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Music & Dance Camps FAQ’s

Can I pay for one day or register for only part of a camp?

No, we don’t sell single days and discourage arriving part-way into the camp as the community-building has already begun. All Music & Dance Camps (except for Family Camp) have a special public concert, dance, or jam that is open to the public. These are a great opportunity to drop in. Find specific info on each camp page. 

Do I have to lodge on site?

No, you don’t have to lodge on site. Locals and folks staying in nearby hotels or B&B’s may wish to take advantage of the “staying off site” lodging option. 

Where is camping?

This video shows the rec field area where most folks choose to camp. The open-air dance pavilion is at one end and at the Binnie’s Bathhouse at the other. Some people choose to camp near the Pewter Shop and Gazebo. Campers and cabin-dwellers are welcome to use Binnie’s Bathhouse showers & bathrooms and the showers & bathrooms in the Longhouse men’s/women’s/all-gender wings. Showers in the longhouse have three individual stalls per wings vs the bathhouse which has two open shower rooms, designated men’s and women’s. 


What is your payment/cancellation/refund policy?

You may pay in full or hold your place with a deposit of 25% per person if registering 4 or more weeks before camp. Full payment is due 4 weeks before camp begins. To cancel your camp registration, email events@ashokancenter.org We retain $50 per person for cancellations requested up to 4 weeks before camp begins, and for COVID-related cancellations made at any date. We retain your 25% deposit between 4 and 2 weeks before camp. We retain the full registration amount within 2 weeks of camp.


Are private rooms air conditioned or heated?

No, private rooms are not air conditioned but they are heated. All of the lodges are equipped with fans and stay very cool during the evenings as nights in the Catskills can get chilly. Longhouse bunk rooms have air conditioning.


Do I have to be good at my instrument to come to camp? 

Not at all! Everyone is very welcome at Ashokan. Lots of folks come to get started on a brand new skill! The only exception to this is the Scottish String Fling, which is specifically geared toward intermediate and advanced players. 


What if I don’t have an instrument? 

Many folks bring extras and are happy to lend an instrument during camp.


Will the chef accommodate my dietary needs? 

Yes, Chef Bill prepares gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian options for all meals and is happy to accommodate other needs. Please contact him in advance at 845-657-8333 ext 18.


Do I need to choose my classes ahead of time? 

No, you can decide on site which classes to take and make adjustments each day based on what you prefer. 


How do I choose a pricing tier? 

Trust your instincts! If you’re not sure, go with the Standard price. If you are moved and able to pay the Supporter price, thank you! This generosity uplifts our community and enables us to keep offering the Economy price for those who can’t afford to come at the Standard level. All campers will share in the same camp experience regardless of their registration choice.


Can I bring my camper/RV?

Yes, we welcome RV campers onsite during Music & Dance Camps. RV’s are parked down by the campground near the bathhouse. No hookups are available but there are outdoor showers, and 2 bathrooms near the camping field. We also ask that folks don’t run generators between 10pm and 9am for noise, nor run your generator if you’re near other people.


Will teachers be providing sheet music?

This varies by camp and by teacher. Most do not provide sheet music. If you have a specific sheet music request please contact events@ashokancenter.org or call: (845) 657-833 x3.


Will sheet music or resources be shared in advance of camp?

No, it’s not the camp organizers practice to share sheet music and resources in advance of camp. The only exception to this is Uke Fest. Typicallly this event organizer will provide a google folder at least 1 week in advance. 


Will there be jamming, mini-lessons, or group classes?

Yes. Most classes are group classes, typically around 10-15 people. Class size can vary from very small (2-3 people) to large (30ish) depending on popularity and scheduling. Jamming is always encouraged throughout the day and evenings. Limited mini-lessons (one-on-one) can be arranged through a camper signup sheet during camp.


Am I too old/young for camp?

Absolutely not! Camps are for all ages! We encourage our community to come together and benefit from the diversity of our experience and age levels.


Is there a Staff Nurse?

Yes, all Music & Dance Camps have a camp nurse who is available when needed.


Where do meals take place?

Meals are served indoors and may be eaten inside the Dining Hall or outdoors on porch tables or picnic tables under the courtyard tents. Meals are community time; campers all eat together and we try for quiet during announcements and occasional dinner performances.


Are there any late night policies?

Yes. To allow fellow campers to get sleep as needed, loud, fun-loving activities should take place out of doors, away from the residential lodges and campsites between 11pm and 8:30am.


What are some safety tips for navigating the campus?

Wear good shoes and bring a flashlight with you after dark. Some pathways are steep and lack lighting.


Can I drop off my child?

No. Children under eighteen years of age must attend our programs with a parent or an adult guardian assigned by their parent. Children are the responsibility of their parents/guardians at Ashokan at all times. Parents/guardians can delegate responsibility to friends and relations who agree to help out at various times during the day, but both children and parents/guardians must always know who the responsible adult is at any given time.


What are the accommodations for my child?

With the exception of family camp, children ten years of age and younger usually camp with their parents. This is to allow people who stay in the bunkhouses to sleep undisturbed after late night music and dancing.


Are there separate activities for children?

At Family Camp there are plenty of classes specifically for kids.  At our other camps, kids are encouraged to attend classes along with adults. Please don’t pressure children to attend classes that they’re not excited to attend. If you think your child’s age or interest level may mean that they’ll need special attention, please speak with the instructor in advance to get their OK and consider attending with your child. In addition to music classes/workshops/jams, we also have nature walks and art classes which would be great activities for kids and families.


What can my non-musical spouse/parent/guardian do during camp?

Ashokan has tons of recreational space! We encourage campers to fish, swim, hike, bird-watch, etc. and use our trail map to enjoy the beauty of our 385 acre campus. Hiking destinations include the historic Covered Bridge, Cathedral Gorge and the Sugar Shack. Woodstock, a 20 minute drive, has art museums, restaurants and unique shops. There are also historic sites, rail trails, and more, all less than an hour from Ashokan.


Is there a discounted price for my spouse/parent/guardian?

No, however, the Economy level of our three tier pricing provides a very affordable option for less-participatory campers, and still entitles them to all meals and any activities that they may wish to attend.


What is your current COVID policy?

Please see our COVID Protocol here: https://ashokancenter.org/covid-protocol/


What is included in the registration price?

Registration includes all activities and meals. Lodging is optional and camping is free.  Children under 5 attend for free. Campers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.


What is Ashokan’s alcohol policy?

The Ashokan Center is licensed to serve beer and wine in Esopus Lodge (the main building). The bar is generally open from late afternoon to early evening. Sorry, by law, guests are prohibited from bringing their own alcoholic beverages into this licensed building.


What are the onsite accommodations?

LONGHOUSE BUNKS: Rooms hold up to 24 people and are designated women, men, or mixed gender. Place your belongings on a top or bottom bunk after you check in to claim it. Pillows are provided, please bring your own blankets, sheets, pillowcases, and towels. There are a small number of light blankets for those bunkhouse residents who are unable to bring one of their own. If you will need us to provide one, please let us know well in advance.


PRIVATE ROOMS: There are a limited number of private rooms that must be reserved in advance at extra charge. Pillows are provided, please bring your own sheets, pillowcases, and towels. There are light quilts in each private room.


CAMPSITES/RV’s: Camping is available with access to bathrooms and outdoor showers. Please park by your campsite only if you plan to leave your car in place for the duration of the camp.


What should I bring?

PERSONAL ITEMS: Sleeping bag or blanket and linens, towel, soap, flashlight, earplugs (for light sleepers). There are light quilts in each private room and a small number of light blankets for those bunkhouse residents who are unable to bring one of their own. If you will need us to provide one, please let us know well in advance and we’ll do our best. Hand-held recorders are welcome. We don’t supply musical instruments but some can be borrowed.


CLOTHING: Prepare for wet and dry weather. Most people wear comfortable, informal clothing. Some may also bring dressy, wild or fun clothing as well but that is up to you! Soft-soled shoes are best for most dancing. Hard smooth-soled shoes are best for clogging and step-dancing. There’s no laundry on site so bring enough clothes for the week.

What should I NOT bring?

Please, no pets or drop-in guests.


Can I receive and send mail from Ashokan?

Yes. For incoming mail: Your Name c/o Ashokan Music & Dance,

477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY 12461

Outgoing mail leaves each weekday at 4pm.

Does Ashokan have cell phone/wifi service?

High speed Wi-Fi is available in all buildings. Cell phone reception is available but spotty. Calls may be dropped but texts are reliably received.


What airport is closest to the Ashokan?

AIRPORT Albany, NY (ALB) is the closest major airport (about 1.5 hours away). Public transportation is available from the airport to the Kingston bus station, where you can take a taxi to Ashokan. Or contact us at least one month before your program begins for a list of people driving from the Albany area who may be able to give you a ride.

Can I get on a wait list if private lodging is booked at the time of registration?

Yes, at the bottom of every camp page there is a section to add your name to a Private Room Waitlist. Also • Search AirBnB for local homes with shared or private rooms. Check out Trip Advisor for hotel accommodations in Kingston. See a map of bed and breakfasts in the area.


Contact: Ruth or Alexis
845-657-8333 x3