Song and Story Fest 2024 to be hosted by Camp Brethren Heights in Michigan

A release from the Song and Story Fest Planning Committee

Song and Story Fest 2024 will be hosted by Camp Brethren Heights in Michigan, July 7-13, right after the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Grand Rapids. The event is an intergenerational camp for all ages, individuals, and families, and is co-sponsored by On Earth Peace. This is the 28th Song and Story Fest.

The theme for this year’s “Muddy Waters Song and Story Fest” is “Exploring the Heights and Depths of Community.”

Director Ken Kline Smeltzer says, “It seems like we are coursing down a raging river of ignorance and regression. Bouncing around and over big and dangerous rapids that threaten to capsize us, we are in the midst of deep waters on all sides: religious, political, and economic differences that divide and conquer any unity we might experience as one people, under God’s care and guidance. Actually, today we are more mired in muddy waters than bouncing down rapids. And we don’t know about you, but our sense of community seems to be getting smaller and more limited than ever, at least domestically. Brethren, Christian, American–do you even want to claim to be part of these communities?

“But maybe in these hard and muddy times we are called to witness and proclaim the values that we have learned from Jesus and these very same communities. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that being community isn’t easy, that it carries highs and lows. So, you are invited to join us in ‘Exploring the Heights and Depths of Community’! Together we’ll find some islands of hope and understanding to rest upon and regroup, and then plunge back into the muddy waters with the exasperating/beautiful people around us.”

Storytellers, musicians, and workshop leaders include Rhonda and Greg Baker, Susan Boyer, Louise Brodie, Hannah Button-Harrison, Debbie Eisenbise, Jenny and Jeffrey Faus family, Erin and Cody Flory Robertson, Chris Good, Anna Lisa Gross, Kathy Guisewite, Jonathan Hunter, Tim and Byron Joseph and Marlene Wood, Brian Kruschwitz, Jim Lehman, Peg Lehman, and Mike Stern.

The schedule includes, in the mornings, intergenerational gatherings and worship followed by workshops for adults, children, and youth; in the afternoons, family time, recreation, story swaps, and music-making; and in the evenings, campfires, snacks, and concerts or a folk dance.

Registration includes all meals, onsite facilities, and leadership, and is based upon age: adults $370, teens $240, children age 5 to 12 $160, children 4 and under free–with a maximum fee per family of $1,000. Daily fees are available. Registrations after June 1 add 10 percent as a late fee.

Register online at Contact Rachel Long at if you need financial help. Additional information about Song and Story Fest can be found at More information about the camp can be found at For questions contact Ken Kline Smeltzer, director, at 814-571-0495 or or

The Song and Story Fest Planning Committee includes Ken Kline Smeltzer, Rhonda Baker, Michelle Davis, Chris Good, Ben Long, Rachel Long, Clara McGilly, Carolyn Neher, and Tina Rieman.


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