ECRS is a warm and welcoming community for folks of all ages. We seek to foster close human relationships and develop leadership through a variety of fun activities that emphasize enjoyment, creativity, cooperation and personal growth. During our several yearly events, we offer an ever-changing menu of optional daily classes, ranging from drama and dance to crafts and creating personal change, mostly lead by our skilled and caring members. Nightly we make our own merriment when we gather for an evening program. Participants lead each other in recreational activities including folk dancing, singing, informal dramatics and cooperative games. We embrace a wide diversity of people, including often-marginalized groups, such as older adults, LGBT individuals, and singles.

ECRS has so many wonderful members that make it truly special. Gifted class leaders, dedicated board members (all volunteer time!!) and staff, three generations of families and members who have happened upon the ECRS magic and wanted to keep it in their lives. Scroll below to see some of the people who make ECRS the unique, satisfying community that it is.

Mickey Reed

Mickey Reed

Mickey Reed leads singing, games, crafts and puppetry at camps and conferences throughout New England, when not teaching occupational therapy at Bridgeport Community College. As a self proclaimed caretaker of wonder, she draws on a variety of media to create giant puppets for parades and celebration. A leader at ECRS for 35 years where she enjoys playing, laughing and learning with friends of all ages, Mickey also sings with the award winning Silk n Sounds Barbershop chorus based in Hamden, CT.

Barbara Siftar

Barbara Siftar

Barb Siftar has been an international folk dance, game and song leader and occasional folk singer for over 30 years. Specializing in intergenerational and international folk dancing and song leadership, she has led round singing workshops at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA), has staffed events with ECRS and is a tenured leader at CampWinni.org. Barb works as a hospital professional, based in the Boston area where she also sings in a classical choir She counts her musical family upbringing and youth theater background among her sources of inspiration.

Patricia Williams

Patricia Williams

Patricia Williams loves to bring people together through singing, international folk dancing, informal dramatics and cooperative games. Her expertise in human interaction and group dynamics has been honed over many years as a group facilitator and coach. Even reluctant first-timers find her instructions to be simple and clear, her enthusiasm infectious.

Donna Miller-Small

Donna Miller-Small

Donna Miller-Small worked in the Fashion Industry for twenty-five years in many varied capacities. For the past fifteen years, she has been a Reiki (a technique for energy healing) Master Instructor and healer. She has also taught, for seven years, numerous Mah Jongg and Canasta classes in libraries and Adult Education throughout the Nassau County area. She has been an active member of ECRS for about fifteen years, served on several important committees, and taken on important administrative roles. She is a wife and mother, and greatly enjoys beading and knitting in her free time.

Frank Miller-Small

Frank Miller-Small

Frank Miller-Small taught Early Childhood Education for thirty-three years. For the past ten years, he’s been teaching and tutoring English with immigrants at Queensborough Community College. He has served as a facilitator and Docent for school groups coming to the Nassau County Holocaust Museum and Tolerance Center and written articles and essays for its newsletter and blog. He’s been a member of ECRS for about thirty years and has has taught a wide-variety of classes, ranging from Creative Writing and Problem Solving to Encouraging Diversity and Developing Memory. He is a husband and step-father and enjoys movies, literature, and early morning walks with his wife.

Jacquie Adain

Jacquie Adain

Jacquie Adain, born in England but living in Canada most of her life has been playing games at ECRS for about 25 years and leading much of that time. She was a substitute teacher until about 4 years ago when she retired. Although she misses the kids she makes up for it with her ‘kids’ and ‘family’ at ECRS. Dancing, singing, playing the uke and word games are also on her agenda. At home she is involved with RWC, the Canadian ‘cousin’ of ECRS.

Kim Neubauer

Kim Neubauer

Kim is an award-winning Learning and Development Consultant with expertise in leadership development, service excellence and career transition. She provides outplacement consulting for Fortune 100 employees, and resume coaching for MBA/MS students of Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. She has facilitated hundreds of professional development trainings for museums and cultural organizations, community health centers, and the US Peace Corps.

Kim is a folk dancer and dance musician who co-runs one of the largest open contra dance bands in the country. Kim also plays in an English Country dance band, and she is a favorite guest leader for two Israeli dancing groups.

Kim came to ECRS as a child and became a staff member before age 20. She leads singing, mentors and coaches event staff, and she has led classes on ECRS Theory, Leadership and Personality Type (MBTI) and a variety of other leadership topics.

Charlotte Young

Charlotte Young

Charlotte knew early on that active group games were the best way to have fun. Starting with being the neighborhood organizer of “capture the flag” and “kick the can,” she then moved onto leading cooperative New Games as a grad student, where she also studied recreation, leisure and play. When she’s not playing (never enough time), she operates a small consulting business that helps groups and organizations find solutions to improve health and the environment. Two significant themes run through this work: visual thinking and having fun. Among her life mottos are “we all need more recess.” 

Betsy Reinstein Dewey

Betsy Reinstein Dewey

Betsy Reinstein Dewey has been playing games, singing, dancing and acting with ECRS for over 30 years! She is a certified Newfield Network coach, and is passionate about helping to facilitate positive change in people’s lives. She is currently working on gaining her Masters in Social Work. Through her coaching and leading of workshops she has had the honor of witnessing inspiring personal transformation for those she has helped.

Alison Pepper

Alison Pepper

Staff Coordinator
A member of ECRS since 1980, Alison has been actively involved in the cooperative as  a Board member, Chair of the Board, serving on the Leadership Development Committee and  WA Staff Coordinator in 2016-17.
Her background in Early Childhood Education leadership and school management has proved an asset in serving the needs of the ECRS cooperative.
Cassie Rubin

Cassie Rubin

Cassie Rubin has been a member of ECRS since the age of 5! She is now a college graduate of SUNY Fredonia in Early Childhood Education and plans to pursue her masters in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) within the next two years. Her goal is to teach English abroad while getting to know other cultures. Cassie just taught her first class of improv during the ECRS Camp Onas weekend. She looks forward to getting involved in even more leadership positions through ECRS as the people involved have become her second family.

Debra Robert

Debra Robert

Over the past 25 years, Debra, Steve, JP, Melissa, & Debra Leigh have been attending ECRS events, been on staff or have been Board Members. Debra is a teacher (pre-K – Grade 8) and gives piano/flute lessons. Her love for dancing, music and ECRS is evident as she appreciates the sense to community inherent in all. Debra won 1st place Open Silver Medals in International Smooth Dance Competitions. She looks forward to creating an exciting, formative and well rounded evening program as well as connecting with all.

Reed Dewey

Reed Dewey

Reed Dewey caught the music bug as a teen and has been a singer and lover of music and sing-a-longs ever since.  At 18 Dewey hitch hiked around the USA with his beater guitar playing in camp grounds for hot dogs. At the University of Vermont he was a founding member of the Top Cats do-wop singing group – still active to this day.  After graduating he headed to the Washington, DC were he started “Dewey and the Decibels” where he played numerous venues.  Through the years Dewey has loved leading sing-a-longs at camps and community events.  As Co-Leader of evening Sing, Dewey looks forward to musically honoring the past and embracing new songs as well with the help of the talented ECRS community!

Karen Wisnia

Karen Wisnia

Karen Wisnia has been attending ECRS events regularly since 1979. She loves the ECRS philosophy, activities, and the people who attend. She can’t get enough ECRS in her life and rarely misses an event. Karen first became involved in leadership by taking scholarship positions and then became interested in how the organization runs. Karen was on the ECRS Board as Treasurer from 1987 to 1991 and as Board Co-Chair from 2004 to 2007. As the ECRS Weekend Planning Committee Chair since 1986, Karen has been leading behind the scenes at ECRS, as well as leading games, dances, and songs in Evening Programs. Karen leads ECRS games at private parties.

Robin Bady

Robin Bady

Award-winning storyteller Robin Bady performs and teaches throughout the United States, China and Europe at festivals, theaters, schools, universities, libraries, museums, family camps, bars, parks – anywhere people will gather to listen. Her repertoire ranges from folklore to fairy tales, true ghost tales to true personal stories, Jewish tales to world tales to political satire. Her CD “Two Folk Stories and a Couple of Rootabagas” was made with instrument builder Skip LaPlante and violinist Concetta Abbate. Robin is a recent NYC MothSlam winner.  She hosts the monthly series, BADYHouse Storytelling Concerts, in her home in Brooklyn where she lives with her poet husband and two wise cats.

Stephen Kaye

Stephen Kaye

Having learned Spoon Carving from Reinaldo Cruz at Camp Winni Steve returned to camp each summer to carve, whether there was a class or not. Last year a neighbor Vivekanand Pandey Vimal had a tree fall and saved the wood. He had hoped someone would “honor” his magnificent fallen tree. So Steve began showing Vivek his wood carving. Their friendship grew, and the Sunday Wood Group was born. The group grows and changes. New people join, as well as some old friends. Just about every weekend, a group comes together to chat and carve. Last year Steve informally taught at ECRS and he continues to develop his teaching skills every weekend and hopes to bring that to ECRS Winter Adventure