Whitsun festival conference
The next highlight of our USA tour was the inclusive Whitsun Festival Conference in Camphill Copake and our visits to the Camphill communities in Upstate New York.
Camphill Village Copake was founded in 1961 by a group of people around Carlo and Ursel Pietzner, who came from Camphill in the UK and Ireland. It was the first Camphill place in the US. The village community has more than 20 houses, several farms and gardens, a healing plant garden, a biodynamic seed company, professional production in workshops for weaving, pottery, bookbinding, and candle making, a bakery with shop and a nice café, all in the beautiful landscape of the Hudson region of Upstate New York, the largest area of anthroposophical activity in US.
The inclusive Whitsun Conference was about celebrating the festivals. Members of the different Camphill communities in North America (US and Canada) with and without support needs celebrated Whitsun and reflected on the qualities of the festivals in a vibrant mood of inclusion, diversity, creativity, warm encounters, and meaningful conversations. The opening performance by the Hudson Players, “What makes you happy?”, set the tone. . There were introductions and workshops about tradition and diversity, about a sense of coherence, celebrating our humanity and (re-)connecting with the life forces of the earth. In a more contemplative mood, there was room for spirituality in the Festival of Offering, a conversation about the School of Spiritual Science and a silent walk. A play and a storytelling performance with puppets by students from the Camphill Academy contributed to the artistic quality of this conference.