Frequently Asked Questions
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What will the day’s schedule be like?
Camp typically opens each day at 10am with a fun group event for the entire camp: sing-a-longs, square dances, jams, or other activities. Children then divide into the classes chosen when they registered: an assortment of instruments and levels, anywhere from Beginning Bass, to Teen Vocals, to Advanced Fiddle. Campers get an opportunity to increase their knowledge about an instrument they already play, or start learning a new one. Two other classes of their choice follow, with a lunch-time, and then the campers are grouped into bands of 6-8 students per band. After these four classes, students get to pick from an assortment of afternoon activities like jamming, square dances, or open mic. The culmination of the camp is a Camp Concert, where each band performs for families and friends.
9:30am- 10:30am – Registration-First Morning Only!
10:00am – Morning Activity
10:30am – Block 1
11:15am – Snack Time
11:30am – Block 2
12:30pm – Lunch
1:00pm – Band
2:00pm – Block 3
3:00pm – Afternoon Activity
3:30pm – Done for the Day!
What classes are offered?
Please visit our Class Descriptions page to see the classes that we offer.
How do I sign up?
Please visit our Calendar Page
to view our schedule of camps, and register and pay for camp. You will be asked to fill out your Class Choices
as well as other pertinent information.
What sort of experience does the staff have teaching children?
We are excited to announce that our wonderful staff for the season of 2013 includes a great list of national and local instructors. Our Director, Kate Hamre, has hand-chosen some of the best teachers from around the bluegrass and acoustic music community. For bios of our staff, and who is teaching at each camp, please view the More Information page for each camp.
What ability level should I sign up for?
We have taught over 100 camps, and each camp is unique in what we teach because of the different levels of students that sign up. As a general rule, you can follow the guidelines on the Class Descriptions
, but depending on the other students in the class, that may change. As a camp rule, if a child is finding a class too easy or too difficult, the teacher will move the student accordingly on the first day of camp.
What if I want to sign up for the same class more than once?
Beginning Classes – We understand that a student will want to focus on one instrument, but we do recommend that the student take at least one other class during the day. In our experience, students can get “bored” of playing the same instrument all day if they are at the beginning level, and this camp is a great way to explore other instruments in a supportive environment.
Intermediate, Advanced, and Master Classes – We usually only have one or two classes of each Int./Adv./Masters class, but we highly encourage intermediate and advanced musicians to explore multiple instruments or the jamming classes. For example, the fiddle can be very easily transposed to the mandolin, and visa versa. Guitar and Vocals are always great classes to take! Even the bass can be a great instrument to know in the instance that you are in a jam with no bass player!!! The jamming classes are highly encouraged for any students that have signed up for an Intermediate, Advanced, or Master level class.
What do I do when I arrive at camp on the first day?
Please arrive on the first day at 9:30am (8:30am for Rockygrass)
in order to get everyone through registration on time. Head to the registration tables, and there will be a Welcoming Volunteer to hand you a welcome note to read, point you in the right direction, and answer any questions that you may have. There are three stations: 1) Songbooks and Schedules, 2) Instrument Tagging, and 3) Changes and Other Questions. In the case of camps that are held in conjunction with a festival, there also may be a Wristband Station. You may visit any station in any order. You will only need to visit the Changes and Other Questions Station if you would like to make changes to your schedule, or you have other questions. Please remember to drop your instruments, lunches, and coats off at the Instrument and Lunch Bag Area (different from the Instrument Tagging Station – you will be keeping your instrument at the Instrument and Lunch area when you are not using it, or finding an instrument here if you need to borrow one).
When will I receive my schedule?
Our goal is to get you the schedule at least one week prior, via email. If you would prefer another method, please state that on your registration form. The schedule always depends on other children, and we try our best to get everyone to send their form in on time.
Are there additional materials given to students?
We have a wonderful songbook that has taken the staff years to hone. It includes about 40 bluegrass, old-time, and folk songs that are great for beginner players, intermediate players, and advanced players alike. These songs include lyrics and chords. There is also a written music section for about 20 instrumentals, as well as a Appendix that includes Practice Techniques, Chord Charts for banjo, mandolin, guitar and fiddle, and a hand-chosen list of CDs, books and videos to continue a child’s musical education. We also bring many teaching material to use in class: extra picks and strings, stickers and markers for our Dot Sticker System to help with remembering chords, Ipod speakers for listening use, pens, pencils and paper for writing tab, etc. We do recommend that students bring recording devices if they would like to.
I would love to volunteer! How do I sign up? What kinds of jobs are there?
Wonderful! Volunteers make the world go ‘round! If you would like to volunteer, you can sign up when you fill out the Registration Form. When you sign up, you will be asked what day(s) and time(s) you would like to volunteer, as well as what job(s) you would like to volunteer for. Here is a short description of some of our volunteer jobs:
Camp Caretaker – Prepare and supervise Snack, keep camp area secure, help students to class, help students and teachers find instruments, and other odd jobs such as making photocopies, making the Camp Concert Program, picking up teachers’ lunches, answer parent questions, etc.
Camp Set-Up – Set up chairs and rooms, tune and tag instruments, hang up signs, set-up registration tables, help move instruments to appropriate rooms
Registration – Manage a Registration Table, welcome students and parents to camp and direct to Stations, answer questions
Lunch Duty – Supervise eating and play area so teachers may have a break
Concert Set-Up – Set up chairs, hand out evaluation forms, help students and teacher gather instruments and move to the concert area, type and print concert schedule
I don’t own an instrument? Can I borrow one? Should I rent one?
We feel that playing multiple instruments is a great asset to a child’s musical education, and that is why we encourage children to take multiple instrument classes. Understandably, many children may not have those instruments readily at hand. We will do our best to find an instrument for your child’s use during camp, however we cannot guarantee that there will be extra instruments available for your child during their chosen class. If it is critical that your child have his/her own instrument we highly recommend renting one from your local music store.
I have an instrument I can loan when I’m not using it.
Great! Many other students at camp want to try out different instruments, but may not have access to an instrument. If you have an instrument someone can use when you are not using it, please let us know on your form, and also when you arrive at camp, and we will write that on your Instrument Tag. Thank you for offering to lend your instrument!
If I am borrowing an instrument, where can I find one during camp?
If you are borrowing an instrument, first please indicate so on the Registration Form. When you arrive at camp, there will be an Instrument Area for students to put their instruments in, for camp instruments, and for students that need to find an instrument. If you need to borrow an instrument, go to this area and look for an instrument that has a tag that says “Yes” on it, and the same number as the Block that you need it in, i.e. if you need the instrument in Block 2, please find an instrument that has a sticker with the number "2" on the instrument tag. Also, you can always ask a teacher or volunteer for help. We will explain the tagging system more clearly at camp, but we invite you to please read below for more information on the Tagging system.
How does the Instrument Tagging system work?
We are very careful about instrument care at camp, and one of these aspects includes keeping instruments well labeled. When students arrive at camp, there is an Instrument Tagging Station where students may label their instruments and cases. Please remember to label the instrument, case, bow, and shoulder rest. There will also be a volunteer there to help. The tagging system works like this: On one side you will put your name. On the other side you may put one of two options. If you are not loaning your instrument, write “No”. If you are loaning your instrument, write a “Yes” and put a numbered sticker/s for which Block/s the instrument is available for loan. For example, if your instrument is available for loan during Block 1 and 3, please put a "1" and a "3" sticker on the tag. Please allow us to help you with the Instrument Tagging by tagging the instrument at camp, and not at home. Tags, stickers, and pens will be available at the Instrument Tagging Station. Again, there will be a volunteer there to help, so you can direct any questions to them when you arrive at camp.
How does the drop-off/pick-up process work?
We have a Closed Campus Policy, meaning students are to be signed out at the end of the day. On the Registration Form, parents may choose to not sign their child out, which means the child may leave camp without a parent signature after the day ends. If a parent indicates that they would like to sign their child out, they must come inside and sign the child out each day. If no ones signs a child out, Bluegrass Camps For Kids calls the parents around 4:00pm. We do NOT require a sign-in for the morning as we take role each day and a phone call is made to the parents if there is a child absent. If you would like to call in a student absent before or during camp, please contact Kate at 907.350.2562.
*Students attending Rockygrass Academy for Kids may leave camp at 4:00pm, but parents will be asked to sign a waiver at Registration.
I would like to donate to the Bluegrass Camps For Kids Scholarship Fund.
Thank you for your generous donation! Our scholarship fund helps students that may not otherwise be able to go to camp, as well as helps to pay for our Instrument Fund, which buys new instruments, picks, capos, straps, strings, and repairs "wear and tear" on our camp instruments.
How do I cancel my registration?
If you find that you need to cancel your registration, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
. There is a 25% cancellation fee at any point if you cancel, and 100% cancellation fee if you cancel 7 days or less prior to the first day of camp. We will make exceptions for family emergencies or similar situations.
Want to play more music??!!
When you just can't get enough music camp, here's a list of some other camps that we recommend:
Alaska City Folk Arts Camp
in Anchorage, AK
The Kids on Bluegrass Program at Grassvalley Bluegrass Festival
in Grassvalley, CA
The Greyfox Bluegrass Academy for Kids
in Oak Hill, NY
Wintergrass Youth Academy
in Bellevue, WA
Summergrass Academy for Kids
in San Diego, CA
Red White and Bluegrass Festival Kids Camp
in Morganton, NC
Portland Fiddle Camps
in Portland, OR
Aloha Bluegrass Academy
Any other questions? Please email us at email@example.com