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Jul 26, 2019 - 8:08:30 AM
4 posts since 5/29/2019

Hi! I am currently an African American college student interested in learning more about banjo camps/ festivals to participate in! This summer, I went to the Midwest Banjo Camp and had a nice time. However, I want to try to find more camps along the East Coast or in the Midwest that I would feel safe and comfortable at. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to go? Camps that offer scholarships/aid to students are a plus!

Jul 26, 2019 - 8:19:10 AM
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61 posts since 1/16/2017

I've only ever been to Banjo Camp North, but I've found the quality of instructors to be excellent and the campers to be very welcoming and friendly. Very common to sit and mix it up with strangers at each meal...

Jul 26, 2019 - 8:25:48 AM
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Players Union Member

DC5

USA

6714 posts since 6/30/2015

And Banjo Camp North does offer scholarships. You might find many of the same instructors you had at Midwest Banjo Camp, but a different group of campers. You can find information at musiccampsnorth.com/

What style of Banjo to you play?

Oh yeah, and welcome to the hangout.

Edited by - DC5 on 07/26/2019 08:26:50

Jul 26, 2019 - 9:11:50 AM
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221 posts since 4/14/2017

Suwannee banjo camp. March 12-15 of next year. There are scholarships, 250 off where you put in something like 10 hours of work with setup or takedown, I think they said they want you to be under 25. The price is not up yet that I could find, but I suspect it's around 500 for the weekend, possibly more for lodging which they indicate is seperate. I went to it several years ago when they were at High Springs, it was great although not cheap! They moved it north to Live Oak now.

Jul 26, 2019 - 9:38:26 AM

47 posts since 5/11/2006

Pete Wernick offers "Jam Camps" at various places around the country. These camps aren't specific to just banjo and it's more about playing together as a group. But there are break out periods taught by instrument. The one in Boomer N.C. precedes Merlefest in Wilkesboro N.C. Usually the last week in April. Come on down and pick with my friends and I. We'd like to have you. There are scholarships available for these camps. Usually lodging, too.

Edited by - Gutbucket on 07/26/2019 09:40:52

Jul 26, 2019 - 1:55:01 PM
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65 posts since 11/24/2009

Pete Wernick's camps are the best. We go to the 51/2 day one at Silver Bay on Lake George every year. His camps are multi instrument, but also have banjo specific instruction every day along with other instrument classes. I prefer bluegrass multi instrument camps because there are better opportunities to jam and play with other people. I have been to Banjo Camp North and the instructors are excellent, but it was more banjo instruction that I could absorb in a couple of days and the jamming was not great with so many banjos at the same jam. I have heard that they have improved the jamming with people playing other instruments. Phil Zimmerman runs the Banjo Camp North and he is a super excellent instructor.
Some other Northeast Bluegrass Camps to consider are the Colebrook Jam Camp, Fiddleheads, and Ashokan Bluegrass Camp.

Jul 26, 2019 - 7:44:56 PM

559 posts since 2/19/2012

Welcome, Joseph. Seconding DC5's question, are you leaning toward Bluegrass (Scruggs style) or old time (clawhammer, two or three finger, or maybe stroke style)? Maybe even tenor?

Parker

Edited by - Parker135 on 07/26/2019 19:45:24

Jul 27, 2019 - 5:27:49 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

6714 posts since 6/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by Mike Milano

Phil Zimmerman runs the Banjo Camp North and he is a super excellent instructor.
 


Phil no longer runs BCN, Kelly Stockwell  took over as president at the end of the 2018 camp.  I was not able to attend this year as I had a conflict on the dates of the camp, but I'm sure Kelly did a fine job.

Jul 27, 2019 - 7:47:57 PM

12098 posts since 10/30/2008

I help out at Banjo Camp North, and it is in very capable hands with Mrs. Stockwell. Next year is the 20th anniversary and I believe they're planning quite a "bash". Check out their website.

Jul 28, 2019 - 4:57:01 AM

115 posts since 10/9/2017

Reading between the lines, you say you had a “nice” time at MidWest, but the implication is that you didn’t feel “safe and comfortable”. What elements of a banjo camp would alleviate that?

Size
Location
Attendee Demographics
Instructors
Playing styles, e.g., Bluegrass vs. Clawhammer vs. Early Banjo, etc.
Instructional focus, e.g., playing skills vs. jamming
Facilities, e.g, dorms vs. hotels vs. tents
Other

Jul 29, 2019 - 5:27:32 AM

4 posts since 5/29/2019

Hi thank you all! I am currently learning old time/clawhammer style.
The main thing is not demographic, as I am aware that there are not many people like me in the community. I'm mostly looking for a camp that I will not be in physical danger at/people will not treat me differently.
I did not feel unsafe or uncomfortable at Midwest and I may even go again. I am mostly looking for more camps to go to, but I have been advised that not all are as welcoming.

Jul 29, 2019 - 5:32:01 AM

4 posts since 5/29/2019

Oh, also when it comes to instruction, I am looking for somewhere that teaches the cannon. Ideally somewhere that can teach music theory + playing technique, but that is not a requirement.

Jul 29, 2019 - 5:34:26 AM
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40 posts since 3/21/2018

Augusta - at Davis and Elkins College, Elkins, WV - has an old-time week with several different levels of banjo workshop. (Same time slot as blues week.)  They have a scholarship program.

D.H.

Edited by - Dave Hicks on 07/29/2019 05:35:32

Jul 29, 2019 - 6:00:07 AM
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Players Union Member

DC5

USA

6714 posts since 6/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by NotSoAveragJoe

Hi thank you all! I am currently learning old time/clawhammer style.
The main thing is not demographic, as I am aware that there are not many people like me in the community. I'm mostly looking for a camp that I will not be in physical danger at/people will not treat me differently.
I did not feel unsafe or uncomfortable at Midwest and I may even go again. I am mostly looking for more camps to go to, but I have been advised that not all are as welcoming.


I cannot imagine you being made to feel uncomfortable at Banjo Camp North.  I can't imagine you being made to feel uncomfortable anywhere, but that is my own naivete.  There's still a lot of jerks in the world.  When I stay at BCN I camp in the field as I save a little money that way.  A little inconvenient for using showers and bathrooms, but I'm on a fixed income and every little bit counts.

Jul 29, 2019 - 12:54:10 PM

4 posts since 5/29/2019

Thanks Dave! This is really helpful!

Aug 5, 2019 - 10:45:28 PM

50 posts since 1/2/2015

It's farther afield than you asked for, but, the Weiser Bluegrass Banjo camp (Weiser Idaho) is the best I've been to. It's smaller and cheaper than most camps and the staff are welcoming and encouraging to all. They do have scholarships. It is a bluegrass banjo camp, though, if you'd like to try a different style. 

Edited by - chickenlady on 08/05/2019 22:48:39

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