Autumn at Bascom Lodge atop Mt. Greylock

Bascom Lodge in the Berkshires

During Labor Day weekend, Bascom Lodge is offering music and dance workshops. Bringing West African traditions to the peak, Marafanyi Drum, Dance, and Song presents a full day of learning and music-making! A variety of workshops are available throughout the day on Sunday, September 1st, before a special concert takes place in the lodge’s lobby at 6pm. The concert is free, and would make a great ending to a day of mountain exploring!

Atop Mt. Greylock – Massachusetts’ highest peak in the Berkshires – sits a beautiful piece of American history. Bascom Lodge was built during the 1930’s as a project of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a federal Depression-era jobs program. The lodge itself speaks volumes about the mountain’s natural history, as it is built out of Greylock schist and sturdy red spruce. Alongside rustic design and period architecture, the locally sourced building materials share the same aesthetic as the mountain’s trails and wild spaces.

Bascom Lodge offers a myriad of opportunities for fun for families throughout the summer and early fall. Open June 1st through October 30th, the lodge offers workshops, lectures, and explorations of all kinds. With the most beautiful time of the year approaching, Mt. Greylock is an excellent place for hiking and leaf peeping. Rugged kids can hike (with parents) to the top of the mountain to explore the lodge and learn about its history, while families with younger children may opt to drive up the mountain in order to enjoy the view and explore the top…

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Celebrating First Nations People this Weekend in Western MA

Native American Pow Wow this Weekend
in Lanesborough, MA

Modern pow wows invite both Native and non-Native American people together to honor American Indian culture and history. Authentic dancing, drumming and tribal regalia will be presented at the 7th Annual Rock, Rattle & Drum Pow Wow this weekend in Lanesborough, MA.

Celebrate Native American culture in the Berkshires this weekend at the 7th Annual Rock, Rattle and Drum Pow Wow! The celebration takes place on August 11th and 12th at Wirtes Farm, located at the base of Mt. Greylock in Lanesborough, and will feature music, dance, food, art, crafts, storytelling, and more from Native Americans throughout the northeast. Sample traditional foods like Indian fry bread, buffalo and  corn soup while watching a drum circle, or peruse a wide variety of Native American arts and crafts, such as native bead and quill work.

Pow Wows are celebrations that bring our First Nations People together to honor their traditional culture and history while connecting with their larger community.  The Rock, Rattle and Drum Pow Wow is open to both native and non-native families. Learning opportunities will be plentiful at the Pow Wow – children of all ages will be able to learn firsthand about Native American culture, and can supplement studies of local history, American history, and the natural history of New England!

The event even includes an intertribal group dance that non-natives are invited to join in on – learn the dance as a family, and come away having had a meaningful cultural learning experience. Special guests at the Pow Wow include Grammy award winner Joseph FireCrow and”Lod of the Strings” Arvel Bird. For more information, visit healingwinds.net or call 413-443-2481. Rain location:  Mt. Greylock High School (Route 7) Williamstown, MA. ($)

[Photo credit: (ccl) Andrew Brannan]

Stargazing Atop Mt. Greylock

Stargazing in the Berkshires

Kids who have background knowledge in astronomy can look for constellations, stars, planets, etc. to identify themselves, or learn to locate and name new space objects!  Families can also bring along their own binoculars and/or telescopes to get assistance on using them to view the night sky.

See the stars up close!  On Saturday, August 11th beginning at 8pm, atop the summit of Mt. Greylock in Adams, MA, the Amherst Area Amateur Astronomers Association (the 5A’s) will share a variety of telescopes with families interested in learning about the sky above them.

As a result of the mountain’s location – with its low horizons and lack of light pollution – the summit is a perfect place for stargazing.  The 5A’s will have telescopes on hand whose lenses range in size from three to twenty inches, the largest of which are nearly eight feet tall!

Kids who have background knowledge in astronomy can look for constellations, stars, planets, etc. to identify themselves, or learn to locate and name new space objects!  Families can also bring along their own binoculars and/or telescopes to get assistance on using them to view the night sky.

Stargazing is not only a fun activity – it also can be a valuable learning opportunity!  Older students can tie studies of astronomy to principles of math, physics, and chemistry, while younger students can learn about our solar system and celestial landmarks, cultural significance of constellations and the zodiac, and the history of space travel.  The event will be cancelled if there is rain or cloud cover.  For more information call the Mt. Greylock Visitor Center at 413-499-4262. There will be another stargazing opportunity at Mt. Greylock on  Saturday, September 22nd at 8pm.

Families can also go stargazing at Notchview in Windsor, MA with the Trustees of Reservations and representatives from Arunah Hill Natural Science Center, same night beginning at dusk  Kids of all ages can gaze through telescopes and learn to identify planets, stars, etc.  Rain date: Aug 12.  413-532-1631.  Old Route 9.

All events are free.

[Photo credi: (ccl) makelessnoise]

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