Kids’ Almanac (7/13-20)

“Some things have changed tremendously, however not enough things. Love and lovers of love, we’ve got work to do.”
– Artemus McCallum 


Hocket workshop with Dean Jones at New Paltz’s Elting Library

I wouldn’t be surprised if Grammy-award winning Dean Jones had a wocket in his pocket, because who knew that word actually rhymes with a real instrument? I am so excited about this wonderful grouping of Dean’s music and instruction, because Dean is an exceptional human being who is a terrific person who creates some of my favorite music.


On Wednesday, July 12 at 4 p.m. at the Elting Memorial Library, Dean presents an “Introduction to Hocket” workshop, which is open to all ages, for exploring and making musical sounds with such diverse items as pitched wood blocks, PVC tubes and more. Then, participants ages 8 through 100 can use their new Hocket technique of performing individual notes as a collective during Dean’s gig the following day with Curling for Amateurs on Thursday, July 13 at 6:30 p.m. Finally, Dean and his band Shagbark perform at Elting on Thursday, July 20 at 6:30 p.m.

These musical offerings are all free and open to the public of all ages. The Elting Memorial Library is located at 93 Main Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 255-5030 or visit To learn more about the music, visit


Special Needs Baseball Camp at Dutchess Stadium

A baseball camp for children and young adults with special needs? With the Hudson Valley Renegades? Yes, please! On Saturday, July 15 from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dutchess Stadium, ThinkDIFFERENTLY and Disability Dream & Do offer fun and skill-building including throwing, catching and batting, and this free event includes a free shirt, a free hat, free lunch and free tickets to the July 16 Renegades game for the individual as well as that person’s family!

Dutchess Stadium is located at 1500 Route 9D in Wappingers Falls. For reservations, to volunteer or for more information, visit To learn more about Disability Dream & Do (D3), visit

A Pig Toast at Catskill Animal Sanctuary

A toast to pigs? I mean, I sing along with Angelica’s toast “To the groom! To the bride!” in “Satisfied,” from Hamilton: An American Musical. But to pigs? Well, that’s just part of the fun that happens at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS)! All of the animals are named, and that really helps their backstories feel more relevant to me, shifting me from a neutral response to an emotional heart connection. As our tour guide, Stacie, led us around the grounds, I appreciated her own enthusiasm for CAS and her devotion to the resident animals. The entire property felt calm, relaxed and full of joy and life, as the “Underfoots” crossed our path all afternoon: goats, chickens and other resident animals who roam freely during the day, including in and out of our tour!

Curious to visit? A Pig Toast takes place on Saturday, July 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. After toasting these huge, beautiful animals with watermelon, humans indulge in gourmet vegan barbecue, featuring carrot dogs, vegan hotdogs and jackfruit sandwiches, along with sides like slow-cooked baked beans, zesty lime slaw and kale and sun-dried tomato pasta salad. Vegan gelato is available for purchase. Storytime, craftmaking and educational videos engage the children, and live music by Dots Will Echo is performed all afternoon.

Can’t make it? You could make a donation, spread the word about A Pig Toast, inquire about volunteer opportunities; or you could just read the CAS website and touching blog stories, view the gorgeous photos and watch the videos. I cried reading “Goodbye, Sweet Mama. May the Angels Sing You Home” ( The Catskill Animal Sanctuary is located at 316 Old Stage Road in Saugerties. For reservations, to donate or for more information, call (845) 336-8447 or visit

Your First Mud Run at Belleayre

Do your kids live to get muddy, avoid it at all costs, or are they somewhere in the middle? Now, how about you? How about doing something completely different this weekend? May I suggest Your First Mud Run at Belleayre Mountain?

Your First Mud Run takes place on Saturday, July 15 at 10:30 and 11 a.m. It’s a perfect starter mud race, because families and kids ages 6 and up can run, slide, climb, tumble and crawl together through the 1.5-to-two-mile course, which features 10 to 16 obstacles. Be a part of a team, or join in as individuals. Participants ages 12 and under require an adult caregiver. The cost is $49.

Belleayre Mountain is located at 181 Galli Curci Road in Highmount. To register or for more information, call (845) 254-5600 or visit


Cyanotype workshop at Storm King Art Center

Whether you’re on a staycation, or you want to impress out-of-town visitors, or you want to do something different with your family, the Storm King Art Center is highly recommended for your summer. For example, on Sunday, July 16 from 1 to 3 p.m., you and your crew ages 3 and up can learn the word cyanotype, which loosely translates to please-be-a-sunny-day, because the hands-on activity is making Sun Prints!

Seriously, have you ever heard of cyanotype before? It’s new to me! I am delighted to know that Sun Prints illustrate many of the values of cyanotype, an early photographic technique. Both use paper, objects, the color blue, light and water. Find out more at

On Friday, July 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., all ages are welcome to sketch the sunset while listening to the Just Voices gospel quartet, at Summer Fridays: Sunset Music & Sketching. See And finally, don’t worry about breaking the bank at Storm King, because every summer it hosts free admission days on the last Thursday of the month: June 29, July 27 and August 24. My calendar is marked so I’ll remember!

General admission to Storm King costs $18 for adults, $15 for seniors 65 and up, $8 for ages 5 to 18 and students and no charge for children under 5. The Storm King Art Center is located at 1 Museum Road in New Windsor. For more information, e-mail, call (845) 534-3115 or visit

Skull & Bones Nature Program at Staatsburgh

For some of us, the Skull and Bones Nature Program title alone is enough to get our kids scrambling in the car to get there ASAP. For those who are actually interested in a description of what I’m talking about, here you go: This Sunday, July 16 at 11 a.m., the Staatsburgh State Historic Site presents the Skull and Bones Nature Program, best-suited for children ages 6 to 9 years. The children will examine components from local critters, identifying predator and prey animals.

The cost is $2 per child, and registration is required. Additional dates for Skull and Bones are Sundays, July 30, August 6 and 13. The Staatsburgh State Historic Site is located at 75 Mills Mansion Drive in Staatsburg. To register or for more information, call (845) 889-8851 or visit, or

Stones and Stories at PS21 in Chatham

Remember the importance of Te Fiti’s heart stone in the movie Moana? Your family has a chance to hear about the tradition of stones in that part of the world with native Hawaiian choreographer Christopher K. Morgan in his live dance performance this weekend. Stones and Stories takes place on Sunday, July 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at PS21. Participants will then gather stones and use them as inspiration to create pieces incorporating storytelling, movement and chanting.

Stones and Stories is free and open to the public of all ages (children under 16 require an adult caregiver), and no previous movement experience is required. PS21 is located at 2980 Route 66 in Chatham. For more information, call (518) 392-6121 or visit To learn more about the facilitator, visit



Communal art workshops at Hudson Library

Artist/activist/author (and a zillion other titles reflecting her actions and influence in the world) Jacinta Bunnell knows youth, adults and how creative expression can change lives in small and larger ways. She and fellow artist Cindy Hoose present two communal art workshops at the Hudson Area Library this week, and the resultant work is displayed in an art show beginning August 4. The adult workshop takes place on Monday, July 17 from 5 to 8 p.m.; the teen session runs on Saturday, July 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. These workshops are free and open to the public, absolutely no art experience is necessary, and registration is required.

The Hudson Area Library is located at 51 North Fifth Street in Hudson. To register or for more information, call (518) 828-1792, extension 101, e-mail or visit Interested in supporting this work? Donate your no-longer-needed games! To learn more about the facilitators, visit and

Open Monday Nights at Hyde Park Station

Does your tyke live for Thomas the Tank Engine? Got a child who chants, “I think I can! I think I can!”? Any Chuggington loyalists at home who cry out, “Can’t catch Koko!”? Want to give them a train experience close to home and part of our region’s history? Head over to the Hyde Park Station on Monday, July 17 (or any Monday night) to see the cool miniature scenes, learn about the history of the station and its connection to president Franklin D. Roosevelt and to connect with other train enthusiasts. After the 7:30 p.m. business meeting, the history presentation begins at 8 p.m.

Open Monday Nights go on from 5 to 9 p.m. year-round, and they are free and open to the public of all ages. Refreshments will be available. Volunteers and snack contributions are always welcomed. The Hyde Park Station is located at 32 River Road in Hyde Park. For more information, visit or

Camp Huguenot in New Paltz

How would it be if your kid got hooked on history this summer? Instead of passively absorbing dry facts and figures about history, children discover by doing at Camp Huguenot! On Monday through Friday, July 17 to 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., children ages 9 to 12 years have the chance to experience an enjoyable and unique week.

To learn more, I asked Jennifer DuBois Bruntil, school programming coordinator and a Huguenot descendent herself, what’s in store for campers this week: “The camp offers kids the unique opportunity to participate in a real archaeological dig as well as a variety of other history-based activities, including Colonial cooking, crafts, stone house tours, nature hikes and more! It’s really a fun way to learn a lot about the people who have lived on Huguenot Street throughout the ages.”

Camp Huguenot is limited to 12 participants, maintains a ratio of 1:4 and costs $300, with a discount for Historic Huguenot Street members. Camp Huguenot takes place at 88 Huguenot Street in New Paltz. For more information or to register, call (845) 255-0376 or visit


Teen Pride meets at Wellness Embodied in New Paltz

How did the new Teen Pride group in New Paltz come about? Stephanie St. John Olear, Wellness Embodied psychotherapist who is an avid teen LGBTQ activist and advocate, shares: “I decided to form this group because it’s an issue close to my heart. It’s hard enough being a teen. And LGBTQ teens have an even tougher time due to a lack of support and various social, educational and personal stressors. Evidence shows that LGBTQ teens are at a higher risk for anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation, and in this current political climate, our LGBTQ youth need more support than ever.”

Would you please help to spread the word about Teen Pride? Teen Pride is a drop-in group for LGBTQ teens, ages 13 to 18, that takes place weekly on Tuesdays from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. at Wellness Embodied. Participants learn how to turn negative messaging into positive growth, empowerment through creative expression, increase coping and advocacy skills express feelings and build community. The cost is $15 per session. As a drop-in group, no ongoing commitment is needed; however, registration is required.

Wellness Embodied is located at 126 Main Street, Suite A, in New Paltz. To register or for more information, call (845) 532-6064 or visit


PS21 presents Parsons Dance Company

Happy anniversary to the Parsons Dance Company, founded July 17, 1985. I see the 32nd anniversary gift theme is transportation; how apropos, as Parsons is on tour right here, right now! Have you seen their work? (Check out clips of Caught for an example of the brilliant talent of Parsons.) But don’t stop there; you can see them live, right here! On Thursday, July 20 and again on Thursday, July 27, both at 6:30 p.m., you can watch the Parsons Dance Company in an open rehearsal! For free! All you do is reserve your spot by ordering the free tickets online.

Parsons is in residence at PS21 for four weeks creating new work. What a unique opportunity to witness their process during this behind-the-scenes viewing! PS21 is located at 2980 Route 66 in Chatham. For free tickets or more information about PS21’s other summer programs and events, call (518) 392-6121 or visit h. To learn more about the dancers, visit


Challenging Behaviors workshop in Ellenville

For those of you who work with young children, as a classroom teacher, teacher aide, assistant or program administrator, do you find it hard to make time for professional growth? Maybe you even promised yourself some educational development this summer! But now it’s July; what’s your plan? No problem – I’ve got you covered! Register now for Understanding and Improving Challenging Behaviors, taking place on Thursday, July 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at 4 Yankee Place in Ellenville.

Led by Sandra Brownley, MS, CAS and Spectrum program coordinator in Ellenville, topics include finding the why behind a behavior; practicing strategies to improve these challenges; and teaching functional communication skills. This workshop costs $50, and the practical application of the material gives confidence to folks who work with young children with behavioral challenges.

To register or for more information, call (845) 336-2616, extension 110, e-mail or visit

Hike with your hounds

Are you basically forced to go outside and exercise because your dog needs to be walked? Why not make an event out of it? Here are two opportunities this week for you and your doggo – or pupper, or corgo, or woofer (Internet meme names for canines; your kids can show you videos) – to wander the wilderness together!

The Dog Days of Summer Hike takes place on Sunday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Pine Road parking area of Mohonk Preserve, off Butterville Road in New Paltz. This program is free and open to anyone age 10 and up; remember water for you and your furry friend for this four-mile jaunt. Mohonk Preserve Day passes to hike the property cost $15 per individual over 12 years and are available at the Visitor Center, located at 3197 Route 44/55 in Gardiner. For more information, call (845) 255-0919 or visit

Safe Adventures in the Park with Your Dog is led by Peg Munves, CPDT-KA, on Tuesday, July 19 at 6 p.m. at the Ooms Conservation Area at Sutherland Pond, meeting at the main parking area at 480 Rock City Road in Chatham. Topics covered include trail walking etiquette, interacting with other dogs and other humans, reviewing leash policies and more. This program is free and open to the public, and registration is required. For more information or to register, visit To learn more about the facilitator, visit

Erica Chase-Salerno is watching fireflies! She can be reached at