Who is Moonseed for?
Moonseed is a teen leadership program that supports creative voices and helps participants take
leadership for positive directions.
Scholarships available. $385 to $555 sliding scale.
If you are working as a Grape/teen leader at
Girls Weeks, the fee is $300.
Cost of food and lodging mean the actual cost to attend this session is $650.
Woolman Hill Conference Center, Deerfield, MA
Participants will have two overnights staying in the rooms of the Conference House and in cabins.
Lights out and quiet time by 11 PM.
Come during the day but return home in the evening instead of having the sleepovers on Tuesday and Wednesday.
For people living at a distance:
We can help figure out a way for you to attend.
See the note below, "If you live farther away."
What is Moonseed like?
Moonseed is a place for important conversations. At meals we push all the picnic tables together into one long table so no one is left out.
“This is a place where we get stronger.”
“This is a place where we acknowledge things that don’t usually get acknowledged.”
We plan workshops and create new ones on the spot in response to requests. Many workshops look at "Your Voice in the World." Dialogue workshops will include “Why Black Lives Matter,” “Body Cycles,” “What is Intersectional Feminism,” “Embrace Yourself,” “Generations of Women’s Voices,” “Gender Expansion,” and many others. People choose which workshops they want to attend.
The day also offers time to work with a weaver on hand-crafts, write songs, write poems, go on a herb walk with an herbalist, or hang-out. We will offer “The Joy of Herbs for Teas and Footbaths,” improvisational theater, and a new staff person who is a slam poet will teach supportive writing. The days have a rhythm of coming together, moving into different small groups for workshops and other activities, then eating, then relaxing. An overall theme of the week is self care, nourishment, and building our self love tool box.
“Moonseed is needed in this world.”
“This changed my life. I went from feeling that I’m the only one like me to having community.”
What questions do you have?
How do the overnights work?
You'll have a chance to request beforehand whether you want to be in a cabin or sleep in the conference house. The staff puts everyone in their first choice and on Monday a chart of suggested sleeping places is offered. Next, you have a chance to look at the spot and make a change if you like. This way when you arrive on Tuesday ready to stay two nights, you already know where you’ll be. Tuesday night there is a campfire with a fire ceremony that campers can help plan and lead. Wednesday night there is Centerpoint where those who want share songs, wild skits, poems, and magic.
What is it like to attend Moonseed if you don’t know anyone?
We plan the first two hours carefully so that everyone has an equal chance to get acquainted in a gradual relaxed way. We emphasize being friends with all people in the community. Humor bonds us.
We actively welcome newcomers and value your new ideas and presence. Every year there are new staff members, too. Moonseed is always evolving as we take in the gifts of each person who is here.
I can feel anxious in new settings. It comes up suddenly.
Many others feel like this, and it’s safe to mention it. It’s not a taboo here to talk about feeling anxious. Before camp begins, we’ll ask you to let us know what helps. During camp we ask you to reach out and get support, because we’re good at giving it.
I am gender non-conforming. Is there respect for gender expansion?
Moonseed is set up to be a true circle of who you are. It is an intersectional feminist camp. That means all girls are welcome and participants who use “they/them” pronouns are welcome. Gender expansion is part of the contemporary youth community. We see gender identity as “one slice of the pie” of how we engage in the world. We talk about all dimensions of our diversity and give a lot of focus on changing sexism and racism.
I wonder if there’ll be cliques and some people will be seen as cool and others not. I don’t want to feel left out.
We make safety agreements together. Over the years of Moonseed we have thought a lot about what it really means for everyone to be respected equally, and we keep steadily working on this. We’re dedicated to link and connect.
We grow. We develop solidarity which is different from ranking or status, and we seek to learn and use current respectful language for all. We talk about privilege, and how dimensions of diversity intersect for discrimination or benefit. That means not every moment of Moonseed is comfortable, but it’s a time of discovery and new growth that can’t always be predicted. If you were feeling left out or pressured, we’d want you to tell somebody so we can address it.
Is this non-stop intense?
No. Some people say they’ve never laughed as hard as at Moonseed. We can grow and have fun at the same time. The time gets more and more relaxed as people settle into truly being safe together.
It becomes like a vacation. Delicious smells travel from the kitchen as home-cooked meals are being prepared. At any moment you might see one person sketching while another plays guitar. Someone makes a pot of tea and brings it to others getting a skit ready. At the same time everyone is enjoying themselves in the way they choose.
What about the food?
At breakfast there's a buffet with a host of food choices to meet all appetites. Let us know in advance any food allergies or restrictions. Molly Snedden is able to return as cook again this year, and that's great news.
For more information:
Social worker Laura Wagner wrote, "What do we need to learn from those who came before us and how will this inform the justice movements of our time?" This is a camp about standing on the shoulders of the ones who came before us while constantly adding in new discoveries.
Anastasia Morton is the Youth Leadership Coordinator at Amherst Regional Public Schools (ARPS) Family Center. Ms. Morton develops programs that motivate participants to empower their community, dream bigger and create spaces for people to come together to explore new ways of being. Ms. Morton earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Education Studies at Mount Holyoke College.
Safiyah Bey is a 17-year old high school student attending Gateway to College at Holyoke Community College. She is actively involved in social justice projects in Springfield where she lives.
Narieka Masla is a body based performance artist, facilitator and Yoga instructor. She is passionate about bringing together contemplative practice, embodied creative expression and critical social and ecological inquiry to address and catalyze healing and social change. Currently Narieka resides in Westernmass where she is Assistant Director of The Embodied Leadership Project and runs her performance company Kvetch Clown Theater&Dance Co.
Hilary Lake is an expressive arts community minister who loves to dance and sing and bring consciousness raising and deep feeling wherever she goes. She is a student of Buddhism, the practice of reconciliation and all of creation and is looking forward to meeting you all!
Susan Loring-Wells is a weaver and fiber artist who loves to share her passion to weave and create fiber art with others. She has been teaching arts to youth since she was in middle school. In high school she discovered loom weaving, and further pursued her passion for weaving and fiber art in college, Scandinavia, and local guilds and conferences.
Susan is the mother of three grown daughters, all three born at home, and together with her husband, has been parenting her nephew, since 2006. She loves participating in and building community, and spent years growing a small non-profit in Amherst to promote contemporary textile arts and creating a gathering place for fiber activists, aficionados and artists.
She currently maintains a studio at the Leverett Arts & Crafts Center. She looks forward to returning to Moonseed community this summer and supporting participants explore their creative voices and expression.