Frequently Asked Questions about Old School Bluegrass Camp

(answers may not be specific to Song Writing or Fiddle & Banjo Camp- for any questions email oldschoolbluegrasscamp@gmail.com)

How much does Old School Bluegrass Camp cost? And what is included with the registration fee?

The five-day Old School Bluegrass Camp registration fee is $795 + HST =$898.35. Song Writing and Fiddle & Banjo Camp are priced differently and detailed information is on the menu tabs above. The registration fee includes intensive daily classes with your instrument instructor as well as a 30-minute private lesson. Workshops, band labs, slow jams, open mics, song circles and basic instrument repairs from our on-site Luthier are also included with registration. Camp registration includes on-site tent or trailer camping with your own gear, home-cooked meals a day plus snacks and camp amenities (‘glam’ bathroom facilities and heated outdoor showers). Sign up at https://oldschoolbluegrasscamp.wordpress.com/registration/

I have dietary restrictions and food allergies – will there be something available for me?

The chef and kitchen staff at OSBC design healthy and filling daily menus and snacks to match the needs of all our student campers – just include any restrictions and allergies in your application form so that we know ahead of time.

Can I bring my own food?  

Please do not bring any food or snacks to camp.  There are some serious allergies among campers, and there is wildlife that will be looking for a meal if you keep food in your tent.  We will have ample snacks, beverages and healthy food for all campers, taking everyone’s dietary needs and restrictions into account.

What are the camp COVID protocols for 2022?

OSBC is following all the latest COVID-19 guidelines and will continue to update our protocols as new information becomes available. Campers will be notified of guidelines regarding vaccination status and testing in advance of any events. Both outdoor and indoor spaces are provided for workshops, classes, performances and meals.

Where can I park my vehicle?

Camper parking is in the large field adjacent the campsite.  We encourage campers to bring all that they need to camp so that we will not have cars driving in and out of camp.  Campers who have arranged to stay in an Inn or B&B will park across the road at the church so that they can easily come and go.

Can I bring along my partner or a friend that doesn’t want to take instrument classes?

Yes! Your friends and family can attend OSBC along with you as a Camp Companion which includes full meals, camping, concerts, workshops, electives and jams.  Camp companions can participate in everything except instrument classes and the band lab concerts.  Companions are welcome to bring instruments to join the jams and open stages. The fee for camp companions is $375 +HST = $423.75

Can I bring my children?

Old School Bluegrass Camp is for campers and camp companions aged 18 and over.  If your children are over 18, they are very welcome to attend as camp companions.

 Can I bring my dog, cat, parrot, or llama?

No – Old School Bluegrass Camp does not allow pets.

Can I bring my bike?

Yes – many campers enjoy an early morning ride, so feel free to bring your bike.

What skill level on my instrument do I need to have?

The instrument instructors tailor the group classes to the needs of everyone participating.  You will need to have a basic knowledge of how to play your instrument and a sense of where the notes are located and should be able to easily move from chord to chord.  You do not need to be able to read sheet music.

Where can I store my instruments when we’re not playing?

For the rare moments when you won’t be playing, like meal times and sleep; a weatherproof storage area is provided for instruments. Bringing a hard or soft case for your instruments is highly recommended – if you don’t have one, email oldschoolbluegrasscamp@gmail.com and we may be able to loan you one.

I’m coming from far away and can’t bring my instrument with me to camp – are there loaner instruments available?

OSBC may have some instruments on hand that can be loaned out for the week of camp – inquire at oldschoolbluegrasscamp@gmail.com.

Should I bring my amp, pedals, microphones or any of my gear?

No – Old School Bluegrass Camp keeps it Old School and acoustic, sound will be provided at the student concerts and the open stage. 

I don’t know anything about Bluegrass music – do I need to before attending?

No – you don’t need to know anything about Bluegrass before you attend camp.  If you do have some knowledge about Bluegrass and Old Time music, OSBC is a great place to learn more.  Bluegrass is perfect for beginner musicians to learn full songs and start working in groups quickly and for intermediate and expert players it allows room to grow.  OSBC also includes an elective guest lecture on the History of Bluegrass music on the final day of camp.

Chris Quinn leads the History Of Bluegrass lecture

Do I have to get up on stage and play in front of people?

Yes – all student campers perform at the student concerts with their band-lab groups; this is required.  If you are nervous, that’s ok, we are a supportive and positive group and provide a safe place to step out of your comfort zone.  You’ll feel so great for having taken the plunge.  Many campers have formed bands and jamming circles after they met at camp!

Will I have to sing?

Bluegrass is a style rich with great singers and layers of harmony; you aren’t required to sing, but it’s strongly encouraged.  Our fabulous vocal and performance coach, Kristine Schmitt is on site and you will be able to have a one-on-one with her about your abilities, fears and how to take to the next level.  Chances are, you’ll be singing through the week of camp in groups or even on your own without even realizing it!

I live nearby and have some friends and family that want to come to the student camper concerts – can they come? 

We do not allow folks to the site who are not registered as a camper or camp companion.

Are there any added fees when I get to camp?

No – there are no added fees during the week of camp, but you may want to purchase CDs, T-Shirts and other merchandise from our camp instructors, and Old School Bluegrass Camp shirts, hats and stickers.

What is a Luthier? 

We are so fortunate to have our good friend Luke Mercier attending our camp and offering you basic instrument repairs and consultation.  You will be able to sign up for an appointment with Luke once you are on site.  

I have a trailer – can the campsite accommodate that? Are there hook-ups available?

Yes – we can accommodate trailers, but No – there are no electrical or water hook-ups.  

What are the camp washroom facilities like?

The OSBC washrooms provide all the comforts of home in a permanent structure with sinks and full privacy.  Private, heated outdoor showers are also permanently installed on-site.

What is a ‘Glamping’ Tent?

‘Glamping’ Tents are spacious camp tents with raised single beds with a real mattress and full bedding provided. Battery powered lighting and all set up before you arrive. Coming as a couple and need a double? Let us know and we can set one up for you. Rent a Glamping Tent for Bluegrass Camp $295+ HST = $333.35 in addition to camp registration fees.

Are there other places to stay nearby if I prefer not to camp?

There are some lovely accommodations nearby listed on our Location Page: https://oldschoolbluegrasscamp.wordpress.com/location/

I have mobility issues; how much walking is involved?

All OSBC activities take place within a 3-minute walk.  There are some fields and gravel paths that must be navigated.  

Is Wi-Fi and internet available at camp?

There is no WIFI at camp. You will be able to use your cellular data, and if there is an issue and you absolutely need a computer, we can arrange to set up a hot spot for you.

What should I wear at camp?

Camp attire is summer casual.  Bring sandals and sensible shoes as there are short walks on fields and gravel trails involved.  Be prepared for outdoor concerts and campfire jams, so be sure to bring cooler weather and rain clothing.  Bring insect spray and sunscreen.  You may wish to bring along any special concert attire you’d like to wear for performances. There is swimming available nearby so you may wish to bring a swimsuit.  You will be sent a full list of what to bring in your camper information package.

Sometimes I play with a capo on my mandolin – is that allowed?

Look deep, deep into your heart to find the answer to that question.