Summer Changes in Schedule

Gaelic Tent at Mid-Maryland 2017

Sgoil Ghàidhlig tent at the Mid-Maryland Celtic Festival

A chairidean choir,

It’s been a busy spring around Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir.  We’ve had a tent at two Celtic festivals, new students have come on board, and we just had a wonderful picnic cèilidh in association with Gàidhlig Photomac.

Now the summer is upon us, and with it some changes in our schedule for the summer. Every year we find that summer plans in our little community require some adjustment to our class calendar.   This year, our teacher, Scott Morrison, will be out of the country much of the summer starting the 16th of June.

There will be one more online class, which will be on Thursday, 8 June, after which the online classes will be discontinued for the summer, to resume on Thursday, 31 August.

The informal Gaelic Conversation Sessions will continue through the summer, but may undergo some schedule changes if the summer travel of participants requires change.  However, these changes are usually easily managed as the group is very casual, and any change will be announced.  The next scheduled Gaelic Conversation session at O’Flynn’s at 3432 S. Hanover Street will be on Wednesday, 14 June.

To keep up with the schedule and other matters regarding classes go to our Class Schedule.

Even though he will be traveling with family, Scott will be available to students by email at   He will do his best to keep up with questions.  If your question does not require Scott’s attention, contact Rick Gwynallen at

Mòran taing a h-uile duine.


It was a beautiful day along the Potomac

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Over the last few years a Scottish Gaelic learning community has been evolving in Maryland and northern Virginia.  On the 4th of June, we had the first joint gathering of Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir (The Gaelic School of Baltimore) and Gàidhlig Photomac (The Potomac Scottish Gaelic Society).

‘S math gu robh là soilleir, grianach ann

This whole event was outdoors, so it was good that we had sunny and bright weather.  It was a beautiful day at Carderock Recreation Area.  Great food contributed by everyone, great music and singing, and a lovely hike on Billy Goat Trail along the Potomac learning Gaelic in the woods, really tying the language to the land.

Mòran taing

Many thanks to Scott Morrison and Liam Cassidy for their leadership and teaching; Michelle LaFrance for scouting out and securing the site; the musicians of the day, Scott Morrison, Peter Walker, Maraji Gwynallen, and Liam Cassidy for a great cèilidh. And everyone who participated.

An latha

After enjoying food and company, the group gathered to start the Gaelic immersion portion of the day, the language hike.  Scott and Liam led the group through the terms most likely to be used during the hike, and assigned scavenger hunt responsibilities whereby groups of two sought to find and photograph certain things to be found along the trail.  A pdf of the vocabulary list can be accessed here.

MD-NOVA Picnic Ceilidh June 2017 - 6

Liam (standing left) and Scott (standing right) prep everyone for the hike.

The trail wound through the woods along the Potomac, up and down, over rocks and roots, a narrow bridge, and a tiny stream.

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The hike paused at many locations as scavenger hunters found the objects of their quest, or folks had questions about the Gaelic terms for things not identified in the vocabulary list.

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Hikers identifying moss and lichen.

The most interesting find of the day goes to Liam Flynn of O’Flynn’s for the artifact he discovered in the woods.  Two other hikers, Amy Gray and Peter Walker, identified it as half of an old lemon squeezer.  Most of us only found slugs, trees, and beetles, and such.

Back at camp the hikers compared pictures of what they had found, asked more questions, and generally refined our understanding of the Gaelic language for our surroundings.

Then, more food and a lot of great music and singing.  It turned out to be kind of an international picnic area.  Next to our Gaelic group was a group of French speakers playing petanque.  They enjoyed us and we enjoyed them.

Ceòl is òran is aighear

MD-NOVA Picnic Ceilidh June 2017 - 5

It’s a wonderful Gaelic learning community that’s evolving in Maryland and northern Virginia. We hope you will join.  For more information on Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir programs, Click Here.  For more information on Gàidhlig Photomac, check out their Facebook page here, and their Meet-Up page here.

A h-uile beannachd

Join us for a Maryland-Northern Virginia Picnic Céilidh


Halò a h-uile duine!

Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir and Gàidhlig Photomac will hold a joint outdoor picnic céilidh for Gàidhlig learners around the region. (Family, friends, and newbies welcome).  Join us to kick off the summer.

Sunday, 4 June
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Hike with Gaelic learning; Gaelic session at site for those who do not want to hike
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Picnic and céilidh – Food, music, songs, craic

Carderock Pavilion
11701 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD (map)

For hikers and nature lovers: The Billy Goat Trail offers excellent (strenuous) hiking for those who would like to come early. The C and O Canal trail offers less strenuous adventure and nature-watching to those who want to see heron, water fowl, tangier, and many, many native plant species.

More info on hiking, parking, and the C and O canal:

More detailed directions from 1-495:
1. From the Beltway (I-495), take exit 41
(Coming from MD, the sign will say: Carderock, Great Falls, MD. Coming from VA, the sign will say Clara Barton Pkwy, Carderock, Glen Echo.)
2. Take the Clara Barton Pkwy going west.
3. Take the next right (sign says “Carderock, Carderock Div. NavSurfWarCen”).
4. Go up the ramp (you’ll see an I-495 sign).
5. At the top of the ramp, go left at the stop sign.
6. Go across the bridge over the Clara Barton Pkwy and continue straight into the park (don’t turn at the opposite end of the bridge).
7. Follow the road as it winds to the right and goes under the C&O canal bridge.
8. At the stop sign, where the road stops at a T, GO LEFT. We will be in the parking lot of a large pavilion (which we have not booked).

Sunday, 4th of June: Hold the Date for a Joint Maryland-Northern Virginia Céilidh


Halò a h-uile duine!

Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir and Gàidhlig Photomac will hold a joint outdoor picnic céilidh the afternoon of Sunday, 4 June.  It will be held at a state park in one of the Virginia or Maryland counties around Washington, DC.  Details will be forthcoming, but we wanted everyone to have plenty of time to put it on their calendars.

This will be the first time in years that the Gaelic-learning communities of Maryland and Northern Virginia will be co-hosting an event to bring the two communities together.

There will be lots of music, singing, stories, and food.  Watch for announcements.


Join us at O’Flynn’s for Gaelic Conversation this Wednesday

Complete Gaelic - 1

Next Gaelic Conversation Session is

Our next Gaelic Conversation Session is this Wednesday, 8 March at 6:30 pm.  We are now meeting at O’Flynn’s, 3432 S. Hanover Street.  This is a very casual session where we work to improve the everyday use of our Gaelic.  Never been to one?  Doesn’t matter. Join us. It’s a lovely pub atmosphere.  Have some food and drink, and learn some Gaelic.  Please RSVP if you intend to come, so we know how many to expect.

Next Baltimore Céilidh on Sunday, 5 March

Halò a h-uile duine!

Just a reminder that our next céilidh will be Sunday, 5 March,  3 pm – 6 pm.

Some have already RSVP’d. If you have not done so and want to come ceilidh-2please RSVP soon to

This time we will be in Towson, Maryland. As always, because it is a private home, the address will be given once each person RSVPs.  As with each céilidh, there will be a Gaelic language immersion section in the beginning, a cultural presentation, and the traditional sharing of poems, songs, stories, and more. Hopefully everyone will learn a couple Gaelic songs together over each céilidh.


We ask that everyone bring a poem, song, story, or something to share (it doesn’t have to be in Gaelic – though that is always great).

Chì sinn sibh a dh’aithghearr.

Our Gaelic Group Plans to be at Two Festivals this Spring


It would be great if folks could join Sgoil Ghàidhlig Bhaile an Taigh Mhóir at two Maryland Celtic festivals this Spring.  Both are a lot of fun.  We hope you can put them on your schedule. Please drop by and hang out at the Gaelic tent.  We’ll play some music, sing some songs, eat some food, lift a pint together, and enjoy the craic.

Southern Maryland Celtic Festival (website is not up to date, but this is the correct date) Saturday, 29 April,  Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum, 10515 Mackall Road St., Leonard, MD
Scott Morrison’s band, Dileab Phriseil,
will be playing at the Southern Maryland Celtic Festival