Comments received from various participants at Camp Fareta 2006

The camp was great! The quality of teaching and drumming for the classes was unsurpassed in any camp I've been to. The vibe was sweet and supportive from both the teachers and fellow students. A rare non-competitiveness for the dance world! I loved the food, I REALLY LOVED the African food.

I personally thought that the food and accommodations top of the list. The facilities for class also great. The instructors the best. I would and have recommended this camp to anyone.

Great job on everything. I am very happy that I took this opportunity to grow. Looking forward to the next Camp Fareta. I will promote in Texas.

WOWOWOW! I am still running with some of that energy from Camp Fareta. I want to appreciate you and all the hard work, sweat, and love you put into putting on this camp. I sure do hope that it happens next year. I would be confident to say numbers would double, easy.

I had such a great time. Next year we'll be there the first day of camp until the last. I really appreciate how well organized the classes and meals were. My body still hurts in all the good ways. :) I hope next year more kids register. That would be wonderful for us, if the kids had a more organized camp schedule too. Other wise I will definitely see you next year. I would love to put fliers around Arcata and southern Humboldt as well next year. Let me know if I can help in any way...

Camp was awesome! As I mentioned while I was there, the atmosphere was supportive and welcoming. That was great. I also loved:
- the food, although it seemed to take awhile to get the quantities figured out so there would be enough of everything
- the weather—although I love hot, humid weather, I have to admit that the cool, dry breeze was a lot more comfortable for dancing
- the fire circles
- the enthusiasm of the artists—I’ve been at camps where the artists didn’t interact with the participants, didn’t support each other’s classes, etc. At your camp, it seemed like the artists were having as much fun as everybody else.
- the setting—it was great being far away from the “real world.” The scenic, peaceful setting contributed to the relaxed and invigorating nature of the experience.
- the shuttle service to/from the airport. I appreciated not having to worry about how to get to and from camp on my own.

I hope you have another camp next year. I’ll be there if at all possible and will tell my fellow dancers and drummers in Oregon about it.

I just wanted to give you the BIG HUGE THANKS, once again! I was so blissful, happy, inspired, awakened…at the camp, and it was the most loving vibe I’ve felt at a dance camp! Truly, the food was unbelievably yummy!!!, and the dance floor with the cool breeze from the lake was equally yummy! Best of all, of course, were the dance and drum teachers – I found myself jaw dropped half of the time. What beautiful people with deep spirit! The only thing I regret was my own ego…not being able to just let go and dance by the fire “in front of the masters!” Surely the Africans must find us (many of us) foolish, just sitting there trapped in our little frightened Western ego packages, afraid to just bust out in joy, no matter what form the expression takes on!

I thought it was a fantastic camp. The teachers were incredibly high quality, as well as many of the students. I was glad to see newer students there, too. It was inspiring, and I felt grateful - even privileged - to be able to take part. The food was awesome! The facilities were very nice, too, although it took getting back to San Diego for my lips to heal from the dry air. But it made doing hand laundry so easy...washed before the first dance class, dry before the last one!

We had a great time at the camp!!! We are telling our friends all about it!

Gracias por todo, again thank you a loooooot. I'm so happy to know you and your family. : ) The Camp Fareta is the beeestt felicitaciones un millon dos millones,

From a more formal letter written by a camp participant in support of a grant application for Camp Fareta 2007:

The program afforded enthusiasts of West African Drum and Dance an excellent opportunity to learn from numerous Master artists day after day in the peaceful and beautiful setting of Camp Fareta. The camp setting also allowed for students to interact with one another and their teachers to share valuable cultural information and ideas. Being a part of the amazing enthusiasm and high spirits of all the classes was the high point of my camp.

The food provided at Camp Fareta was excellent, catering to a wide variety of dietary needs. The camp’s location in the Kings Canyon National Forest area was perfect for drum and dance as it was secluded enough to prevent the loud drum music from being a nuisance to neighbors. It was also a very peaceful and serene setting with a swimming pond complete with rowing boats, a volleyball beach and a lifeguard station, hiking trails, clean bathroom facilities with hot running water, and simple but comfortable cabins to relax in at the end of the day.

The atmosphere of the camp was amicably social, allowing for interpersonal sharing of information and experiences on many levels among all present. Family members who did not dance or drum also seemed to be having a good time swimming, rowing, hiking, playing ball games, simply observing dance and drum classes, or sharing songs and stories round a fire before bedtime.

Dance class

Happy campers

Drum class

Boating on the lake

Kids at camp

Dance class

Moussa and a young student

Meal Time

Drum class


Dancing around the fire

Youssouf and Mariama