August 24, 2006 billy

Here’s a message from Nate Woodhams, this year’s organizer of Cowtown Jamborama:

Hello, and welcome to the 2006 edition of the Cowtown Jamborama, brought to you by the Omaha Jitterbugs!

Sometimes what starts out as a joke can take on a life of it’s own, and in the process become something much more entertaining and worthwhile.

Back in 2002 Lindsay Jastorff, Billy Sobczyk, Christy V. and I were chatting at a party, kicking around ideas for the 2003 Omaha Jitterbugs calendar. Of course we would have a workshop or two, maybe bring somebody in. I mean, why not? But soon we we’re spinning quite a tale for ourselves: live bands, late nights, contests, teams of teachers – everything that a big city camp would have, but our own. We wanted an event. Something special. Something that really said…Omaha!

(OMG you can’t be serious!)

It just cracked us up. The name Cowtown Jamborama was coined with tongue firmly in cheek. But giving something a name – even something that isn’t a thing yet – changes the way you think about it.
The event became real in our minds, and we knew then that we really wanted it to happen. We began working to make it happen that very night.

Four years on, we’ve learned a lot. There have been changes every year, brought on by circumstance and our desire to create the best camp experience possible. This year the shift away from a downtown hotel was as major decision, as was taking a new direction with our live music. Other things were simple and obvious, like our faculty, of which I am very proud. They are amazing dancers and teachers one and all, but more importantly they are very cool people. Whether they be old hands like Dan and Tiff or new to the ranch like Adam and Casey, they are all good friends to the Omaha scene.

Though I have been nominally “in charge” of the Jamborama this year, my role has really only been that of advisor to the team of creative, resourceful, and dedicated people who actually operate Omaha Jitterbugs on a day-to-day basis. So to the members of the executive board (Billy and Lindsay, Josie Lahon, et al), to Ruth Bahr (our volunteer coordinator), to Troy and Merinda Nothnagel (who provide invaluable efforts in operations and planning), and to all the volunteers who tend the desk, serve breakfast, install dance floor, and run errands, I offer my heartfelt gratitude and thanks. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with all of you on the best Jamborama yet.

Finally, it is to all of you – our guests – that the Cowtown Jamborama is ultimately dedicated. Your support makes this event possible, and your loyalty is our greatest reward. So drink lots of water, wear the right shoes, come early, stay late, and don’t be afraid to put your hearts into it. Together, who knows what we might achieve! Have a great weekend, and come join us again soon!


Nate Woodhams, event coordinator.

Omaha Jitterbugs