French Creek Music Retreat

September 15 – 17, 2023 (updates to come)

We’re looking forward to our annual acoustic folk music weekend at French Creek state park near Elverson, PA. The park is about an hour from Philly. French Creek Music Retreat is a resurrection of a family folk music festival of old.

Weekend Basics:

  • Friday Night Spaghetti
  • Friday Night Jam
  • Saturday Workshops and lots of jamming
  • Saturday Potluck Supper
  • Saturday Night Open Stage
  • Saturday Night Jam
  • Sunday Morning Cleanup

Weekend Information

We meet in Group Camp 1 (GPS coordinates: 40.204856, -75.796087 – On the map it says “French Creek Bible Conference), which has a large lodge and cabins available that sleep 2 or 4. The camp is reserved for the weekend of Sept. 15-17, 2023 for this event that focuses on acoustic instrumentalists and singers. We can have some great jams with workshops throughout the day! The registration fee ($25) includes a bed in a 2 or 4 person rustic cabin with old metal bed frames (See photos at bottom of page). An air mattress or foam pad, good flashlight, and bug spray are recommended.

This event begins at 5:00 Friday evening, and we need to be cleaned up and out of the lodge by noon on Sunday. A potluck is planned for Saturday evening, so please bring a dish to share (bring your own dishes & utensils). Please bring your own folding chairs for outdoor jams and workshops.

If you have not been before, please bring all supplies necessary (pots, plates, silverware) to prepare your meals.  The lodge kitchen does not come with kitchen supplies. There is a large walk-in refrigerator and freezer available for perishables.

If you are staying in a cabin in our camp area, they only have spring cots.  Please bring heavy cardboard or a blow-up mattress to place on top, a good flashlight, and bug spray. Tent camping is NOT allowed in Group Camp 1, but there is tent/RV camping allowed in other designated locations. See to make reservations.

There will be jam sessions and workshops for those interested (see schedule below). You can go hiking, boating, playing frisbee golf, badminton, enjoy campfire circles, etc.  You can become friends on Facebook to see photos of the camp at


The cost is only $25 per person for this all-volunteer weekend, Friday only is $5.00 (children 17 and under are free). Everyone will be assigned a small job to help run the camp smoothly.

Please indicate you are planning to attend by replying to this email ( Also, please indicate whether you plan to attend any of the scheduled workshops (see below). Workshops are $10 each paid directly, in cash, to the instructor. If you are undecided you may still register so we have a better idea of attendance numbers to expect.  The registration fee should be paid upon arrival.

On Friday night there will be a $5 spaghetti dinner. Please indicate your interest on your registration email (address to come…please check for updates).


We require all guests to be fully vaccinated for everyone’s safety. Masks are optional based on your comfort level.

Schedule 2022


5:00  – Registration –   $25.00

6:30  –  Spaghetti Dinner – $5.00 donation to cover food costs

7:30  –  Evening Jam


8:00  –  Registration  – $25.00

8:00  –  Breakfast on your own

9:30 – 11:45 workshops

Note: There is a $10.00 fee for each class you take, which is payable to the

12:00 – 1:00: Lunch on your own

1:15 – 2:30: Jam

            Location – Main dining room

2:45 – 3:15: Shape Note Singing workshop with Ed Stokes

3:15 – 4:00: Shape Note Singing with Ed Stokes

            Location  – Main dining room

4:00: Open Stage – dinner prep – table decorating

            Location  – Main dining room

Saturday Evening – Events in Main Dining Room

5:30 – 6:30:  POTLUCK Dinner; please bring a dish if you are able.

6:30 – 7:00: Kitchen clean-up (if you can’t bring food please be a part of this crew)

7:00:  Concert, come and bring your favorite songs.

            Opening Acts: Russ Rentler (15 minutes)
The Dulcimer Boys (15 minutes)

           Main Act: 7:45: Kelly Planer and the Perks (45 minutes)

After Concert – Jamming


Breakfast on your own

Pack up and Clean up. Saying our ’till we meet again,” to our old and new friends.


Download a couple PDF files of some of tunes we might get to over the weekend HERE! and HERE!.

A download of SPUDS tune sets is HEREand also shown below.

AND click HERE to download additional tunes with notes, chords, and mountain dulcimer TAB.