During lunch on first day of classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School, I sat across from a young gentleman whose nametag indicated he was in the blacksmithing class.  I asked if he had any experience in the craft.  “I’d never picked up a hammer before today,” he replied with a smile.

That afternoon, while waiting for a tour of the campus to begin, I struck up a conversation with a student in the painting class who’d never touched a brush to paper before that day.

Neither of these events is surprising considering the two words included in many Folk School course descriptions: Beginners welcome.

Beginners welcome.  The two words every novice loves to see.  These are the two words that encouraged this student, who never thought herself a writer, to sign up for a writing class.  And I am not alone.  This week at the Folk School I have met mothers and their daughters, a son here with his wife and in-laws, sisters on their yearly girls trip – and in each group there was at least one person who had never before tried the art they are pursuing this week.

So know that when the Folk School says “Beginners welcome,” plan to take them up on the invitation.  Come, join us!