please give a shout out on social media mentioning both with hashtags #endicott #beantowncamp. Thanks!

Brandon

Brandon

Angelica

Angelica

Steven

Steven