Contra Dance & Music Camp
September 6 - 8
Bear Hug Mountain Festival 2019
Flathead Lake, Rollins, Montana
Rise up Woodstock Nation and get ready to dance, sing and play music like it's 1969 at the 2019 Bear Hug Mountain Music and Dance Camp weekend on the shores of Montana's Flathead Lake. The bands Sassafras Stomp and Continental Drift will be providing the music to the calling of Susan Michaels and Wendy Graham Settle. Bring your bell bottoms, beads, granny glasses, long hair and beards for the Saturday night frolic.
After a previous Continental Drift appearance at Bear Hug, one camper asked: “Do you believe only two people are making all that music?” Well, what is it going to sound like with three musicians? That's right! This time around fiddler Eileen Nicholson Kalfass of Rochester, N.Y., and pianist Eric Anderson of Seattle will be joined by accordionist Terry Wergeland, of Seattle. The trio will present an exciting repertoire of tunes from New England, Quebec, Scotland, Ireland, Cape Breton, and beyond.
Not to be outdone, fiddler Johanna Davis and guitarist Adam Nordell of Sassafras Stomp will be traveling from Maine accompanied by mandolin player John Pranio. Weaving together diverse fiddle traditions with a strong rhythmic sensibility, Sassafras builds a rich, dynamic roots-sound marked by driving rhythms and sweet harmony vocals. Adam is also a top-notch songwriter and singer so expect a great experience at the Saturday night Woodstock concert.
If caller Susan Michaels of Seattle ever forms a company it should be called FUN INCORPORATED. She has been distributing joy and laughter on and off dance floors across the country for more than 30 years. Susan loves all kinds of choreography, but specializes in dances with drive and flow that maintain the feel of a community dance while taking off into new dimensions. Wherever she goes, she brings her special brand of wry quirky humor, to make both newcomers and crusty veterans blossom through dance.
For the past 20 years, Wendy Graham Settle of Durango, Colorado, has called dance events throughout the USA, not to mention England and Denmark. Besides spreading fun and joy though contra, square, English country, and couples social dance instruction, Wendy is also invested in the preservation and growth of our music, song and dance community. She is involved with both the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) and the Lloyd Shaw Foundation. By the way, Wendy won't be offended if you refer to her as a “dance maniac.”
Wendy Graham Settle
ACTIVITIES: Swim, sun, or paddle canoes from a sandy beach or deep water dock. The park-like wooded grounds of the peninsula offer many sanctuaries along the lake shore for self-reflection or quiet talks with old friends. For the more competitive at heart, there's basketball and volleyball courts, outdoor ping-pong tables and horseshoe pits.
ARRIVAL: Camp opens at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. Upon reaching camp...
1) Check in at the Dining Hall.
2) Tour the camp to select your preferred cabin and bunk.
3) Come back and reserve the space on our accommodations map.
ACCOMODATIONS: You can choose bunks in more than a dozen rustic cabins of various sizes, or set up a tent along the shore beneath the pines, Other facilities include dining hall and retreat center, restroom and shower facilities, dock, swimming area and canoes, basketball and volleyball courts, ping pong pavilion, baseball diamond, tenting and RV space.
CABINS: Stove and refrigerators, living rooms and porches. Bath and shower houses are a short walk from the cabins.
FOOD: Potluck dinner on Friday night (provided by local dancers), 6 to 8. The camp provides three meals on Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday. The kitchen staff can accommodate those with special dietary needs.
CAMP MAPS: Cabin layouts, number/types of rooms and beds. Maps will be available at the registration desk.
Things to remember for the weekend
smooth sole dance shoes
warm sleeping bag
tape recoder & batteries
personal drink mug
The Friday evening dance is at 8 p.m Full weekend schedule at registration desk or here after Sept . Camp ends with lunch at 12:45 PM on Sunday. Emergency phone messages can be left at (406) 844-3483. Dancing shoes should be without black rubber soles/heels -- with smooth leather soles -- to protect the dance floor from black marks. No pets. No alcohol or recreational drugs. No indoor smoking. Park only in designated areas.
Bear Hug is held at the Flathead Lake United Methodist Camp (FLUMC) located off Highway 93 on the western shore of the lake, between Polson and Kalispell.
Coming from the south on Highway 93, the Bear Hug ''turn here'' sign stands about three-quarters of a mile north of the Rollins Store.
Coming from the north on Highway 93, look for the sign at mile marker 89, about nine miles south of Lakeside. Turn east onto Rollins Lakeshore Drive and follow the Bear Hug and Methodist camp signs, keeping to the middle fork at the Fire Hall.
Park in the lot above camp and walk to the dining hall porch to register.
Once you decide on a cabin you can drive there to unload.
Map courtesy of
Registration and Cost
Cost: $195 for each adult.
Scholarships: Bear Hug offers a limited number of Work Scholarships for those with limited resources and six Youth Scholarships available for dancers aged 25 or younger.
Contact: Julie Kahl 406-543-6508, bearhug[at-sign]missoulafolk.org to find out if there are reduced scholarship slots still available at $100.
How to Register
Registration: To find out if there are still Bear Hug slots available, please contact Julie Kahl since we have now closed online registration. Here's her contact info: Phone: (406) 543-6508. Email: bearhug[at-sign]missoulafolk.org.
Be sure to include your full name, address, number of participants you'd like to register...AND YOUR PHONE NUMBER and Julie will get back to you. Thank you for your interest!
Note: Special diet meals are no longer available.
Last updated 8/27/19