Old School Bluegrass Camp 2018

OSBG 2017 poster ver 1

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that registration is now open for our 4th Old School Bluegrass Camp 2018!  Camp will run from Sunday July 1st to Friday July 6th.

As usual, we have all the bluegrass A-listers as instructors.  Most of the Foggy Hogtown Boys will be here, as will Joey Wright teaching guitar, and Mike Mezzatesta on mandolin.  The very talented Kristine Schmitt will be teaching vocals, and our beloved Ivan Rosenberg will be working the slow jams, and coordinating all our evening concerts featuring the music of bluegrass legends.

We will also have new, classic, country concerts featuring your instructors and special guests.  All this live music is just an extra exclusive perk of being a camper!

We have a few new workshops next year including songwriting and bluegrass karaoke, plus a little square dancing thrown in for fun. We did the 2 and 3 chords songs workshop last year but are adding a second by popular demand.  It’s hard to imagine we could cram in more fun after the last few years, but by jove I think we’ve done it!

We would love for you to join us next July!  We are already half full as there is early registration for our wonderful alumni.  So don’t delay, and sign up right here!



A Few Spots Left


We are very excited about our 3rd annual Old School Bluegrass Camp!  Only 55 days until our first day of camp 2017.  As per usual, we have an amazing lineup of instructors this year.  The whole cast of the Foggy Hogtown Boys will be here, in addition to the awesome Adam Shier and the fabulous Kristine Schmitt.

Although Kristine has been with us each and every year, this year she is our vocals instructor.  Our campers have been asking for more vocals training, and we just had to listen to them.  Kristine is a power house on stage and comes with a wealth of knowledge about singing bluegrass and training your voice.  Last year she organized our bluegrass choir and private vocal lessons at camp.  We also had a singing parade around our school.  I can’t wait for what she has in store for us this year.

If you are thinking about joining us for our Old School Bluegrass Camp, don’t hesitate! We are already 80% full.  There are spots left in each instrument category but not many.

Sign up here, and see for yourself what all the fun is about!  It really will be one of the best weeks of your 2017!

Old School Bluegrass Camp 2017


It’s back!  We had so much fun the last two years running our Old School Bluegrass Camp, we thought it would be prudent to run our camp for a third year.

Our line up of instructors is just as impressive as it was the last two years.  We have the great Sam Allison, the whole crew of the Foggy Hogtown Boys, and the one and only Kristine Schmitt who will be teaching vocals next year.

So forget the pair of socks, the personalized mug, and the box of chocolates, give the gift of music and happiness this year.  Make new friends, learn to play in a band, master your instrument, and have an awesome time with us at camp next July.  Plan ahead. Registration is already open and some spots are filling up fast.  You can check out our website right here.

If you need more information than our website  provides, feel free to contact me.  I can use a computer and the telephone machine.  I’ll leave it up to you as to how you  would like to communicate.  I also have very good hearing, so if you’d like to simply yell from your front porch, or out your window I will respond in kind.

Old School Bluegrass Camp 2016!


It is getting down to crunch time!  Only six more weeks to go.  If you love bluegrass, and play an instrument, you need to get over here for July 3-8th.  We have the best instructors a camp can offer.  Check out this list:  Sam Allison, the whole entire Slocan Ramblers band, ya you heard me, Ivan Rosenberg, and Ben Plotnik!

Spots are filling up fast but we still have some room.  Those mandolin players were highly organized this year.  There are no spots left for mandolin for 2016 but we still room for clawhammer banjo, bluegrass banjo, stand up bass, fiddle and flat pickin guitar.

Don’t delay!  Register here.



The kids and I are off on our adventure next week.  I’m packing my mom up in a ziplock bag and taking her to England.  Don’t worry she’ll be double bagged, maybe tripled if I am feeling generous.  I wouldn’t want to leave a trail of Hawkins’ ashes across the Atlantic.

We will be arriving in Paris and meeting our dear friend Jenny, who is living the dream in France for the year with her family.  The five of us have some very touristy plans sandwiched between eating cheese, bread, wine, and then more cheese.  If I haven’t partially morphed into an attractive half woman/half cheese hybrid upon my return to Canada then I haven’t done my job as a cheese loving tourist.  And if I return as an unattractive cheesy human entity, please feel free to serve my cheesy bits on crackers to guests and donate the other half to science.  So that’s Paris in a nutshell.

The rest of the month will be spent at Jenny’s house in the south of France, and with my lovely family in Lesceister with a few extra nights in London.  We need to round out our touristy agenda with a trip to Buckingham Palace, and tea with the queen.  I hope she is available on short notice.  If not, we will settle for Kate and that guy she is married to.

We have many long journeys ahead of us this month.  We are not bringing any screens with us, but have our bags packed with books, journals, notepads and coloured pencils.  I find I do my best creative thinking and planning on long car trips.  I hope that transfers to planes and trains.  I would like to write more.  If I just keep saying that perhaps it will happen.  I’m hoping to take the time on these long passages to get some thoughts on paper.  I believe everyone has something interesting to say, maybe not all the time, but we do have at least one interesting thought or experience to share.  Sometimes you just need the solitude and boredom to bring it forth.  I’m hoping that happens to me and my kids on this trip.

I had my last writing workshop a few weeks ago.  My favorite part of the workshop was what I called pressure writing.  It was when you were given a short 10-15 minutes to write something specific down on paper.  I was always stumped but eventually churned something out.  My fear would rise exponentially as my fellow classmates would be furiously writing while I simply stared at them.  Our last pressure writing exercise was the most interesting to me.  Our instructor read us a poem describing the writer and then gave us the formula so we could describe ourselves.  Here is the passage:

Where I’m From

I am from clothespins, from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch. (Black, glistening, it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush the Dutch elm whose long-gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I’m from fudge and eyeglasses, from Imogene and Alafair.
I’m from the know-it-alls and the pass-it-ons, from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I’m from He restoreth my soul with a cottonball lamb and ten verses I can say myself.

I’m from Artemus and Billie’s Branch, fried corn and strong coffee.

From the finger my grandfather lost to the auger, the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box spilling old pictures, a sift of lost faces to drift beneath my dreams.
I am from those moments–snapped before I budded –leaf-fall from the family tree.


Here is the formula.


specific ordinary item: 

product name: 

sensory detail of home: 

plant flower or natural item:  

family tradition, trait, tendency: 

faith religion or superstitious belief: 

place of birth or ancestry:

food item: 

specific family story: 

I encourage everyone to do this, as you all can.  Fill it in when you are standing in line, driving your car, on the subway or anytime there is blank space in your day.  Your poem can be different for different periods in your life.  Be creative.  You have something interesting to share even if it is just for yourself.

I will share mine.  It is not mind blowing but it is a part of me.  Send me yours if you’d like.  I want to read them.


Where I am From  

I am the paper bag that housed my lunch time cheese and mustard sandwiches that I was too embarrassed to take out and eat in front of the other children.

I am the swaths of possibilities at at our local Fabricland.

I am the soft touch of the beige corduroy couch that my mother upholstered herself.

I am the lily of the valley flowing from the pots on my bedside table.

I am the laughter that flows even  in the depth of sadness.

I am the wonder of the unknown beyond death.

I am the busy streets of west end Toronto enveloped in wafts of chocolate from the local Hershey’s factory. 

I am the perfect marriage between rice, chicken and a can of Campbell’s mushroom soup. 

I am the adoption that never was when I was born with an IUD on my head.

Have a wonderful month of April.  I will be back to my screen in May.  Enjoy your spring and the tulips!

Old School Bluegrass Camp 2016

OLD SCHOOL BGC POSTER 2016 final copy

It’s all coming together.  It is still March and we are already half way full for our Old School Bluegrass Camp 2016.  Last year was such a musical blast that we can’t wait until this year’s camp!

We have a fabulous line up of instructors from Ben Plotnik, Ivan Rosenberg and Sam Allison to the whole Slocan Ramblers band.  Most of these talented musicians are teaching workshops across Canada this summer, and Old School Bluegrass Camp students can study with them right here in Ontario! Plus campers get a one on one session with their instructor.  That is unheard of at most musical camps.

If you would like to come out and play some bluegrass, meet other musicians, learn to play in a bluegrass band, and generally have an awesome musical time in Prince Edward County at my house, then sign up here.  Spots are limited, so don’t delay!

See you in July!

Old School Bluegrass Camp – Just in time for the Holidays


All the rumours are true!  We are running our Old School Bluegrass Camp again in 2016.  It was simply so fantastic last year that we decided we couldn’t live without all that musical fun this summer.  To shake it up a little we have some new and returning instructors.  All of them are the best of the best in what they do.

Registration is now open!  Come be apart of the bluegrass magic this July in Milford.  We make a great gift for the holidays.

Check us out at OldSchoolBluegrassCamp for more details.