Illinois Central Song and Story Fest Will Precede Annual Conference

Photo by: Courtesy of Song & Story Fest
All aboard! For the “Illlinois Central Song and Story Fest.” The annual family camp featuring Brethren musicians and storytellers takes place this year on July 1-7 at Camp Emmanuel near Astoria, Ill., in advance of the Annual Conference in St. Louis on July 7-11.

The Song and Story Fest that is held each year around the time of Annual Conference this year will be July 1-7 at Camp Emmanuel near Astoria, Ill. The family camp featuring Brethren musicians and storytellers is titled “Illinois Central Song and Story Fest: All Aboard!” with a railroad theme.

“We’re going to celebrate railroads and trains…and take some of our themes and titles from songs and stories about trains,” said publicity for the event. “Our country has been interlaced with railroad tracks for almost 200 years, but those tracks are fast disappearing, like the other physical connections we have with each other. We’ll explore the impact of our increasingly virtual (not to be confused with virtuous) world on our relationships and on the role of the church in keeping face-to-face communities alive.”

Storytellers and workshop leaders will include Deanna Brown, Bob Gross, Kathy Guisewite, Reba Herder, Jonathan Hunter, Jim Lehman, and Sue Overman. Musicians will include Rhonda and Greg Baker, Patti Ecker and Louise Brodie, Peg Lehman, LuAnne Harley and Brian Kruschwitz, Jenny Stover-Brown and Jeffrey Faus, Chris Good and Drue Gray of Mutual Kumquat, and Mike Stern.

Co-sponsored by On Earth Peace, the Song and Story Fest is an intergenerational camp for all ages. The schedule includes worship and workshops for adults, children, and youth, as well as afternoon free time for recreation, nature walks, story swaps, and jamming. Evenings feature campfires, snacks, and concerts or a folk dance. This is the sixteenth summer in a row for the Song and Story Fest.

Registration includes all meals, on-site facilities, and leadership, and is based upon age. Registration fees begin at $260 for adults, $200 for teenagers, $130 for children age 4-12, with children three and under welcome at no charge and a maximum fee per family of $780. Daily fees are available. An additional 10 percent late fee is charged for registrations made after June 1.

Register at . Contact Bob Gross at On Earth Peace if you need financial help to attend, 260-982-7751 or . More about Camp Emmanuel is at . For additional information about Song and Story Fest contact director Ken Kline Smeltzer at 814-571-0495 or 814-466-6491, or .

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