Upcoming events at which the author will be speaking about the book:

August 25, 2022 at 6:00 PM - Presentation at the Main Street Community Center

5494 State Route 23, Windham, NY 12496

The author, Bill Horne, will give a presentation of The Improbable Community: Camp Woodland and The American Democratic Ideal. He will be joined by musicians Pat Lamanna, James Krueger and Henry Hawk Hermann.

In 1939, a group of idealists inspired by the spirit of New Deal reform put their vision of American democracy into practice by creating Camp Woodland, a racially and ethnically inclusive summer camp for city kids located in the remote and scenic mountains of upstate New York. The camp’s innovative programs profoundly influenced campers for 24 summers from 1939 through 1962.

The founders of Camp Woodland were united by the progressive politics of the 1930s. And all were committed to racial and social justice well before the civil rights movement became a force in the 1950s and ’60s. Camp Woodland by design sought to have its diverse population of campers and staff (most from the New York City metropolitan area) become part of the rural, traditional community in which they lived. It was able to earn the acceptance and respect of its neighbors through a program of honoring and preserving the community’s music, folklore and history.

Music Festival Photo

Folk Festival of the Catskills – Simpson Ski Slope, Phoenicia, NY

Author Photo

Author Bill Horne is an attorney who practiced trade regulation law in Washington, D.C., and health care, public construction and civil rights law in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up in Queens, New York, and was a camper at Camp Woodland from 1950 through 1960.

Pat Lamanna Photo

Folk Singer Pat Lamanna was a camper at Camp Woodland from 1955-61 and learned to play guitar and wrote her first songs there. She recently won awards for her songs at the South Florida Folk Festival. One of her songs, "Peace Pilgrim," is featured on Pete Seeger's album, "The Storm King." She has three solo CDs to her credit.

James Krueger and Henry Hawk Photo

James Krueger and Henry Hawk Hermann Once hailed as “the John Denver of the Catskills,” James Krueger now lives with his wife in Bovina, NY where they homestead and run a small retreat center. Krueger will be joined by long-time fiddler friend Henry Hawk Hermann.