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next upcoming event:

Annual Labor Day Family Gathering

At the Ashokan Center,
Olivebridge, NY

August 28 – September 1, 2014
With Carl Big Heart 

Thursday: Community Camp Building Day
Friday evening: Opening Ceremony
Saturday and Sunday: Sweat Lodges
Monday: Closing Ceremony & Camp Breakdown

* Sweat Lodges * Moon Lodge * Pipe Ceremonies * Primitive Skills * Classes * Activities and Skills for Teens, Children and Adults * Women’s Teachings * Raffle * Wooded Camping * Communal Meals * Clans

Anticipation is rising as we get closer and closer to the time we gather in the gorgeous pine woods at the Ashokan Center. A beautiful long weekend being together in ceremony, classes, and working together to create a community rooted in our Big Hearts. Come as early as Wednesday noon and stay until the camp is broken down on Monday, or come for any part of the camp.
There will be Inipi Sweat Lodge Ceremonies poured by Carl Big Heart on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. And a Sunrise traditional Lakota Women’s Lodge poured by Susana Bicknell on Sunday morning. To come prepared, please go to

Together in service we build and prepare the camp
Wednesday afternoon a small circle gathers informally to prepare the space. Bring food to share for a pot luck that evening. 

Thursday morning at 9:30, a fire ceremony launches the community and camp building day .  Bring a bag lunch, and then we will share the evening meal which will be provided. Opening Circle welcoming everyone to the camp is Friday evening after dinner. The closing circle is Monday noon, followed by lunch.
 Our community works together to prepare and serve meals to everyone starting Thursday evening. 


We need volunteers to provide a pre-made, lovingly prepared dinner for Thursday evening.  If you are interested in providing any part of this meal; or can offer volunteer support in other ways on Wednesday, Thursday, Monday, or throughout the weekend, please contact Stefan at  Those who can stay into the afternoon on Monday to help with camp breakdown are very appreciated.


Some beautiful thought and planning has gone into how the clans will be a part of our camp this year. If you’re interested to learn more, please click here and take a look.

Classes & Workshops:

Each morning classes and special activities will be offered for all ages. If you have skills/crafts/games to share with kids, teens or adults, please contact Darrell at 585-507-1551, or


There will be a raffle to help offset the expenses of putting together a camp of this size. We are asking for people to bring one or two quality items to donate to this purpose. Personally handcrafted items of quality and beauty are especially appreciated.

Big Heart Family Album:

We have started a Big Heart Family Album at the raffle tent.  Please consider printing out some of your photos from past gatherings so they can be added. Scrap-booking supplies will be available.  If you have questions please contact Mary at

Registration, Camping/Housing & Ashokan fees:

Limited indoor housing is available email to reserve a bed.

Getting to the Gathering: 

There are a variety of directions and transportation options provided at his link.

What to bring: 

*tent* sleeping bag* sleeping pads*pillow* personal items* toiletries* towels (extra towels for sweat lodge)*single sheet if sleeping in dorm beds* 1or 2 camp chairs* food from grocery list (see meals and kitchen info) * personal eating plates , bowls cups, utensils*drinking water (1 gallon/day/per person)* 2 additional gallons of water to donate to the sweat lodge* large cooler(s) with extra ice for the kitchen* flashlights and lanterns with 2 extra batteries* a mixture of warm and cool weather clothing* women: a dress where shoulders, knees and breasts are covered (a dress or skirt is worn in the moon lodge as well) *musical instruments, if desired* items to donate to raffle* extra money for auction/raffle* material fees for workshops that may require them* crafts, games and skills to share with others*

Community Meals and Kitchen Information:  

Please Bring:
* (the grocery requests are significantly different this year so please check the link).
*Your own cup, mug, eating utensils, plate and bowl (these will not be supplied by the camp)
*Large coolers with extra ice (to be used in the kitchen)

About Carl Big Heart:

Carl Big Heart is an elder among us who chooses repeatedly to live his life in service to the spiritual needs of several communities, ours included. He reminds us that the altar is within and that we are all called to love. He pours sweat lodge and holds sacred space in many teaching circles. His life includes an offering of service to the spiritual healing and liberation of us all.



Carl Big Heart works by donation. Please, let us together support the important and valuable work of our elders by being as generous as we can. Donations for the gathering itself are also requested to help offset expenses for firewood, supplies, etc.

What Not To Bring:

No alcohol or illegal drugs are permitted on the land. Pets are are not allowed on campus.
No Firearms

Some Words About Preparing for Ceremony:

click here:

Agenda leftside

NY: Directions to Ashokan:
Take Kingston Exit 19 from Thruway (I87) and follow the sign to Route 28 West / Pine Hill (quick right after the toll).
If coming from Ellenville or Rhinebeck, go west at the cloverleaf intersection of Routes 209 and 28.

Continue on Route 28 West for 11.5 miles to the hamlet of Shokan.  Turn left at Winchell’s Pizza (red building on left) onto Reservoir Road. (Also, an arrow sign on your right for “Olivebridge 4 Miles” points left for Reservoir Road.)   Cross the Ashokan Reservoir Bridge and continue to the stop sign.Turn left at the stop sign onto Monument Road.  This is just after passing between stone buildings on the bridge.  This road bears downhill to the right and by staying to the right you will merge with route 28A.  You will immediately enter the complex of buildings for the Ashokan Reservoir.  Within this complex you will cometo the intersection of 28 A and Beaverkill Road.  Turn left onto Beaverkill Road, go aprox 2 miles and turn right into the Ashokan main entrance.  Inside the entrance take the first right and follow it to the large parking lot which is at the bottom of the first hill.


Carl Big Heart works by donation.
Please, let us together support the important and valuable work of our elders by being as generous as we can. That being said, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
A separate donation will be collected to cover our expenses for firewood, travel expenses, and basic supplies.

Land Use Fee and lodging/camping

A $12 land use fee will be collected for the Ashokan Center. Camping is an additional $10.  Dorm beds in Lakeside lodge are an additional $15.

Registration for the weekend is in the Pewter Shop at the bottom of the sweat lodge hill. Signs will be on the road to guide you. Please park in the designated area. Food and belongings can be left in this building.

For more information, or to reserve a dorm bed, contact Crow at

Please be sure to reserve your dorm bed by November 10th

Agenda rightside