Information for Attendees

Hello Campers!

This year we celebrate Sierra Fiddle Camp's 14th camp with a wonderful adventure in music, dance and community—we are delighted that you'll be a part of it!  This section provides vital information about the camp and what to bring. Please read it thoroughly, and contact us if you have additional questions or need clarification. There is a list of useful contacts on the final page.

Applications were accepted starting mid-December, with a “priority deadline” (before which all applications are considered equally) of March 1st (applications are accepted after March 1st, but people are often placed on the wait list, if the camp is filled by March 1st). If at any time you wish to communicate by mail, our mailing address is:

Alasdair Fraser’s SIERRA FIDDLE CAMP,
P.O. Box 219, Nevada City CA 95959

Attendees under the age of 18 who are not being accompanied by a parent or who are not applying to camp on the same application as their guardian will find additional forms on the camp’s website (Minor Release Form, Guardian Acceptance Form – to be completed by the Guardian – and Health History form) that their parents will need to fill out and return. See Consent Forms on the website.

A word about the camp “village”: our goal is to develop an immersion experience that is creative, nurturing and comfortable for all the participants. Please don’t ask friends or family to visit you at camp during the week. Drop-in visitors or guests are not permitted – please don’t ask us to make exceptions.

ADDRESS of CAMP: Shady Creek Outdoor School & Conference Center, 18601 Pathfinder Way, Nevada City, CA 95959

Sierra Fiddle Camp will arrange a shuttle to and from the Sacramento airport; if you would like to take advantage of that, please contact Jeannie Ford, at studio@earthlink.net, and indicate that you need shuttle transportation on your Return/Final Payment form (which is available in early April).

Nearest airport: Sacramento (80 miles / 1½ hour driving time)
Driving directions are also available on the AFSFC website under “Getting to Camp”.
Public transportation is available to Nevada City, but not to the camp. If you let us know well in advance when you’ll arrive, we can arrange a pick-up at a central place in Nevada City or nearby Grass Valley.
Carpooling is encouraged! There is limited parking at camp. Some cars may need to be parked remotely.

Registration begins at 4:00 pm on Saturday June 20th. Dinner, at 7:00, will be followed by an all-camp orientation and jam session. Classes start at 9 am on Sunday, June 20st.  We leave camp by 11:00 am, Sunday, June 28th, following breakfast.

Cell phone reception is usually available from certain areas of the campus. Emergency contact # at the camp is (530) 913-8291 (Sally Ashcraft). 

INTERNET: Internet connectivity is sometimes available at the camp but cannot be guaranteed.

The camp straddles Shady Creek in an oak/pine woodland. Some campers may find the sloping terrain challenging. Be prepared to walk up and down hillside paths, both paved and unpaved, and allow yourself enough time to get to class and meals. Mid-June weather tends to be sunny and dry, with temperatures ranging from mild to hot during the day, with cool star-lit evenings.

Each room sleeps 6-10 people in bunks and some queen beds. All rooms have electric lights and outlets, some rooms have a fan. Shared restroom and shower facilities are located nearby. Rooms will not be locked. Participants must provide their own bedding and towels. (See “What to Bring” below.) For those who plan to bring and sleep in their own tents, there are several level, cleared tent sites (but there is no discount on your camp fee if you choose to sleep in a tent).  Sites for trailers/RVs are very limited, we can accommodate only smaller vehicles, and those sites are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis; there are no electrical/water/waste hookups available. If you have roommate preferences, or plan on bringing a tent, or have other considerations, please indicate such on the Return (Payment) Form.

Meals will be served three times a day in the beautiful Dining Room and adjoining outdoor patio. Breakfast and lunch buffets and family-style dinners will feature a wholesome tasty menu designed to please both adults and children. A fresh salad bar will be available for lunches and dinners. Vegetarian meals or special meals will be available only for those who indicate that preference in advance, so please make sure you indicate special needs on the Return Form.  We can accommodate many special dietary needs but if yours are more restricted than most, our special diet liaison Debbie Dugan will be in touch with you sometime in May.

Beer, wine and sodas will be available for purchase; we encourage you to bring your own mugs or bottles (some will be available for purchase at the camp store), for water or other beverages. In an effort to reduce waste, we will not be providing disposable cups. There will be water jugs available near classes and coffee & tea will be provided at break times.

Our camp shop will carry special fiddle camp items, including a choice selection of CDs, music books, fiddle strings, batteries, camp t-shirts and other specialties. Credit cards will be accepted.

Sierra Fiddle Camp participants who have released their own CDs or published tune books may place their wares on consignment at the shop. To arrange consignments contact Pamela Roberts (see contact list below.) There will be a 15% commission on these sales.

NO PETS: Pets are not allowed at camp.
SMOKING: Is not permitted at Shady Creek Camp.
PARKING: Cars are not permitted to drive through camp or park next to rooms or cabins except while loading or unloading. Utility handcarts are available in the parking lot to transport your gear at the start and end of camp, and we’ll have volunteers available, also.  Parking is limited at camp, and some vehicles may need to be parked remotely.
HEALTH CARE: Limited first aid supplies and assistance are available at camp.  In the event of accident or illness, the nearest EMT/Fire Station is seven minutes away.  The nearest hospital is in Grass Valley, about 25 minutes by car.


All fiddle classes are taught by ear. There will be four levels of fiddle instruction available: Basic Beginning, Slow, Moderate and Fast. Students choose their own level based on experience and ability to learn by ear. You’re free to try different classes, but we encourage you to find your class level early in the week.

Basic Beginning lessons are for those who have never played the fiddle. Adult basic beginners and beginning children will be in separate classes.

• Slow class is for people who have some playing
experience, but need extra time to learn tunes by ear. Each of these classes will meet twice a day. Instructors include: Instructors include: Deby Benton-Grosjean, Janette Duncan, Laura Risk, and Katie McNally

• One Moderate and two Fast classes (each with three sessions a day) will be taught in rotation.

OTHER DAYTIME ACTIVITIES: The swimming pool will be open most of the day and some evenings. There’s a basketball court and volleyball net, and, the creek! 

Before dinner each evening, we gather informally at the “Village Gathering” for a rousing song circle and to listen to cameo performances by some of our younger campers.  After dinner, there will be dances, impromptu jam sessions and song-sharing throughout the week.  Special events include:
• Instructors’ Concert Sunday evening
• Evening Dances
• Camp Ceilidh (talent night)
• Moonlight Splash
• Themed party (theme TBD) hosted by the teens & tweens
• Banquet and Costume party Friday night – Midsummer Celebration is our theme!
Some people plan ahead and bring a costume; others will improvise from what’s on hand at camp.

__ musical instruments
__ clothing for warm days and sometimes cool nights (sweatshirt/sweater)
__ water bottle / mug (we won’t have disposable cups)
__ personal articles / toiletries (there’s a nearby store if you’ve forgotten something)
__ bedding (sleeping bag & pillow or sheets & blanket)
__ towels (bath, pool)
__ flashlight for each member of the family
__ bathing suit
__ comfortable shoes for walking and dancing 
__ shoes for wading in the creek
__ recording device for classes
__ extra strings, batteries, tapes
__ hat, sunglasses (parasol?)
__ sunscreen, insect repellent
__ extra money for purchasing items in the camp store or drinks from the cantina

The camp finale is a concert on Saturday, June 27th; all campers are encouraged to participate, and Saturday morning is devoted to an all-camp rehearsal for the concert. After the concert, we will return to camp for a farewell gathering. Because it is our last chance to be together as a group and celebrate our week together, we ask that you not invite any friends or family to come back to camp after the concert. For information on local hotels, and bed & breakfast accommodations, keep an eye on this website, and you can also go online to www.ncgold.com. All registered campers get into the concert for free, but family members who have not been at camp need to purchase tickets at www.sierrafiddlecamp.org.

The camaraderie that develops as we all study, play and live together makes fiddle camp very special, and it wouldn’t work so well, or be as much fun, without everyone pitching in. There are many ways to get involved, from helping other participants with their luggage on arrival, to staying for the final clean up, making sure we all get out of camp on time with all our belongings, and everything in between. Check the list on the “Return (Payment) Form” (which you’ll return with your payment in full by May1st) for these and other things you can do to help make the camp run smoothly. If you have a special service or idea you’d like to add, please let us know that, too. Your involvement is not only appreciated, it’s essential!

Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp, like its older sister camp, the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School, is sponsored by Scottish Fiddlers of California, a California non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, and is organized by volunteers.

Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp uses tax-deductible contributions to enrich the camp experience and provide assistance to musicians who need some financial support to attend camp. With the generosity of folks in our community who appreciate and support the vision of Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp, we can provide financial aid to campers, bring in extraordinary international faculty, build dance floors and much more.

Please consider making a donation to AFSFC by mailing a check (made out to Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp) to: AFSFC, PO Box 219, Nevada City, CA 95959.

During camp, we will have a silent auction with delightful, distinct and unusual items and services.  If you would like to donate something, please contact the committee at least two weeks prior to camp.

Other opportunities to support this fund will be available during camp; you will find a detailed information sheet in your registration packet upon arrival. The spirit of generosity between us is what creates the magic in our musical village. Thank you!


The organizing committee:

Alasdair Fraser   Sally Ashcraft • Connie Gaulter Muir •  Bruce Robinson


Send forms & balance due to:
  Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp, PO Box 219, Nevada City, CA 95959

Questions on accommodations, billing & general info:
  Connie Muir, email: registrar@sierrafiddlecamp.org; ph: (530) 478-9004

Transportation information & to book airport shuttle:
Jeannie Ford, studio@earthlink.net

Camp shop consignments & information:
Pamela Roberts, prmotions@aol.com; (916) 606-4546

Concert information & tickets:
  www.sierrafiddlecamp.org, or email: peter@peterwilsonworld.com; (530) 477-0708








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