Frequently Asked Questions

What does it all cost?
There are separate prices for classes, food, tenting, etc. so you only have to pay for what you want. All the prices are listed on the registration form. Even though registration isn't open until February 7th, you can view the prices and other information on the registration form ahead of time.

How does "online registration" work?
Online registration lets you pay for camp with PayPal or a credit card. On the registration page you can indicate your first second and third choice for morning intensive class and select any other options (camping, meals, etc.) you'd like. You can pay with a credit card or PayPal. You can also print out the filled-in registration page and mail it in with a check or money order.

Is this camp for children or adults?
Yes! This camp is for musicians. Typically, most of our campers are adults, so the classes are geared to an adult attention span. But campers of all ages are welcome as long as they're into the music and can stay focused during an all-morning class.

Usually, out of about 200 campers, we have about 20 young adults between the ages of 10 and 18. If a child is under ten years old, we generally recommend our “Fungrass” program for the morning class—this class is less intensive and, as the name implies, more fun! and includes arts and crafts and snacks as well as musical instruction. FunGrass students can attend afternoon elective classes to supplement their musical studies.

How do I get to camp?
The Nevada County Fairgrounds are located at 11228 McCourtney Road, 95949-7412, near the intersection of Hwy 49 and Hwy 20, in Grass Valley, CA. For directions and maps, see the fairgrounds website: www.nevadacountyfair.com

Can you help me find (or offer) a ride to camp?
Carpooling is in! If you are interested in sharing a ride to camp, let us know and we'll put you in contact with any others from your area who are also interested in carpooling. 

Are there hook-ups for RVs?
Full hook-ups are sold by a lottery system and sell out quickly. You can find out more on the CBA "Directions and Camping" web page here. But there are also spaces with guaranteed electrical hook-ups—for availability, contact the festival ticket salesperson through the CBA website, www.cbaweb.org/

Can I bring my family and pets?
Family, yes, though if they're not signed up for music camp, they should not attend classes. They may come to the evening events but will be asked to contribute to the scholarship fund in exchange for enjoying all the great music and dancing. All are welcome at the student concert and there is no charge for that. All adults need to pay for a camping permit if you're camping, and meal tickets are available for family members; just let us know who's coming with you and what they'll need on your registration form, and include the appropriate amount in your registration fees.

If your family includes young children, you should know that we offer a special class for children of campers who are not yet ready for camp, but interested in music. This class, called Fungrass, meets in the mornings from 9 a.m. to noon only, and is taught by Kathleen Rushing and her assistants.  Students will have a chance to interact with instruments and learn about each of the main bluegrass/old-time instruments. They will participate in fun, interactive music experiences; singing, dancing, performance, crafts, recording, musical drama, games and a great snack each day.

The cost of this program is kept very low, partial scholarships are available for those who need them.

Rules about Pets
Starting a few years ago, dogs are now allowed in the camp ground, if they are well-behaved. The rules for dogs at the CBA Summer Music Camp are the same as the rules for the Father's Day Festival.

If you're traveling in an RV and have a cat or cats, it''s okay to bring them as long as they remain inside the RV at all times.

How early can I arrive?
You can arrive whenever you want—check-in begins at noon on Sunday. We'll have someone at the gate to greet you from 10:00 a.m. on. If you come before Sunday you will need to arrange camping or RV parking with the fairgrounds directly.

What do I need to bring to camp?
• Instrument(s) - guitar, banjo, bass, mandolin, etc. as well as capos, picks, spare strings, etc. The camp store will have accessories, but they might not have your particular favorites.
• A tuner!
• Clothing for hot days, warm or cool nights--be sure to include hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. We say this, though we occasionally have an unseasonably cool year, which requires a whole different wardrobe, so check the weather forecast (for Grass Valley, CA), but it's usually very pleasant.
• If you're tent camping, bring camping supplies! (tent, sleeping bag, etc). All you are supplied with is a space to camp, and access to water and bathrooms. There are showers with limited supplies of hot water. There are no picnic tables at the sites, or BBQs, or anything like that, just some pine trees and a level space. So a camp table will be helpful, and a camp stool for jamming is nice. Also, you can bring a comfortable chair for the evening concerts.
• To help conserve resources, please bring a travel mug for drinks, and a water bottle.
• For classes, a notebook and pen, battery-powered recording device (cell phone?), and extra batteries are very helpful and in some classes essential; extra strings, capo, etc.
• A cushion for your chair if you're into comfort.
• Earplugs if you're a light sleeper.
• Flashlight or headlamp.
• If you have a large or heavy instrument, you may want to consider bringing a wheeled carrier for making travel to classes easier. Lightweight, easy-carry gig bags are good for the same reason.
• You may like to have something soft to stand on if you're a bass player and get tired feet standing on cement floors.
• Bring a yoga mat if you have one and want to attend the yoga classes.
• Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc.
• And don't forget your dancing shoes!

What shouldn't I bring to camp?
• Pets - Although some kinds of pets are allowed in the campground and in RVs, no pets are allowed in the Fairgrounds during the Music Camp or the Fathers Day Festival. See "Pets" above.
• Bicycles - Bicycles are not allowed in the Fairgrounds during the Music Camp (or the Fathers Day Festival).
• Loud electric instruments, unless they were played by the Carter Family.
• Illegal drugs or firearms.

Is vegetarian food available?
Yes. You can sign up for vegetarian or omnivore ("meat") meals. If you need to know details about what will be served, contact us and we'll send you a sample menu.

What if I want some veggie and some meat meals?
You have to sign up for one or the other. But, at the end of the meal, after everyone has been served, it's okay to go through the line again to sample the veggie food if you signed up as an omnivore, or vice versa, if there's extra left. "After everyone has been served" are the key words here, wait at least 45 minutes after meal time began.

How can I get one of those CBA Music Camp T-shirts?
When you register you can order one or two of this year's commemorative T-shirts right on the registration form. You can also check out this year's design right here.

I paid for pre-festival camping when I bought my festival ticket—do I have to pay again?
No. If you already paid for that it's covered, and you will get your camping permit from the festival headquarters when you arrive (NOT at music camp registration).

Can I come for (and pay for) just part of the camp?
Yes, if you'd like to attend one or more of the afternoon classes, that can be arranged—email us for more information.

Can I attend more than one of the morning intensive classes?
No, sorry. For several reasons--one, to ensure that class sizes don't get too big; and two, because the intensive classes all take place at the same time; and three, because often a teacher will build each day on what was worked on the previous day, so continuity is important. However, during the jams, elective classes, and office hours you can participate with any instrument you want, and work with any instructor you want.

How do I register for the CBA Music Camp?
You can register by postal mail, email, or online.
• To register by postal mail, Fill in the registration form, print it out, and send it along with your check or money order to our registration office in Seattle, WA.
• To register by email, Fill in the registration form, email it to us (a screen dump or other file capture), and arrange with your bank to send us a check.
• To register online using PayPal or a credit card, Fill in the registration form, pay with PayPal or a credit card and submit it online.

Can I split camping costs with a friend if we camp together?
No, unless you're in an RV with hookups. The tent-camping cost is a special low rate, based on a per-person fee. But there's no camping fee for any children (under 18) you bring.

Can I just pay tuition now, and pay for meals and/or camping later?
Yes, if that makes things easier for you, but we could run out of camping spaces; we often run out of meal tickets; and we always run out of Wednesday night lasagna tickets! And remember prices go up after May 1st!

Is there a way I can reduce the cost of camp by working at camp?
Yes, you can volunteer. Volunteers help the teachers in the morning classes (as " Teaching Assistants"), or run errands for the directors, or help in the Office, or help set up and tear down the shade structures (as "Roustabouts"), and so on.

How can I become a volunteer?
If you want to apply to be a volunteer, consult the Volunteering Information Page.

How early can I sign up?
Registration opens on February 7th. The intensive classes and teachers will all be selected by that time and listed on the Instructors page. If, after you sign up, you should change your mind about the class you want to take, you're free to change as long as the other class still has space, but the intensive classes tend to fill up quickly.

If you plan on signing up for RV camping of any kind you should read the Father's Day Festival "Directions and Camping" web page. The Music Camp has no control of the RV hookups, but you can apply for an RV site with the CBA Father's Day Festival staff at any time. You don't have to wait for camp registration to open.

Do CBA members get priority for camp registration?
Yes. Camp registration is basically first-come first-served with preference given to CBA members in the case of a tie. Registrations that come in before Feb 7th are held until Feb 7th to be processed. At that point all waiting registrations from CBA members will have priority.

Can I sign someone else up as a gift?
Yes! A registration for the CBA Music Camp makes a fun and educational Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, birthday, New Year, or whatever gift.

Can I sign up by phone and pay with a credit card?
You can sign up with a credit card online on the CBA Music Camp registration page, but we can't take credit card orders over the phone. Of course, if you're having trouble with the registration page we can help you by phone.

Can I sign up by email?
Yes, the home page explains how. You can even sign up by email if you don't have a checking account. Most banks offer a check service especially those with online banking. You can ask your bank to send us a check for the registration amount drawn on your account and then email us a pdf or scan of the completed registration form and say that the check is on the way from your bank.

Do I have a better chance of getting to a class if I pay by credit card?
No. To determine your place in line, we go by when you sign up, not when we receive it, and we go by which day you sign up, regardless of what time it is. So, mailing a check anytime on a Monday, for example, will place you in line along with everyone else who mails a check or signs up online that day. For that reason, sending it priority mail is not necessary—we go by the date of the postmark.

If a class overfills on any given day, then we look at factors like age, prior attendance at camp, CBA membership, etc. when making decisions about who's in the class and who's on the waiting list.

I want to sign up for camp now, but don't have all the money together yet. Will you take a deposit?
Yes, you can submit your completed registration form and a deposit of $100 to hold your place, but bear in mind that the late fee of $50 will be added if tuition is not paid in full by May 1st, unless you make special arrangements.

I want to sign up for camp, but I may have to cancel. What's your refund policy?
If you're not sure you'll be able to come, the easiest thing to do is sign up with a deposit of an amount that you're willing to donate to the scholarship fund if you can't make it. That makes it easy for everyone if you have to cancel.
If you sign up with full fees and unexpected circumstances force you to cancel, we can refund your fees. We don't charge a set cancellation fee, but we do ask that you donate a portion of your refund (any amount) to next year's scholarship fund, to make up for the inconvenience.

Exceptions: Cancellations received after June 1st receive only a partial refund and “no-shows” (those who, without warning, fail to show up at camp by Monday morning), receive no refund and forfeit their spot.

I want to attend, but can't afford it. How do I get a scholarship?
There are two types of scholarships available: full scholarships, which cover full tuition and in some cases also meals and camping; and partial scholarships.

Almost all of our scholarships are partial scholarships—you cover any costs of meals and camping, and pay as much as you can towards tuition, and we cover the rest up to half of your total cost. To apply for a partial scholarship, fill out a registration form, entering the amount you can pay towards tuition, and mail it in, with a check for that amount, and also include a brief letter explaining your situation and requesting the scholarship. If you're really broke, some complimentary meal tickets may be available; you can also bring and cook your own food.  If we can't offer you the scholarship we'll assume you're not coming and simply refund your money.

We may also have a few full scholarships available. These are intended for low-income young people who are devoted to playing bluegrass and/or old time music. If this sounds like you, your child, or someone you know, please call us to apply.

Scholarship recipients, or their parents, are requested to help out at camp with a camp chore or two (there are many to choose from!)

The scholarship program is made possible through the donations of generous CBA members and other music campers who pay a little extra to help fund it. We are extremely grateful to them!

Is there a safe place to leave instruments on site?
No, it's best to plan to keep your instruments with you or at least nearby (and out of the sun).

Is there a place to charge my cell phone?
Yes, check at the camp office if you need help with this.

I hear that Jack Tuttle's Sunday afternoon classes are really great. What are they?
At 2:00 Jack teaches a Music Theory class that's a concise course in music theory, scales, tuning, chord construction, and chord progressions as they relate to bluegrass. Highly recommended, especially for newcomers!
At 4:00 Jack teaches a Bluegrass Critical Listening class. By listening to the recordings and Jack’s commentary you’ll hear what each instrument does in a bluegrass band, and by becoming a better listener you’ll become a better player. There’s something for every bluegrass musician

What are #CBAcamp and #CBAMusicCamp?
Those are "hash tags" that connect posts about the CBA Music Camp. Include them when you post text on social media and your post will be connected to others about the CBA Camp.