Welcome Letter 2023



Executive Committee (Troika): Gregory Grigsby; Lynnette Tucker; Harry Blackman

Program C0-Chairs: Maria Bishop, Margaret Costello and Nancy Young

League Officers: Wendy Desmarteaux, President; Caroline Jestin, Secretary; Ron McClain, Treasurer; Tracey Briscoe, Registrar

Youth Program Coordinator: Keri Pitcher

Exec. Comm. Secretary: Nancy Taylor

We are so excited that we will all be gathering at Northfield in only a few weeks!

We have a unique and fun week lined up, and to ensure that you have a good time we want you to have information that will help you prepare.

It had been brought to our attention that the Northfield Mount Hermon school had changed their Covid vaccination on May 11, 2023. This change in its COVID policy eliminated the requirement of COVID vaccinations while on campus. We reached out to our contact at the school and they confirmed to us that the change in policy does apply to our group.
Subsequently, the Northfield Board is presenting the following COVID-related guidelines for our June, 2023 conference.
1. No COVID vaccinations are required to attend.
2. Every person needs to administer a COVID home test the morning of their departure to Northfield. If you test positive or if you feel ill, do NOT come; then notify Tracey Briscoe by email at northfieldregistrar@gmail.com right away.
3. Masking and distancing are optional for all. Please let YOUR comfort level regarding distancing and others masking near you be known without embarrassment, guilt, or judgment.
4. One or more tables will be designated for those wanting social distancing during meals.
5. If you develop a cold or COVID symptoms during our week together, you will need to take a COVID test and leave the campus as soon as possible if you test positive. (This is a requirement of the school).
Thank you,
Wendy Desmarteaux, President, on behalf of The Board

Northfield-Mt. Hermon School

ADDRESS:   28 Mt. Hermon Station Road, Gill, MA

TELEPHONE: 413-498-3610


From I-91: Take the Bernardston/Northfield exit.  Go east on Rt. 10/63; the Northfield-Mt.Hermon campus will be on your right

Off Rt. 2 to Erving:  After passing Erving paper mill and a small white church on right, take immediate right at Erving Municipal Building (Church Street).  This route takes you over

the mountain to the junction of Rt. 63.  Turn left on to Rt. 63.  Turn right onto Rt. 10.  The Northfield-Mt. Hermon campus will be on your left.

REGISTRATION: Saturday, June 24th – 1:00 to 5:00 in McKinnon Lounge. Everyone who is arriving on Saturday must register at this time!

ROOM & BOARD: Payable at Registration: with your Paypal invoice or a check made out to Northfield League

ROOMS:  Most rooms are doubles, although there are some singles and triples.

NO LINENS, PILLOWS, BLANKETS, OR TOWELS WILL BE PROVIDED.  Please bring whatever you need.   (Bring twin bed flat sheets. Do not bring fitted sheets, as the beds are extra long.)  ALSO: NO soap, shampoo or bathroom cups are provided. Please bring your own toiletry needs.

WE ASK THAT…you bring UNSCENTED body products to the Conference as we have members of our community who are extremely sensitive to scented products (soaps, cologne, perfume, hair spray, lotions, dryer sheet scents, etc.).

RECOMMENDED ITEMS TO BRING: alarm clock, clothes hangers, a reading lamp, fan, extension cord, flashlight, umbrella, raincoat.

OTHER OPTIONAL ITEMS TO BRING:  Books/readings to share with others during Sacred Circle, a journal & pen, iPods, musical instruments, cards, games, puzzles, tennis racquets, soccer ball, softball glove, bats, balls, a Frisbee, a Yoga mat, mosquito & tick repellent, suntan lotion, bathing suit, beach towel.

FAMILIES WITH SMALL CHILDREN should bring toys & other playthings, and provide any special requirements for eating and sleeping (e.g. rubber sheet for bed, highchairs, maybe a portable crib).

VALUABLES:   We cannot be responsible for valuables taken from the rooms.  Rooms should NOT be locked, as you won’t be able to unlock them without help. Thus, unwanted entrance to your room cannot be controlled.

Please bring a FOLDING BEACH CHAIR (one that is LOW to the ground, if possible) for Conference Hours and Families.

CLOTHING: Dress is casual – pants, shorts, T-shirts, sweaters, sneakers, sandals, swimsuit.  (A raincoat or umbrella is useful.)  Loose, comfortable clothing is essential for dance and movement workshops.  Tie Dye Workshop is a Northfield tradition.  Please bring all things white or light colored:  tee shirts, sock, sheets, etc. to make beautiful, colorful creations.

NOTE:  Weather can change from very hot & sunny to cold & wet!  Be prepared!!

WATER BOTTLES & COFFEE THERMOS: Please bring your own water bottle and coffee thermos to be used all week to save on the use of disposable paper cups.

JAMMING: Bring instruments (drums, guitars, rattles, percussion instruments, etc.) for spontaneous music making and for Singing on Rainbow Point!!

SACRED CIRCLE: This is the time for our community to gather together to share readings, prayers, songs, dances, etc.  Please bring a special/sacred object for our altar.  Also, bring your ideas to the daily Sacred Circle planning meeting, location TBD.

CLUB NORTHFIELD:  Our time to talk, play, and dance the night away! Bring your iPod with your favorite play list for everyone’s enjoyment! Our Club Northfield will have good food to nibble on and drinks to quench your thirst in between dancing & socializing. Location TBD.

SPECIAL EVENING ACTIVITIES (in addition to Club Northfield):


SUNDAY EVENING Usually a dance/movement event to get us moving together after a long day of travel for some of us.

COFFEE HOUSE (Monday Evening):  An opportunity to share your creative expressions with the community!  Read your original prose or poetry!  Sign up early, as there is a limit to the performances. There is a strict 5-minute limit, so practice and time yourself.  We are planning a 3-tiered evening:  we will start with “child appropriate” offerings; after a break we will have more mature works; finally, a group open to avant garde offerings will continue as the spirit moves them.

BEDTIME STORY HOUR (Evening TBD):  Back by popular demand, our talented singer/storyteller Steve Schuch will enchant our youngest (and youngest at heart) with his own wonderful blending of stories and songs.  We will end early to facilitate an appropriate bedtime.

RAINBOW POINT (Tuesday Evening):  This evening’s Sacred Circle will be held on Rainbow Point with lots of group singing. Please bring your musical instruments and your voices to this special evening of Song and Dance and whatever else shows up!

TALENT SHOW (Wednesday Night):  Skits, music, drama, and things that can’t be categorized or even explained…. you will see it all! If you have a talent, come prepared with the accessories you need. Again, sign up early as there are strict limits on how many acts can be accommodated, and the 5-minute limit still applies. PLEASE, NO REPEAT ACTS FROM THE COFFEE HOUSE.

THEME DANCE (Thursday Night):  We end our week with our annual night of dancing, laughs and photo ops. This year the theme for the dance is: WILDERNESS. Get decked out and be ready to strut your stuff while you dance and sing the night away!  Have a ball interpreting our theme in your own way.  Remember, getting there is half the fun!

WORKSHOP LEADERS:  If you plan to have hand-outs for those who attend your workshop, please make copies ahead of time and bring them with you.  The School’s photocopy machines are unavailable for our use.

COMPUTERS AND CELL PHONES: Our goal is to be as “unplugged” as possible during our week together and we hope that everyone can work together toward this end.  We ask that if you need to use a computer or cell phone, that you do so in private spaces.  ALL CELL PHONES MUST BE TURNED OFF DURING COMMUNITY GATHERINGS (Conference Hour, Families, Sacred Circle, Rainbow Point, Workshops, etc.)  For those who need to get onto their computer, there is free Wi-Fi in many spaces on campus, but in the dorms you may need a cable to hook up to the internet — specifically a CAT-5 Ethernet cable.

WORKSHOP ATTENDEES: In order to fully participate in several workshops, you might want to come prepared with some objects or materials. Some workshops require that you bring notepad and pen, others a yoga mat and comfortable clothing for movement. Please read this Summer’s Booklet with its list of Workshops and what may be required from you to participate.

Please refer to What to bring for more information.


As we are spending a week on a rural campus in New England, it is important to be on the watch for ticks (especially the infamous Deer Tick which carries Lyme Disease).  As a precaution you might consider these good sense tips when you pack: wear light colored clothing, long sleeves and pants (tucked into socks).  Long loose hair should be covered, braided or tied when venturing into areas where ticks are apt to be.  Spray yourself and your clothing with the following:  mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and one cup of water with 20-25 drops of your essential oil of choice:  rose, geranium, tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, or citrus.  Re-apply every 3-4 hours when outdoors.  Just in case there is need for removal, pack a pair of tweezers.

FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 2023:  The Conference ends after breakfast and general cleanup of dorm rooms and common areas.  Everyone must leave by 10:00 a.m. 

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BASKETS FOR SALE  This year will see our popular BASKETS up for auction again. Please feel free to fill one up with any theme-related items, such as Arts&Crafts, Food, Knitted items, State or Country related products, etc. If you need a basket or any other information, please contact Carol Costello at cacgg2@gmail.com.

We will also have an Auction of specialty goods. Here are some ideas for our AUCTION  ITEMS:

Use of your vacation home for a weekend or a week

A work of art

Homemade cookies sent to someone 1/month for 3 months, or 5 x a year

A piece of Custom Designed Furniture

Photography – Family Photo Shoot for holiday card or a Pet Photo Shoot

SURPRISE PACKAGE – Items from your area (San Francisco, Arizona, Canada…)

Create a personal knitted item for someone, such as socks, sweater, hat & mitts, shawl, etc.

Send a fine bottle of wine every month or 4 times/year

Send a surprise book 4 times a year

Handyman for a day

Donate Concert / Theater Tickets

Help plant a garden or gardening design advice

Massage or Reiki work

Weekend in Boston/Cambridge, Canada, or NYC

Golf or tennis lessons… AND ANY OTHER IDEAS!!!!!!!

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NEW NORTHFIELDERS (First year attendees) :


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